Witnessing to Truth

Nostra Aetate and the New Evangelization

The Vatican II declaration Nostra Aetate revolutionized the Catholic Church’s relations with non-Christian religions, especially Judaism. The fourth part of this short declaration marked a decisive shift in Catholic-Jewish relations, r … [Read more...]

Preaching the Homily and the New Evangelization

Preaching in all its forms is indispensable to the Church’s mission given to her by Jesus Christ: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching the … [Read more...]

The Meaning of the Wilderness

It is characteristic of God in Scripture to lead chosen people into the isolation and barrenness of the wilderness or desert.[1. One author calls it “one of the most basic in biblical tradition, and it is to be expected that it should a … [Read more...]

How to Read Christology and Still Keep Your Faith

“Christology” is everywhere. That is, if we take its basic etymology and understand it simply as “speech concerning Christ.” People can utter his name flippantly, even blasphemously. Popular films and novels can be “christological.” And ther … [Read more...]

St. Joseph: His Increasing Importance in Our Times

In his Apostolic Letter Le Voci of March 19, 1961, the “Pope of St. Joseph,” St. John XXIII, invoked that saint as the Patron of the Second Vatican Council. Shortly after the beginning of that Council, he inserted the name of St. Joseph int … [Read more...]

“We Will Be Judged by Love”—and Other Insights of Jorge Bergoglio

We are still trying to figure out the thought of Pope Francis. Examining several insights in his collection of writings and talks, entitled, Only Love Can Save Us, will help. Embedded in letters, homilies, and talks he wrote between 2005 … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict XVI’s Theology of Beauty and the New Evangelization

“I have often affirmed my conviction that the true apology of Christian faith, the most convincing demonstration of its truth…are the saints and the beauty that the faith has generated.”[1. Joseph Ratzinger, “The Feeling of Things, the Conte … [Read more...]

Winter Reading for January 2015

New Evangelization: Passing on the Catholic Faith Today. Cardinal Donald Wuerl.  (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 2013) 91 pages. (Reviewed by Dr. Edward Peters) ______ A Future Built on Faith: Religious Life and the Legacy o … [Read more...]

Breaking Free of Our Metaphysical Winter

On Why Christians Must Study Philosophy

In diagnosing the philosophical mentality of modernity, the Catholic novelist-physician-philosopher, Walker Percy, once wrote the following: The distinction which must be kept in mind is that between science and what can only be called … [Read more...]

Religious Freedom, Slavery, and Usury

Three Challenges to the Hermeneutic of Continuity

Early on in his pontificate, Benedict XVI laid down the challenge of reading the Church’s teaching according to a hermeneutic of continuity, rather than according to what he characterized as a hermeneutic of rupture.[1. Benedict XVI, A … [Read more...]

Why Do Priests Need Philosophy?

When he (Aquinas) was not sitting, reading a book, he walked round and round the cloister, and walked fast and even furiously, a very characteristic action of men who fight their battles in the mind. (G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas.) … [Read more...]

Apokatastasis: On the Salvation of a Punk Rock Princess

“Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” are the famous opening words sung by the godmother of punk rock, Patti Smith, on her debut album, Horses. On Wednesday, April 11, 2013, the same Patti Smith—a self-proclaimed “non-Catholic who l … [Read more...]

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...]

Recognizing a Link in the Hermeneutic of Continuity

A Brief Look at Blessed Pope Paul VI

The ranks of those declared blessed and saint by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit constitute the great array of our brothers and sisters who have been lifted up as models of holiness and powerful intercessors. While … [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...]