Stephen P. White

Advent and Reform

Advent – especially this Advent, when reform is so much on our minds – is a good time to remember that everything we do depends on a God who thought shepherds round an infant lying swaddled in a Bethlehem manger would be just the thing.

We Need an Answer to Idolatrous Nationalism. But Don’t Look to Emmanuel Macron.

The way to head off the worst strains of nationalism is to pre-empt them with more humane appeals to legitimate concerns for national identity.

Reckoning with the Baltimore Fiasco

If Rome thinks delaying action by American bishops or weakening conference leadership is in the best interests of American Catholics, then they are gravely mistaken. The last thing American Catholics need right now is to be treated as pawns in an ecclesiastical power struggle.

Miters and Millstones

There is one question that cuts to the heart of the outrage and anger felt by millions of Catholic faithful: What kind of father, what kind of man, responds to the abuse of his own children the way so many of our bishops have responded to the abuse of their own?

Much to Lose, Much to Gain

Maybe the humiliation and suffering the Catholic Church in the United States is undergoing will bear fruit in the long run. But it’s hard to see how good comes from the current crisis unless there is a renewed sense in the Church that what is at stake is the salvation of souls.

For Their Sake and for Ours…

Pope Francis has made it clear that he doesn’t want the abuse crisis to crowd out a discussion at the synod of the pastoral needs of young people. That’s understandable, but the topic of abuse is also unavoidable.

Ask and You Shall Receive?

While Pope Francis’s condemnation of the sexual abuse of children has been unequivocal (one would expect no less), it’s still not entirely clear that he grasps just how dire is the crisis of confidence in the bishops themselves.

Poland is Beset by Russian Revanchism, Western Decadence, and Dangers from Within

The Polish situation is more complicated than easy analogies to Trumpism would suggest. Poland is striving, in a stumbling and halting way, to maintain its identity, an identity that is both European and inextricably Catholic.

Some Action – Maybe – Starts Today

Whatever the fruits of today’s meeting between the USCCB delegation and Pope Francis, it’s essential to understand that the reforms the Church in the United States needs will come with and through the pope and his brother bishops – with and through Peter and his fellow apostles – or it will not come.

For Pope Francis, Everything Hangs in the Balance: What to Make of Carlo Maria Viganò’s Charges

What began as a child-sex-abuse scandal has mushroomed into the greatest crisis of confidence in the Catholic hierarchy since the Reformation. What happens next will define Pope Francis’ entire pontificate, and much more.