Articles

Corrupt Pastoral Practice Means Corrupt Doctrine

Amoris Laetitia’s Dirty Little Secret

When Amoris Laetitia (hereafter AL) was first published in March 2016, Pope Francis’s episcopal cheerleaders insisted that the document has introduced no changes to Church doctrine: it merely explores how we are to understand the “pastoral a … [Read more...]

The Dilemma of Pope Francis: The 2018 World Meeting of Families

By now everyone — especially Catholics — should know that the 2018 World Meeting of Families, sponsored by the Vatican Congregation of Marriage and Family Life, will gather in Dublin, Ireland this August. In recent months, stories about t … [Read more...]

Briefly Revisiting Pre-1983 Canonical Practice for a Better Response to Marriage Issues

The juridical significance of mental illness and psychic anomalies in marriage has shifted over centuries from a description of an illicit act to one of invalid consent. Early pronouncements on insane individuals who contracted marriage … [Read more...]

When All Else Fails, Begin With Wonder

I often admire my young daughter’s capacity for awe. She is able to marvel at just about anything. A few days ago, she was closely examining two bugs she had found. “Look,” she told me excitedly. “This bug has long legs, and this bug has sho … [Read more...]

The “Hour” According to Saint John

This article consists of a study of the development of the theme of Our Lord's hour, as used in the Fourth Gospel by the evangelist; its use is inclusive of His Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, considered as a unit, a single … [Read more...]

Heaven on Earth

The Liturgical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI

“In the earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of the heavenly liturgy….” —Sacrosanctum Concilium 8 These words form the heart of Pope Benedict XVI’s theology of the liturgy. Pope Benedict XVI professed his understanding of the Sacred … [Read more...]

On the Relationship Between Merit and Grace

A Thomistic Understanding of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

There is often much confusion between the relationship of merit and grace and how it plays a part in our lives from a soteriological perspective. This confusion, from both non-Catholics and on behalf of some Catholics themselves, has led to … [Read more...]

What is the Gospel?

As Catholics, we’re immersed in the Gospel. We hear about it in the Liturgy, in the Bible, in homilies, in spiritual books, and just about everywhere else we read or hear about the faith. But do we really know what it is? The glossary in t … [Read more...]

Understanding Anger in Those We Care For

A friend of mine conducted an informal survey of priests in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul to find out which sins were heard most often in the sacrament of reconciliation. No surprise that #1 transgression for men involved … [Read more...]

A Reflection on Youth, College & Young Adult Ministries, Part II

Animating the Xennial, Millennial, and Post-Millennial Generations with the Spirit of Christ

In the first part of this two-part article, I had discussed the levels of youth, college, and young adult ministries. My emphasis was on why it is so important, and what is appropriate for each level and age of young people we serve. Now, I … [Read more...]

Geriatric Spirituality

Early in the last century, the specialty of geriatric medicine became an essential part of the American health system. It differed from the standard forms of medical treatment because it was directed toward the physical and psychological … [Read more...]

The Sacramental Ecclesiology of St. Ignatius of Antioch and Joseph Ratzinger

In a 1978 lecture entitled, “On the Meaning of Sacrament,” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger describes modern man’s inability to understand symbolism and sacraments. Ratzinger was addressing an age greatly influenced by the historical-critical metho … [Read more...]

Who Knows? The Truth About Pope Pius XI and His Much-Maligned Successor.

A Book Review Essay

Hitler, Mussolini, and the Vatican: Pope Pius XI and the Speech That Was Never Made is an English translation published in 2011 of a book first published in 2007 by Emma Fattorini, professor of Modern History at the University of … [Read more...]

A Reflection on Youth, College and Young Adult Ministries, Part I

Animating the Xennial, Millennial and Post-Millennial Generations with the Spirit of Christ

Part I Building, re-building and restoring youth, high school/college campus, or young adult ministries: this is what our work has been for the past decade. When someone first arrives in a new youth ministry, or is given the task of … [Read more...]

Reclaiming the Truth that God Is Spirit

The scorn with which the new atheists heap on religion is understandable when one looks into their understanding of theology. The religion they reject is the religion of kindergarteners. There exists a Santa Claus that delivers presents at … [Read more...]