30 Years of Work and Conversation in Poland

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.

St. Francis de Sales School Spreading the Good News

When I first became Principal of St. Francis de Sales Parish school in 2013, I took a few days to read about our school patron saint, St. Francis de Sales, and was surprised to discover that he was the patron saint of journalists.

Mission Appeal Season Off to a Great Start

Two Summer Mission Appeals have already taken place, and with extremely positive results. Every year dozens of missionary priests, brothers, sisters, lay missionaries, and even some bishops come to every parish in our diocese and make presentations about their various ministries.

The Oldest Cathedral, The Newest Challenge

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.

The Power to Prohibit Communion

In Canon Law, the power to impose sanctions is under the exercise of authority, which we call “potestas regiminis” or “potestas jurisdictionis.” In English, it is the power of governance, which is of divine origin; hence it is a sacred power. In ministerial terms, it is the exercise of the governing office of Christ or the “munus regendi.”

The Healer: Paul McHugh at 90

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.

A Most Unfortunate Roman Intervention

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.

Vatican II on Catholics In Public 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.

Gaia, False Gods, and Public Policy

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?

Marriage and Schizophrenia

For this Month of Mental Health, we will discuss whether a person with schizophrenia can validly contract marriage. Apparently, the combination of marriage and schizophrenia in a mathematical equation may equal marital failure and sacramental invalidity.