Entries by The Catholic Thing

Five Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution: Part II

Note: This is a slightly edited version of the second half of a paper that our colleague Mary Eberstadt gave at Hillsdale College’s conference, “The Sixties,” on January 30. The first half, explaining the overall thesis and the first two paradoxes may be read here. – Robert Royal A third paradox has become the dominant social media soap opera of […]

The Moral Crisis of Our Time

James H. Toner, re-reading a prescient Will Herberg essay from 1968, notes that it’s bad to violate moral standards but deadly to repudiate them. Nineteen sixty-eight is rightly remembered as a year of chaos, confusion, and confrontation. As the year began, the noted sociologist of religion, William “Will” Herberg (1901-1977), published an essay entitled “What […]

The Persistence of God

For many centuries, almost everybody in the Western world – the world that used to be called Christendom – was a Christian believer. Then, a few centuries ago, some people (mostly intellectuals) began drifting away from Christian belief. But they found that they couldn’t utterly renounce their old Christian beliefs. They were convinced that Christianity […]

Contraception: Intrinsically Evil

In 2018, over twenty conferences worldwide (so Janet Smith tells me) will celebrate Humanae Vitae (HV) on its 50th anniversary, but will also conduct a concerted attack on its teaching, which will not have been discouraged by various actions of the Vatican. The mode of the attack is not difficult to guess. It will not take the form of […]

Confronting the Gay Priest Problem

Recently, a priest who was prominent in the pastoral care of those with sex addictions received his fifteen minutes of fame when he revealed to his congregation at a Sunday Mass and to the National Catholic Reporter that he was “gay.”  According to news reports, his self-congratulation was met with thunderous applause. In a television interview, he proclaimed there is […]

The Curious Progressive Love of Islam

Among present-day American leftists (who prefer calling themselves progressives), a curious characteristic is their sympathy for Islam. They deplore what they call Islamophobia, regarding it as a sin as bad as racism or sexism or homophobia or transphobia; and they are horrified that a man they consider to be an Islamophobe, Donald Trump, should be […]

The Light in “Darkest Hour”

The Golden Globe Awards will be presented a week from Sunday; the Oscars on March 4. These star-studded and self-adulatory events are bound to be restrained by Hollywood’s year of scandal, and a friend in-the-know tells me she expects the celebrity presenters to redirect their anguish and frustration at – who else? – Donald Trump. […]

The Paradoxical Structure of the Kingdom

In 1970, the noted Catholic philosopher Frederick Wilhelmsen published a little book entitled The Paradoxical Structure of Existence. Wilhelmsen was a great teacher and also a very clear writer who could make Thomistic metaphysics intelligible, even for us non-professionals. Following St. Thomas, Wilhelmsen glories in the transcendence of the principle of existence in both created an […]

A Christmas Reflection

At Midnight Mass all over the world, the words of the prophet Isaiah are proclaimed: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Is. 9:1) Ever since the summer solstice, we have been losing a little bit of light each day. The sun rises later in the morning and sets earlier in […]

On Feelings

James V. Schall, S.J.: The verb, “to feel” has, in many instances, replaced the verb “to think,” indicating a civilizational shift (and not a good one). he administration of a major university recently sought information about the success of a new initiative. A survey was sent around. The respondents were asked in various ways to […]

Have Yourself a Very Subversive Christmas

Michael Pakaluk suggests that, just as early Christians had a special sign to identify one another, we need one now to exchange Christmas greetings. Christmas puts Christians in a position where we have to prove our loyalty. That’s not a position anyone has ever liked. Catholics in the United States have basically spent centuries trying to […]

About Our Epidemic of Sexual Aggression

Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons: The sex-abuse crisis presents a moment for the Church to communicate more fully the Lord’s liberating truth about human sexuality. The current revelations of an epidemic of sexually aggressive behaviors (SAB) against women, particularly by men in the media over many decades, has led to calls to address this highly prevalent “disease” […]

Defining Religion

The American Founding Fathers gave much thought to the proper relations between church and state. They did this when they put the “no religious test” provision into the U.S. Constitution. They did it again when, a few years later, they drafted the First Amendment with its two religion clauses pertaining to “free exercise” and “no […]