So You Think You Understand Mercy?

From the time it was announced, Catholics welcomed the year of Jubilee, the year of Mercy, with open hearts. We recall Pope Francis saying in Misericordiae Vultus (2015) that mercy “reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity” and is t … [Read more...]

Humanae Vitae and the New Evangelization

Introduction This year sees the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Over the years, the encyclical has received quite a mixed response across the Church. Even now, we still have theologians, bishops, and others s … [Read more...]

What is Authentic Intimacy?

This article is a response to a Protestant couple that disagreed with the Church’s teaching on the dignity of the marriage act. It was a pleasant evening and we were discussing some of the books I was reading. The topic of contraception … [Read more...]

Early Fall Reading

The Concept of Woman: Volume III: The Search for Communion of Persons, 1500-2015. By Sister Prudence Allen, R.S.M., Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016. 546 pages. Reviewed by Joshua M. Evans, Ph.D. Revelation. Catholic Commentary on Sacred … [Read more...]

Of Horses and Men

Over thirty-five years have passed since St. John Paul II issued his encyclical, Laborem exercens. Its key principle—that human labor has priority over raw capital (§12)—was, and remains, a revolutionary proposition. It shouldn’t be. Capita … [Read more...]

Education in Chaste Love After Amoris Laetitia

Introduction After the publication of the post-synodal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of Pope Saint John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio that parents are the ones called to give their … [Read more...]

Winter Reading 2017

A Theology of Grace in Six Controversies. Edward T. Oakes, S.J. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2016) 248 pages; $28.00 paperback. Reviewed by Steven J. Meyer, S.T.D. John Lawrence Hill, After the Natural Law: How the Classical … [Read more...]

Amoris Laetitia: A Deceptive Joy

The recent publication of Pope Francis' document on the family and married life, Amoris Laetitia ("Joy of Love") has caused consternation, confusion, and deep anguish among Catholics. They wonder: Are the Church’s timeless teachings on m … [Read more...]

The Fundamental Option

A Faithful Student’s Guide to a Competing 20th Century Moral Theory

For years now in the post-conciliar period, the concept of the fundamental option—which some have likened to St. Thomas Aquinas’s notion of a commitment to an “Ultimate End” as the first principle of moral action (see Benedict M. Ashley, O.P … [Read more...]

Preaching to the Young Casualties of the Sexual Revolution

For over 40 years, it has been my privilege, challenge, and joy to teach Catholic theology. I began with the somewhat maligned Junior High level (seventh grade in my parish elementary school lingo), and then Catholic high school (Grades … [Read more...]

The Family: Expanded Sacrament

It has become a trite truism to say that the traditional family is under attack. The sources of the onslaught may be traced back at least to the 19th century’s exaltation of Romantic infatuation and its accompanying insistence that the s … [Read more...]

Conscience, Freedom, and the “Law of Graduality” at the Synod on the Family

Ideas have consequences—we well know. My concern here is a series of problematic and closely related conceptions of conscience, human freedom, the moral qualification of human acts, and progress in moral living that might be operative in t … [Read more...]

To Give Up One’s Cloak

When St. Martin of Tours encountered a poor, naked beggar, he tore his own warm cloak in half, to share it. Later, he discovered in a dream that the beggar was Christ. The story of St. Martin and the beggar provides a key to an area of … [Read more...]

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...]