Faith and Culture

A Case for Priestly Celibacy

There is a very bad argument for celibacy which has reared its head throughout the tradition and which is, even today, defended by some. It runs something like this: married life is morally and spiritually suspect; priests, as religious leaders, should be spiritual athletes above reproach; therefore, priests shouldn’t be married. I love Augustine, but it is hard to deny that […]

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What Kindness Really Means

We exited the restaurant with exuberance still lingering from our family dinner conversation. It was a rare treat to take everyone out to eat, so we relished the time spent ordering what we wanted, listening to catchy tunes, and watching diners gather on the dance floor for mid-meal entertainment. I’d forgotten that Sarah had Apert syndrome, as I tend to […]

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy

The New Evangelization and the Catholic School

Holy Spirit Prep in Atlanta is a cut above the rest in its focus and commitment to participate in the New Evangelization. Holy Spirit Prep is on the Cardinal Newman Society Honor Roll and is known as the most faithfully Catholic prep school in Atlanta. The board is comprised mostly of faithful parishioners and parents who place Catholicism in its […]

Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Spanish text.

True Versus False Human Rights

2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was proclaimed three years after the 1945 foundation of the United Nations to give definition to the “fundamental human rights” and “fundamental freedoms” mentioned in the UN Charter. The motivation behind it was to counteract the barbarous acts that occurred at the time of World War II, […]

Courtesy of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

The Death of an Evangelical Titan

I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Billy Graham preach about twenty years ago in Cincinnati. At the time, Dr. Graham was around eighty years old and clearly in frail health. He came to the podium and commenced to speak, but the crowd of young people, stirred up by the Christian rock bands who had performed earlier, was restive and […]

“America” Magazine’s Survey of Women in the Church

Last month, America magazine published a fascinating survey regarding the attitudes of women in the Church. They were kind enough to publish a few of my reactions to the study, but I would like, in this article, to offer a fuller response to their findings. One of the most disturbing conclusions from the survey is that women are increasingly disengaging […]

“The School of Athens” (detail showing Aristotle with the elder Plato) by Raphael

An Evening with William Lane Craig

Ten years ago, when I was a visiting scholar at the North American College in Rome, I fell into a spirited conversation with one of the seminarians about the state of evangelization in America. We both were bemoaning the fact that the “new” atheists—Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and others—were regularly attacking religion, and I commented that no Christian […]

Carpathian mountain valley

The Surprising Message of “Downsizing”

SPOILER ALERT! When I saw the trailer for Alexander Payne’s new film, Downsizing, I thought the movie would be a light-hearted farce, relying principally on visual gags. In point of fact, the jokes based on the contrast between regular-size people and their five-inch tall counterparts are surprisingly rare. Most of the film deals with events within the world of the […]

Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the Altar Wall in the Sistine Chapel Photography by Mark Armstrong

Reaping What We’re Sowing

“A culture of chastity is needed now more than ever.” Before Christmas, Time Magazine named the “Silence Breakers” their 2017 Persons of the Year. Time focused fundamentally on the women who courageously came forward to bring into the light the sordid sexual abuse and harassment they had suffered silently years at the clutches of powerful entertainment and political leaders who, […]

Blessed Paul VI

Paul VI, Prophet

This coming July, we will mark the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s deeply controversial encyclical letter Humanae vitae. I won’t bore you with the details of the innumerable battles, disagreements, and ecclesial crises that followed upon this text. Suffice it to say that this short, pithily argued letter became a watershed in the post-conciliar Catholic Church and one of […]