Lessons Learned From A Catholic College’s Summer Bulletin

  It’s late spring here in New Hampshire. Birds are chirping, frogs are cheeping, and loons are warbling. Red Sox fans, insufferable in victory, are crawling out of hibernation. After the long, snowy winter, two other unmistakable signals herald the arrival of warmer weather: Motorcycles. Phalanxes of Harley-Davidsons, in fact, their baffled stock exhaust systems … Read more

Ending Clericalism: An Inside Catholic Symposium

Is clericalism still a problem in the Catholic Church, and if so, what do we do about it? We put that question to prominent Catholics of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Here are their answers. Today, Inside Catholic concludes its multi-part, multi-week examination of clericalism in the Catholic Church. These items have already appeared: "On Clericalism," … Read more

Getting Past Clericalism

  At the altar, the priest presides. In the world, the laity preside. This is the basic principle that ought to govern all our thinking about the roles of the ordained and the laity in the mission of the Church.   Unfortunately, a huge number of Catholics don’t think this way, because clericalism continues to … Read more

Targeting the Bishops? An InsideCatholic Point/Counterpoint

Deal W. Hudson and Francis X. Maier conclude their discussion on the propriety of a Catholic leveling public criticism against a bishop. In this special Point/Counterpoint, Deal W. Hudson and Francis X. Maier, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver, discuss and debate whether a Catholic may criticize a bishop publicly. Is it a … Read more

Criticize a Bishop? Not So Fast

In this special Crisis Magazine Point/Counterpoint, Deal W. Hudson and Francis X. Maier, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver, discuss and debate whether a Catholic may criticize a bishop publicly. Is it a violation of canon law? Must Catholic journalists avoid scandal or bad news or anything that shows the Church in a bad … Read more

May Faithful Catholics Criticize Bishops Publicly?

Deal W. Hudson and Francis X. Maier discuss and debate the propriety of a Catholic leveling public criticism against a bishop. Is it a violation of canon law? In this special Point/Counterpoint, Deal W. Hudson and Francis X. Maier, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver, discuss and debate whether or not a Catholic … Read more

Through a Glass, Darkly: Secrecy and the Catholic Church

Inside Catholic contributor Russell Shaw’s 20th book, Nothing To Hide: Secrecy, Communication, and Communion in the Catholic Church (Ignatius Press), takes a candid and sometimes surprising look at the abuse of secrecy in an ecclesiastical context. In this interview, Shaw, former information director of the Catholic bishops’ conference and the Knights of Columbus, explains the … Read more

Are Religious Conservatives and the GOP Heading for Divorce?

On May 22, 2008, a new era began in the history of what is called the Religious Right. Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain rejected the endorsements of two of the leading Evangelical pastors in the United States, Rev. John Hagee and Rev. Rod Parsley. The impact of McCain publicly disavowing these two major figures … Read more

The Crucible of Ted Kennedy

  This week brought the unhappy news that Massachusetts senator Edward Moore Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant tumor. The growth is located in the parietal lobe, that portion of the brain responsible for some sensory perceptions — taste, touch, movement — and for both the reception and expression of speech, and for math … Read more

Catholic Left Hangs Itself

The Catholic Left is hanging itself right before our eyes. Having never come to grips with the Church’s teachings on sexuality, they are now tightening the noose on themselves in public. It is not a pretty sight. This month alone they have embroiled themselves in a debate with three separate archbishops, with no end in … Read more

Pro-Gay, Anti-Christianity

A learned friend of mine recently wrote an op-ed piece for a newspaper in which she argued that the drive for same-sex marriage is not simply about same-sex marriage; it is also about winning moral approval for homosexuality. If society, acting through the state, tells us that homosexuals can marry one another, then it is … Read more

Why the Media Rejected John Hagee’s Apology

When Bill Donohue accused Rev. John Hagee of anti-Catholicism, the liberal media accepted his opinion as authoritative. After Donohue accepted Hagee’s letter of regret and announced “case closed,” the same media accused Donohue of lying to help John McCain’s candidacy. Donohue’s veracity is unquestioned if it allows the media to bash a Christian leader aligned … Read more

Give Us Back Our Feast Days

These past two years, Catholics in England haven’t celebrated Ascension Day. This has meant the breaking of a tradition stretching back more than a thousand years. Even during penal times, when the Faith was persecuted, this 40th day after Easter was marked as a holy day, and all who could manage it went to Mass, … Read more

Fear of the Incarnation and Its Discontents

Evangelicals, like all orthodox Christians, vigorously affirm the Doctrine of the Incarnation — the faith of all Christians that God the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary and became man. Evangelicals, like Catholics, believe this doctrine with every fiber of … Read more

A Psychological Impossibility

In Victorian England, Thomas Henry Huxley was the most determined and ardent defender of Darwinism, thereby earning himself the nickname “Darwin’s bulldog.” By parity of reasoning, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League might be called “the pope’s bulldog.” Hardly an insult, let alone an injury, is aimed at the Catholic religion without Donohue’s nipping at … Read more

In Defense of Discrimination

Years ago, the word “discrimination” was primarily used to make intelligent distinctions. A discriminating person was one capable of perceiving the crucial difference between good taste and bad taste, between beauty and ugliness, between a cultivated person and a coarse one, between moral good and evil, between normal and perverse. To call a person discriminating … Read more

Protestants Today

As readers of this column may recall, I am not a cradle Catholic. Verily, the descendant of pointed Methodists and Calvinists, there was nothing outwardly natural about my reception into the Church a few years ago. For I look out — from over boxes of family archives that I have recently inherited — at my … Read more

Tainted Love

What is done out of love is beyond good and evil. — Friedrich Nietzsche They developed an ethics of pure intention and true love; but their own affair was born from lust, and collapsed in physical and spiritual anguish. The Letters of Abelard and Heloise reveal two personalities of Shakespearean grandeur, great even when they … Read more

Not Your Standard First Communion

We Roman Catholics are in the midst of the First Communion season — dark suits fitted for seven-year-old boys, white dresses and veils for the girls, lots of flash photos, and earnest young faces in prayerful concentration for receiving Christ in the Eucharist for the first time. My memories of First Communion are quite different. … Read more

On Reverse Clericalism

  A few days ago, Russell Shaw offered a thoughtful look at some of the causes, manifestations, and effects of what has been known as “clericalism“: a spiritual and ecclesiastical “caste system” in which the few elite clergy are presumed to enjoy a native superiority — in authority and due respect, in level of and … Read more

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