Carson the Butler on True Marriage

From First Thoughts

Viewers of Downton Abbey may have noticed in the recently aired first episode of Season Six that Carson the Butler articulated, in a delicate but firm and unmistakable way, the truth that marriage is a conjugal union. Mrs. Patmore, the cook, is sent as an emissary of Carson's fiancée, Mrs. Hughes, . . . . Continue Reading »

On Marriage, Protect Freedom For All

From First Thoughts

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage, the question is: who deserves to be coerced by the government to embrace the Court’s new definition of marriage, or penalized for declining to do so? The answer: No one. The government is not justified in coercing or penalizing anyone or any institution that believes and acts on the belief that marriage is a union of husband and wife. Continue Reading »

A Letter to Pope Francis

From First Thoughts

Your Holiness:I recall with pleasure and gratitude my visit to the Vatican in November and your moving address to our Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage. There, gathered with leaders of the world’s great religious traditions, East and West, you reaffirmed the Church’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Merrie Melodies and Magisterial Authority

From First Thoughts

For reasons I cannot fathom, Michael Winters of the National Catholic Reporter seems determined to cast himself as the Wile E. Coyote of contemporary liberal Catholicism. His elaborate efforts to capture his prey—his roadrunners are those “culture warrior” bishops (such as Charles Chaput of Philadelphia) and Catholic intellectuals who are too zealous for his taste in defending the Church’s teachings on life, marriage, and sexual morality—inevitably backfire, usually comically and sometimes humiliatingly. But he intrepidly keeps at it, hoping against hope, I suppose, that his next effort will finally bring success. Continue Reading »