Category Archives: Catholicism

In re the firearms debate, redux

I last wrote about Catholics and guns in 2013. Kathy Schiffer notes a new book, “My Parents Open-Carry,” and asks for thoughts on gun policy. I should note at the outset that I am uncomfortable with propaganda aimed at children, and this book trips the propaganda alarm for me, even though I favor exposing Americans to guns […]

An ersatz homily for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, cycle A

Today’s gospel reading, Matthew, chapter 16, verses 13 et seq., presents the passage that divides the Christians from the Jesusists. Today, as in those days, there was dispute over just who this Jesus fellow might be. In those days, some said that he was John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of […]

Ordinatio sacerdotalis and its limits

This year, many Catholics celebrated or lamented the twentieth anniversary of St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis, in which the Holy Father settled the question of whether the Church is able to ordain women. Nunc sicut tunc, the spotlight falls onto the question because of moves in the Anglican communion: Now, because of the Church […]

In and out of the cafeteria

Father Dwight Longenecker writes some very sharp commentaries. His most recent is not one of them. It is, alas, pretty stupid. Fr. Longenecker says that “with Pope Francis the cafeteria Catholics are the conservatives,” but the equivalence is entirely false. Let’s start by understanding what we mean by “cafeteria catholic.” That term is an established […]

The Church of England approves women bishops

This week, the General Synod of the Church of England approved the appointment of women to the Anglican episcopate. “The synod’s House of Bishops voted in favor 37-2, with one abstention; the House of Clergy voted 172-25, with four abstentions; and the House of Laity voted 152-45, with five abstentions.” “The Church of England [subsequently] […]

Thoughts re the Hobby Lobby decision

The notion that a person should be forced to purchase a product that they believe to be immoral is a charmless one for which no eulogies should be read nor requiems composed. Had the Supreme Court actually killed the so-called “contraceptive mandate” in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, decided today, we should say “good riddance.” Joyous […]

Altar girls, redux

Traditionally, altar service was a male-only business, but females have been permitted to serve the ordinary form since the early 1990s, subject to the general approval of the bishop and ad hoc approval of the celebrant of the particular Mass at which they are to be employed. “Altar girls” have remained controversial ever since, especially […]

Another update on Fr. Lankeit’s vocations program

In 2011 and 2012, I noted and voiced support for the decision of Father John Lankeit, rector of the Cathedral of Ss. Simon & Jude in Phoenix, AZ, to end the cathedral’s two-decade experiment with allowing female altar servers. See Straight talk on altar girls, 1 MPA 60 (2012). The idea was to stimulate vocations, […]

“That is what you call a bishop who’s not afraid to bishop.”

Because the Church has no authority to ordain women, and because of active resistance by those who dissent from that teaching, the Church provides a canonical response to simulations of the sacrament of Orders: “[B]oth the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive a […]

Conservatives, traditionalists, and Traditional Catholics

In the Remnant, Chris Ferrara contemplates the question “What exactly is a traditionlist?” The nub of it is that a man who is, by Ferrara’s label, a “traditionalist,” is a Catholic who lives the faith as if the ecclesial calamities of the post-Vatican II epoch had never happened—indeed, as if Vatican II itself had never […]