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Catechism on the Death Penalty

In August of 2018, Pope Francis announced he intended to alter the wording in the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church pertaining to the use of the death penalty. Whereas previous editions of the 1992 Catechism had stated that the death penalty was theoretically admissible but urged governments to mitigate its application, Pope Francis' amendment says that the death penalty is inherently opposed to the Gospel and can never be licitly applied; in other words, that it is intrinsically evil. The only dogmatic source given for this interpretation is a speech given by Pope Francis in October of 2017. In May of 2019 he offered an explanation of the change in another speech, saying, "I said clearly that the death penalty is not acceptable—it’s immoral....


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Papal Coins of the Renaissance and Baroque

For most of Church history, the popes were not only the successors of St. Peter, but the temporal heads of the Papal States, a conglomeration of territories in central Italy that had been under direct papal governance since Carolingian times. The popes ruled these lands as political sovereigns. As such, it was common for popes to strike their own coinage, similar to how any secular prince would have minted coins within his realm. In this article, we will take a look at a few samplings of papal coins from the Renaissance era through the Baroque, discussing the sculptors and goldsmiths who designed them, the popes under which they were minted, and the depictions upon each coin. A note on the images: I chose these particular...


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St. Bridget: Popes and Priestly Marriage

St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) was a medieval mystic and founder of the Bridgettines. Besides being the most celebrated Swedish saint, St. Bridget's writings had a profound effect on late medieval piety, so much so that she is considered one of the patron saints of Europe. St. Bridget's most famous work is her Revelations, a series of visions of Christ, Mary and the angels received by St. Bridget and transcribed into Latin by one Mathias, canon of Linköping, and her confessor, Peter Olafsson. In this article, we provide the entirety of Chapters 10 of Book VII, in which the Blessed Virgin Mary narrates to St. Bridget God's opinion of a married, sexually active priesthood. Mary's words are especially poignant in light of current discussions about...


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Pantheon and All Saints

The year 609 is an important in the history of the Feast of All Saints, for it is ever connected with the re-dedication of the Pantheon in Rome as a Christian Church—the first example of an old pagan temple in Rome being repurposed for Christian worship. Many are unaware of the rich political and religious history that is behind the dedication of this building and the institution of the universal feast that would become so formative in the Christian west (and which would morph into the celebration of Halloween in the modern times). In this article, we will focus on the political background of the era and the events that culminated in the granting of the Roman Pantheon to the Catholic Church in the year...


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Argument for the Infallibility of Canonizations

The canonization of Pope Paul VI on October 14, 2018 has thrown traditional Catholics into a maelstrom of anxiety. Indeed, the very notion that the pontiff ultimately responsible for the destruction of the traditional Catholic liturgy and the chaos of the post-conciliar period could be raised to the altars of sainthood is a very hard pill for traditionalists to swallow. The exaltation of Pope Paul VI to sainthood for the veneration of the universal Church runs counter to the deeply held beliefs of traditional Catholics that the pontificate of this man was one of the most destructive in history. 


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St. Bridget: The Punishment of Lustful, Immoral Priests

St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) was a medieval mystic and founder of the Bridgettines. Besides being the most celebrated saint to come out of Sweden, St. Bridget's writings had a profound effect on late medieval piety, so much so that she is considered one of the patron saints of Europe. St. Bridget's most famous work is her Celestial Revelations, a series of visions of Christ, Mary and the angels received by St. Bridget and transcribed into Latin by one Mathias, canon of Linköping, and her confessor, Peter Olafsson. In this article, we provide the entirety of Chapters 47-49 of Book I, in which Christ narrates to St. Bridget the offense caused by lustful, prideful priests and details their punishments. Christ's words are especially poignant in...


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Excavations at Tel Eton

While there exists ample archaeological remains from the Israelite period of the divided monarchy (930-587 BC), unambiguous, definitive evidence of the united monarchy has been more difficult to come by. The period of the united monarchy encompasses the reigns of three kings, Saul, David, and Solomon, from around 1052 to 931 BC. There has been a lot of debate in the archaeological community over whether there was ever a united monarchy; perhaps, it is argued, the unified kingdom of David and Solomon is a national fable. While direct archaeological or epigraphic evidence of David and Solomon from the period of the united monarchy has yet to be discovered, recent excavations in the Judean highlands that point to the presence of a large, centralized Israelite power...


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Bl. Pino Puglisi

October 21 is the commemoration of Blessed Giuseppe "Pino" Puglisi, an Sicilian martyr murdered murdered by the Mafia in 1993 for his opposition to their criminal activities. His last words when confronted by his Mafia assassins were, "I've been expecting you." Pino was a priest in the rough Palermo neighborhood of Brancaccio. He openly challenged the Mafia who controlled the neighborhood, and was subsequently killed by them on his 56th birthday. His life story has been retold in a book, Pino Puglisi, il prete che fece tremare la mafia con un sorriso (2013), and portrayed in a film, In the Sunlight (2005).Ordination to the PriesthoodGiuseppe "Pino" Puglisi was born in Brancaccio, a working-class neighborhood in Palermo (Sicily), into a family of modest means. His father...


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That the seat of Peter might not be dishonored by the occupancy of two bishops

Papal resignations, though rare, are by no means unprecedented in the history of the Catholic Church. Gregory XII resigned the papacy in 1415 to end the Great Western Schism, and St. Celestine V famously resigned in 1294 after only five months on the Chair of St. Peter, choosing instead the life of a hermit. What is absolutely novel, however, is the concept of the papal resignee somehow retaining the papal designation after his abdication, as Pope Benedict XVI did when upon his resignation chose to retain his papal name of "Benedict", continue to be called "pope", continue wearing the white papal cassock, and to continue residence in the Vatican. This was an extraordinary step, as previous popes who had resigned also resigned any titles or...


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Scientists Executed by the Catholic Church

The relationship between scientific inquiry and Catholic orthodoxy is hotly disputed in the contemporary world. The Catholic position affirms that there can be no true disharmony between scientific and religious truth, since all truth comes from the one God. There is no true hostility between religion and science, properly understood. On the other hand, others say that Catholic orthodoxy is intrinsically hostile to scientific inquiry, and that fidelity to the Catholicism actually necessitates the repression of scientific truth. This brings us to the myth of the Catholic Church's repression of scientific activities, specifically with regard to the Church's alleged persecution of scientists merely for their scientific theories. In this essay, we will study the lives of ten scientists who somehow came into conflict with the...


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History of the Catholic Church

  • Papal Coins of the Renaissance and Baroque

    For most of Church history, the popes were not only the successors of St. Peter, but the temporal heads of the Papal States, a conglomeration of territories in central Italy that had been under direct papal governance since Carolingian times. The popes ruled these lands as political sovereigns. As s…

    Read more: Papal Coins...

Theology & Liturgy

Catholic Spirituality

  • St. Bridget: Popes and Priestly Marriage

    St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) was a medieval mystic and founder of the Bridgettines. Besides being the most celebrated Swedish saint, St. Bridget's writings had a profound effect on late medieval piety, so much so that she is considered one of the patron saints of Europe. St. Bridget's most famo…

    Read more: St. Bridget:...

Saints, Reviews & More!

  • Aaron of Caerleon (3rd century)

    St. Aaron of Caerleon is one of only three recorded Christian martyrs from Roman Britain—the other two being St. Julius and the renowned St. Alban. His martyrdom is forever associated with the Welsh city of Caerleon, which at the time was a Roman legionary fortress called Isa Augusta surrounded by a…

    Read more: Aaron of...

Economy & Society

  • Catechism on the Death Penalty

    In August of 2018, Pope Francis announced he intended to alter the wording in the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church pertaining to the use of the death penalty. Whereas previous editions of the 1992 Catechism had stated that the death penalty was theoretically admissible but urged government…

    Read more: Catechism on...