The Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin was on public display from April 19, 2015 through June 24, 2015 in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. More than two million visitors came to Turin from around the world to view the Shroud. “Some say … [Read more...]

Toward a Theology of the Papacy

Most Catholics seem to know, whether they accept it or not, what the job of the pope is. He sort of runs the Church from a central location; he is infallible (protected from error) in his serious public pronouncements on the subject of … [Read more...]

Kneeling Ban: Good Liturgy or Loss of Religious Freedom?

Some religious leaders in the Latin Rite are pressuring Catholics not to kneel at the Consecration, or to genuflect at their reception of the Eucharist. This trend has gained a great deal of traction in recent years, and is causing alarm … [Read more...]

“Go Gaily in the Dark”

Epigraph From G.K. Chesterton’s The Ballad of the White Horse (words spoken by Mary, the Mother of God, to a sadly dispirited Alfred the Great): The men of the East may spell the stars, And times and triumphs mark. But the men signed … [Read more...]

On Understanding Priestly Celibacy: A Suggestion

Discussion has recently arisen about priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church. Such discussion is not new. This time the discussion involves a pope, Pope Francis. The discussion springs from an interview with Eugenio Scalfari (published in … [Read more...]

The Thrill of Anticipation: Encountering God in the Eucharist

How Previous Ages have seen the Eucharist At one point during the Communist takeover in China, the Communists came to a remote village where Catholicism was lived with great vigor. They imprisoned the local priest in his own rectory, … [Read more...]

“The Indelible Mark”

The history of the development of doctrine is, in many ways, a history of language. It is a story of the perpetual struggle to adequately communicate the divine realities in human words, or at the very least, to attempt to do so without … [Read more...]

Jansenism and Ireland

Too often, writers claim that classic Irish religious culture was “Jansenistic,” or pessimistic, and that Ireland was nothing more than an island with a dark and dreary religious history. Harsh critics point to the recent “scandal” in … [Read more...]

Liturgy in Bede’s World

Time-honored ritual; a space often ornate, if not opulent, used almost exclusively for this purpose; seating by hierarchy; candles; a prayer, perhaps in Latin, perhaps in English; ceremonial robes; a bevy of trained servers; wine; elegant, … [Read more...]

Fall Reading for October 2014

History of the Catholic Church: From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium. James F. Hitchcock (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2012) 584 pages. (Reviewed by Fr. Brian Van Hove, SJ) The Word Made Love: The Dialogical Theology of … [Read more...]

Sticks, Stones, and Broken Bones: The History of Anti-Catholic Violence in the U.S.

We do not recall these instances of anti-Catholicism to foster more animosity or violence, but recall them as part of our history, a history that, like so many others, included the targeting of ethnic and religious groups for … [Read more...]

Home and School in American Catholic Life

This essay argues that understanding the historical reasons why Catholic schools and homeschooling arose can help one to see how both may contribute to the revitalization of a Catholic subculture and American society in complementary … [Read more...]

Appreciating the Ancient Roots of Church Precepts: The “Didache” Revisited

In all ages and places, members of the Church need guidance and discipline. ... What we learn from consulting the Didache is that the first generations of Christians had many of the same concerns as we do today, and that these were … [Read more...]

The Latest Book Reviews

Late Summer Reading For August 2013   Reviews for the following books: A MYSTICISM OF KINDNESS: The Biography of “Marie Christine.”  By Astrid M. O’Brien. (Scranton: Scranton University Press, 2010). (Reviewed by Rev. John J. Conley, … [Read more...]

Remembering Who We Are: Recovering from Cultural Amnesia.

The western loss of the larger and smaller narratives which depicted the horizons of life, is a loss of memory on a grand scale, a sign of some deep disorder for those who see it. Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, Western Civilization … [Read more...]