The National Catholic Review

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  • When St. Benedict left Rome and headed for the mountains, laying the foundations of Western monasticism, what was he opting for? Was he retreating or reconstructing? Was he withdrawing or committing? The answer, as in so much of the Catholic tradition, is both/and—but the emphasis we give in those answers, and the direction we start from, is telling.

    The debate about what “the Benedict Option” is, and what it is not, was recently taken up by the theologian Gerald Schlabach in the...

  • With a Latin signature on a Vatican decree, Pope Francis has given the United States its first recognized martyr , Father Stanley Rother, and added to the growing number of church men and women who were killed in Latin America to be recognized by the Vatican.

    Why did it take so long? Why is the Vatican only now recognizing what the church in Central and South America has...

  • Cambridge, Mass.—As readers know, my interest and expertise pertains mainly to interreligious understanding, between the Christian traditions and other, non-Christian traditions. Ecumenism I leave to others. But the boundary is not a hard and fast one. As we relate to other Christians, we are disposing ourselves to think and act in certain ways toward people who are not Christian; and if we have learned how to relate to Muslims or Hindus differently, these dispositions will affect how we...

  • In 1566, Queen Elizabeth I visited Oxford University searching for young men to become priests in the Church of England. Elizabeth had forbidden the practice of the Catholic faith and herded all her subjects into the Anglican church. Catholics who failed to do so were not only forced to pay huge fines, they were sometimes thrown in jail, tortured and even killed.

    Chosen to give a welcoming speech to the queen at Oxford was Edmund Campion, a brilliant scholar, teacher and playwright...

  • Friends of a slain Florida priest say that his accused killer should be spared the death penalty, because it is what the victim himself wrote that he would want more than 20 years ago.

    The body of the Rev. Rene Robert was found in a wooded area outside Augusta, Ga., in April, with an autopsy revealing that multiple gunshots killed the 71-year-old priest. Police charged Steven James Murray, a 28-year-old man with an extensive criminal background, with the murder.

    Authorities...

  • In the post-election coming-out party for fake news, people seem more willing than usual to pay for the real thing. Subscriptions and donations to old-fashioned journalism have spiked since the election, benefiting outlets like Pro Publica, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. While it may be just a momentary outbreak of sanity, perhaps this is a moment of...

  • Fr. Dan Horan, O.F.M. (photo provided)

    Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M., is a Franciscan priest, theologian and writer . A columnist for America , he is the author of several books including The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Influence on his Life, Thought, and Writing .

    Currently a visiting assistant...

  • Over the past year, America Media has provided insightful coverage of breaking stories, offered new opportunities for the next generation of Catholic writers and religion journalists and continued our efforts to make America more accessible to a wider audience.

    Some of this year’s highlights include:

    In the inaugural year of the Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., Postgraduate Media Fellowship , hosting three recent graduates from Marquette University, Georgetown...
  • Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., the 29th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, who guided the order through one of the most tumultuous periods in its history, died on Nov. 26 in Beirut, Lebanon. He was 87. He was a Jesuit for 68 years and a priest for 55. He served as Superior General of the society for nearly a quarter-century; only four superiors general held the office for longer.

    In his years as Superior General, and in the years following his 2008 resignation, Father...
  • Word has reached the Jesuit Curia in Rome that a great man has died. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., the Superior General of the Society of Jesus from 1983-2008 has died in Beirut. After a tumultuous few years under the papacy of St. John Paul II, Father Kolvenbach restored a sense of equilibrium between the society and the Vatican, with a deft and diplomatic hand. What the society owes him, then, is beyond measure.

    But for me the most moving part of his generalate came in how he left it...