As I read the myriad commentaries on St. John Henry Newman before his canonization, I’m particularly struck by how often he is co-opted by the various political parties active in the Church today—and how this co-opting both distorts Newman and actually makes him less interesting and relevant for our time.
The story of Pope John Paul II’s reverence for the great theologian Henri de Lubac tells us a lot about the state of Catholic theology today and where we are in terms of many arguments going on in the Church. It also sheds light on the theological path that I’ve…
The new film The Goldfinch is based on a novel by Donna Tartt, who is not only a great novelist but also a Catholic, and I think her Catholicism comes through especially clearly in the spiritual lesson of this story.
In this new video I reflect on St. Paul’s address on the Areopagus in Athens, found in the seventeenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. It’s a sort of masterclass in the evangelization of the culture, and anyone engaged today in that essential task should read it with care.
I’m a big fan of Quentin Tarantino’s movies. At the heart of a lot of them is a moral vision; the characters are compelled, under extreme duress, to make a moral choice. His latest film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” struck me the same way. It’s a rather extraordinary…
It’s hard to describe how angry I feel after reading the latest Pew Forum study, which reveals only one-third of Catholics agree with the Church that the Eucharist is actually the Body and Blood of Christ. This should be a wake-up call to all of us in the Church—priests, bishops, religious, laypeople, catechists, parents, everyone—that we need to pick up our game when it comes to communicating even the most basic doctrines of the Church.
A recent informal statement from Pope Francis about tradition not being a “return to the ashes” during an in-flight press conference has gotten some attention. There are two poles to avoid here: a kind of liberalism that stresses a mindless openness to the culture, and a kind of “conservatism of the museum” that desperately clings to the past. The one that helps us to see through the dilemma is someone that will be canonized by Pope Francis in a few months—namely, John Henry Newman.
There were more Christian martyrs in the twentieth century than in all of the previous nineteen centuries combined. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and many of their lesser-known totalitarian colleagues put millions of Christians to death for their faith in that terrible hundred- year period. One of the saddest features of the still-young twenty-first century is that this awful trend is undoubtedly continuing. By far the most persecuted religious group in the world today are Christians, and they are dying by the thousands especially in the Middle East and in Africa.