Category: Commentary

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Sincerely-held errors

I’ve been encountering a lot more conspiracy theories—though not by choice—on social media lately. The tendency always seems to be based on observing the facts of a case and giving a dubious interpretation of those facts. Sure, there might be...

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An Appeal for Clarity

I must admit, Archbishop Viganò’s May 8 appeal for the lifting of coronavirus restrictions has me in a bit of a panic. What he describes in that remarkable document sounds so terrifying, yet so vague. I feel like I’ve swallowed...

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The Mad World of Conspiracy-Theory Catholicism

The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he...

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Hope, not Stoicism, is the Christian’s response

I lost someone I love. There are simply no words to describe how devastating this has been. I am no stranger to the topic of grief in my writings. The one experience that keeps coming back to me during the...

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We must be open to correction from Pope Francis

The truth is uncomfortable. When we question, correct, and even seek to destroy it, it seems that the truth has an unshakable will to appear and expose lies and division. A few days ago, on May 7, 2020, a website...

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You are your Brother’s Keeper

Across the country, bishops are gradually beginning to allow public Masses again. This process will be slow-going, and the dioceses that are reopening have extended the dispensation of the faithful from their obligation to attend Sunday Mass. How public liturgies...

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The State of Social Media Theology

Aristotle opened Metaphysics with a simple statement: “All men by nature desire to know.” 2,500 years later, the question we face today–in a culture where we are continuously bombarded with information–is whether this desire can be tempered and directed toward...

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The Gospel of Life is at the heart of Jesus’ message

As Italy was facing the full wrath of COVID-19 in March, Pope Francis quietly marked the 25th anniversary of the encyclical Evangelium Vitae. He stressed that the Catholic Church’s pro-life message is more relevant than ever: “The attacks on the...

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The Church and scientists must work together for the common good

During this pandemic the Catholic Church has a choice between working together with the scientific community for the common good, or ignoring that community and confirming the charge that it is anti-science. It is a popular misconception that the Catholic...

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Modern Art and the Church

In a video titled “The Idolatry of Modern Art,” Catholic YouTube personality Brian Holdsworth expresses an opinion regarding modern art that I’ve also heard from other tradition-minded Catholics. His opinion is that modern art is “intrinsically incompatible with Christian worship,”...

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The New Theology of Dissent

Anti-Francis Catholics frequently identify themselves as “orthodox” or as strict adherents to Church teaching. While doing so, they must reconcile those claims with the fact that they have chosen to reject the official teachings of the current pope as heretical...

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Faggioli and the limits of reform

“Be attentive to that old and always new temptation from the promoters of Gnosticism. They wanted to make a name for themselves and expand their doctrine and fame, so they always sought to say something new and distinct from what...

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The Mission Field and the Culture War

Are we witnessing the ugly end of culture-war Catholicism? The conservative Catholic media landscape—born out of a battle with social liberalism that goes back at least to Pat Buchanan’s popularization of the term “culture war”—seems to have entered a decisive...

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Realities Are More Important Than Ideas

There is a possibly apocryphal, but persistent, story that when Galileo was forced to recant his position on heliocentrism and a rotating Earth, he left the room muttering “and yet, it moves!” Questions of historicity aside, the meaning of the...

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An Easter People, Even without the Sacraments

The other day I was told about one of my former RCIA candidates who was received into the Church a few years ago. He and his wife have a baby, and they had hoped to have their child baptized on...

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Criticizing the Critics

In a recent piece for National Review, Francis X. Maier (a long-time advisor to recently retired Archbishop Charles J. Chaput) presents an argument against the “derisive and condescending” dismissal by Pope Francis’s supporters of his critics. Maier even suggests that...

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Contra Viral Genocide

First Things has published several articles in the past few weeks dismissing the attempts by churches and governments to reign in the COVID–19 pandemic, suggesting they are overreactions. In R.R. Reno and Bioethics of a Pandemic, Dr. Pedro Gabriel addresses...

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R.R. Reno and the bioethics of a pandemic

In recent days, we have seen the rise of many articles in American media (and particularly in Catholic publications), questioning the public health regulations implemented around the world to prevent the spread of COVID-19. One of those articles stood out, both...

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Birmingham’s new shepherd and the challenge of EWTN

Today the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, and has appointed Bishop Steven Raica, bishop of the diocese of Gaylord, Michigan, to replace him. Typically, the transfer of a bishop...

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What Shared Suffering Means for Healthcare, Hoarders and Price Gougers

The economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis will be felt for some time, even after the current lockdown is over. In response to the threat posed by the rapid spread of the virus, governments, churches, and businesses have been enforcing...

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