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Christian Prudence in Times of Pandemic

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Catholics are understandably unsettled, even angry over the Church’s response to COVID-19. Although the Church (especially the clergy) is divided on it, we need to approach the question with charity. It does no good to accuse advocates of maintaining the sacramental life of such things as pretentiousness, libertarianism, disregard for science, recklessness, individualism, or narcissism. […]

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The Case for Drive-In Masses

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Most American Catholics no longer have access to public Masses, and may not have access for some time. The bishops’ suspension of public Masses reflects their concern about the spread of contagion. This is a legitimate concern. And yet the faithful need not remain separated from the Mass. Many pastors have chosen to live-stream their […]

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More Than Our Appetites

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Fr. James Martin, S.J., avers that his advocacy does not challenge Catholic doctrine on homosexuality. He has made a point of publishing an essay delineating Church teaching on the subject. I am happy to take Fr. Martin at face value: If he says he does not wish to challenge the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, even […]

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There’s a Pony in Here Somewhere: A Post-Synodal Reflection

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According to his longtime consigliere, Edwin Meese, President Ronald Reagan must have told the “pony joke” at least a thousand times. The story involves the super-optimistic child whose parents take him to a psychiatrist, along with his super-pessimistic twin, so the doctor can evaluate their extreme personalities. The pessimistic little boy is brought into a […]

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The Amazon Synod is a Sign of the Times

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Synod of the Amazon is a sign of the times. So its Instrumentum laboris says. Who could disagree? And what times these are! Some are saying hopefully that the Synod of the Amazon will change the Church forever, that the Church will never be the same again. Others are saying that the Synod is an […]

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On the Eve of the Amazon Synod

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As leaders of the Catholic Church prepare to open the Amazon Synod on Sunday, the fundamental question to ask is whether the focus will be on the Amazon basin or on its inhabitants—on the ecological health of Amazonia or on the spiritual welfare of the people who live there. The official topic of the event—“Amazonia: […]

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A German Attack on Christ’s Lordship

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Half a millennium after the Reformation, Germans are making trouble again for the Roman Church. This time, Germany’s Catholic bishops have set out to remake the Church in their own liberal image. The German episcopate this week adopted a statutory framework to govern its upcoming “Synodal Assembly.” The agenda will include reviewing “Church teaching on sexual morality, the role of […]

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Forgetful Francis

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Did Pope Francis know? Was he told, five years before the world found out, that the powerful Cardinal McCarrick was a serial sexual abuser? The diplomat who claims to have informed the pope, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, names two dates on which he raised the matter with Francis: June 23 and October 10, 2013. But […]

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Calling the Pope a Liar

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It is no small thing to call the pope a liar. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has done just that, in straightforward language. “What the Pope said about not knowing anything [about Theodore McCarrick’s misconduct] is a lie,” he told LifeSite News. On the other hand, it is no small thing to claim that an archbishop, […]

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The Crisis Continues

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Vos Estis Lux Mundi, the new papal directive for handling sex abuse charges, takes a few steps toward reform within the Catholic Church. But the papal document—a motu proprio, carrying the force of canon law—falls well short of an adequate response to a burgeoning scandal. Pope Francis’s directive requires that every Catholic diocese and eparchy provide a […]