35 results
November 9, 2015

I received a report of what a recent and devout “revert” (a one-time Catholic who has returned to the Faith) suffered through when assisting at Mass in a large Midwestern diocese she was visiting.

To me the most annoying thing wasn’t that none of the parishioners she spoke with knew where the tabernacle was located (hint: not in full view within the church, which is what the regulations insist on). And it wasn’t that the priest skipped the introductory rites and ad libbed his way...

October 12, 2015

Bishop Musonius of Neocaesarea died in 368, and St. Basil sent a consolatory letter to the Christians of that city. He praised the deceased as “a bulwark of his native land, an ornament of the churches, a pillar and foundation of the truth, a firm support of the faith of Christ, a steadfast helper for his friends, a most formidable foe for his enemies, a guardian of the ordinances of the Fathers, an enemy of innovation.”

This seems a fine eulogy, except that the final sentiment is...

September 7, 2015

In recent years the term “scandal” has achieved new vitality in politics, finance, and religion. Hardly a day goes by that headlines do not feature the word, particularly in reference to the Church. The word has become so ubiquitous that Catholics use a shorthand when speaking among themselves. We refer to “the scandal,” with no need for further elucidation. We all know which scandal we mean, even if we do not all know what is meant by the underlying term.

Most Catholics were brought...

August 28, 2015

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, in paragraph 2051, that apart from the teaching authority of the Church, it is impossible to maintain the “saving truths of the faith:”

The infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all the elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed.

Too many Catholics take for granted the great gift of the...

July 27, 2015

As my first book was going through the publishing process at Ignatius Press, the editors sought endorsements from prominent Catholics. Among those who were asked for a blurb was Roger Mahony, then Archbishop of Los Angeles, a see to which he was appointed in 1985. (Six years later he was named a cardinal.)

Three weeks after receiving the manuscript of my book, Mahony replied to Ignatius Press with a letter dated January 28, 1988:

“I am very enthusiastic about the new book, ...