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

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 “great … [Read more...]

Contraception and Original Sin

Alice von Hildebrand wrote, regarding Satan, “Abortion is his greatest victory since original sin.” (New Oxford Review, "To the Editor," May 2015). May I demur? Artificial contraception is. Why? Because it repeats the original sin of Adam … [Read more...]

The Gift of Law and the Law of Gift

“I can’t understand why your Church makes you live that way,” a friend of mine once said to me, “it’s just not natural!” I fear that many, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, have a similar misunderstanding about nature, law, and the … [Read more...]

Summer Reading for August 2015

Soul-Centered: Spirituality for People on the Go. Jim Clarke. (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2015) 144 pages; $14.95. (Reviewed by Melinda Selmys) _____________ Make the Words Your Own: An Early Christian Guide to the Psalms. Benjamin … [Read more...]

A “Categorical Silence” in the Preparatory Questionnaire for the 2015 Synod

“Make no mistake, my brothers: those who corrupt families will not inherit the kingdom of God.” —Ignatius of Antioch, To the Ephesians In his 2007 autobiography, Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, retired Archbishop of Bologna, recalled his … [Read more...]

Spring Reading for March 2015

Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer. Leah Libresco (Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 2015) 192 pages; $12.12. (Reviewed by Fr. David C. Paternostro, SJ) --------- Master Thomas Aquinas and the Fullness … [Read more...]

Recognizing a Link in the Hermeneutic of Continuity

The ranks of those declared blessed and saint by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit constitute the great array of our brothers and sisters who have been lifted up as models of holiness and powerful intercessors. While … [Read more...]

The Legacy of the Vision of Pope John Paul II for Marriage and Family

Not even the bullet from the barrel of an assassin’s gun could stop Pope John Paul II from emphasizing early in his pontificate the issues of marriage and family. In just the first five years, he created six key markers in these critical … [Read more...]

Streamlining Annulments

This headline greeted the announcement that Pope Francis was establishing a commission to make suggestions for altering the annulment process in the Catholic Church. The word “streamlining” is, perhaps, not the Vatican’s word, but it does … [Read more...]

Cardinal Walter Kasper on “Artificial” Birth Control

I grant that there are some today who erroneously refer to unnatural forms of birth control as “artificial contraception,” but no one today is arguing that the evil of marital contraception is its use of an artifact.  In the online … [Read more...]

The Virgin Birth, Perpetual Virginity, and NFP

...we need to look back at the reign of Joseph’s direct ancestor, the great King David ... (which) will help us understand that Mary was ... the lifelong Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and that Joseph was her protector, but not her sexual … [Read more...]

How to Help Cohabiting Couples

I would like to point out what I believe to be the via media, whereby these our brothers and sisters in Christ can both be welcomed and challenged to live the call of their baptism.   But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the … [Read more...]

‘Til Death Do Thee Part

The necessary manifestations of love, to include self-sacrifice and self-giving, and an ongoing readiness to forgive, could only continue to be present in a marriage fueled by God’s graces. By the basic principles of neurology, we know … [Read more...]

The Side Effects of the Pill: Why the Church Has So Much to Say about Contraception

The Church pays special attention to the issue of contraception ... because so many of the modern errors in moral theology converge in this particular question of conjugal morality. There is an impression out there–in the world and even … [Read more...]

An Essay on Natural Family Planning

 The Catholic Church has never opposed family planning, but she teaches through her Magisterium, or teaching authority, that man may not, of his own volition, separate the two meanings of the conjugal act, the unitive and the procreative, … [Read more...]