January 23, 2017
A public school with a dropout rate of 50 percent and two-thirds of area parents opting out of it would be considered failing. If the school were unable to turn those numbers around in a few years, it would likely be shut down. And yet for decades, Catholic parishes in the United States have invested in religious education programs that have proven no more effective. Today, more than half of...
January 23, 2017
Twenty years ago this month, Diana, Princess of Wales, toured war-ravaged Angola and caused an uproar by calling for a global ban on landmines. Members of the British royal family are expected to be scrupulously nonpartisan and nonpolitical; by wading into a controversial public policy debate, the princess had committed a constitutional faux pas. Yet Diana brought much-needed attention to the issue. Even today thousands of civilians worldwide are maimed or killed each year by these...
January 2, 2017
In contrast to education or health care, few think of transportation as a basic human right. But the ability to get from one place to another became an essential part of daily life as soon as farming ceased to be the way most people made a living. “We are all in a prison, physically speaking, where the walls are where we can get to in a reasonable amount of time,” the author of Human Transit , Jarrett Walker, said in a...
December 19-26, 2016
The recent presidential election unearthed a stratum of anxiety and fear that extends across the country like a vein of ore. There is the fear of the person living in a declining industrial town who watches as jobs migrate overseas and wonders how he or she will provide food, clothing and health care for the family. There is the fear of the migrant who seeks to support his or her family on a minimum-wage job, whose anxiety is compounded by the possibility of...
December 5-12, 2016
Was a report that Pope Francis had endorsed the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, enough to lock down your vote on Election Day? Maybe you changed your mind after hearing that the pope had endorsed the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton? Were you startled to learn that Wikileaks “confirmed” that Secretary of State Clinton put U.S. weapons into the hands of Islamic State terrorists? If so, well, you have been had by fake news, and you were likely not alone this past November.
November 28, 2016
This was an election about class. This was an election about trade, globalization and fears about immigration. This was an election about upheaval and rejection of a distant elite. This was an election about race and gender. All of these statements are true.
Above all, however, this was an election about division. While president-elect Donald J. Trump won convincingly in the Electoral College, and thus requires both our support and our prayers, the harder task still lies ahead. No...
November 21, 2016
By late November, a sense of closure sets in. Thanksgiving Day is a time to look back: What good things have I experienced since a year ago? Whom have I met? Where have I gone? How am I a better person? In the Catholic calendar, the Solemnity of Christ the King ends the liturgical cycle before we begin again with the First Sunday of Advent, a chance to start over a month before our civil calendar runs out.
This year, Christ the King, on Nov. 20, wrapped up the Jubilee Year of Mercy...
Durante su última visita a los Estados Unidos, el papa Francisco le recordó a los estadounidenses que es un deber cristiano darle la bienvenida a los inmigrantes y “ofrecerles el calor del amor de Cristo”. Más de un año después, muchos católicos, como el arzobispo José Gómez de Los Angeles, conservan las palabras del papa en sus corazones. Según el arzobispo Gómez, se está dando un “momento latino” en los Estados...
November 14, 2016
What can a nation or church do when its leaders mislead? Some political leaders take the “strong man” approach, using violence to win popular support and to distract from domestic problems. Can their strategy be morally justified if they bring about peace, or at least the semblance of peace? Not if they defy civil, international or the moral law. Not if they sacrifice innocent life.
President Vladimir Putin, to re-establish Russia as a global superpower and solidify his own...
En mayo de 2015, un mes antes de que la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos fallara a favor del matrimonio civil entre parejas del mismo sexo, una serie de eventos inesperados se desencadenaron en Alemania. Con una mayoría de dos tercios, la conferencia de obispos de la Iglesia católica alemana votó para cambiar las leyes laborales de la Iglesia. De esta manera, los empleados de instituciones católicas que se hayan divorciado, vuelto a casar o que estén en una unión con alguien del...