10 Ways to Misunderstand Vatican II

The current issue of America magazine includes an article by the eminent church historian John O’Malley, SJ, a professor at Georgetown University and author of many important books. O’Malley’s piece, simply titled “Misdirections,” is a commentary on ten ways he understands people to commonly misinterpret the Second Vatican Council, its mission, its documents, and its historical […]

Suggested Changes from European Abbot about Bishop Appointments

Following on the heels of yesterday’s post here about the implications of, challenges to, and resistances concerning the vision of the Church presented by the Second Vatican Council, a news story published today (“Swiss Abbot Urges Change in How Bishops are Selected“) seems to offer some additional material for consideration. Here is the piece, which appeared in […]

The Contribution of Women Theologians

In the current issue of U.S. Catholic Magazine (January 2013) there is a cover story titled, “What Women Theologians Have Done for the Church,” by Heather Grennan Gray. It’s an excellent piece that leads an issue focused on women and the church. In light of the recent ecclesiastical critiques of the work of certain women theologians — […]

Vatican II, Inculturation and What the Church Learns from the World

Among the many important insights that arose from the Second Vatican Council, one of the more timely is the recognition that the church has not simply been a self-contained and distinct civilization or institution from the “rest of the world,” but has always been a part of the world. Additionally, the church has benefited and, […]

‘Catholic’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does

The following article first appeared in The Huffington Post on Saturday, October 20, 2012. If you were to ask a stranger on the street or the co-worker at the water cooler what first comes to mind when they hear the word Catholic, chances are good that you might get a response like “the Vatican,” “the Pope” or […]

Giving a Retreat this Weekend for New England Young Adults

This weekend I am in Hingham, Mass., giving a retreat at the Benedictine Glastonbury Abbey. The retreat, geared for women and men in Boston in their twenties and thirties, is titled “Being Catholic in the 21st Century.” This is the third year in a row that I’ve been humbled by the invitation and honored to […]

The Perfect Book for Corpus Christi Sunday

So this past weekend the Church celebrated Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ) Sunday. The solemnity dates back to the Middle Ages when adoration of the Blessed Sacrament became widespread, but it’s presence today raises certain questions for the faithful. One such question might be the rather pedestrian, “isn’t every celebration of the Eucharist a celebration of Corpus Christi?” […]

‘Year of Faith’ for Vatican II Anniversary Year

Here is the text of the Pope’s October 16 Angelus message, announcing the theme “Year of Faith” for the upcoming year in honor of the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. Dear brothers and sisters, Yesterday and today there was an important event here at the Vatican regarding the new evangelization, […]

Thomas Merton to Bishops: “Obey the Gospel of Love!”

Since beginning my editorial work of transcription, annotating and editing a series of previously unpublished correspondence of Thomas Merton this year in earnest, I have become very attentive to the absolute profundity that emanates from Merton’s letters. It is true, letter-writing has increasingly become a “lost art,” forced into partial extinction by the telephone, then […]