Credit, Where Its Due

Stephen considers the tension between action and patience in view of the wait for the McCarrick report and the coronavirus. “Waiting patiently (or impatiently, as the case may be) has… Read More

Pell Case Quashed – McCarrick Report Still Pending

Stephen writes on Cardinal Pell’s release from prison in Australia and the continued expectation of the McCarrick report from Rome. “For too long the Church reflexively stood with those it… Read More

False Allegations are Rare – And Real

Sometimes clergy are falsely accused. Stephen reflects on the duty to assess the credibility of an abuse claim, and sometimes the difficulties in doing so. “Perhaps the stickiest cases are… Read More

Trauma and Taboo

Stephen looks at how the Church is often better equipped to help sinner than those who are wounded by the sin. “We have a whole sacrament devoted to forgiving sins… Read More

Don’t Sanitize McCarrick’s Legacy

Stephen considers the removal of former Cardinal McCarrick’s coat of arms from the wall at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C. “There are many reasons one might want McCarrick’s legacy… Read More

What to Watch for in the New Year

Stephen reviews some of the Church news the faithful expect to see in 2020, such as the McCarrick Report. “Undoubtedly, the new year will bring its share of surprises.” Little… Read More

A Changing Church

Stephen looks at the high number of priests who are responding, “No, thank you” to the call to become a bishop. “Many of our bishops find themselves in an almost… Read More

The Cross Over the Manger

Stephen reflects on the inevitability of the cross in the Christian life. “All our efforts at justice are insufficient. All our attempts to make whole what was broken by sin… Read More

The Bishops Stand – In Their Own Way – With Peter

Stephen looks at the debate over the word “pre-eminent” during the General Assembly in November 2019 and how some of the tensions in the American episcopacy were seen in it.… Read More

What the Bishops Also Must Do

In the aftermath of the 2018 clergy abuse crisis, Stephen looks at expectations for the USCCB November 2019 General Assembly, including the election of the next President. “It matters who… Read More

Shepherds of a Wounded Flock

Stephen considers the experience of U.S. priests during the clergy abuse crisis. “For many of the priests I’ve spoken to, the last year has been a double trial. They have… Read More

Who Will Restore the Church?

Stephen reflects on holiness as the only authentic answer to Catholic Church reform. “The Lord is purifying his Church. Good, we say. It’s about time, we say. But are we… Read More