Archives for 2009

Bringing back Latin

During the debates of the Second Vatican Council one prelate after another addressed the Fathers of the Council in fluent Latin. That they did so is hardly surprising, for Latin remained the living language of the Roman Catholic Church. … [Read more...]

On bringing back Latin

It is certain that there has been a drastic decline in the knowledge of Latin in the Catholic Church since Vatican II. It probably did not occur to most of the bishops at the council that their approval of the use of the vernacular in the … [Read more...]

St. Paul’s Gospel

On June 29 we concluded the year in honor of St. Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles and author of half of the books in the New Testament. Earlier this year, having noticed that Pope Benedict XVI was preaching regularly on St. Paul, I decided … [Read more...]

The ambiguity of Islam

“When some fanatics kill children, women, and men in the name of pure and authentic Islam, or in the name of the Qur’an or of the Muslim tradition, nobody can tell them: ‘You are not true and authentic Muslims.’ All they can say is: ‘Your … [Read more...]

The paradox of Christian freedom

“For freedom Christ has set us free” (Gal. 5:1). St. Paul tells us that faith in Christ makes us free. In the contemporary world there is a universal demand for more freedom—personal, political and economic. Freedom, however, is a slogan … [Read more...]

The Year for Priests

On March 16 in a talk to the Congregation of the Clergy Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was declaring a “Year for Priests” to begin on June 19, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, and to end on June 19, 2010. This special year dedicated … [Read more...]

Pope John Paul II on conscience

When Cardinal Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II in 1978, he was well prepared to teach the Catholic faithful about ethics. As a young man Karol Wojtyla thought about a career in acting, but he felt a call to the priesthood and soon found … [Read more...]

Ephesians 5: Bridegroom and Bride

It is Mass on the Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time, in late summer only a few years ago. Fortunately the air conditioning seems to be holding up, for this year at least. The celebrant offers the Opening Prayer, asking the Father for … [Read more...]

Praying with the Bible

At the Roman Synod on the Bible in October 2008, which I covered for HPR, the most common topic mentioned was the need to recommend “Lectio Divina” as a pious practice among the faithful. You have probably seen the phrase mentioned in … [Read more...]

Heaven is not an abstraction

“Today’s feast (Assumption) impels us to lift our gaze to Heaven; not the heaven consisting of abstract ideas or even an imaginary heaven created by art, but the Heaven of true reality which is God himself.” —Benedict XVI, Homily, Feast of … [Read more...]

Every agent acts for an end

It is a basic principle of reality that every agent acts for an end. Every moving thing is going somewhere—for example, every car on a busy highway is going to some destination. Sunday drivers are on the road to enjoy the … [Read more...]

The ingredient for priestly vocations

It is truly uplifting to read about the great number of people who are received into full communion in the Roman Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil in so many parishes across the United States. This gives the Church a reason to rejoice and … [Read more...]

The Roman Synod of Bishops

About every three years I have published an article on a Roman Synod. They usually take place every three years. Representing HPR, I have covered twelve of them since 1971. This month I thought it would be helpful to explain briefly what a … [Read more...]

Renaissance saint and scholar

St. Thomas More is one of the few intellectual and moral giants of the second millennium. He was truly a Renaissance man, being outstanding as a poet, scholar, husband and father, lawyer, statesman, and in addition to all of that a saint of … [Read more...]

European Christophobia

In the closing months of his pontificate, John Paul II turned repeatedly to the “Europe question.” He insisted that a failure to mention the common Christian heritage in the drafting of the E.U. constitution would tear apart the very … [Read more...]