Dear Father: Please Stop It

In all the sixteen documents of the Second Vatican Council, is there any prescription more regularly violated than General Norm 22.3 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy? Which, in case you’ve forgotten, teaches that “no . . . person, not even a priest, may add, remove, or change anything . . . . Continue Reading »

Eastern Christmas and Egypt's President

Egypt’s Coptic Christians follow the Julian calendar in celebrating Christmas on January 7th of each year. For the second consecutive year, Egyptian president Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi surprised them with an exceptionally kind gesture, once again personally attending their Coptic Christmas Eve mass and . . . . Continue Reading »

In Honor of David Steinmetz

David Curtis Steinmetz, one of the leading church historians of our time, died this past November at age 79 on Thanksgiving evening. He spent most of his distinguished academic career at Duke Divinity School, where he was the Ragan Kerns Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the History of . . . . Continue Reading »

Spotlight on the Vulnerable

Any major American newspaper would immediately fire a reporter who was caught using composite characters or inventing quotations for his stories. Hollywood naturally plays by different rules. A film “based on” a true story is considered acceptable; “recreated” dialogue is the norm. We expect . . . . Continue Reading »

What Euthanasia Enthusiasts Really Want

Assisted-suicide advocacy is wrapped in euphemisms and false assurances. We are often told that medicalized killing will be “a last resort” reserved for the terminally ill, to be deployed only in the context of a long-term relationship with a caring doctor and, even then, strictly when there is . . . . Continue Reading »

An Open Mind?

Examining the complex functioning of a human brain as it lay exposed on an operating table can be a heady experience. Wonder, however, can easily lead to a kind of philosophical vertigo. This was evident in a recent essay in the New York Times written by Karl Ove Knausgaard. The famous Norwegian . . . . Continue Reading »

Donald Trump and the Revenge of the Scorned

Donald Trump's fiercest critics have hoped that his outlandish statements will eventually undo him. Their mistake is that Trump is a creation of America's (and the Republican Party's) political elites. The Trump phenomenon exists because Republican elites scorned large segments of their own . . . . Continue Reading »

Looking Toward November 8

To redeploy a phrase from President Ford, our “long national nightmare”—in this case, the semi-permanent presidential campaign—will be over in eleven months, or at least suspended for a year or so. It’s not been an altogether edifying show to date; one may hope that, as the fields get . . . . Continue Reading »

Free University Orthodoxy

During the debate over “biblical inerrancy” that raged among evangelicalism for several years in the late 1970s, I remember someone observing that Harold Lindsell’s 1976 book, The Battle for the Bible, which pretty much got that debate going, was more a theory of institutional change than it . . . . Continue Reading »