Creeping Infallibility

Any sort of “creeping infallibility” that would attach the same level of authority to every papal utterance or document must be avoided. To fail to draw appropriate distinctions—whether between binding and non-binding documents of the ordinary magisterium, or between the development and the evolution of doctrine—is to dim the light of the Petrine ministry and impoverish the faithful. Continue Reading »

Patty Duke’s Unforgettable Life

Looking back on her life, Patty Duke emphasized the importance of her faith, long-time husband, and reconciled family, saying that despite everything that had befallen her—abuse, several broken marriages, and a severe emotional illness—“I’ve been richly blessed. When I pray, I never ask for material things. I offer only prayers of gratitude.” Continue Reading »

Surprised by Evil

Macbeth’s ambition is to murder time itself. He wishes he could perform one act that would bring the end of acting, one final deed. He wants to drop a pebble into a pool without causing ripples. He finds he can’t, and instead each murder just makes it more difficult for him to stop murdering. Continue Reading »

The Vatican, China, and Evangelical Prudence

Recent remarks by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, have fueled speculation about a possible exchange of diplomatic representation between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China. Unfortunately, the cardinal’s remarks did not address any of the serious questions that have been raised about the evangelical and prudential wisdom of such an agreement at this moment in history. Continue Reading »

Ad Orientem and Absolutism

When the celebrant turned around to speak to the congregation—to say things like “Pray, brothers and sisters”—the words took on special force; one's awareness of being directly addressed and invited to participate was heightened. Precisely because the priest had turned with the people to address the Lord, his turning back toward them and speaking to them was imbued with greater significance. In other words, vive la différence. Continue Reading »