At 1 p.m. EDT on June 18, it was announced that three-quarters of the U.S. bishops had voted to develop a statement on the eucharistic integrity of the Church and the eucharistic coherence of Catholics. Within an hour, a “Statement of Principles” was released by 60 Catholic Members of Congress, all Democrats and led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut.
If the Church lives from the Eucharist and yet the people of the Church don’t participate in the Eucharist as often as they should, or don’t understand what they’re celebrating and receiving when they do, then the Church suffers from a serious eucharistic deficit. Those ordained to leadership in the Church are obliged to do something about that.
Fifteen months ago, it looked as if Cardinal George Pell might spend his 80th birthday in prison. A malicious trolling expedition by the police department of the State of Victoria in his native Australia had led to the cardinal’s indictment on manifestly absurd charges of “historic sexual abuse.”
It was a two-week whirlwind that changed my life forever, that first visit of mine to Poland in June 1991. Looking back on it, I’m reminded of something H.L. Mencken wrote of a similarly transformative experience: “It was brain-fagging and back-breaking, but it was grand beyond compare — an adventure of the first chop, a razzle-dazzle superb and elegant, a circus in forty rings.” My first weeks in Poland were all of that and more.
It’s now the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but for native Baltimoreans of a certain vintage (like me), it is, was, and always will be “the Old Cathedral:” the first of its kind in the United States.
One of the adornments of American Catholicism turned 90 on May 21: Dr. Paul R. McHugh, longtime head of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University Hospital and a healer after the heart of the Divine Physician. Few scientists have made greater contributions to unraveling the mysteries of our complex inner lives than Paul McHugh.
Cardinal Ladaria’s letter includes statements that are not self-evidently clear, in part because they seem inconsistent with what the congregation he heads taught in its 2002 “Doctrinal Note,” entitled The Participation of Catholics in Political Life.
The Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (often referenced by its Latin title, Gaudium et Spes) is typically regarded as the most “progressive” of the 16 documents of Vatican II: the conciliar text that bespoke a new Catholic embrace of modernity while aligning the Church with liberal democratic political forces throughout the world.
Is ours a secular world? Or is it a world that’s traded authentic religion for a modern form of idolatry — one that’s corrupting our politics because it displaces reason with the kind of existential dread the ancient Canaanites once felt about Moloch?
Unfortunately forgotten in most U.S. Catholic circles today, Cardinal Albert Gregory Meyer, archbishop of Milwaukee from 1953 to 1958 and archbishop of Chicago from 1958 to 1965, was one of the country’s leading churchmen in the mid-20th century.