Balderdash on the Tiber

George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington, D.C.’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. Today’s first reading is from an explication of the academic program of the reconfigured Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences by Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, the institute’s rector (translation provided by the institute): The recomposition of the thought and practice of faith with the global covenant of man and woman is now, with all evidence, a planetary theological space for the epochal remodeling of the Christian form; and for the reconciliation of …

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Historical Clarity and Today’s Catholic Contentions

George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington, D.C.’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. One of the curiosities of the 21st-century Catholic debate is that many Catholic traditionalists (especially integralists) and a high percentage of Catholic progressives make the same mistake in analyzing the cause of today’s contentions within the Church—or to vary the old fallacy taught in Logic 101, they think in terms of post Concilium ergo propter Concilium (everything that’s happened after the Council has happened because of the Council). And inside that fallacy is a common misreading …

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The Cup of Salvation: Where Does Altar Wine Come From?

Producers of sacramental altar wines are a select group. When at the request of his Mother Mary, Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding at Cana, it was the finest of all wines. And it was the purest wine of all when, at the Last Supper, he “took a cup … saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins’” (Matthew 26:27-28). The wine had to be the purest from the vine because earlier Our Lord also said, “For my …

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The Bread of Heaven: Where Do Communion Hosts Come From?

These sisters bake altar bread — the Communion hosts that will be consecrated at Masses every day. These sisters bake altar bread — the Communion hosts that will be consecrated at Masses every day. When the sisters at the Monastery of the Sacred Passion in Erlanger, Kentucky, walk into their bakery several days a week, they are going to work at one of the most important physical labors in the Church. The cloistered sisters more than 745 miles north in Westfield, Vermont, and those 542 miles west in Clyde, Missouri, and others in a handful of monasteries from Brooklyn to …

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How can I explain transubstantiation?

Father Cal Christiansen is pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Mountlake Terrace Q: The other day I was trying to explain the eucharistic doctrine of transubstantiation to a coworker who is not Catholic, and I’m afraid she was more confused by the end of our conversation than when we started! How can I explain this doctrine to non-Catholics in a way that they can understand? A: When the disciples sat down with Jesus at the Last Supper, they were preparing to celebrate the Jewish Passover with him. Jesus, however, had something more in mind. “While they were eating, Jesus …

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The Scourge of Pope Francis by Antonio Socci

Ambiguity and confusion reign under this pontificate The revelations made by Eugenio Scalfari about the personal (mis)beliefs of Pope Bergoglio continue. This week he dropped another bomb.   Whoever has had, as I have several times, the fortune of meeting him and speaking to him with the maximum cultural trust, knows that Pope Francis conceives of the Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, man, not God incarnate. Once he has become incarnate, Jesus ceases to be a God and becomes a man up until his death on the cross.  First, the journalist summarized a conversation in his own words:  Whoever has had, as I have several …

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Protestantism Made Me Catholic

Casey Chalk is a senior writer at Crisis and a graduate student at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Theology at Christendom College. First Things has been running a fascinating and provocative series of articles that question the principles and beliefs of most of its readers. In May, it published “Why I Became Muslim” by one Jacob Williams, a Brit who grew up Anglican and then converted to Islam. More recently, the magazine published “Catholicism Made Me Protestant,” a reflection by Onsi A. Kamel, who grew up a “non-denominational, baptistic evangelical,” then seriously considered Catholicism before returning to Protestantism, though …

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Looking for Schism in All the Wrong Places

Michael Warren Davis is the editor of Crisis magazine and host of The Crisis Point podcast. Pope Francis boldly declared last week that he’s unafraid of “pseudo-schismatics”: a clique of (mostly American) rigorist prelates and journalists whom Francis regards as a kind of loyal opposition to his papacy. But why should he have been afraid to begin with? A pseudo-schismatic is, by definition, not a schismatic. Pontiffs need no more fear pseudo-schismatics than exorcists need fear little boys who dress up as Harry Potter for Halloween—or, as the Holy Father might call them, pseudo-sorcerers. Or maybe I’ve misinterpreted him. Francis …

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Viganò Speaks: the “Infiltration” Is Real

Julia Meloni writes from the Pacific Northwest. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale and a master’s degree in English from Harvard. Jonah began his journey through the city, and when he had gone only a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be overthrown,” the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.  When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. (Jonah 3:4-6) A year after his …

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The Courage of Bishop Schneider

Jonathan B. Coe writes from the Pacific Northwest. Before being received into the Catholic Church in 2004, he served in pastoral ministry in rural Alaska and in campus ministry at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Bad bishops are hardly a novelty in the history of the Church. Historians estimate that, when the Arian heresy rocked Christendom in the fourth century, four out of five bishoprics succumbed to apostasy. When Henry VIII ordered England’s bishops to swear the oath of succession, all of them complied—all, save one. For his refusal to abandon his allegiance to the Pope, Bishop John Fisher …

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