Articles

On Whose Authority…

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Jesus has a peculiar, almost provocative way of opening up the deeper recesses of prejudices for inspection. In the New Testament, this is often by way of a rabbinical question. "You ask by what authority I make these proclamations: I will … [Read more...]

Love Is a Liturgical Act

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“Christian marriage ... is in itself a liturgical action glorifying God in Jesus Christ and in the Church” (Familiaris Consortio, 56) (Man, Male and Female, is a "religious being" (CCC, 28[1. Catechism of the Catholic Church, hereafter … [Read more...]

Parents as Primary Educators

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Hardly a month goes by now without an email arriving in my inbox asking me to sign an online petition against some proposal in the EU or UK concerning sex education in schools. Perhaps, it is a matter of protesting a resolution calling for … [Read more...]

Wives, Be Subordinate to Your Husbands?

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Ephesians 5:21-33 isn’t a popular reading at weddings these days, and at first glance, it seems that it isn’t hard to see why. Aren’t St. Paul’s repeated exhortations for wives to be submissive to their husbands rather sexist and … [Read more...]

Anemic Parishes and Parish Life

Artwork for Anemic Parishes and Parish Life by Francis Ford 2

We all know the Catholic Church can never die, because her Head, Jesus Christ, is alive and can never die. However, the Church can certainly be anemic and deathly ill—which she, no doubt, is in America. I will examine some of the reasons … [Read more...]

Make Your Hearts Firm This Lent

The Temptation of ChristAry Scheffer, 1854

During Lent, the Church calls the faithful to conversion by calling to mind the image of Christ being drawn into the desert by the Spirit. There, for forty days and forty nights, Jesus prays, fasts, and is tempted by the devil. By … [Read more...]

The Priest: The Gift of Self

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Two fundamental principles run through the famous passage from Pope Paul VI’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes (24:3), which reads, “This likeness {between the union of the Divine Persons, and the … [Read more...]

Applying Some Thoughts on Preaching

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Following my article, “Some Thoughts on Preaching” (March 13, 2015), I received an invitation from the editor to prepare homily notes for September 2015. This essay is not a "homily notes" example, but an example of assembling one’s … [Read more...]

Preaching to the Young Casualties of the Sexual Revolution

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For over 40 years, it has been my privilege, challenge, and joy to teach Catholic theology. I began with the somewhat maligned Junior High level (seventh grade in my parish elementary school lingo), and then Catholic high school (Grades … [Read more...]

Renewal and the Remnant

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Sabotage within and “missiles” from without: when it comes to the fortunes of the Church, it seems there is nothing new under the sun. Like our ancestors, the ancient Israelites, we live in a “mixed economy” and have to deal with … [Read more...]

Propers of the Mass Versus the Four-Hymn Sandwich

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(The subtitle of this article refers to "The Great Catholic Music Debate: 'Post-Vatican Folk' vs. 'Reformist Retro'" by Bill Kassel, which appeared in this magazine, August 9, 2015. … [Read more...]

Nilus Cabasilas and a Modern Greek Theologian on “the Heresy of Anti-Papism”

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Nilus Cabasilas (c. 1295-1363) succeeded Gregory Palamas on the archepiscopal throne of Thessalonika, and was one of the most distinguished Byzantine intellectuals and theologians of the 14th century. He was heavily involved in the … [Read more...]

How the Synod of 2015 Ignored the Real Problem, 50 Years in the Making

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It’s hard to believe now, but at the beginning of the year, Synod 2015 was predicted to be a possible game changer for the Church. According to various media reports, the Synod promised to be: “stormy,” “intense,” a time of … [Read more...]

Our Church and Vision

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St. John affirms the mystery which is at the heart of our Christian faith: the “love which the Father has lavished on us in letting us be called God’s children” (1 Jn 3:1), the love that takes flesh in Christ, and the outpouring of … [Read more...]

Getting “The Benedict Option” Right

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If you haven’t heard of the "Benedict Option," or even (especially) if you have heard of it, it really needs explaining for it to be a real option. In December 2013, Rod Dreher, a writer for The American Conservative magazine, wrote an … [Read more...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds