Entries by The Catholic Thing

A Day in the Senate with the Born-Alive Act

Hadley Arkes: For Democrats, abortion is a “right” that extends beyond pregnancy and entails nothing less than the right to kill a child born alive.  The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act finally came before the Senate in the last days of February. This was the sequel to the Act passed in 2002, the Act that […]

When Did the Church’s Moral Teaching Cease Being Relevant to You?

Randall Smith: You either habituate people in the Catholic virtues or watch the culture habituate them to vices – and get used to failure.  Sometimes an article is just so important you have to draw people’s attention to it.  That article is “Why Faithful Catholics Get Divorced” by Tom Hoopes, written fifteen years ago, but […]

Coming Out of the Closet

Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky is a conservative, a label sometimes distracting; an invitation for controversy. But preaching the truth and acting on it is a Catholic thing. At times, priests reveal intimate secrets about themselves from the pulpit.  I’ve always hesitated to do so mostly because a sermon should be about Jesus, and innermost secrets and […]

How Not to Learn About a Religion

Randall Smith: Modern secular views of religion purport to have respect for each of them but often breed a sort of dilettantish disrespect for all of them.  Periodically, I find myself wanting to learn more about other religions.  It might be a major world religion such as Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam, or something more obscure, such as what Mormons […]

Amazonia Dreaming

Robert Royal: Despite ambiguity in the pope’s post-synodal Exhortation, there are no doctrinal changes. An olive branch to tradition or a strategic retreat? Querida Amazonia, Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation (released yesterday) is, at a first reading, a mostly pleasant surprise. It shows little of the freewheeling radicalism that bulked large – in the synod […]

Inequality, Real and Imagined

Alessandra Nucci: The Vatican’s response to poverty fails to acknowledge real-world examples of what has worked and, quite clearly, does not work. Pope Francis’s headline-grabbing words last year – “inequality is disastrous for the future of humanity” – reflected the long doctrinal dialectic following Vatican Council II.  At the Council, the focus of social justice increasingly […]

Exceptionless Moral Rules

David Carlin: Morality declines when exceptions are made for “hard cases” and collapses when the fundamental rules become merely unobtainable “ideals.” One of the distinctive things about Catholic moral doctrine is that it has a number of absolute or exceptionless rules, many of them involving or at least associated with sexual matters.  For example: One […]

The Jews Are a Sign

Casey Chalk: The Jewish people and their faith are more than a historical curiosity – they are one sign of the credibility of the God of Revelation. The American Catholic novelist Walker Percy once asked: “Why does no one find it remarkable that in most world cities today there are Jews but not one single Hittite, […]

There Is No Secular Culture

James Matthew Wilson: To encounter Christ and to abide with him is not just the Good News, it is the only news that stays news, forever. Simon During has made a dismaying but perceptive argument about the relationship between religion and culture in, of all places, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the flagship of today’s academic world. […]

Islam, Realism, and the Church

William Kilpatrick: Church leaders continue to insist that Islam is not a threat, despite the fact that an abundance of facts shows Muslim hostility to Catholicism. In comments last year, Marcello Pera, a prominent Italian intellectual and non-believer, criticized Pope Francis for “openly going against tradition, doctrine, and introducing inexplicable innovations, behaviors and gestures.” A philosopher […]