The Wheat and the Tares

A Reflection upon Contemporary Priestly Formation

In St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the tares (13:24–30). Some tares had been sown by an enemy and grew up alongside the wheat. The wise owner of the field instructed his servants to let both grow together until the harvest “ … [Read more...]

To Be Transformed by God and Others

The mission statement of the St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center in Tucson, Arizona, which is affiliated with the University of Arizona, is “To be transformed through an encounter with the Spirit of Truth and the Love of God.” Having bee … [Read more...]

The Sad Tale of Spiritual Father vs. Spiritual Son

Due to the overwhelming response to Msgr. Bochicchio’s essay on the inherent injustices in the way the Dallas Charter (drafted in part by then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick!) has been implemented, we are here rerunning Dr. Janet Smith’s har … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to My Bishop and to All U.S. Bishops

I write this letter after much prayer and reflection and with the utmost respect for the complex issue of leadership in the church. I am not naïve regarding the challenges that bishops and church leaders face in the light of many crises a … [Read more...]

The Cohabitation Dilemma

The number of couples who choose to live together without marriage has risen dramatically in the past fifty years, from near zero to 60%. For Catholics the percentage is almost 50%. One subject regarding this which has received little … [Read more...]

Clergy Sex Abuse: Why Do We Still Need to Talk About This?

  Often at the scene of a horrific accident, police will tell bystanders to “Move along. There is nothing to see here.” The Catholic Church sex abuse scandal is a terrible tragedy and many laity feel they are being given this very mess … [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 for December 2019

What Are Cardinals? Question: There has been a lot of controversy in the Church in the last year about how Theodore McCarrick could have risen to the rank of cardinal. What is the function of the College of Cardinals? Answer: Though … [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...]

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...]

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...]

Is It Virtuous to Criticize the Pope?

Lately there has been much public criticism of our Holy Father the Pope even amongst faithful Catholics. Some have been dismayed by this criticism, considering it irreverent and judgmental. Yet others justify criticism of the Pope, saying … [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...]

Reflections on the Crisis in the Church

Every weekday morning, I pray the rosary in my car on the way to work. It’s not the most ideal time to do it; I’m often distracted by traffic events and inclement weather, but I suppose it’s better than not praying it at all. On Tuesdays … [Read more...]