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...]

When the Church Defames Her Priests

Over the last two decades, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States has reeled under claims of clerical sexual abuse. The claims resulted in extraordinary liability and wide-spread publicity. When bad things happen in any … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: Does a homily mean something other than a sermon? Online dictionaries seem to show them to be interchangeable. I have for years now believed homilies to be based on Scripture, and sermons might cover a range of topics, not … [Read more...]

Sometimes It’s Best to Cover Your Eyes

After best-selling author, conservative blogger, and frequent First Things contributor, Rod Dreher, converted from Catholicism to Orthodoxy, he published many pieces about why he left the Catholic Church. In his book, How Dante Can Save … [Read more...]

Vanishing Catholics

According to recent demographic surveys, it seems there are presently 30 million people in the U.S. who identify themselves as “former Catholics.” That figure is both surprising, and, for Catholics, disheartening.   Over the past 50 years … [Read more...]

Helping to Heal the Pain in the Pew: The Preachers Role

This sex abuse scandal is, perhaps, the first time our listeners in the pews truly understand the pervasiveness of sin. ... The preacher speaks of its toll on our hearts, while ...reminding us that grace is more … [Read more...]

Credible Communion: The Witness of Apostolic Religious Life

When the Church has been humiliated and vilified by public scandal ... I suggest we need to shift our focus to Christ.   Introduction “How can you write anything credible about the witness of religious life today?” I was asked by a disil … [Read more...]

Clergy Sexual Abuse: Questions Remain

The original John Jay statistics state that the sex abuse crisis was the overwhelming work of a very small number of clergy, targeting young males as their victims ... the one reform not addressed: screening out clergy candidates with … [Read more...]