perspective

‘Those who question the sanctity of John Paul II don’t know what they’re talking about’

From 1991 until 2005, Cardinal Camillo Ruini served Pope John Paul II as the papal Vicar for Rome – the man who handled the daily affairs of the diocese of […]

perspective

Books for Christmas – 2020

How bad a year has it been? Let me not count the ways. Good books can hearten us in 2021 and beyond, though. Herewith, then, some suggestions for Christmastide book-giving:  […]

perspective

Thanksgiving and the paradox of death

The juxtaposition of Thanksgiving with the Church’s annual month of prayer for the dead hadn’t previously struck me with force; that it did this year has something to do, I […]

perspective

Hard lessons of the McCarrick Affair

From the day it was announced that the Vatican would conduct an investigation into the career of former Washington cardinal-archbishop Theodore McCarrick (compelled to renounce his cardinalate and subsequently laicized […]

perspective

An Open Letter to a ‘Curly-Headed Facebook Fascist’

Dear Admin,  As you may recall, I’m a member — oops, check that, WAS a member — of your Facebook group “2B – 3A Curls.” It’s the group where we talked about styling tips for wavy […]

perspective

The Fire of Faith: Living in Christian freedom and becoming Saints

God’s grace flows through us like a river, washing us and nourishing his divine life in us. His grace flows freely when we let go of the attachments that dam us up, blocking grace’s entry points. If we are distracted […]

perspective

An open letter to the people of “Courage”

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: There are many exemplars of the cardinal virtue of courage in the Catholic Church today: Catholics in Hong Kong who risk their lives and […]

perspective

Three models of priestly goodness

The Pandemic of 2020 has been hard on every Catholic. Eucharistic fasting for this length of time may remind us what 20th century heroes of the faith in underground Churches […]

perspective

Prudential voting in bad times

Sixty years ago, Father John Courtney Murray, SJ, published what I regard as the finest Catholic analysis of American democracy ever penned: We Hold These Truths – Catholic Reflections on the […]

perspective

For Love of Country: A Catholic Patriotism

Our country has been through a lot this last year, as we all know. As many people have reacted against the founding and history of the United States, I have found […]

perspective

Joe Biden, pre-conciliar Catholic?

The image of the pre-conciliar Catholic Church in the United States as catechetically effective and politically potent can be hard to square with the long-term damage done to Catholicism’s role […]

perspective

Prop 115: Like David fighting Goliath

Well, it’s that time again. A national election is weeks away. So I guess it’s time for my quadrennial election column. Which, as it turns out, is pretty much always about the […]