The Catholic Difference

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

Courage in the Slough of Despond

I never took a class from the historian Frank Orlando, but the motto he placed in the faculty section of my college yearbook—“History is an antidote for despair”—has stuck with

Maintenance vs. Mission

Just when the Long Lent of 2002 was coming to a boil in March of that year, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, took

Saving Synod-2018 from Itself

Anyone looking for a remedy for insomnia might try working through the Instrumentum Laboris, or “working document,” for the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held

Full-Immersion Catholicism

As this Catholic annus horribilis continues to unfold, perhaps some good news is in order; first, a little background. In late 1991, Italy’s Rocco Buttiglione and America’s Michael Novak had an idea: create

Why We Stay, and the Viganò Testimony

The Sunday Mass scriptures during this summer of horrors have often been eerily appropriate, beginning with Jeremiah’s polemic against malfeasant shepherds who mislead the Lord’s flock (July 25) and continuing

Fackenheim’s Law and the Current Catholic Crisis

The medieval Jewish sage Maimonides counted 613 commandments, or mitzvot, in the Law that God gave his people, Israel. The 20th-century Jewish philosopher Emil Fackenheim, who escaped the Nazis’ genocidal clutches

The Current Crisis

The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War caused the premature suspension of the First Vatican Council on October 20, 1870 and left the Church’s theological self-understanding somewhat unbalanced. In its first

WYD-1993: The Turning Point

On this twenty-fifth anniversary of World Youth Day in Denver, I can’t help sharing one of my favorite personal memories of John Paul II. It was December 15, 2004, and

Fridays without Charles

Take my word for it: You don’t want to be around me at breakfast. I am not a chipper morning person, and it’s best to leave me to the coffee

Affirming and Celebrating Humanae Vitae

July 25 is the fiftieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical on the integrity of love and the appropriate means of family planning. Issued during the cultural meltdown of

A Caveat on the Great Tom Wolfe

When the great Tom Wolfe died on May 14—he of the white suits, the spats, and the prose style as exuberant as his wardrobe—I, like millions of others, remembered the

A Pastor in Full

Almost a quarter-century ago, Fr. Jay Scott Newman, back in Rome to finish a graduate degree after his priestly ordination in Charleston, took me on an extended ramble around the

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