SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Fr George Rutler

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December 19, 2019
It was gratifying to learn that my favourite delicacy as a child, caramel-coated popcorn called Cracker Jack, is still being sold. Each box had a prize at the bottom: miniature animals, whistles and the like. As a somewhat precocious child, and therefore I suppose not altogether likeable, I quickly figured out the art of opening
June 20, 2019
Dear Father Rutler, My wife is from Poland, and with all the nuttiness in America today, I’m more and more inclined to accede to her request that we move back to her home country. It’s not that I don’t love America – it’s just that I don’t want our children growing up in this culture,
June 06, 2019
I noticed there’s a new family in my parish this Sunday and I was struck by one of their girls. She has curly brown hair and the sweetest, most bashful smile. I managed to keep my mind on the Mass, but now I can’t stop thinking about her. Is there such thing as love at
May 09, 2019
Dear Father Rutler, Twice a month I attend a meeting of fellow knitters and needle-pointers. Usually the conversations are focused on family news, health matters, etc. More recently, however, the subject has turned to weightier issues like same-sex marriage and abortion. I haven’t yet involved myself in these discussions, as it’s increasingly clear to me that
April 25, 2019
Dear Father Rutler, My family is mostly Protestant, and they obviously don’t cross themselves before praying, say “debtors” instead of “trespassers” during the Lord’s Prayer, and so on. I never know what to do when we’re together. Would it be ostentatious for me to do things the Catholic way? Does God mind if I ask
April 11, 2019
Dear Father Rutler, A group of young parishioners has asked me to begin celebrating the Latin Mass once a week, which would be a great pleasure for me. As I understand it, these are the only requirements set forth in Summorum Pontificum. However, some older pastors have suggested that I could be disciplined by my
March 21, 2019
Dear Father Rutler, My sister is a very pious, traditional Catholic. However, she refuses to break her fast on Sunday and major saints’ days during Lent. Are we obligated to feast? Dana B from Hartford, CT It is not easy to live with someone who is saintly. Especially one who knows it. I give your sister
March 07, 2019
Dear Father Rutler, My wife keeps trying to hold my hand during the Our Father. I’m sure it’s very sweet, but I find it annoying. Would it be un-Christian to ask her to stop? Is there a delicate way of doing so? Paul C. from Salem, OR Spouses may hold hands anytime. The real problem
February 14, 2019
Dear Father Rutler, I don’t want a single penny of my earnings to go to the bishops until they’ve cleaned up their act, but I’ve heard that the diocese will cut our priest’s personal stipend or withhold funds from the parish if the collection plates come back light. Is that true? Is there a way
January 31, 2019
Dear Father Rutler, I don’t like giving the Sign of the Peace at Mass. It seems to me like a needless distraction. I can glad-hand Mrs Smith any time I want. On Sundays, I’m there to see Jesus. Is this uncharitable or disobedient? Kelsey J from Grand Rapids, MI The Sign of Peace is a
January 17, 2019
Dear Father Rutler, I’m a priest and a recovering alcoholic, and I dread the day I have to drink a large amount of Christ’s Sacred Blood left over after a Mass. What should I do? Anonymous Congratulations on your recovering. The word itself is a gerund, or verbal noun. Think of the rarer gerundive in
December 20, 2018
Dear Father Rutler, Pope Francis isn’t my favourite Vicar of Christ of the last couple of millennia, but I don’t like the way some of my friends and family trash-talk him. Should I say something? If so, how do I put it without sounding cloyingly pious? Roger S, Reading, MA With the best of intentions,
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