Francis Delivers

In the days leading up to Francis’s recent Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laeititia, one would have thought that a seismic shift in Catholic theology was about to take place. The New York Times wrote excitedly, “Liberals . . . are hoping Francis will directly address same-sex marriage and . . . . Continue Reading »

Where Have All the Bad Republicans Gone?

Nearly a decade ago, the redoubtable Douglas Farrow published a book whose subtitle announced the “end of marriage.” Farrow hasn’t been the only one to sound the alarm. Roger Scruton has observed that marriage “marks an existential transition” from “the concerns of one generation towards . . . . Continue Reading »

Bring Courtship Back

Staring down the barrel of Valentine’s Day, many young men and women have few and scanty models of what a romantic relationship looks like—especially (though not exclusively!) young people of faith interested in chastity and marriage. The Love and Fidelity Network has set out to #BringDatingBack . . . . Continue Reading »

Carson the Butler on True Marriage

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 »

New Norms for Marriage Nullity

I recently attended a conference in Rome, “La riforma operata dal m.p. ‘Mitis Iudex,’”sponsored by the Consociatio Internationalis Studio Iuris Canonici Promovendo—the international association of canon lawyers of which I am a board member—which dealt with the fiercely relevant topic of . . . . Continue Reading »

Swiping for Soul Mates

Previous generations of Americans married the boy or girl next door—literally. According to one study from 1932, one-third of married couples grew up within five blocks of each other. But things have changed. Now, boy and girl are matched by an app; boy texts girl. Girl schedules a meeting. Or she . . . . Continue Reading »

Divorce and Communion

There were only two occasions in my life as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that required disciplinary ministry with a church member. One was gossip; the other was sex. The first didn’t get beyond private admonition by the pastor, me. That’s what the pastor does in . . . . Continue Reading »

The Saints and All of Us

Written from Rome: Amidst all the Sturm und Drang of Synod-2015, something genuinely new in the life of the Church began, and it shouldn’t escape our notice. For the first time in two millennia, an entry in the liturgical books will now read, on the appropriate day, “Saints Louis and Zélie . . . . Continue Reading »

A Family of Saints

If there was one serene moment amidst all the ecclesiastical discord at the recent Synod in Rome, it was when Pope Francis canonized Therese of Lisieux’s parents, commending them to the faithful:The holy spouses Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guerin practiced Christian service in the family, . . . . Continue Reading »