Catholic and Vatican Affairs

The "Truce of 1968," Once Again

In 1968, Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle of Washington, D.C., disciplined nineteen priests who had publicly dissented from Pope Paul VI’s teaching in the encyclical Humanae Vitae. Three years later, the Vatican’s

The Catholic Engine of Western Progress

The standard account of the history of the West from, say, 400-1500 would run something like this: The breakdown of the Roman empire sent western Europe into the centuries-long civilizational

Nothing Ordinary About This Time

The late Dorothy Sayers, author of the Lord Peter Wimsey detective stories, was a gifted amateur theologian, as the notes she wrote to her translation of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” readily

Re-reading Modern History

In his Christmas address to the Roman Curia on true and false interpretations of Vatican II, Pope Benedict XVI asked why the Church had had such a difficult time opening

Getting the Council Right

Every year, just before or after Christmas, the pope meets with senior members of the Roman Curia for a review of the year just past and a preview of the

Forming Priests in Today’s Culture

Now that the initial dust over the Congregation for Catholic Education’s recent Instruction on homosexuality and candidacy for the priesthood has settled, three points seem worth underscoring. The first point

Exaggerated Love

Ten years ago, on the evening of December 6, 1995, John Paul II changed my life. In May of that year, I had begun talking with his press spokesman, Joaquin

A New Pope Must Face Old Problems

Pope Benedict XVI has celebrated his first Christmas as bishop of Rome, giving his blessing “to the city and the world.” His retired brother, a priest and distinguished choir director,

Menino’s Catholic Fallacies

Caricatures of Catholic belief have been a staple of American life since the Colonial period. Once upon a time, the cartoons were drawn and the caricatures were promoted by Protestant

Asking the Right Questions about "Touching"

Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon, is almost certainly going to get himself in hot water with the U.S. Bishops Conference Office of Child and Youth Protection. That’s entirely to

Dr. Wills Comes Unhinged

“Why isn’t there a ‘progressive’ candidate?” was, to some, one of the mysteries of this past April’s conclave. The fact that John Paul II had named so many of the

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