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Holy See signs ‘provisional agreement’ with China on appointment of bishops,


Three quick take-aways on the Vatican's deal with China...
John Allen
In thinking about the deal between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops announced on Saturday, the central point to be clear on is that there’s not really much to think about. It says something about public discussion in the early 21st century that the deal has already been described as both an “incredible betrayal” and a “positive fact for Chinese Catholics” before anyone actually knows what it contains...


Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, issues English-language video to explain agreement on China...


Beware the allure of the Inner Ring...
Anthony Esolen
I have had an uncanny and revealing experience this week. There are three elements to it. Let me describe the first two, as a preface for drawing out a moral imperative for Catholics in these bad times. Every semester at Thomas More College, we set a few Fridays aside for what we call traditio. No classes are held. Instead, the whole college gets together for some common intellectual or spiritual enterprise...


This criticism of the upcoming synod, from a respected North American theologian, warrants much wider discussion...
Archbishop Charles Chaput
Over the past several months, I’ve received scores of emails and letters from laypeople, clergy, theologians, and other scholars, young and old, with their thoughts regarding the October synod of bishops in Rome focused on young people. Nearly all note the importance of the subject matter. Nearly all praise the synod’s intent...


The beauty of creation reflects the beauty of the Creator...
Christopher Thompson
The environment? Really? It would not be an understatement to say that Cardinal Blaise Cupich’s recent interview with an NBC affiliate in Chicago did not come off as well as he might have expected. Hoping to deflect some of the acrimony surrounding the latest news he’s quoted as saying, “The pope has a bigger agenda; he’s got to get on with other things [such as] talking about the environment and protecting migrants and doing the work of the church...


The biggest water evacuation in history (500,000 people in 9 hours) wasn’t Dunkirk — it was Manhattan...


When you officiate your sister’s wedding: A moving marriage homily...


So a Chicago priest who was once abused burns a rainbow-cross flag and all heck breaks out...
Terry Mattingly
Well, here is a hot-button story if I’ve ever seen one. Take a look at this headline atop the report at NBCNews.com: “Parishioners defy Chicago Archdiocese, burn rainbow flag in 'exorcism' ceremony.” Just to give you a hint of how complicated this case is, that headline actually jumps the gun and settles one of the issues that is in dispute...


In denial about not ordaining homosexuals?
Jeff Mirus
I won’t bore you with the details, but every time the Vatican issues an instruction stating that those with clear homosexual tendencies should not be admitted to the priesthood, there follows a plethora of articles—including some in L’Osservatore Romano itself—in which the writers fall all over themselves to make sure that we understand that there must be (undoubtedly frequent) exceptions to every rule...


How corrupt Vatican officials and other “strange characters” gutted an Italian hospital and split the Papal Foundation...


The Church must reclaim the cardinal virtues...


Fascinating data visualization from the NYTimes: How connected is your community to everywhere else in America?


Benedict XVI discusses his resignation in newly-published letters...
Edward Pentin
A German newspaper today published two letters Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote last November which give a glimpse of how he views his resignation and what many see as turmoil in the Church that has followed his unexpected departure. Bild newspaper reports that Benedict XVI wrote the letters in response to a cardinal but it doesn’t name him...


You, dear reader, are a “Child of God.” It is your greatest title...


Catholic bishops and the problem of scandal...


Maintenance Catholicism is finished. Mission-driven Catholicism is the Church with a future...


Why does the Crucifix of La Salette feature a hammer and pincers?

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The phantom accord between the Holy See and China...
Sandro Magister
All that is known at the official level about the accord signed in Beijing today, September 22, by the Holy See and China is that “it concerns the appointment of bishops,” is “provisory” and “provides for periodic evaluations of its implementation.” Not one more word about its contents. The accord was signed for the Holy See by the undersecretary for relations with states...


Alongside Francis the Simple, there’s also Francis the Stubborn...


Pope Francis permits Newark’s Cardinal Tobin to skip upcoming Vatican youth synod...


Knowing the bad news unlocks the good news...
Msgr. Charles Pope
Some people suggest that the Church should speak less of sin and instead emphasize positive things. After all, it is said that one can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. In that vein, we in the Church have been collectively de-emphasizing sin to a large degree for decades, and yet our churches have been getting emptier and emptier...


Benedict XVI answers his critics — and drops a hint ...
Phil Lawler
Pope-emeritus Benedict has been scrupulously careful, these last five years, to avoid anything that could be construed as criticism of Pope Francis. At the same time, the former Pope has come under criticism—led by some of his greatest admirers—for a resignation that, in retrospect, seems to have plunged the Church into a grave crisis...


Finding grace in the Eternal City...
Jenny Uebbing
I woke up blinking and disoriented in the chilly darkness of our hotel room, craning my neck to see if any light was squeezing through the cracks of the blackout shutters. I rolled over and grabbed my phone, which was displaying the current time on the east coast of the United States in military format. Zelie’s morning chortles echoed from down the hall...


The blood of martyrs is still the seed for the Church...


More about that Chicago priest who defied Cardinal Cupich and burned a homosexual flag at his parish...


Permanent assignments for parish priests are long overdue...
Rick Becker
I’m a rotten dad, but I’m not so rotten that I’m indifferent to becoming a better one. And that’s been the case since Nancy inexplicably agreed to be my wife a quarter century ago. Christian marriage is essentially a sacred contract, witnessed by the Church, that a man agrees to die perpetually for his wife, that a woman agrees to do the same for her husband...


U.S. bishops voice support for ‘full investigation’ of McCarrick scandal...


Top 9 questions and answers on Bishop Barron’s Reddit AMA...
Fr. Matthew Schneider
Bishop Robert Barron did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit today. I did an AMA with a fellow priest before and might do it again sometime. It was really interesting to see all his answers. Here are what I think are the top questions and answers. The first question was about faith as a challenge: What do you find is the most significant challenge to your personal faith...


While seemingly locked in a vegetative state, ESPN’s Victoria Arlen relied on prayer to survive...


USCCB announces new abuse measures, calls for McCarrick investigation; no mention of lay board, apostolic visitation...


25th Sunday of Ordinary Time — Why being good doesn’t pay...
John Bergsma
When I was younger, especially from high school through my early days as a Protestant pastor, I had this strong sense that if a person always did what was right, “things would work out.” That is to say, righteousness was the path to the good life. God would pave the way in front of the person that does his will. There is some truth to that...


5 reasons why Catholics don’t evangelize...


Pope’s Wednesday Audience: “Honor parents. They have given us life!”...


Parishioners defy Archdiocese of Chicago, burn rainbow flag in fire pit used for Easter Vigil Mass...


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