Benedict XVI and the Absence of God

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s extraordinary letter on the sexual-abuse crisis in the Church generated expected, imprudent mixed reactions in the media and on social media. Almost immediately, some media organizations ran headlines that c … [Read more...]

What does the Doctor Diagnose? Listening to the Church Doctor

St. Catherine of Siena on Perennial Principles for Our Attitudes towards Priests

Introductory Note: The author is restricting this essay to attitudes toward priests in light of the Philadelphia Grand Jury report. She extends wholehearted sympathy for the shattered lives affected by the actions of immoral priests. By … [Read more...]

The Screening, Protection, and Crisis Education of Seminarians

Fr. D. Paul Sullins, PhD, is a married Catholic priest. He was formerly an Episcopal minister and has been blessed with a marriage of 30 years and three children. Fr. Sullins recently retired as a Professor of Sociology at the Catholic … [Read more...]

A Surprising Beatitude

Dashing the Little Ones upon the Rock

In a 2007 class on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Jesuit Fr. James Swetnam passed along to us two words of wisdom from German Biblical scholar Joachim Jeremias. The first word: read a chapter of New Testament Greek every day. Indeed, very wise … [Read more...]

Reform Requires Holiness of All the Faithful

The wounds of the Church’s sex-abuse scandals have been reopened by the revelations of abuse by Cardinal McCarrick, the former Washington D.C. archbishop; by the Chilean scandal, the Pennsylvania grand jury report, and more recently perhaps … [Read more...]

Renewal and the Penitential Life

Wherever we may look for solutions to the present tension and confusion, we must realize that the solution will begin with the Eucharist, return to the Eucharist, and be formed by the Eucharist. Whatever secular processes may be deemed … [Read more...]

Fatima’s Third Secret—More Relevant than Ever?

For many decades, the “Third Secret of Fatima” was considered by many people to be one of the great mysteries of the Church. It was part of the message believed to be held back from the public at the request of Our Lady of Fatima, who app … [Read more...]

Reflections on the Crisis in the Church

Every weekday morning, I pray the rosary in my car on the way to work. It’s not the most ideal time to do it; I’m often distracted by traffic events and inclement weather, but I suppose it’s better than not praying it at all. On Tuesdays … [Read more...]

“Lord, to Whom Shall We Go?”

We are deeply saddened by the news that comes in daily about the sexual abuse involving the hierarchy (cardinals, bishops, and priests) in the Catholic Church. We certainly believe that those found guilty should be punished and live out … [Read more...]

Dear Troubled Catholics,

I have never seen so many "ordinary Catholics" — who usually never follow or hear about Church news — as deeply troubled as I have seen them in response to the recent revelations about the retired archbishop of Washington, D.C. Cardinal T … [Read more...]

When the Church Defames Her Priests

Over the last two decades, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States has reeled under claims of clerical sexual abuse. The claims resulted in extraordinary liability and wide-spread publicity. When bad things happen in any … [Read more...]

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance

Fr. Bob (that’s what we’ll call him) was a faithful parish priest for more than 25 years. One day, a process server showed up at the rectory door and handed him a summons and complaint. The complaint alleged that some 20 years earlier he had … [Read more...]

Accusations against Priests

The Need for More Justice and Psychological Science

The evaluation process of accusations against priests in regard to determining their suitability for priestly ministry would benefit from greater justice and knowledge of psychological science. There are presently severe weaknesses in this … [Read more...]

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

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...]

Vanishing Catholics

According to recent demographic surveys, it seems there are presently 30 million people in the U.S. who identify themselves as “former Catholics.” That figure is both surprising, and, for Catholics, disheartening.   Over the past 50 years … [Read more...]