On Understanding Priestly Celibacy: A Suggestion

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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

Encountering God in the Eucharist art -Sr. Teresa Benedicta

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”

Senz's  Indelible Mark artwork

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

Van Hove photos 2-22-15

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” … [Read more...]

Liturgy in Bede’s World

Heisey photos 1-22-15

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

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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.

Endres photos 8-9-14

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

Home and School in American Life collage

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

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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 collage

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. … [Read more...]

Remembering Who We Are: Recovering from Cultural Amnesia.

civilization collage

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...]

Paul Horgan’s Priests

Heisey photo collage

A Catholic writer is a Catholic writing for other Catholics. ... On another level, a Catholic writer is a Catholic writing for a wider audience, but still drawing upon the biblical, classical, and patristic heritage of … [Read more...]

Being an American Catholic Today: The Historical (and Current) Challenge

rally for religious freedom

It is important to understand how the American Catholic experience is unique in the history of the Church. Rally for Religious Freedom March 23, 2012, Seattle Is it possible for one to be both an American, and Catholic, in the 21st … [Read more...]

A Review of Cullen Murphy’s “God’s Jury”

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GOD’S JURY: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World. By Cullen Murphy (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012) 310 PP. ISBN 978-0-618-09156-0. Mr. Cullen Murphy never claims to be an historian. His edited … [Read more...]

“Non Angli, sed angeli!” The Pope’s visit to Britain

The visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain, September 16-19, marked a very special moment, and one which may still have wider repercussions for the rest of the world. Its high point was the beatification of John Henry Newman (1801-90) at … [Read more...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds