The 21 most popular Catholic World Report stories and articles of 2021 – Catholic World Report

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Two topics dominate this year’s top articles: vaccines and liturgy.

The 21 most popular Catholic World Report stories and articles of 2021 – Catholic World Report
(Background image: Mauricio Artieda/

While the most read CWR pieces of 2020 were fairly wide-ranging in nature, two topics dominate this year’s top articles: vaccines and liturgy. Some other topics include cremation (#1!), President Biden and Holy Communion, the heavy hand of Twitter, Gnosticism, Catholic comedians, Critical Race Theory, and Benedict XVI.

Here are the 21 most viewed Catholic World Report articles of 2021:

1). “Wisconsin Senate approves ‘water cremation’ for human use” (May 11, 2021). Joseph M. Hanneman on a controversial bill that allows dead bodies to be dissolved with lye, poured into the sewer.

2). “Doctors blow the whistle on vaccine deaths and injuries” (Nov 1, 2021). A report by Joseph M. Hanneman on eleven physicians who say they have suffered severe side effects also report post-vaccine neurological effects among their patients.

3). “Abp. Naumann: Pres. Biden ‘should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic’” (Feb 13, 2021). The Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas and current chairman USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities is interviewed by Jim Graves about the March for Life and other pro-life work, controversy over vaccines, and why he thinks Joe Biden is “usurping the role of the bishops and confusing people.”

4). “Twitter freezes CWR’s account over news story on transgender Dr. Rachel Levine” (Jan 28, 2021). I explain how Twitter claimed CWR violated their “rules against hateful conduct,” but refused to give an explanation.

5). “Opinion: It’s time to get beyond vaccines” (Mar 3, 2021): “I am very concerned,” wrote Stacy A. Trasancos, “that Catholics have now surrendered the ability to guide ethical decisions at the national or global level, not just for the single vaccine issue, but beyond it to any ethical stand.”

6). “Why Catholics should oppose vaccine mandates (both private and public)” (May 9, 2021).  Rachel M. Coleman offered “some assorted observations on serious (and often-ignored) legal, medical, ethical, cultural, social, and theological concerns surrounding COVID vaccinations and mandates.”

7). “Exploring the dark world of vaccines and fetal tissue research: Part 1” (May 17, 2021): The vaccine industry, wrote Monica Seeley, has a longstanding and troubling connection to the abortion industry, and that connection continues strong today.

8). “The Discalced Carmelite Sisters of Fairfield and Vatican document Cor Orans (Nov 20, 2021): “Every monastery has its own idea about how to respond to Cor Orans,” said Catherine Bauer, designated spokesman for the community, in an interview with Jim Graves.

9). “The Gnostic heresy’s political successors” (Jan 31, 2021). What Eric Voegelin saw in various gnostic ideologies, wrote Edward Feser, is manifestly present in Critical Race Theory and the rest of the “woke” insanity now spreading like a cancer through the body politic.

10). “An unnecessary and divisive motu proprio” (July 17, 2021). Pope Francis’ letter to the bishops, said Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, comes off as judgmental and mean-spirited, reeking with a hermeneutic of suspicion.

11). “Three Catholic comedians worth a listen and several laughs” (May 10, 2021). While serious topics are important to discuss and pray about, wrote Rachel Hoover, everyone can use some good comedy and healthy laughter during difficult times.

12). Traditionis custodes: Best, worst, and middle case scenarios in the short term” (July 16, 2021). Pope Francis has shown himself capable of wielding the great power of his office, observed Christopher R. Altieri, but little evident interest in wielding it safely or with care for who gets hurt.

13). “The remarkable story of how a 9/11 fireman became a priest” (Sept 9, 2021). Fr. Seán Connolly wrote about how Fr. Tom Colucci’s vocation is a light emanating from the darkness of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

14). Traditionis Custodes at 30 Days: A Retrospective and a Prospective” (Aug 15, 2021). This is a salutary moment, said Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, for people on both sides of the aisle to engage in a sincere examination of conscience: Have I weaponized the Sacred Liturgy, using it for ideological purposes, rather than for the glory of the Triune God?

15). “Exploring the dark world of vaccines and fetal tissue research: Part 2” (May 26, 2021). If, stated Monica Seeley, we were to pause and actively confront and acknowledge the reality of the grave evil that has so often purchased our vaccines, it might change everything.

16). “Why Critical Race Theory is contrary to Catholic Education” (May 25, 2021). In times of heightened concern and emotion, wrote Denise Donohue, Ed.D., it is necessary that Catholic education inform and guide students’ understanding with great caution against divisive ideological and political influences.

17). “Cruel and (Very) Unusual: On the banning of Masses in the Vatican Basilica” (Mar 19, 2021). The recent and bizarre diktat, said George Weigel, violates both universality and hospitality while ensuring a more jumbled, less reverent atmosphere at the altars.

18). “Benedict XVI: An Apology” (Nov 13, 2021). “I wish,” wrote Joseph Pearce, “my book on Pope Benedict XVI to be a popular and accessible sketch of a great historical figure, in my judgment one of the greatest popes in the Church’s history, who ought to be more popular.”

19). “The ‘first world problem’ of evil” (Oct 6, 2021). The pervasiveness of suffering, if anything, argued Edward Feser, actually confirms rather than falsifies Christianity. And bafflement at suffering is more a consequence of modern unbelief than a cause of it.

20). “A powerful account of Hitler’s effort to destroy the Polish Catholic Church” (July 7, 2021). Filip Mazurczak writes that Jonathan Huener’s The Polish Catholic Church Under German Occupation convincingly demonstrates that claims that the Third Reich was cozy with the Catholic Church are simply ideologically driven fantasies.

21). “Pope Francis’s Africa problem” (Dec 26, 2021). Maybe Peter Cardinal Turkson really did need to go, noted Christopher R. Altieri, but it isn’t clear why.

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