By Their Vocabulary, You Shall Know Them

By their vocabulary, you shall know them? Well, to a considerable degree. And in these early November days, when the Church celebrates all the saints in glory and prays for those who yearn to join them in the Father’s House, it’s instructive to ponder the vocabulary that dominated the just-completed first assembly of the Synod … Read more

The Sorry Situation of Catholic Schools

How many Catholic schools are really just public schools with a Mass requirement attached, plus an elective or two of theology? Many schools feature lots of Catholic talk on the website, but when it comes to the actual books assigned and knowledge tested, Catholicism pretty much disappears. English, history, civics, arts, math, and science courses … Read more

When Being Affirming Isn’t Loving

Two events of the last week witness to a significant shift in the times in which we live. The first is a sermon by megachurch evangelical pastor Andy Stanley that seemed to concede ground to gay partnerships within the church. The second is a worryingly ambiguous comment from Pope Francis on the possibility of blessing … Read more

Cleaning Up the Pope’s Mess

When Time magazine published its issue on the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, the columnist and pundit Peggy Noonan wrote the profile for her former boss, Ronald Reagan. She began by recounting Clare Boothe Luce’s quip that every president is remembered for a sentence: “He freed the slaves.” “He made the Louisiana … Read more

Synodality and the Spirit of Truth

Facts and great personages in world history occur, as it were, twice . . . the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” The Synod on Synodality seems destined to confirm Marx’s words (themselves a revision of Hegel). The tragedy arises from the deep theological and philosophical division that has plagued Catholic Christianity throughout … Read more

Archbishop Fernandez, Preacher of Chaos

Have you heard about the scandalous writings by the new head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office? No, no: I don’t mean Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing, the 1995 pamphlet that has occasioned so much comment since Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández was elevated to Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of … Read more

Fr. Gerald Murray: Church Teaching on Trial

The recently published North American Final Document for the Continental Stage of the 2021–2024 Synod (NAFD) confirms suspicions that the discussions at the October 2023 Synod on Synodality will almost certainly center around the alleged failure of the Church to be inclusive, welcoming, and respectful. The supposedly aggrieved include well over half of the faithful: … Read more

Working for Church Renewal

In 2018, the scandal involving then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick shocked the Catholic world. McCarrick had a global presence; he operated at the highest levels of the Church, and he enjoyed the highest esteem—both among Catholics and more broadly. But then it was revealed that he had been grooming and sexually abusing young men for decades. It … Read more

Imagining a Heretical Cardinal

Imagine if a cardinal of the Catholic Church were to publish an article in which he condemned “a theology of eucharistic coherence that multiplies barriers to the grace and gift of the eucharist” and stated that “unworthiness cannot be the prism of accompaniment for disciples of the God of grace and mercy.” Or what if … Read more

How to Resist the New Totalitarianism

In Jack London’s The Iron Heel and Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here, America’s wordsmith class created a bogeyman treasured by the cultural left ever since: a fascist takeover of the country. As Helen Alvaré shows in her superb new book, Religious Freedom After the Sexual Revolution, the real threat to our freedom—especially our “first … Read more