An Advent Reflection: Redemptor Hominis, Redeemer of Man

Detail of the fresco Descent of Christ into Limbo, by Agnolo Bronzino (1552).

Introduction The encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, has a specific place in the ministry of Pope St. John Paul II. It was proclaimed the first Sunday of Lent, 1979, the first encyclical of the new pontificate, hence the link to Advent—it … [Read more...]

Recognizing a Link in the Hermeneutic of Continuity

Albright photos 11-11-14

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...]

Fall Reading for October 2014

Reviews-photos 10-25-14

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...]

Questions Answered

Mullady photos 10-2-14

Is it true that Vatican II was a complete break with the past? Is authority in society optional? Is it primarily a matter of the intellect or the will? Question: This year the Church is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and Islam

Pope Francis and Islam collage rev.

...with all the headlines, and all the ugly truths surrounding ISIS, and other Islamic factions, how is a Christian to think of such a religion which is seemingly intent on destroying Christians and the Gospel of Jesus?  Pope … [Read more...]

The Problem with “Not” Having a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Brown photos 8-10-14

Christian believers know the God who created the Universe ... as a person who reveals himself as Love and Gift, and Personal in his nature. Jesus revealed that the One True God also has an inner life that is not only personal, but … [Read more...]

“Ressourcement,” “Aggiornamento,” and Vatican II in Ecumenical Perspective

Echeverria photos 7-24-14

(S)ome interpreters of Vatican II took renewal to be merely a matter of the Church’s adaptation or accommodation to the standards of the modern world ... they took aggiornamento as an “isolated motive for renewal” ... simply adapting … [Read more...]

Catholic Ecumenism: Towards an Integration of Faith, Hope, and Charity

Catholic Ecumenism collage

The purpose of this one Church is to bring about the supernatural communion of all humanity together in the Spirit, under Christ as head, giving praise to the Father.  Popes Pius XI, Pius XII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope … [Read more...]

Decoding Vatican II’s Marian Paradigm Shift

Sauppe photos 6-22-14

This Vatican II Mariological paradigmatic shift reverberated into all areas of ecclesial theology and liturgy, through a new hermeneutic or interpretation that went beyond the council’s purview and became what is described as a new ethos, … [Read more...]

Catechetical and Pastoral Emphasis in the Apologetics of Frank Sheed

Iovino photos 5-8-14

Vatican II calls the laity to take a more active role in not just the worshipping life of the Church, but the teaching life, too. While Sheed agrees  ... we evangelize best principally through a pastorally oriented and properly formed … [Read more...]

Pope John XXIII, 1958-1963: A Brief Biography

Pope John XXIII collage

"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do." - … [Read more...]

What Happened to Catholic Ireland: An Irish-American Historian’s View

McCarthy photos2-3-3-14

Just like the Church in the United States, the Irish Church is enduring hard times. However, what makes it so upsetting in Ireland ... is the disappearance of what had been a Catholic society. When first coming to Ireland more than a … [Read more...]

“Where your synthesis is, there lies your heart.” An Early Look at Pope Francis’ Vision for the Church

Pope Francis' Vision of the Church collage 2

Jesus Christ is the center – the driving source – of the entire Exhortation. Those who have been called, and have accepted Christ are sent into their particular life’s world to spread his name, and to do it joyfully. The sentence: … [Read more...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds