The Church and ‘Historical Amnesia’

This morning I woke up to find an article posted on the Commonweal magazine website titled, “Historical Amnesia: When Catholic Leaders Misread the Past,” by Nicholas Clifford, the emeritus historian from Middlebury College. In my opinion, it is a very interesting and well-written piece that creatively highlights a number of ways that church leaders have — […]

Signs of the Time: The ‘Francis Effect?’

In a CNS article titled, “Archbishop says people returning to confession because of pope,” we read of the anecdotal evidence for some changes in the Italian pastoral landscape marked, in part, by a rise in sacramental confession and an increase in the attendance of visitors at public papal audiences. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the […]

Reconsidering Our Ecclesiastical Priorities: Penance and Social Justice

Reports out of the Fall USCCB assembly have been mixed, to say the least. News outlets and social-media sources have effectively reported on some of the more controversial statements, discussions, proposed texts, and documents to be the subject of consideration in Baltimore in recent days. To be fair, not everything has been negative. Take, for […]

Leadership, Embarrassment and the ‘New Evangelization’

“Fifty years after the Second Vatican Council revolutionized life inside the Roman Catholic Church, hundreds of bishops from around the world are gathered in Rome to confront an external threat: a mounting tide of secularization,” begins a recent Religion News Service piece from Rome that details the upcoming Synod on the “New Evangelization.” Since Pope Benedict XVI’s […]

Archbishop Dolan’s Words of Challenge and Inspiration

After yesterday’s post here on, some might think (as one of the commenters on that post does) that I don’t believe anything good could come from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting. But that’s not true. On the contrary, though I may be respectfully critical of the leadership of the Church that […]

Major Report on Clergy Sex Abuse Released, Details Follow

The Religious News Service (RNS) published an article written by Commonweal Magazine and RNS contributor, David Gibson, on the long-awaited John Jay College of Criminal Justice report on the Clergy Sex Abuse Crises. Researchers published the 300-page report Wednesday (18 May 2011), which addressed several themes, causes and myths surrounding the ongoing saga of clergy abuse […]