Wayward Shepherds, Scattered Sheep

Through the prophet Jeremiah, God rebuked the shepherds of Israel for their false teaching and bad example. (Jer 23:1-6) They allowed the sheep to stray and substituted their own opinions for God’s covenant, resulting in error and confusion. When Jesus came centuries later, the people were scattered like sheep without a shepherd. He loved them … Read more

German Bishops Join the Wolves

An astonishing news item in the Wall Street Journal reports: “At a meeting in Frankfurt, German [Catholic] church leaders voted 168 to 28. . .to adopt a draft statement on sexuality that includes a resolution saying that ‘same-sex partnerships who want to take the risk of an unbreakable common life. . .should be able to … Read more

Loaves, Fish, and Shepherds

Our Lord’s multiplication of the loaves and fish occupies a privileged place in the list of miracles. It is the only one recorded by all four Evangelists and the only one that prompts such a strong response from the crowd: they want to make him king. It points us to the Eucharist, the source and … Read more

Pastoral Incoherence

The Church in America is in the midst of a controversy over so-called “Eucharistic coherence.”  The debate focuses on the duties of the faithful (especially politicians) in receiving Holy Communion and of the bishops in overseeing that reception.  While the issue is vital, it’s symptomatic of a graver, half-century-old crisis that, like many family dysfunctions, … Read more

The Church in Crisis

Ralph Martin, president of Renewal Ministries, director of graduate theology programs in evangelization and a professor of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, has written an extraordinary book, A  Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward. His analysis of this crisis, in a time of confusion and division, is comprehensive in scope, examining its ecclesial, doctrinal, and … Read more

Two Systems of Morality

All systems of morality will have a place for both the idea of moral duty and the idea of moral rights.  But some systems will put duty in the first place while others will put rights in the first place.  And so we’ll have two contrasting systems depending on which has the primacy: a morality … Read more

Sign and Send Open Letter to U.S. Bishops on the 2020 Election

Republished from The Catholic Thing Dear Catholic Bishops, The poet John Milton wrote: “The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed.” Church leadership is called upon to do the right thing, especially in difficult times: to speak the truth boldly and lovingly and to watch over those entrusted to their care. When bishops fail … Read more

Ideology Makes You Stupid

In a recent editorial, Heidi Schlumpf, editor of the National Catholic Reporter, suggests that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is the “future of the Catholic Church.” Her encomium was inspired by the congresswoman’s expression of outrage, after a Republican congressman had referred to her by a commonplace obscenity, muttering as he made his way down a … Read more

The Cultural Revolution and Us

The general lack of conviction about authentic Catholicism has hobbled the Church in speaking prophetically during the public unrest and the global pandemic. The United States is currently going through its own version of China’s Cultural Revolution, including rampaging mobs, hell-bent on the destruction of property and historical artifacts. These disturbances have obscured the sometimes … Read more

Misplaced Priorities

What about the salvation of souls? An astute woman who has written for The Catholic Thing just sent me this: I don’t know if you read [Washington D.C.] Archbishop [Wilton] Gregory’s official statement in the coronavirus section of the archdiocesan website about suspending public Masses. I am bringing this to your attention (if you haven’t … Read more

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