Anchors in the Storm

I have tried in recent columns to respond to some of the many questions that people have been asking about the scandals that began with the revelations about the predations of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, were magnified by the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report and have now expanded further with the publication of several testimonies by Archbishop Carlo […]

Staying Faithful As We Endure the Crisis

Two weeks ago I wrote a column attempting to respond to many of the questions friends and reporters had about the crisis of sexual infidelity among clergy. Since that article, I have received many more emails and phone calls, and I would like to continue attempting to answer the questions posed as candidly as I can. Much has happened in […]

Keeping Love Loving and Open to God

Blessed Paul VI

On July 25, the Church marks the fiftieth anniversary of the most reviled and rejected magisterial document of all time. Many papal encyclicals remain unread, others are perused and ignored, but Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae was pervasively condemned and opposed. This antipathy came not only from predictable sources, like radical secularists, sexual revolutionaries and anti-Catholic Christians, but also from remarkably […]

Priests and Marriage Preparation

One of the duties of parish priests is to prepare couples for the Sacrament of Matrimony. Many priests love this work. Others admit they find parts of it taxing. But almost all parish priests do it, dedicate quite a lot of time to doing it, and, like other aspects of priestly work, try to do it well. That’s why it […]

Approaching the Suicide Surge with Honesty and Resolve

When suicides happen, most respond with discretion and whispers. Because of shock, shame and a desire to avoid speaking ill of the dead, obituaries use euphemisms about unexpected deaths, and family members and friends are understandably reluctant to divulge how their loved one died. There’s almost an unwritten cultural pact between mourners and condolers to get through the funeral with […]

The Abortion Exception to the Practice of Discrimination

United States Supreme Court

In most political and cultural circles, for decades, there has been much talk, passionate action and legal success in the fight against unjust discrimination. Persons are created equal in dignity and most people naturally rebel when someone suffers prejudice or injustice on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, age, religion, handicap or other reasons. But one area that generally gets […]

The Contemporary Attack on Motherhood

I have had the joy of guiding tens of thousands on pilgrimage within St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Part of the tour involves identifying some of the huge marble statues found throughout Christianity’s most famous Church. Many of them depict saints, but even more depict the Christian virtues. From pre-Christian Roman times, the virtues have always been depicted as […]

Imagining and Imaging the Trinitarian Communion of Love

"The Holy Trinity" (detail) by Antonio de Pereda

Last week we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, when the apostles and disciples were strengthened by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the mission Jesus gave them ten days before at his ascension. We see the marching orders Jesus gave them and us in today’s Gospel: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father […]

The Euthanasia of Alfie Evans

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

[On] Saturday, April 28, Alfie Evans died, twelve days short of his second birthday, at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. In his 720 days of extra-uterine life, he became the most well-known and prayed for infant in the world. Alfie died ultimately because of the consequences of an undiagnosed neurodegenerative condition, but his death was expedited by a decision […]

Be Not Afraid of Holiness

Last week, Pope Francis published an apostolic exhortation on the call to holiness in today’s world. Entitled Gaudete et Exsultate, “Rejoice and Be Glad,” taken from Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount, the papal appeal passionately urges us “not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence,” but to commit ourselves, body and soul, to responding to God’s […]