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Pell case reminds the world why cardinals wear red...

Lent is a time in which we relive spiritually the events of Jesus’ sham trials for the crimes of blasphemy and sedition and his crucifixion. It’s also a time in which we ponder his words from the Last Supper, “No slave is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). Jesus sends us out “like sheep in the midst of wolves” promising that people...

Learning the lessons of Lazarus and the rich man...

The well-known story of Lazarus and the rich man was read at Mass this morning (Thursday of the Second Week of Lent). On one level the message of the story seems plain enough: neglecting the poor is a damnable sin. However, there are other important teachings: about death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell. Those teachings are hidden in the details...

How Jane Austen played baseball...

Never mind Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, not to mention tales of Jane Austen as an espionage agent during the Napoleonic Wars or a Miss Marple avant la lettre. Why traffic in such fantasies when, without stretching the truth at all, we can marvel at Austen’s mention of baseball! It occurs in Northanger Abbey, where Austen says of her protagonist...

3 tips to reaching modern culture for Catholic evangelists...

A few years ago, my family and I went to Yellowstone National Park. It was amazing because we absolutely marveled in the majesty of God’s creation. But, we also saw the results of natural disaster - in this case, forest fires. There were some sections of the park when all you could see were burned down forests. It was a reminder that God wastes nothing and even in seasons of struggle...

A little dose of eschatology at the airport...

I’m on the road today to speak at the Youngstown Diocesan Men’s Conference. I’m wearing my clericals and as I’m going through the ritual public humiliation we call “airport security” one of the rather stern looking guards–thin, bald headed with an aquiline look to him leans over and says to me, “What’s your eschatology...

Who will be the next archbishop of Washington? Arch Madness returns.....

If only this scribe had a dime for every time one of this readership asked about the ongoing vacancy in Washington over these weeks, Whispers would be solvent into the next Holy Year – that is, 2025. To be sure, that's a figurative line. Still, almost six months into the singular move that'll define Pope Francis' stewardship of the Stateside Church...

The filmmaking duo behind ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ and ‘The Lego Movie’ have a refreshing take on fathers...

Right now the two most exciting names in American animation are Phil Lord and Chris Miller. From their breakout film Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 10 years ago and their smash hit The Lego Movie (both of which they cowrote and directed) to last year’s Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (cowritten by Lord and co-produced by them both)...

The 3rd Sunday of Lent: Bearing the fruit of repentance...

The fig tree is, in the first instance, a symbol of the City of Jerusalem, which Jesus is about to visit. When he comes, he will not find the fruit of repentance there. As a result, the city will ultimately be destroyed (in a sense, destroy itself) in AD 70. On the other hand, the fig tree is a type of each one of us, and a warning to us...

This is the only rational explanation for the world’s intense fear of and hatred for Christ and Catholicism.....

I have often contemplated this hostility toward and resistance to Christ and His Body, the Church; it is unparalleled. Few of the Protestant denominations experience this hatred. The Buddhists don’t seem to be subject to it. Even the Muslims are exempt despite the distinctly non-Western views that predominantly Muslim countries have on many social issues important to the American Left...

What should be our attitude toward priests today? A great Doctor of the Church, St. Catherine of Siena, has an answer.....

This picture of the fourteenth-century Catholic clergy, and the love of one female saint, depicts perennial principles for us immersed in moral outrage over sexually abusive clerics, on the one hand, and critical defensiveness for many innocent priests on the other. Those in the “moral outrage” group are the ones who are leaving the Church...