Catholic and Vatican Affairs

A Papal Gift to Russia

Just about a year ago, my wife and I, with four Polish and American friends, were having lunch with John Paul II in the papal apartment. An hour into our

A Jubilee Scorecard

The Great Jubilee of 2000 concluded on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, January 6. For a quick review of some of the highlights (and low-lights) of this remarkable year-plus, here’s

To those about to be ordained (Part 2)

As I wrote last week, I have been exceptionally blessed in recent years by the friendship of the faculty and students of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. What

To those about to be ordained (Part 2)

As I wrote last week, I have been exceptionally blessed in recent years by the friendship of the faculty and students of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. What

To those about to be ordained (Part 1)

One of the great graces of my life in recent years has been the extraordinary friendship extended to me by the faculty and students of the Pontifical North American College

Teachers, not Managers

Great events like the Second Vatican Council always have unintended consequences. Knowing that the office of bishop had gotten short shrift at Vatican I when that Council was prematurely closed

Pack Journalism, Vatican-Style

Here’s one man’s recent Holy Week schedule: On Palm Sunday, he celebrated a three-hour Mass, preached, and led the Angelus for a congregation of over two hundred thousand. On Holy

Parsing the "New Evangelization"

The “new evangelization” is one of the signature themes of the pontificate of John Paul II. Addressing the bishops of the southeastern United States on March 17, the Holy Father

Making a Joyful Noise

An old saw among musicians has it that the angels play Bach on high days and holy days, but Mozart gets the nod when they’re having fun among themselves. It

Truth and Labeling

A senior American prelate once said to me that the “greatest curse” of Catholic life since the Second Vatican Council was the epidemic use of the terms “liberal” and “conservative”

Ockham and Us

Everybody knows and uses “Ockham’s razor” even if they’ve never heard of William of Ockham, the 14th century Franciscan philosopher. “Ockham’s razor” is a philosophical principle of economy which holds

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