The Providential Demise Of the Papal States

The loss of the Papal States was a great boon to the papacy and to the Church’s evangelical mission, and for several reasons. Civil governance of a considerable territory by a clerical caste had, over time, proven an obstacle to Catholicism’s evangelical, catechetical, and sanctifying missions.

A Man Remarkable for Strengthening Others

When the choirs of angels led Father Paul Mankowski, S.J., into the Father’s House on Sept. 3, I hope the seraphic choirmaster chose music appropriate to the occasion. Had I been asked, I would have suggested the Latin antiphon Ecce sacerdos magnus as arranged by Anton Bruckner.

Religious Freedom: Bleached, Blanched, and Rinsed Out

Those who point out that the 2020 Democratic platform has the most radical pro-abortion plank in American history, and that the same platform promises to hollow out religious freedom in service to lifestyle libertinism, risk being labeled “culture warriors.” Well, so be it.

Christ at the Center Of the Council

Conversations with Father Robert Imbelli have been a great blessing in recent years. I have rarely met a more even-tempered and gracious man: a true churchman who, in retirement after years of teaching theology at Boston College, tries diligently to keep the often-fratricidal subtribes of American Catholicism in some sort of conversation (if only through his e-mail account!). 

Why we Are Where we Are

It’s hard, verging on impossible, to imagine the president-to-be-inaugurated next January summoning the country to national unity through magnanimity because our political culture has become so coarsened that it cannot cast up presidential candidates capable of credibly making that kind of appeal. How did we get here?

Rediscovering Eucharistic Amazement

In his 2003 encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia (The Church from the Eucharist), Pope St. John Paul II invited Catholics to regain a sense of “Eucharistic amazement.”

Rediscovering the Reality of the Eucharist

The dumbing down of the theology of symbols has, however, led to the unhappy situation in which perhaps a majority of Catholics do not believe that the Eucharist is what the Lord Jesus said he was giving us: himself, fully and unambiguously. 

AM[D]G

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam [For the greater glory of God], often reduced to the abbreviation, AMDG, was the Latin motto of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. Georgetown Prep is a Jesuit school. So what happened to the D-word? What happened to God? Why did AMDG become AM[D]G while being translated into fundraising English?

The Next Pope and the Crisis of the West

In February 1968, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła wrote Father Henri de Lubac, SJ, about a project in which the cardinal was engaged: a philosophical explanation of the uniqueness and nobility of the human person.

The Next Pope and Vatican Diplomacy

During a short papal flight from Boston to New York on October 2, 1979, Father Jan Schotte (later a cardinal but then a low-ranking curial official) discovered that Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, had done some serious editing of the speech Pope John Paul II would give at the United Nations that day.