Christus Totus: Why Catholics Care about Christians

The University of Mary defines its mission and identity as “Christian, Catholic, and Benedictine.” Its Christian Leadership Center, which I direct, is intended to foster relationships among a wide variety of Christians, from Catholics to Pentecostals, from Lutherans to Baptists. But why? Why would a Roman Catholic University named after the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived immaculate, ever sinless, assumed body and soul into heaven, deliberately describe its identity as “Christian” first, then “Catholic, and Benedictine”? … Continue Reading »

A Crisis of Faith in Science?

If Laura Stepp at CNN is to be believed, conservatives who oppose the use of contraceptives for religious reasons have lost their faith in science and are abdicating the use of their intellect in order to maintain an untenable position. She cites a study which analyzes survey data revealing that, since the mid-1970s, a falling percentage of college-educated conservatives claim to “trust science,” compared to relatively stable numbers among liberals, and argues that those who oppose contraception, question the Neo-Darwinist narrative of evolution, or disagree with certain political measures to address global climate change, are opposed to science in general… . Continue Reading »

The Sisters: Two Views

After the April announcement that the Vatican was taking the Leadership Conference of Women Religious into a form of ecclesiastical receivership, appointing Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain to oversee the LCWR until its statutes and program are reformed, Tom Fox, a major figure at the National Catholic Reporter for decades, had this to say … Continue Reading »

Benedict XVI and the Ultimate Betrayal

He looked tired. The glow which once radiated from his visage has been clouded, even amid the natural joy of Pentecost Sunday. And we also heard it in his voice, as he proclaimed in his homily, with a slight tremble, the most profound and apropos aspect of this great Feast … Continue Reading »

Sigrid Undset’s Essays for our Time

Nearly a century has passed since Sigrid Undset wrote the biographical essays about holy men and women, and the letters, which eventually would be collected and published under the heading, Stages on the Road. It is a title evocative of the life of faith, wholly explored and lived-out”unpacked depot by depot, as it were”from the spiritual nursery, to precarious venturing forth, to stepping back in wonder or doubt, to the nearly inevitable and deepening darkness that, for all its pain, accesses an interior cave of Oneness, solitary yet completed in the companionship of the Christ… . Continue Reading »

That They May Be One

Gathered for their ad limina, Eastern Catholic bishops from the U.S. were addressed last week by Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Leonardo Cardinal Sandri. His injunction”made not about abortion, the HHS mandate, war, wealth redistribution, or gay marriage”could have a critical influence on the Christian response to all of the above… . Continue Reading »

Joyful Evangelization

There is an approach to the Christian life that I find particularly tiresome. It is that emphatic cheerfulness in which all must take part, that demand that you will be joyful. But Christian joy is in fact a great part of our faith. In a few years we will mark the fortieth anniversary of a relatively obscure Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Paul VI, Gaudete in Domino, “Rejoice in the Lord” (1975). In anticipation of that anniversary, let’s look at some of his insights about Christian joy… . Continue Reading »

As I Remember

Richard John Neuhaus was born seventy-six years ago last week. A friend made note of it at the time, and it sent my mind tumbling again into memories of the friendship we had. There’s little doubt in my mind that compared to all the people he knew and befriended in life, I was a bit player… . Continue Reading »

Russian Orthodoxy’s Unreconciled Dualism

At the height of the Cold War, political scientists questioned whether the Orthodox Church had become incompatible with the modern state. Although history textbooks highlight how patriarch and emperor were integral offices to the Byzantine Empire, the West has always had a far more tangible division between pope and prince… . Continue Reading »

Critter Prayers and Transhumanism

Poised as ever on the cutting edge of the politically correct and theologically dubious, the Episcopal Church“U.S.A. will soon consider adopting a Burial Service for Beloved Animals, in which the following two Collects appear: At the burial of a farm animal ” Most gracious, good Lord, we are the people of your pasture and the sheep of your hand … Continue Reading »