A Pastoral Society

The Renewal of Catholic Culture and the Flourishing of Human Society

Introduction In the Catholic intellectual community, there is a growing call for the renewal of Christian culture as a solution to the impoverishment of 21st century society. This intellectual movement has two momentums: on the one hand, … [Read more...]

Reflections on God’s Providence

Pope Francis and the Synod on the Family

November always begins with our remembering what true life in Christ looks like—All Saints—and ends with our anticipation of a new chance at that same rejuvenation—Advent. In the Christian calendar, November is the month of transition: the l … [Read more...]

Fall Reading for October 2014

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...]

The Roman Synod of Bishops

Editorial, May 2009

About every three years I have published an article on a Roman Synod. They usually take place every three years. Representing HPR, I have covered twelve of them since 1971. This month I thought it would be helpful to explain briefly what a … [Read more...]

Twentieth Century Catholicism

THE CHURCH CONFRONTS MODERNITY. Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era. By Thomas E. Woods, Jr. (Columbia University Press, 61 West 62nd St., New York, N.Y. 10023, 2004), 228 pp. HB $29.50.

In the first two decades of the 20th century, American intellectuals moved away from a Christian view of the world and opted for a secular philosophy of Pragmatism and empiricism. Two of the main figures of the day were William James and … [Read more...]

The Church as True Pilgrim

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH THROUGH THE AGES: A History. By John Vidmar, O.P., Paulist Press, 997 Macarthur Boulevard, Mahwah, N.J. 07430), 360 pp. PB $18.95.

We are somewhat inundated with new church histories featuring interpretations that allow for no trace of magnanimity toward the Church’s actions in the midst of her various conflicted episodes. One notes with frustration that some of t … [Read more...]

Function of Catholic laity

CATHOLIC LAITY IN THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH. By Russell Shaw (Requiem Press, P.O. Box 7, Bethune, S.C. 29009; 2005), 191 pp. PB $14.95.

As with all his writings, Russell Shaw’s latest Catholic literary product, Catholic Laity in the Mission of the Church, is rich, balanced, reasoned, lucid, concise, poignant, and widely accessible. In the volume, he takes up a theme that he … [Read more...]

A Good Place to Start

PILGRIM FELLOWSHIP OF FAITH. The Church As Communion. By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Benedict XVI); edited by Stephan Otto Horn and Vinzenz Pfnur; translated by Henry Taylor (Ignatius Press, P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, Colo. 80522, 2005), 379 pp. PB $17.95.

Pope Benedict XVI, the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, is a professor, scholar and author of many books and articles. This volume, for example, includes a bibliography of 79 pages of his many different publications. When he accepted the … [Read more...]

The Roman Question

ROME IN AMERICA: TRANSNATIONAL CATHOLIC IDEOLOGY FROM THE RISORGIMENTO TO FASCISM. By Peter R. D’Agostino (The University of North Carolina Press, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27515, 2004), 315pp. HB 59.95.

A crucial moment for the modern papacy was brought about by the “Risorgimento” (1848-70) which led to the confiscation of the papal states in order to reunite the Italian peninsula. Catholic belief, at least since the time of Constantine, he … [Read more...]

Ravenna and the Roman primacy

How is it that no other bishop but the Roman bishop ever claimed a universal primacy in the Church?

After two decades of modest progress, the Joint International Catholic-Orthodox Theological Commission, meeting in Ravenna, Italy, October 8-14, 2007, issued a study document on ecclesial communion, conciliarity and authority[1. … [Read more...]

The Magisterium: A Precious Gift

Without an authority able to teach divine truth unerringly, we could never be sure we correctly understood divine revelation.

The Magisterium is one of God’s greatest gifts to his Church. For without an authority able to teach divine truth unerringly, we could never be sure we correctly understood divine revelation. History confirms this, showing the variety of i … [Read more...]