"Without any understanding of man's deep-seated urge to self-transcend, of his very reluctance to take the hard, ascending way, and his search for some bogus liberation either below or to one side of his personality, we cannot hope to make sense of our own particular period of history or indeed of history in general, of life as it was lived in the past and as it is lived today. For this reason I propose to discuss some of the more common Grace-substitutes, into which and by means of which men and women have tried to escape from the tormenting consciousness of being merely themselves. .... human beings have felt the radical inadequacy of their personal existence, the misery of being their insulated selves and not something else, something wider, something in Wordsworthian phrase, 'far more deeply interfused'." (Aldous
Huxley, "Appendix" from The Devils of Loudun, Penguin Books, 1971, 313f.)

Reflections 2015

Just War Theory

Roger Dawson SJ

JJustWarTheoryIn recent weeks, questions over the legitimacy of possible military intervention in Syria have given rise to a lot of discussion about Just War Theory. What does Just War Theory actually say? Roger Dawson SJ sets out the criteria. Read more.


So Much History, So Little Time

Massimo Faggioli

Jvatican1Case in point: catching my attention at the recent AAR annual convention in Atlanta were the translations from French into English of the private journals of two of the most important Catholic theologians in the 20th century, whose work was decisive in the theological developments of Vatican II: Yves Congar and M.D. Chenu. Read more.

Give Witness Don't Proslytize

JPopeFrancisteachingMissionary spirit is manifested by preaching love, humanity and faith through one's witness and not through proselytism, Pope Francis said. Read more.


Holding Religious Authorities Responsible

Michael Kelly SJ

JMichaelKellyThe worldwide crisis of clerical sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is nothing of the sort. That tragedy was and is a crisis of episcopal mismanagement. In country after country, bishops have demonstrated their incapacity to handle the scale of clerical sex abuse and the necessary measures required to address it. Read more


Pope Francis on Intercommunion

JPopeFrancis11On November 15 Pope Francis visited the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rome. He answered questions from the people. Read more


The Hidden Legacy of Charles de Foucauld

JCharlesdeFoucauldCharles de Foucauld left very little at his death in 1916, almost a century ago, despite his ardent desire to be a founder. Read more


Pope Francis: Study Evangelii Gaudium

Robert Mickens

JPopeFrancis01“Over the next several years... in every community, in every parish and institution, in every diocese and ecclesiastical circumscription and in every region try to begin – in a synodal way – a deeper reflection on Evangelii Gaudium, in order to draw practical criteria from it and implement its provisions,” Francis said Tuesday in Florence, the magnificent Tuscan city where bishops, consecrated religious and lay leaders gathered for the huge conference. Read more.


Paris: The Problem is Deeper than Criminal Acts

Michael Kelly SJ

JParisMassacreI live in Asia and never cease to marvel that little if any informed attention is given to the religious foundations of much that disturbs Asian societies and is now convulsing Europe. The cultural poverty of the West about religious matters really comes home to roost when events like this occur. Read more



Pope Francis' Vision for the Church

JpopefrancisWatch this brief but beautiful video of the Holy Father speak to the bishops in Florence. Watch the video.


Nostra Aetate Fifty Years On

JNostraAetateThe Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions was promulgated fifty years ago, on 28 October 1965. Michael Barnes SJ explains why the process of Nostra Aetate’s development is as important as the text itself. ‘Perhaps more than any other document, and despite its obvious weaknesses, it encapsulates the extraordinary outpouring of the Spirit that characterised the Council’. Read more.


Pope Francis Has Some Challenging Words in HIs Final Speech to the Synod

JPopeFrancisSynodOne, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. Read more


Why Pope Francis is not an Anti-Capitalist Greenie

Catalyst Dinner presentation by Frank Brennan SJ

Jfrank brennanThis is the text of Frank's presentation at the Catalyst Dinner held at Hunters Hill;, October 23 2015.

Read more ...

Cardinal Marx on Communion

JCardinalMarxIn his statement in the second week of the synod -- published in German by the German bishops' conference on Oct. 16 -- Cardinal Reinhard Marx put in a strong and moving plea to allow divorced and remarried Catholics who played an active role in their parishes to be allowed to receive the sacraments under certain conditions and only after considering each individual case. Read more

Pope Calls for Listening Church

JPopeFrancisHolyYearMercy"As the XIV Ordinary General Assembly is underway, it is a joy for me to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the institution of the Synod of Bishops and to praise and honor the Lord for the Synod of Bishops. From the Second Vatican Council up to the current Synod on the Family, we have gradually learned of the necessity and beauty of “walking together." Read more.


Thomas Aquinas as Spiritual Master

Catholic Studies Lecture by Donald Goergen OP

JDonaldGoergenPublished Febraury 2015. Fr Goergen is a preacher, lecturer, teacher and author.He has written and taught primarily in the areas of Christology and spirituality in the United States as well as in Africa and Asia. His most recent writing is Fire of Love: Encountering the Holy Spirit. Watch the video This lecture is one of a series sponsored by Aquinas College, Michigan, under the title of Catholic Studies series - click here for more information on this series of lectures.

Heather King on Becoming a Catholic and Being a Writer

JHeatherKingCatholic writer, Heather King spoke about her journey as a woman of faith and as a writer at a monthly Prayer and Pasta gathering at Family Theater Productions. Watch the video.


Archbishop Cupich Speaks About Divorce at the Synod

JCupichSynodThe Catholic church has to respect decisions divorced and remarried people make about their spiritual lives after they examine what their conscience is telling them to do, Chicago's Archbishop Blase Cupich said during a press briefing. Read more


Daily Reports Fromm the Synod

Notes by Archbishop Mark Coleridge

JMarkColeridgeMany of you may already have been catching up with this via the web or facebook but Archbishop Mark is fairly well committing himself to posting a story a day while the Synod on the Family is in session in Rome. For those who haven’t I will post a full series here, another catch-up again in a week and a final the week after. Read more. For updates click here.

Cardinals Clash Over Synod Outcome

JCardinalsTwo high-profile cardinals taking part in the Synod of Bishops on the family offered different views on Monday about some elements of the process, with one scoffing at charges of manipulation and stacking the deck, and another saying there are real uncertainties and doubts. Read more.


Pope Francis Warns Synod Not Parliament

JCardinalsAt the first session of the keenly anticipated Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis called on the roughly 300 prelates gathered in Rome not to wheel and deal on issues like a legislature, but to be guided by divine inspiration in their deliberations and discussions. Read more