Tragical Sexual Comedy

If you have ever been to a stand-up comedy show, you know that comics tend to be something of a mess. Comedy is, for many of these people, a way… Read More

Vocational Mortality Review

Many hospitals regularly engage in something called a clinical mortality review (also called morbidity & mortality rounds or “M&M” conferences). These meetings are used to try to understand if a… Read More

The Church: Field Hospital?

One of the prominent images of the Francis pontificate is that of the Church as a field hospital in the midst of battle. “Tend the wounds, tend the wounds!” calls… Read More

Human Formation & the Crisis of Trust

In 1990, 238 synod fathers met in Rome for the 8th Ordinary General Synod on “The Formation of Priests in Circumstances of the Present Day.” They presented Pope John Paul… Read More

Baby Step: Phone Calls

Today I continue the series I promised last time: baby steps toward increased trust between bishops and priests. Today’s step is phone calls—both from the bishop to priests and priests’… Read More

Baby Steps: What’s in a Name?

I have been slowly reading through the first write-in section of our national survey of Catholic priests. We asked priests, “In your opinion, what is one step that should be… Read More

Shot Rolling on the Deck

Sometimes I send my column to particular friends who I think may have insights on the topic that would help either the writing or the content. One friend who shares… Read More

Authority: Patrick O’Brian and the Church

I wrote recently about obedience in the context of authority in the Church, and I promised a part two on leadership. It is easy to see how obedience can be… Read More

One’s crosses are not public property—until they are

The Church is nourished by the blood of the martyrs. This is something that is communicated nonverbally almost everywhere you look in the Church. Walk into one and try not… Read More

Obedience: Virtue and Counsel

In college, someone recommended that I read A Right to Be Merry by Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C. When I finished it, I knew two things: cloistered religious life was absolutely… Read More

How is the Church governed?

A question that keeps coming up for me regarding the synod on synodality is, “What do you mean by X?” X could be lay participation; women’s decision-making; hierarchical ministry; governance;… Read More

Marriage and Divorce

“[Jesus] said to them, ‘Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you,… Read More