Five Grueling Days of Joy

When the woman came for our daughters, we were crowded around a small round metal table, eating damp French fries and day-old bagels. It was early evening, and we’d had a long day, and now another stranger was giving my wife a piece of paper. Was this yet another petition to sign? A cool Catholic . . . . Continue Reading »

What Really Happened at Synod 2015

The following is a preview from our January issue: When the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops opened with a concelebrated Mass at the Altar of the Confession in St. Peter’s Basilica on October 4, it was already clear that there would be three synods: the real synod, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Synod 2015 Revisited

It’s been over a month since Synod-2015 finished its work. Yet there is still no official translation of the Synod’s Final Report into the major world languages from the original Italian (a language regularly used by 8/10 of one per cent of the world’s population). That’s a shame because, in . . . . Continue Reading »

What Comes After the Synod

Whatever Pope Francis does in the wake of the Synod on the Family, we have a new Humanae Vitae moment on our hands. Decades of relentless infighting over what exactly the Church teaches is on the horizon and will negatively affect the priesthood, religious life, religious institutions, parishes, . . . . Continue Reading »

Crisis of Solidarity

Written by Friedrich Hayek during World War II, The Road to Serfdom sought to shape thinking about the post-war reconstruction of society. Hayek believed the West faced a decisive choice. Are we to affirm the central importance of individual freedom? Or will we embrace central planning and . . . . Continue Reading »

Toasting the Conscience

In Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, Blessed John Henry Newman suggests gamely that religion should never be the subject matter for after-dinner social toasts. But, he says “if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts, I shall drink—to the Pope, if you please—still, to Conscience . . . . Continue Reading »

A Blessed Loss

Written from Rome:During Synod-2015, I’ve been reading John Martin Robinson’s Cardinal Consalvi: 1757-1824, a biography of Pope Pius VII’s secretary of state, one of the most impressive churchmen of his day, or indeed any day. Ercole Consalvi, born into the Roman nobility as the winds of . . . . Continue Reading »

Pius XII, Co-Conspirator in Tyrannicide

Written from Rome:The great Piazza San Pietro is a five minute walk from where I’m living during Synod-2015. About three-quarters of the Square is bounded by the famous Bernini colonnades, which reach out from the Vatican basilica as if to embrace the world. Along the open “front” of the . . . . Continue Reading »