The Catholic Difference

The Catholic Difference is a weekly column syndicated by the Archdiocese of Denver.

On John Paul II’s Centenary

As the world and the Church mark the centenary of the birth of Pope St. John Paul II on May 18, a kaleidoscope of memories will shape my prayer and

Joseph Ratzinger, Theological Reformer

As he turned 93 on April 16, Joseph Ratzinger remained one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented men of consequence in recent Catholic history. I doubt the Pope Emeritus minds;

The “Historic” Amazonian Synod, Revisited

Given that he was one of the principal planners and prominent leaders of last October’s special Synod on Amazonia, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, OFM, is understandably enthusiastic about the results of

Rediscovering Baptism in Plague-Time

On April 29, 1951, Father Thomas Love, SJ, baptized me in the Church of Sts. Philip and James, near Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Family legend has it that I

After Cardinal Pell’s Rightful Acquittal

The unanimous decision by Australia’s High Court to quash Cardinal George Pell’s convictions on charges of “historic sexual abuse” and acquit him of those crimes was entirely welcome. Truth and

Embracing the Kind of Redeemer God Appointed

The Gospel readings of Lent remind us that opposition to Jesus and his mission frequently grew out of the desire for a redeemer who was more like what various characters

Transforming Quarantine Into Retreat

This bruising Lent, in which “fasting” has assumed unprecedented new forms, seems likely to be followed by an Eastertide of further spiritual disruption. What is God’s purpose in all this?

“Wittenberg” in Synodal Slow Motion

As Yale’s Carlos Eire masterfully demonstrated in Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450–1650, there was no one “Protestant Reformation” but rather several religious movements, often in disagreement with each other, that

Churchmanship

“Churchmanship” is not a term in vogue today, and given the alleged inclusivity-deficit of such words it’s unlikely to make a comeback. Which is a shame. Because “churchmanship” connotes an

Doubling Down on a Bad Deal

Perseverance on a difficult but noble path is a virtue. Stubbornness when confronted by irrefutable evidence of a grave mistake is a vice. The latter would seem an apt characterization

Aventine Meditations

Rome’s Aventine Hill has seen a lot. Legend has it that a dispute over the hill led to the fratricidal conflict between the city’s founders, Romulus and Remus. During the

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