Jonathan B. Coe

Jonathan B. Coe writes from the Pacific Northwest. Before being received into the Catholic Church in 2004, he served in pastoral ministry in rural Alaska and in campus ministry at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

recent articles

White Woke

White Woke Narcissism Knows No Bounds

Several decades ago, in The Triumph of the Therapeutic, Philip Rieff contended that, in the West, the religious worldview that was concerned with personal salvation in God had been eclipsed by the therapeutic culture. The primary goal of this new, dominant culture is for the individual to feel good because there is “nothing at stake … Read more

McCarrick

How to React When Priests and Prelates Act Badly

Several years ago, when I was received into the Catholic Church, I thought I had come into the experience with my eyes fully open. The scandals of 2002 had already happened, and their details and significance were being truthfully unpacked by many Catholic commentators for all the world to see. Because I had spent several … Read more

Woke Mob

The Origins of Woke Madness

It should be clear by now that truth is not a Woke value. Those on the far-left side of the political spectrum have made certain claims in recent years, including: maintaining slavery was the primary reason for the founding of our nation; innocent, unarmed blacks are being shot down by police with impunity in great … Read more

The Courage of Bishop Schneider

Bad bishops are hardly a novelty in the history of the Church. Historians estimate that, when the Arian heresy rocked Christendom in the fourth century, four out of five bishoprics succumbed to apostasy. When Henry VIII ordered England’s bishops to swear the oath of succession, all of them complied—all, save one. For his refusal to … Read more

God Wants a Repentant Church, Not a Relevant Church

On a regular basis the faithful Catholic laity find themselves disconcerted and even outraged when priests and prelates display an inverted moral calculus. For example, as William Kilpatrick writes in a recent essay in this magazine, the Vatican has become a kind of sanctuary city for credibly accused homosexual predators while Pope Francis laments the … Read more

The Humility of Mary’s Heel

For several years now, it has become obvious that we have entered into the era of the Incredible Shrinking Catholic Church. All the metrics in places like the U.S., Europe, and Latin America are heading in the wrong direction. Even the weekly Mass attenders have an alarming number of people who embrace heterodox beliefs and … Read more

Our Lady of Good Success Speaks to Us Today

There is a Marian Apparition that many well-catechized Catholics have never heard of. That is because it was purposefully hidden by the wise designs of Our Lady until the latter half of the twentieth century. From 1594 to 1634, in Quito, Ecuador, a Conceptionist sister, who would later become the Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus … Read more

The Oldest Religion

In a recent essay in this magazine, I failed to adequately define terms early in the piece and subsequently created confusion for some readers. This article will seek to rectify that problem and explore new dimensions in the original thesis. When a major airline suffers a plane crash, one of the first things investigators look … Read more

Reflections on the Feast of the Ascension

After Christ rose from the dead and before he ascended to heaven, he made various appearances to certain of his followers and “spoke of the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). Many of us would love to have the manuscripts from those discourses. During this interim between the Resurrection and the Ascension, his followers ask him … Read more

The Perils of Doing Your Own Thing

In the chilling conclusion to M. Night Shyamalan’s 2000 superhero thriller, Unbreakable, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) realizes with much horror and disgust that Elijah Price, a.k.a. Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), has orchestrated numerous terrorist acts (train wrecks, plane crashes, ocean liners sinking, etc.) in order to find David, who has the special powers of … Read more

Chaput, Sarah, and Schneider Weigh in on Our Troubled Times

One of the lessons of both the history of Israel and the Church is that it is unwise for the faithful to tie their sense of emotional and spiritual well-being to the words and actions of those who rule over them. This fact is highlighted with both clarity and brio by the 2018 book by … Read more

What Should We Make of Bishop Barron?

In a recent essay in this magazine, I gave a basic, and somewhat oversimplified, taxonomy of priests and prelates in the Church. In this article, this has been slightly revised and expanded: Type A are the Zeitgeist Puppets. In America, Cardinal Cupich and Fr. Martin come to mind; across the Atlantic on the continent, no … Read more

Understanding and Combating the Francis Effect

Early in his pontificate the Catholic Left gushed about the Francis Effect, which mainly reflected their hopes and dreams that the new Holy See leadership would advance their “progressive” agenda. Progressive is usually code for departing from the teachings of Scripture and Tradition. And they predicted this would attract new converts and reverts who had … Read more

Becoming Saints In A Time of Scandal and Crisis

If The Pilgrim’s Progress was written today, Bunyan could accurately depict our time, by having the allegory’s protagonist, Christian, be besieged by a cacophony of voices. These voices would emanate from within him and from without, from the DNA he had received from Adam and Eve, and from external voices from different sources that would echo and … Read more

How St. John the Evangelist and Apostle Speaks To Us Today

While today’s orthodox Catholic in the West complains about a virulent secular culture outside of the Church and scandal and crisis within the pillar and ground of the truth, the apostle whom Jesus loved had his own formidable challenges. While we legitimately complain about the erosion of religious liberties in the U.S., he dealt with … Read more

What the Cupich Moment Can Teach Ambitious Seminarians

In the American Catholic Church and in the Church worldwide under the Francis papacy, we’ve entered the Cupich Moment. With his appointment to the Archdiocese of Chicago, and with his being selected as the primary American organizer of the gathering of bishops this coming February for the purpose of addressing the sexual abuse crisis (which … Read more

The Roots and Fruit of Ecclesial Idolatry

In this present crisis in the Church, with more and more revelations of a “sodomitic filth that insinuates itself like a cancer in the ecclesiastical order” (St. Peter Damian), and the subsequent cover-ups and payoffs, the Body of Christ is pierced again with new thorns and nails, and the Mother of God is pierced again … Read more

The Spiritual Answer to Corruption in High Places

In a recent essay in this magazine, I explored the parallels between the story about the children of Israel dancing around the Golden Calf (Ex. 32) and what’s happening among priests and prelates in the American Catholic Church. The article, with an assist from Aquinas, scrutinized their idolatry through the prisms of wealth, pleasure, power, … Read more

When Priests and Prelates Dance Around the Golden Calf

After Moses had been up on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights, the children of Israel grew impatient and asked Aaron to make them a god to lead them on their journey through the wilderness (Ex. 32). Aaron complied by taking all the earrings from the wives and daughters and fashioning a golden … Read more

Time for the Laity to Become Mary’s Heel

We’re all troubled by the moral confusion and heterodox beliefs of self-identified American Catholics that have been chronicled in many polls: 65 percent believe that employers who have a religious objection to the use of birth control should be required to provide it in health insurance plans for employees; 32 percent disagree. 54 percent believe … Read more

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