Tag Archives: Catholic Church

Terminology note: High Church and Low Church

As much as we are apt to resist labels, the need to distinguish between two strains of Catholic thought and attitude that are predominant in America today has led me to rely, here and elsewhere, on the prevailing terminology of “liberal” and “conservative.” See, e.g., 1 MPA, at 57, 62, 116. But those terms—freighted as […]

The tactility of the Church

We have a friend who has been going through a hard time and who remains in need of prayer. I was pleased, however, when she elected to attend Mass on Friday, and even more so that she chose to go up for a blessing. She has voiced a feeling of being distant from God, and […]

An update on Father Lankeit’s vocations program

In MP: Straight Talk on Altar Girls (Oct. 19, 2011), I voiced support for a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix who had returned altar service to being open only to those capable of ordination. “If we may reasonably conclude that service as an altar boy is helpful in fostering vocations to the priesthood, it […]

The Rebiba Bottleneck

Jimmy Akin has this podcast dealing with some fascinating questions about the integrity of the apostolic succession. The most interesting and momentous sections pertain to Scipione Cardinal Rebiba (†1577), through whom, because of a quirk of history, more than 90% of today’s episcopate trace their succession. The nub of the “Rebiba bottleneck” is this: Pope […]

The CDF and “Just Love”

Father James Martin, SJ—our regular relator of stories touching on the vita consecrata and those in it—notes that the Holy See has rebuked Just Love, a book by Sister Margaret Farley, RSM. So far as I can tell, no one, up to and including Sr. Farley, disputes the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s […]

“Why I am a Catholic” in a few brushstrokes

Hanging in the grand hallway of Le Fer hall here at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is is a reproduction of Perugino’s Delivery of the Keys. I love that painting because it is the whole issue reduced to canvas and brushwork. Either Christ instituted a Church, to be taught and governed by the Apostles and their succesors […]

The place of the Curia

John Allen reports that the Vatican is being rocked by another bout of administrative turmoil. Calls for change in NCR’s comment section are less “dog bites man” than “man breathes air,” but in this case, as I’ve argued before, I think that the calls are well-taken, although I suspect that I and they have quite […]

The democratic fallacy

Periodically, someone will suggest that bishops ought to be elected, and they will place immense weight on the point that bishops were once elected; they are likely to offer a quote (without sourcing) that he who is to govern all should be chosen by all. While it’s true, after a fashion, that bishops were elected […]

An open letter to Prof. Swidler

Dear Len, I may call you Len, right? (Since you addressed the Holy Father by a familiar diminutive of his birth name in a public letter, I shall consider formality to be ceded ground.) Anyway, your letter has some problems. I’m just going to get out The Red Pen—as a professor, I’m sure you’re familiar […]

Sr. Le Fer on the habit

On August 16, 1853, Irma le Fer, Sister St. Francis Xavier, SP, sent “word of joy and happiness”: Her sister Elvire had become doubly a sister, joining  the Sisters of Providence as Sister Mary Joseph. “has received the Holy Habit; she has laid aside the garments of the world to clothe herself with the livery […]