Humanae Vitae

A Quiet Death in Rome: Was Pope John Paul I Murdered?

In this Crisis Magazine classic, veteran journalist Sandra Miesel looks into the curious death of Pope John Paul I… including the conspiratorial claims that he was murdered.     He barely made it to the bathroom… it was hard to stand up. He clutched the sink and squinted painfully against the bright lights. Fumbling with … Read more

Humanae Vitae and Me

I wasn’t a particularly devout teenager. I knew it was important to go to Sunday Mass, but I honestly found it rather dull at times. So it was tremendously satisfactory when, one Sunday, there was high drama.   A man got up from the congregation during the priest’s sermon and shouted at him. From where … Read more

Is Confession in Crisis?

  Is the sacrament of penance in crisis? One often hears that claim today, but it needs a closer look. My guess is that there’s a crisis all right — but not exactly this one.   Yes, Catholic confessions have plummeted in the last 40 years. But who would care to say that the awareness … Read more

The Prodigals and the Papa

I meant to spend Lent reflecting on the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, but events have come vast and various. Between the collapse of our economy, the crisis of a major religious order, and the radioactive fallout from the pope’s own work of mercy toward Traditionalists, it has been tough to hunker down. Sex … Read more

How Birth Control Changed America for the Worst

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Kathryn Jean Lopez exposes the lies at the heart of the sexual revolution about birth control and “safe sex” — and the havoc they have wreaked on our nation. Amanda, age 30 — I’ve changed her name and those of other women I interviewed for this story in order to … Read more

How Will History Judge Catholics in the 2008 Election?

The Catholic Church is often accused of complicity in a variety of moral evils, including the institution of slavery, the rise of the Nazi Party, and even the horror of the Holocaust itself. Historians differ on the degree of blame properly assigned to Catholics. But they all agree on one thing: These evils were the … Read more

We Regret to Inform You that Christ Is Risen

Last week I went fist-to-face with one of the “new atheists,” John Derbyshire of National Review. It’s not like I make a habit of badgering those who don’t share the gift of faith. Only God can give that out. At our best, we’re His bicycle messengers. We really can help people cut the twine and … Read more

Message Refused: Humanae Vitae, 40 Years Later

  I know a woman – and, in fairness, I must say that she’s a truly good Catholic woman — who’s slightly bonkers on the subject of birth control. I suppose there are people like that on both sides of this argument, but this woman happens to be bonkers on the pro-contraception side. You can’t … Read more

Blame It on Mr. Blackitt

Graham Chapman, the actor who played the self-righteous Anglican Mr. Blackitt, was gay. In light of all that’s transpiring these days over gay marriage, I find that tidbit ironic.   That’s what being a Protestant’s all about. That’s why it’s the church for me. . . . I can go down the road any time … Read more

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

The Slow Death of Radical Feminism

  Katha Pollitt’s April 29 column titled “Men of the Cloth” betrays the desperation of the dying radical feminist agenda. The article’s subhead — “When it comes to keeping women pregnant and in their place, polygamous Mormons and the pope have a lot in common. But the pope does it on a wider scale” — … Read more

The Unintended Consequences of Contraception

Pop culture, schools, and the media all tell you that artificial birth control is a wonderful development of modernity. Explaining why they’re wrong and the official Church teaching is correct can be a painful matter. The teaching itself is a difficult one, but if you support contraception, I invite you to rethink your position. Some … Read more

What Do You Call Us?

Each January I appear as a pinch-catechist for my parish’s RCIA, delivering an afternoon’s worth of talks on Catholic moral teachings to a handful of catechumens and candidates. The timing coincides with the end of the “inquiry” phase — four months of Breakfast Club-style sharing of “What Jesus means to me” — and the beginning … Read more

When Kung and Von Hildebrand Came to Loyola

  In the middle of my junior year (1970-71) at Loyola University of Los Angeles (now Loyola Marymount University), we had two distinguished guest lecturers: Rev. Hans Kung and Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand. The contrasting manner of their reception at Loyola, as well as their personal effect on me, makes for an interesting story. First, … Read more

Obama Advisor Is Well-Known Dissenting Catholic

Marshall Ganz, a Harvard sociologist, was a major force behind organizing Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), a dissenting Catholic organization devoted to “structural” change in the Church. VOTF, you may recall, used the occasion of the priest sex scandals to call for changes in Catholic doctrine such as the addition of a married priesthood and … Read more

Meet the New Condom Policy (same as the old condom policy)

Media sources have put a charge into the leadup to today’s World AIDS Day by once again floating the suggestion that the Catholic Church is on the verge of approving condom use in limited circumstances; that is, for the purposes of preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. “Will Vatican Review Stand on Condoms?” reads … Read more

Over Eighty American Catholic Leaders Urge Support of Humanae Vitae

Over 80 national Catholic leaders, meeting October 25-26, adopted a statement celebrating the upcoming 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae and predicted the “Church will regain Her voice . . . and will once again boldly proclaim to all mankind that children are the solution, not the problem.” At its 10th annual meeting in Charleston, SC, … Read more

Austin Vaughan

Preparing for my priestly ordination, Bishop Austin Vaughan (1927–2000) conferred the ministries of lector and acolyte with such unassuming dispatch that one forgot the man was possibly the smartest bishop in the nation. Nothing seemed quite to fit him; he appeared not so much to be dressed as to be in the process of dressing, … Read more

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