Serpico’s Stand

It has now been forty years since Al Pacino blazed across the screen in the classic police drama, Serpico. Based on the acclaimed book of the same name, it is that rarest of Hollywood films”an adaptation as exceptional as the book. Searing, deeply moral, and ultimately heartbreaking, it is as powerful today as it was the day it opened. And even more relevant… . Continue Reading »

Mater Misericordiae Hospital

In 1652, Catholicism was made illegal in Ireland. By 1673, across Ireland, military and civil officials were required to swear by oath that bread and wine could not be turned into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The penalty for belief in the Eucharist was exile, prison, or death… . Continue Reading »


Rousing Soviet songs surround us as we pass through a gloomy gauntlet of titanic statues on our way to Kyiv’s Museum of the Great Patriotic War. My friends, a Polish and a Ukrainian pastor, remember the songs, which played incessantly on the radio during their childhood. The sculpture complex depicts lunging soldiers and hardy peasants in dignified poses, men pointing guns and women handling bombs, boys and girls, all united in a total war effort to defeat the Nazis… . Continue Reading »

The Danger of Good Popes

Pope Benedict IX was elected pope in 1032 when he was just a teenager: different sources put his age at somewhere between 11 to 20 years old. His father was the Count of Tusculum and used his influence to obtain the papacy for his son. Benedict IX indulged in extreme sexual immorality, including orgies and unnatural acts… . Continue Reading »

It’s Extraordinary

The Church of Our Saviour in Manhattan has discontinued offering Mass in the extraordinary form, also known as the traditional Latin Mass, the Tridentine Mass, and the Mass of Blessed Pope John XXIII. Fr. George Rutler offered it on Sundays at 9 a.m. when he was pastor of Our Saviour… . Continue Reading »

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Last Monday night I dreamed I drove Richard Nixon to the Kansas City International Airport after he’d delivered a speech in KC. I had offered him our guest room to stay the night, but”despite his schmaltzy cocker spaniel speech in 1952”he apologetically claimed a pet allergy and could not possibly abide our cocker spaniel, though he was certain she was a charming and disciplined animal. She isn’t, but in a dream many things are dreamlike… . Continue Reading »

Are We Obsessed?

A few passages from Pope Francis’ famous interview published in America have unsettled some people for many reasons. My reason for being unsettled is that it would not be a complete distortion to say that I have been “obsessed” with the issues of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality for nearly all of my professional life. … Continue Reading »

In the Land of Crosses

SIAULIAI, LITHUANIA”No one knows when pious Lithuanians first erected crosses of all sizes on a hill about seven miles north of the city of Siauliai; it may have been after an abortive 1831 uprising against Russian rule over the small Baltic country. Oftentimes, the bodies of Lithuanian patriots killed during that rebellion, and a similar revolt in 1863, could not be found. … Continue Reading »

Is There Room, for Sarah?

In his remarks to the press this past Sunday, following the release of Antonio Spadaro’s broad-ranging and inspiring interview with Pope Francis, New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan called the pope’s pronouncements “a breath of fresh air” and added, “He’s a great relief to all of us” … Continue Reading »