What really happened with the birth control commission

Germain Grisez, professor emeritus of philosophy and moral theology at Mount St. Mary’s College in Maryland, has released some documents that few in the Church have seen before. According to the Catholic News Agency, Grisez wants to set the record straight about the 1963-1966 commission about birth control which took place before the encyclical Humane … Read more

The Papal Pencil

With online availability of education, business, government, and church communications, we wonder what we have begotten. Unprecedented information is available to us at all times, day and night. Every possible cultural, philosophical, religious, or economic source is there. We live in a neighborhood, but we buy our clothing and tickets on the internet. We read … Read more

Why does the world hate the pope?

Aldo Maria Valli, a Vatican expert for the Italian television network RAI, has recently published a book titled, The Truth About the Pope: Why He Is Attacked, Why He Must Be Listened To. In it, he poses the question: “Why is the present Pope the absolutely most attacked public figure and why are his words … Read more

The Elephant in the Living Room

Contraception is the elephant in the living room of contemporary Catholicism: Everybody knows it’s there, but few people care to acknowledge the fact. Meanwhile, the accumulating pastoral damage that results from this state of collective denial is painfully real. Partly it arises from the circumstance that even churchgoing Catholics today live in a state of … Read more

A Life of Miracles

The otherwise inexplicable cure of a French nun suffering from Parkinson’s disease was accepted in early January by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and Pope Benedict XVI as the confirming miracle that clears the way for the beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday. John Paul II’s life … Read more

How do we reduce annulments?

In his annual speech to the Roman Rota, the tribunal that handles annulments, Pope Benedict told priests they must do a better job preparing couples for marriage. The Associated Press reports that the pope said no one has the right to a church wedding and that every Catholic bride and groom should intend to live … Read more

What’s in a name? A lot, according to the pope.

On Sunday, as he baptized 21 infants in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged parents to give their children Christian names. He said this was “an unequivocal sign that the Holy Spirit gives a rebirth to people in the womb of the Church.” The Italian media then warned parents about not using names from … Read more

Knowledge Is Power

The oft-cited phrase “knowledge is power” seems to be from Francis Bacon. One might turn the phrase around — “power is knowledge” — but that does not seem so obvious to us. Nor, if we think about it, is the original quite as innocent as it sounds: The most dangerous thing that can happen to … Read more

Sunday Comics: Happy Epiphany!

Like the comic, I still think of Epiphany as January 6.  And yes, to me, the words “Ascension” and “Thursday” go together.  (Pretty funny, given that not only was I born after Vatican II, but I didn’t even come into the Church until 1996!) I was just marveling earlier today that I perhaps am a … Read more

1943: Progressive Evil

The Judgment of the Nations was a work published in 1942 by the Catholic historian Christopher Dawson, but it started to get significant attention only in the early months of 1943. “The old landmarks of good and evil and truth and falsehood have been swept away and civilization is driving before the storm of destruction … Read more

Our radical pope

Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute says that Pope Benedict XVI’s new book-length interview, Light of the World, reveals him as a full blown Christian radical. The word “radical” comes from the Latin radix, meaning “root.” It’s in this sense Benedict is radical. His pontificate is about going back to Christianity’s roots to make, as … Read more

A Time to Gloat

Last week, I declined to chime in on the pope’s new book — though I should probably hurry up, since I still haven’t gotten a copy, which means that my perspective on it is still fresh and unspoiled, marked by the disinterested objectivity that comes with utter ignorance. Instead I tried to use the cacophony … Read more

A “powerless” pope?

At Our Sunday Visitor, our friend and longtime Vatican analyst Russell Shaw says Pope Benedict XVI’s new book-length interview reveals a pontiff who understands his role, and its limitations. When Seewald says the Catholic Church’s membership of 1.2 billion and its geographical extension throughout the world make him “the most powerful pope of all time,” … Read more

The Ghetto Is the Future

I’ve been tempted to comment, like everyone else on earth with functioning fingers and Internet access, on the unfolding story of Pope Benedict XVI’s comments regarding condoms. But for once I don’t know exactly what I think. I await further clarification from the Church’s teaching authority — which will come in time — and the … Read more

Pope Changes Catholic Faith Completely!

ROME — In a startling change to the Catholic Faith, Pope Benedict XVI announced today that tossing people down elevator shafts could represent a first step in assuming moral responsibility “in the intention of reducing the risk of having your own son electrocuted to death before your very eyes.” The Imperial Mainstream Media Center has … Read more

The pope’s comments about condoms

Pope Benedict XVI is in the news for comments he made about condoms in Peter Seewald’s forthcoming book, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times. In the book, the Holy Father answers many direct questions about controversial issues, the Church’s problems, and his own life. Seewald asked the … Read more

Catholic news around the Web

A few interesting Catholic news stories from around the Web: First, the pope met behind closed doors with 100 cardinals to discuss both sexual abuse by priests and religious freedom around the world: The meeting is taking place on the eve of a ceremony known as a consistory at which the pope will create 24 new cardinals, … Read more

When it comes to the pope, the press is a one-note band

Mollie Ziegler at GetReligion fisked through some of the mainstream press accounts of the pope’s homily at the Sagrada Familia, and noticed that none of them actually seemed to have… uh… listened to it. At least, that’s what you’d conclude from their coverage. In a homily that is almost entirely about the theology and architecture … Read more

The Popes Versus the Godfathers

Pope Benedict was in Palermo, Sicily, yesterday, encouraging the locals to resist the evils of the Mafia: “The temptation toward discouragement, to resignation, comes to those who are weak in faith, to those who confuse evil with good, to those who think that, faced with often profound evil, there is nothing to do,” Benedict told … Read more

Of truth, lies, and ellipses

InsideCatholic contributor Ron Rychlak has done yeoman’s work defending Pope Pius XII’s record during World War II against an ever-changing raft of accusations. First it was Pius’s supposed failure to act during the war; then it was what he supposedly failed to do after the war. With both of those charges handily debunked, critics have … Read more

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