June 6-13, 2016
How should we treat the illustrious figures from our country’s past who have lost their shine? That was a question that roiled universities this past school year as students protested the relics of racism on campus and sought to obliterate the names of men whose deeds now seem objectionable or even heinous.
Inside and outside academia, the protests at Yale, Princeton and other colleges spurred controversy and often criticism. “Too P.C.” was one charge. “You can...
May 16, 2016
Living in New York City in the 1990s, it was easy to know what the cardinal archbishop was thinking regarding current events. A distinct memory from that pre-Internet age was that it seemed as if The New York Post and The Daily News had regular features screaming out, “Card Sez…” followed by a provocative quote from Cardinal John O’Connor in bold letters on the tabloids’ front pages.
Over the past few years, I’ve been reminded of one quotation in particular. In...
May 9, 2016
Among the signature moments of Reggie Jackson’s baseball career is one he would rather forget: a ninth-inning showdown in the 1978 World Series against the Dodgers’ reliever Bob Welch. The Yankee slugger had earned the nickname Mr. October for his World Series heroics against the Dodgers the year before, including one game where he hit three home runs on three consecutive pitches, and Welch was just a 21-year-old rookie who couldn’t throw much beyond...
May 16, 2016
My family attended Mass recently in the annex of a Lutheran church on the outskirts of a Colorado town near where we live. We entered through the side door, as if entering an underground. It read, “Light of Christ.”
“As Catholics,” the homily there began, “we are a sacramental people.” After that, and a bit more of a preface, the preaching took the form of a tender letter to a young woman who was receiving...
May 2, 2016
D ivorce! Catholics!
Needless to say, the 263 pages of “The Joy of Love” (“Amoris Laetitia”) treat a great deal more than these two topics. Here in the United States, we should pay particular attention to those sections that intersect with several of the deepest cracks in the foundations of our marriage and family lives, even a few topics that cause many to squirm.
First, it will come as a great relief to everyone who worries especially...
April 18, 2016
‘Coarsened” is a word you’ve probably heard more and more frequently in the past few years. It’s most often applied to the state of public discourse in our country, particularly in the political sphere.
Lately, some of our political candidates have been calling one another names, using schoolyard taunts and shouting over one another during televised debates. There have even been articles written that used insights from child...
April 4-11, 2016
Love him or loathe him, people can’t stop talking about Donald J. Trump, almost always in hyperbolic terms.
As I write this, Mitt Romney has just uttered his very unlike-Mitt Romney cri de coeur about the intolerable impending fate the Republican Party is about to meet if Mr. Trump becomes its presidential candidate. Now that the unlikely may become the inevitable, Republican leaders are in full-throated cry that the end of...
March 28, 2016
Perhaps some among those who saw it, defying the eye-blink memory of the news cycle, remember a fuzzy screenshot from the Republican debate in Texas on Feb. 25 that spread around the Internet. To the left, Marco Rubio grips his podium firmly with his right hand and glares into the camera; Ted Cruz, to the right, is talking with his fingers firmly clasped together, refusing to relinquish the floor while Donald Trump, eyes closed in a blink, taunts him from...
March 14, 2016
How many divisions does the pope have? This famous question, asked by Joseph Stalin in 1935, was perhaps the most blunt expression of an opinion held by many a practitioner of realpolitik through the centuries: that all things considered, the pope should not stick his nose into politics. Centuries before Stalin, Napoleon Bonaparte recognized that military might was not the only kind of influence, instructing his envoy to Pope Pius VII to “treat with His...
March 7, 2016
The Zika virus is the latest predicate for the argument that we need to make abortion more available to poor women. It’s just tragic all around. Abortion advocates trade on fears that poor women would give birth to children suffering microcephaly, though a review of Colombian and U.S. medical resources indicates that the link is quite uncertain.
Though Zika is new, the argument tying more legal abortion to the plight of poor...