Culture Cues

Notes on Amoris Laititia & Filial Correction

Heresy-spotting is not my forte. I have no inclination or talent for it. But the word hangs heavy in the air these days. It is impossible to ignore it. Ballots went out as soon as Amoris Laetitia hit the stands: “Does the apostolic exhortation propagate heresy? Check the box marked Yes or No. Either way, might any other words, deeds, or omissions by the Supreme Pontiff constitute encouragement of heresy? Again, check the box marked Yes or No.” The alternatives have been dueling for two years. Continue Reading
Cardinal Dolan & The Uses of Fatuity

Over Fourth of July weekend, parish bulletins throughout New York Archdiocese carried “Only in America,” an essay by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. It was a hail-fellow celebration of tolerance and religious liberty. But the meringue had been whisked up by the dialogue fairy, a bewitching crony of resurgent Islam. It began with the cardinal flashing his interfaith credentials. He had just received an award from the New York Board of Rabbis. This prompted one of those strenuously heartwarming reminiscences that are communion breakfast staples. Continue Reading
A Reader's Complaint, Part 1

It sometimes helps to know where something is headed before you get there. So this once, let me begin where the proctors of creative writing would tell me to end. Here goes: When the language of prayer or religious expression is used as a tool of ideology or pragmatic advancement it becomes a profanity. Pressed into service as an instrument of institutional pride, or any other cherished good, it loses its soul. Put to profane purposes—e.g. a means to preempt questions and short-circuit conscientious doubts, or as a bribe to observe questionable devotions—it is an impiety. Continue Reading
Notes on Our Pope of Peace

In Jorge Bergoglio’s lexicon, the words love and peace are vacant of meaning. Love dwindles down to nice feelings; peace shrinks to an ostrich-like refusal to acknowledge encroaching peril. On the flight back to Rome from Fatima, our shepherd delivered this reversal of reality to the court press:  An atheist said to me: “I am an atheist”; he didn’t say what nationality he was or where he came from.  He spoke in English, so I couldn’t tell and I didn’t ask him.  Continue Reading
Faustina's Diary & Editors' Handiwork

Pius XII was against Faustina’s apparitions before he was for them. He first distanced the Church from them by placing her writings on the Index of Forbidden Books (Index Liborum Prohibitorum). Notwithstanding, he  blessed an image of the Divine Mercy in Rome in 1956. The Holy Office [not yet renamed Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] under John XXIII, suppressed the writings twice, the second time in 1959. The stay against Faustina’s diary and devotion to the image of Divine Mercy lasted until 1978, the year Karol Wojtyla was elected to the papacy. Continue Reading