The Devil and Hilary Mantel

By now, everyone who reads contemporary fiction will have heard of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed historical novels about Thomas Cromwell, the powerful advisor to Henry VIII who all but single-handedly disestablished the Catholic Church in England. Anathema to many . . . . Continue Reading »

A Response to the Bishops of Malta

At the heart of what these bishops and others have called a “merciful” path is a frenzied desire for happiness and for the avoidance of pain and suffering, supposing that these people have suffered enough. This stands in direct contrast to the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the saints, whose premise is that suffering is not something to be avoided at all costs—one can learn to live through it. Continue Reading »

A Distinction without Discipline

If Crosby’s reform were enacted, priests would have to judge the souls of their flock. The remarried would be divided into those whose lives have a Dostoevskian tragic resonance, and those who are merely “common adulteresses.” This cruel charade would collapse before it began. Continue Reading »

Catholics Face a Choice

Will Catholics uphold the Church's teaching that the divorced and remarried cannot be admitted to communion, or will they reject it? Pope Francis has brought this question before the Church, though he refuses to formulate it so starkly. Continue Reading »