​Praise Be to You, Lord

The First World War lingers in the memory as humanity’s first encounter with industrialized killing on a mass scale. New weapons of the machine age obliterated forests, villages and fields—an entire way of life. This new type of war also deeply shaped the thinking of men who experienced it . . . . Continue Reading »

Let’s Listen to the Pope on Climate

The Syllabus of Errors, issued in 1864 under the auspices of Pope Pius IX, famously ends by condemning the proposition that “The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism, and modern civilization.”Is Pope Francis a latter day Pio Nono? Such . . . . Continue Reading »

Dear Pope Francis: Remember the Standers

Pope Francis has spoken often about the problem of family breakdown. “The family is the fundamental cell of society,”the Holy Father told bishops, clergy and laypersons during the first year of his tenure. “Marriage and the family are in crisis,” he said shortly after bishops gathered in Rome last fall for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. No-fault divorce has done more to fuel this crisis than any other factor. Although divorce rates initially skyrocketed after adoption of no-fault in the United States, they remain high. Meanwhile, single motherhood and cohabitation continue to rise, while marriage rates nosedive. And Pope Francis has acknowledged the link between marriage breakdown and society’s ills, including increased poverty, noting that it is children who usually bear the brunt. Continue Reading »

Our Homophobic Pope

The media make a big deal of Pope Francis when this or that utterance seems to signal that the Great Capitulation is imminent. Liberals have long hoped for the moment when the Catholic Church stops being “anti-modern,” which doesn't mean engaged with science, philosophically sophisticated, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Priests Speaking Out

It's not a petition, strictly speaking. It's a statement of fidelity to the Catholic Church's historic teaching on sex and marriage. Originally signed by nearly five hundred English priests in March, it's now being circulated in the United States at credopriests.org and available for priest here to sign. Here's the statement: Continue Reading »

Francis Gives New Hope to Abuse Victims

The Vatican’s recent announcement that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, of the diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph, has given relief and new hope to victims of sexual abuse in the Church. Technically, the Pope didn’t directly “remove” Finn, as the media has . . . . Continue Reading »

A Genocide Remembered and Denied

On the night of April 24, 1915, as Constantinople’s Armenian community was deep in slumber following Easter celebrations, Turkish gendarmes, following the orders of the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP), made their way through the ancient Byzantine capital to the homes of 250 Armenian cultural leaders. As Peter Balakian wrote in The Burning Tigris, Constantinople’s Armenian community had been “the center of Armenian cultural and intellectual life” since the nineteenth century. The Armenians were a minority community that excelled in the arts, academia, and the professional classes; successful, intelligent, and very much “the other” in a Turkey whose young rulers were influenced by the racialist ideologies then prominent in Europe. Continue Reading »

Pope Francis and Zero Tolerance

The outcry against Francis’s appointment of Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who was long associated with a child abusing priest-to the Diocese of Osorno, has placed the pope’s “zero tolerance” policy against sexual abuse into question.As Pope, Francis has taken many decisive actions against sexual abuse. He created a special Vatican Commission to combat it, in all its forms, and soon thereafter met with a group of victims, expressing his pain over their suffering: Continue Reading »

The Indomitable and Effective Cardinal Pell

Shortly after George Pell was named Archbishop of Melbourne, he instituted several reforms at the archdiocesan seminary, including daily Mass and the daily celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, both of which had fallen by the wayside in the preceding years. The seminary faculty, enthusiastic proponents of Catholic Lite, thought to call the archbishop’s bluff and informed him that, were he to persist in such draconian measures, they would resign en masse.The archbishop thanked them for the courtesy of giving him a heads-up, accepted their resignations on the spot, and got on with the reform of the Melbourne seminary—and the rest of the archdiocese. Continue Reading »