Canon Law, Civil Law, and the Current Crisis in the Church

Reflections of a Civil Lawyer Studying Canon Law in Rome

Last fall I left my job as a corporate lawyer and began studying canon law in Rome. Explaining my rationale to my colleagues wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined. Whether they were practicing Catholics, fallen-away Catholics, not-yet C … [Read more...]

An Anthropological Reflection on the Church’s Sexual Scandal

Assuaging God for the Rape of Abel 

The kind of penitence that must take place to move the Church away from the precipice of destruction is the kind that comes from a much deeper well of ancient understandings of man who is flesh and spirit. We must mine the deeper … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – October 2019

The Smoke of Satan By Philip F. Lawler. Reviewed by Sean J. Donnelly. (skip to review) Mind, Heart & Soul: Intellectuals and the Path to Rome By R.J. Snell and Robert P. George. Reviewed by K.E. Colombini. (skip to … [Read more...]

Perserverance in the Face of Imperfect Ministers

Too frequently, practicing Catholics encounter family members and friends who are dismayed by the priestly and hierarchal abuse scandals. They have lost faith in the hierarchy and priests, not knowing whom they can trust. Consequently, they … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – September 2019

Love in Context of Abusive Relationships Question: Am I wrong and sinning if I do not like family members who mistreat me? Answer: This question actually has two prongs to it. The one has to do with the relationship of volitional to … [Read more...]

A Sacerdotal Summer

St. Ignatius of Loyola likened the “enemy of our human nature” to a cunning military strategist who sussed out each of our weakest defenses and thereby knew exactly where to strike. A war for souls is truly on, both on the individual as wel … [Read more...]

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to Priests

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to Priests on the 160th Anniversary of the Death of the Holy Curé of Ars, St. John Vianney To my Brother Priests Dear Brothers, A hundred and sixty years have passed since the death of the holy … [Read more...]

Alternate Views on the Root Causes of the Bishops’ Clergy Sex-Abuse Cover-Up

The Church is now in the throes of the second wave of the clergy sex-abuse crisis, which began June 20, 2018, with the exposé of former cardinal archbishop of Washington Theodore E. McCarrick’s abuse of minors and seminarians. Since then, at … [Read more...]

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...]