Pope Francis Has Set a Confrontation in Place; Not the One We Think

So, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat published a piece on October 17, where referred to Pope Francis as the “chief plotter” in an effort to change Catholic doctrine, and thus the Church, itself. The response to Douthat’s column played out in various articles and twitter-fights, during which Douthat flung the words “Own your heresy” toward theologian Massimo Faggioli (albeit, in Twittersubtext, meaning without a direct hashtag). That brought about what might be called (IMHO) an “ill-phrased and ill-advised” letter… Read more

Child Breaks Host in Half to Share With Divorced/Remarried Father

The headlines, and the stories could not be more different. From Italy, (via Google Translate): A Child Moves the Synod; divides the Host with this divorced father. We read that Pope Francis and 270 Synod Fathers listened with emotion today in the Synod Hall to the story of a bishop who witnessed — while celebrating a parish First Communion Mass — the scene of a child who came to the altar to receive the consecrated host in his hand, on his… Read more

What Pope Benedict Wrote about the Shroud of Turin

An excerpt from John Thavis’ new book, The Vatican Prophesies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age”: As one might expect, Pope Benedict, who was often called “the pope of reason,” was much more circumspect on the [Shroud, than Pope John Paul II.] He, too, was interested in the Shroud and had stood before it as a cardinal. As pope he ordered the extraordinary exhibition of the Shroud in 2010. Benedict himself flew to Turin to venerate… Read more

A Simple Question for Nancy Pelosi

I barely get to read news, anymore, but I stumbled across this interesting exchange between Nancy Pelosi and a reporter: The reporter sparked the exchange by asking: “Is an unborn baby with a human heart and human liver a human being?” “Why don’t you take your ideological questions…I don’t know who you are, and you’re welcome to be here and freedom of this press,” Pelosi said. “I am a devout, practicing Catholic. A mother of five children. When my baby… Read more

The Thrill of the Chaste, and the Mystery of Agape Love

In this new Catholic edition of The Thrill of the Chaste, [Dawn] Eden is still living as a sign of contradiction — the world, after all, still misunderstands chastity as being little more than a dreary and joyless island of “no” — but she also has become a rather paradoxical witness to the world of “yes,” and how the power of that word, directed first to God, before any human, creates a chaste place for the Holy Spirit, and providence,… Read more

Are the 21 Coptic Martyrs of February Creating Converts?

The news moves so quickly and we gorge ourselves on it so mindlessly, that I sometimes wonder if anyone really remembers the 21 Coptic martyrs created just last February, and whose deaths moved us as much and as deeply, back then as the deaths of Aylan and Galip Kurdi are moving us now. Have we forgotten the 21 men, all Christian save for one whom, is was reported, watched the Christians die proclaiming Jesus and declared that he was taking… Read more

No, the Rosary is not “vain repetition”; here’s why

From my “Ora Pro Nobis” column at The Catholic Answer How often do we think of Christmas in April? In praying a daily Rosary, one will ponder the Nativity of the Lord, and the whole great mystery of His incarnation, twice a week, throughout the year. The entirety of the Gospel is therefore alive for us at all times, and the insights and consolations that arise from our contemplation, or the intentions of those whose names enter into our awareness,… Read more

Aylan, Gassed Refugees: A Pivotal Moment for Civilization

The crisis of Syrian refugees is coming to a head. We’ve all seen the awful pictures and even drawings and artwork covering little Aylan Kurdi’s tragic death. On August 26, there were reports of a tear-gassing of refugees, in Hungary. It is dramatic and hard to watch. These are human beings, and how Europe deals with such a humanitarian crisis is going to matter a great deal; it is going to tell us where the future of Western civilization — a civilization… Read more

Scalia Resigns Patheos to Take Helm at Aleteia-US

I said earlier that I had an announcement to make, and now I have the chance to do it. So, here goes: Effective the close of business yesterday, I have resigned my position as Managing Editor of the Catholic Channel. I have loved working with all of Catholic channel writers, who have become real friends and partners-in-prayer, and this gig has been inspiring and instructive to me, a gift and privilege; I’ve had the opportunity to indulge my passion for… Read more

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Pope Francis

At a moment when “change from below” is already stirring in America, Pope Francis’ upcoming visit may impact the nation for generations. by Sean Connolly Pope Francis is not coming to the U.S. to damn Americans for our wealth or our love of SUVs. He will arrive not as a critic but as a missionary, one who will affirm what is best in the US before he challenges our choices. And he is likely to disarm and even charm those… Read more