Finally! Lifesite News Reports Fr. George Rutler cleared of all False Accusations by NY District Attorney

Finally! Lifesite News Reports Fr. George Rutler cleared of all False Accusations by NY District Attorney

Lifesite News—A New York District Attorney (D.A.) has thrown out allegations of assault against well-known priest Fr. George Rutler. LifeSiteNews learned this morning [May 28, 2021] that the D.A. had found the accusations of a female security guard against Rutler to be “baseless.” This news has been confirmed by New York parishioner Jonah Bergman, who…

Second Sunday in Advent: Two Kinds of Judgement

Second Sunday in Advent: Two Kinds of Judgement

During the 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, a relatively unknown figure, the Archbishop of Krakow and future Pope John Paul II, said: “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society, or wide circles of the…

The Season of Advent: Facing Reality is the answer to all our earthly woes

The Season of Advent: Facing Reality is the answer to all our earthly woes

The season of Advent is lyrically beautiful if one is willing to engage the realities it teaches: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. The alternative is to create a parallel universe, partying in a faux Christmas confection of jingle bells, dancing elves, self-conscious bonhomie, and ignoring the Incarnation of God. T.S. Eliot belabored the obvious in saying,…

Be Prepared, Be Vigilant, Be True to Our King and Shepherd

Be Prepared, Be Vigilant, Be True to Our King and Shepherd

These days I am frequently asked if we are living in the “End Times.” As the grace of Holy Orders does not make me a seer, I defer, as is prudent, to the King of Universe: “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42). So, the answer simply…

As a Catholic, How You Chose to Vote Matters A Great Deal

As a Catholic, How You Chose to Vote Matters A Great Deal

In one survey of grammarians, two words deemed to be among the most beautiful sounding in the English language were Agape and Philadelphia. The problem is that these actually are Greek. There also are many aphorisms in the English language that have become so familiar that one may not realize that their sources are in…

The Holy Cross, Medicine of the World

The Holy Cross, Medicine of the World

In our days of widespread inarticulateness, the word “awesome” is so overused that it loses its power. It is rooted in the Old English “egefull,” which means causing profound reverence. So, to call a good dinner or a new dress “awesome” is overkill. Only in the nineteenth century did its equivalent, “awful,” come to mean…

Discerning the Truth in our times is critical

Discerning the Truth in our times is critical

In our city, accustomed to protest demonstrations of all sorts, a recent one was particularly dismaying and even frightening. The anarchistic chants were bad enough, but the frightfulness was in the glazed eyes of the expressionless marchers, like the “pod people” in the 1956 cult film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Carrying signs supplied for…

Chivalry, Courtesy, Honor, and Merciful to the Absurd

Chivalry, Courtesy, Honor, and Merciful to the Absurd

It may not be long before “Ladies and Gentlemen” ceases to start a speech, as the result of blurring the distinction between man and gentleman, and woman and lady. We may not hear at banquets, “Gentlemen, charge your glasses,” or understand the Victorian-era ballad: “My mother was a lady like yours, you will allow.” Putting…

We are now in a spiritual combat as monumental as World II

We are now in a spiritual combat as monumental as World II

As a psychosis, “self-mutilation syndrome” is rooted in self-loathing and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Whole cultures can be afflicted with a similar compulsion to injure themselves. Nowadays it is called a “cancel culture.” To topple statues and burn churches is a metaphor for self-loathing rather than reason.  In  their modern aesthetic recklessness, nations begin to disdain what Matthew…

Perspective Amid Cultural Chaos

Perspective Amid Cultural Chaos

Stalin, killer of at least 20 million people, said “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” In mid-nineteenth-century China, the civil war known as the Taiping Rebellion cost upwards of 30 million lives. The feast of Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions, on July 9, is a reminder…

Christian, Remember Your Dignity

Christian, Remember Your Dignity

Robert Gould Shaw was born into an abolitionist Unitarian family in Boston in 1837. When he was ten, they settled on Staten Island. An uncle who became a Catholic priest paid for his tuition at what is now the Fordham Preparatory School.   As a somewhat distracted student, Shaw never completed his studies (who does?)…

Mentors of Perseverance and Hope: Athanasius, Matthias and more

Mentors of Perseverance and Hope: Athanasius, Matthias and more

“As I was saying…” That, more or less, is how Saint Athanasius began his homily each time he returned from exile. Over seventeen years, he was banished five times by four Roman emperors for reasons political and theological, but he persisted in defying the heresy of the powerful Arians who had a flawed idea of…

How Mary is indeed Mother of the Church, even amid today’s pandemic

How Mary is indeed Mother of the Church, even amid today’s pandemic

Eyebrows were raised when Queen Victoria commented that of all her predecessors, she would most enjoy a conversation with King Charles II. In the arrangements of their domestic lives they could hardly have been more unlike, but Charles was a man of attractive wit, and that was her point. In most ways, Voltaire was the…

Now the Passion will be more powerful with the gates of the Temple closed

Now the Passion will be more powerful with the gates of the Temple closed

The term “parochial” is frequently used in a condescending sense, but no one today can get away with thinking that to be parochial is to be isolated from reality. As I write, the Navy hospital ship “Comfort,” last seen here on the Hudson River after the World Trade Center horror, is passing by our rectory…

On Letting the Light Shine

On Letting the Light Shine

As a rather observant child, I made a mental note of the fact that my maternal grandmother would ask me to “make a light” instead of asking me to switch it on. When she was a child, no one switched lights on.  At night, light was not had without effort, not in her English town nor…

Beautiful Reflections on Saint John Henry Newman

Beautiful Reflections on Saint John Henry Newman

More than forty years ago, I told a wise Protestant theologian that I had been reading the Apologia pro Vita Sua of John Henry Newman (1801-1890). He warned me that it is “a dangerous book.” That was just the sort of advice that makes a young thinker all the more eager to read it. And so I did,…

In Him all things hold together

In Him all things hold together

The English priest John Colet was influenced by his friends Erasmus and Saint Thomas More. As Dean of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London, he founded Saint Paul’s School for boys in 1509 on humanist principles. Graduates have included John Milton, Samuel Pepys, John Churchill, G.K. Chesterton, three recipients of the Victoria Cross and Field Marshal…

Heroic Courage

Heroic Courage

Every writer is familiar with the word “obelism,” which refers to an editor’s abbreviations in the margins indicating corrections to be made. An author in a passive-aggressive mood may counter by writing the Latin “stet,” which means to let the text remain as is. When the Temple authorities were scandalized that Pontius Pilate had ordered…

Our Christian lives in the present era: Ultimately God has the last word

Our Christian lives in the present era: Ultimately God has the last word

In the radiance of the Resurrection, the Church relates to the emotions of the first witnesses: grief, fear, bewilderment, and then exultation. In each generation, believers experience all of these in various ways. On Good Friday our local custom is to meditate on the Seven Last Words, using meditations written by Blessed John Henry Newman.…

Respect for Human Dignity found in Civility and Decent Behavior

Respect for Human Dignity found in Civility and Decent Behavior

As a schoolboy, George Washington copied out in elegant script the 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation. Later on, our first President tried to figure out how a head of state who was not a monarch should conduct himself with his fellow citizens. His solution was to be a gentleman, obedient to…