Catholic and Vatican Affairs

Catholics and Postmodernity

Editor’s note: The following address was given at a gathering of the St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Green Bay on October 24. Let me begin by thanking

A Papal Canonization Doubleheader

  I doubt that Pope Francis has heard of Ernie Banks, the Hall of Fame shortstop. But like “Mr. Cub,” whose love for baseball led him to exclaim “Let’s play

Misreading Murray, Yet Again

From his present location in the communion of saints, Father John Courtney Murray, S.J., who died in 1967, is probably indifferent to the various ways his work on Catholicism and

John Paul II’s Canonization Wasn’t Too Fast

In April 8, 2005, something happened in Rome that hadn’t happened for over 1,400 years: the congregation at a papal funeral Mass spontaneously proclaimed the deceased Pontiff a saint. The

The Christ-Centered Pope

Perhaps the most revealing detail in Pope Francis’s lengthy interview, conducted by the Italian Jesuit Antonio Spadaro and published yesterday in English translation in the Jesuit journal America, is the pontiff’s

Humanae Vitae at 45

A few weeks ago, while pondering the upcoming sapphire anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) and the continuing controversy over the “birth control encyclical” throughout both Church and society, I

A New Approach to Modern Catholic History

Criticism comes with the territory when you write books, and the best for which any author can hope is intelligent criticism that engages your argument and leads to new insight

Pastors are Not Interchangeable Parts

A few weeks ago I came upon the odd fact that, before and during World War II, the Royal Navy built battleships with fourteen-inch main battery guns, whereas Britain’s principal

The Bishop of Rome as Christian Radical

It was a brief greeting to former colleagues. But if you read Pope Francis’ recent letter to the Argentine bishops’ conference closely, you get a glimpse of the man, his convictions, and

A Reformed (and Re-Formed) College of Cardinals

The recent papal interregnum and conclave underscored the importance of re-forming, and reforming, the College of Cardinals. As configured on February 28 (when Benedict XVI’s abdication took effect), the College

Impoverished Spirits

Certain ritual encounters have now become standard operating procedure for a new pope. In each of these meetings, Pope Francis has done something surprising, in his low-key, gentle way. In

Cleaning Up the Engine Room

If the conclave of 2005 was about continuity — extending the legacy of John Paul II by electing his closest theological advisor as his successor — the conclave of 2013

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