Homeless

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump together are likely to end this primary season with a majority of all votes cast. Add the votes for Republican bad boy Ted Cruz, and the vote total for anti-establishment candidates may reach 60 percent. This represents a stunning repudiation of the existing political . . . . Continue Reading »

The Other Footnote in Amoris Laetitia

Pope Francis’s recent Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia is, for the most part, a beautiful presentation of Catholic teaching on marriage and the family. But its eighth chapter strikes many readers as problematic. This chapter attempts to identify the patterns of reasoning by which a prudent . . . . Continue Reading »

Marriage is Not a Social Convention

In a Web Exclusive article today, I elaborate problems that I see in Amoris Laetitia. Here on First Thoughts, I want to discuss the parts of Amoris Laetitia that are especially helpful for an engaged couple. The document offers an excellent diagnosis of why marriage can be difficult in our time: . . . . Continue Reading »

Amoris Laetitia and the Words of Christ

The first paragraph of Amoris Laetitia states that “the desire to marry and form a family remains vibrant, especially among young people.” Throughout my engagement, however, my desire to marry has sometimes been less than vibrant. To paraphrase my archbishop Cardinal O’Malley, I long for . . . . Continue Reading »

Amoris Laetitia from Where I Stand

Philip Larkin lamented that whether or not anybody refills your drink at a party “seems to turn on where you are. Or who.” In our divided Catholic Church, pastoral care is a lot like Larkin's cocktails. Catholics who sincerely desire to submit themselves to the Church they love come to their . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Amoris Laetitia Wouldn't Have Helped Me

Like waves breaking on rock, polishing and shaping by force, the Catholic faith sands and sculpts my being. The day my soul became Catholic was the day I found out that as a divorced and remarried woman I could not receive Communion. “Truth enlightens man's intelligence and shapes his freedom,” . . . . Continue Reading »

On Sex Without Deliberate Consent

In his recent Apostolic Exhortation, the Holy Father puts a question mark in the margin of the following teaching of Pope Saint John Paul II: “The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Merciful Grace of the Truth

At the Easter Vigil a few weeks ago, tens of thousands of men and women, mature adults, were baptized or entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Each of them walked a unique itinerary of conversion; each of these “newborn babes” (1 Peter 2.2) is a singular work of the Holy Spirit. . . . . Continue Reading »