​Benedict the Dissident

Last Testament: In His Own Wordsby benedict xvi with peter seewald bloomsbury, 288 pages, $24Arandom tale from the front line of the ­Ratzinger media wars: At the time of Benedict XVI’s announcement in 2013 that he was to step down as pope, I was writing for one of the Irish national dailies. One . . . . Continue Reading »

Dottore della Chiesa subito!

Surveying the Pope Emeritus’s life and works, it is difficult to think of any other Catholic thinker who so profoundly shaped the Church’s theology since the Second Vatican Council. The heroic diligence, courage, and humility with which he exercised his pastoral vocation indicates that sanctity infused the actions of an intellectual giant worthy of the title Doctor of the Church. Continue Reading »

Ministries of Life

If you ride New York City’s subways, you will see public service advertisements blaz­oned above you. Some come from “NYC Condom,” a service of the New York City Health Department, some from other groups (like the BACCHUS Initiatives of the National Association of Student Personnel . . . . Continue Reading »

European Reconciliation

Currently, visitors to the Vatican Museums in Rome have the opportunity to visit an exhibition devoted to Cardinal Bolesław Kominek (1903-1974), aptly titled “Europe’s Forgotten Founding Father.” The author of the “Pastoral Letter of the Polish Bishops to Their German Brothers,” sent . . . . Continue Reading »

Summorum Pontificum, Seven Years On

Seven years ago this week, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated the apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum, liberalizing use of the 1962 missal and affirming the continuity between it and the ordinary form of Mass. He stressed the seamlessness of the Roman rite in its two forms, the old and the new. In principle, the traditional Latin Mass does not divide the Church, he insisted, in response to the spectacle of Catholics dividing themselves over it, each side accusing the other of being divisive. Continue Reading »