Conscience and the Service of Authority

Drawing Pastoral Insights from Joseph Ratzinger

There is, at present, a crisis of authority within the Catholic Church, expressed no more clearly by the clamor for democratization outfitted by the various movements of protest which attempt to raze the “old guard” of bureaucratic est … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – October 2021

The Burden of Betrayal: Non-Offending Priests and the Clergy Child Sexual Abuse Scandals. By Barry O’Sullivan. Reviewed by Christopher Siuzdak. (skip to review) Our Lady of Hope: The Soul of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. By Patrick C … [Read more...]

Co-Responsibility, Personal Vocation, and Charism Discernment

In a 2009 address to the clergy of the Diocese of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the mission of the laity in our times by introducing a new term into the Church’s parlance: co-responsibility. The term has both ecclesiological and p … [Read more...]

The Implications of the Priesthood of John the Baptist

One of the most famous depictions of the crucifixion of Jesus is that of German painter Matthias Grünewald. Grünewald’s most recognized work appears on the center-front panel (when wings are closed) of his polyptych masterpiece, the Ise … [Read more...]

Discovering the Pearl of Great Price

Ratzinger on Relativism in the West

In the wake of a progressively globalized society, namely, the integration of the various cultures, markets, and political convictions, the world faces the question of determining a principle constituent of unification.[1. Joseph Ratzinger, … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – June 2021

Rahner and Relativism Question: Pope Benedict has responded to his critics who claim that his letter about the origin of the sexual crisis among the clergy does not present the true picture. He attributes much of it to the relativism in … [Read more...]

The Biblical Mariology of Pope Benedict XVI, Part II

Blessed Is She

In the first part of this article, I demonstrated how Pope Benedict XVI, erudite biblical theologian that he is, grounds his Mariology in an ardent love of Sacred Scripture. In this article, the second of the two parts, I will demonstrate … [Read more...]

The Biblical Mariology of Pope Benedict XVI, Part 1

Hail, Full of Grace

“The unique and unrepeatable position that Mary occupies in the Community of Believers . . . stems from her fundamental vocation to being Mother of the Redeemer. Precisely as such, Mary is also Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ, which i … [Read more...]

Hope: A Virtue for Our Time

Faith, hope, and charity are the three theological virtues — the three virtues that direct us immediately and rightly to God Himself.[1. St. Thomas Aquinas says that the theological virtues are called “Theological” for three reasons: God is … [Read more...]

The Protestant Reformation: The Cause of Modern Relativism

“Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be ‘tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine,’ seems the only attitude that … [Read more...]

Say What You Mean; Mean What You Pray

In one of his characteristically rich catechetical addresses at a general audience in September 2012, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the rule of Saint Benedict in respect of the psalms.[1. Benedict XVI, general audience, September 26 2012 … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – June 2020

Absence of God? Question: Pope Emeritus Benedict published a letter last year in which he attributed the pedophilia crisis in the clergy to an absence of God. Our Church and clergy are wholly dedicated to God, right? Can you explain how … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – March 2020

Last Rites for the Clinically Dead? Question: Is it possible to perform the sacrament of the sick on someone who has been pronounced clinically dead? If so, up to how long after clinical death can this sacrament be performed? Answer: … [Read more...]

The Call of the New Evangelization for Preachers

Although the new evangelization is new in several respects, its message is the timeless Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, following St. Paul, who writes, “What we preach is Christ crucified” (I Cor 1:23). At the heart of the pre … [Read more...]

Benedict XVI on Self-“Excommunication”

In his Encyclical Eccelsia De Eucharista, Saint John Paul II reiterated the proclamation of the Second Vatican Council that the celebration of the Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”[1. Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia De … [Read more...]