The National Catholic Review



  • May 9, 2016
    Armchair Critics

    Re “Presidential Powers” (Editorial, 4/18): Although I disagree with the fundamental argument about President Obama’s “overreach,” I concur that the four topics selected by the editors are important domains for discussion. I am thankful that the editorial staff of America does not have to solve the overwhelming challenges, at home and abroad, that the...

  • May 2, 2016
    Free the Saints

    “Money and Saint-Making,” by Gerard O’Connell (4/4), brought to mind an inspired homily by the Trappist abbot at St. Joseph Abbey in Spencer, Mass., at a weekend retreat I attended that coincided with All Saints Day. The abbey church trembled with his firm refresher to his monks and us retreatants that God intends everyone to become a saint. He emphasized...

  • April 25, 2016
    Rock the Foundations

    “‘Ghetto Gospel,’” by Alex Nava (4/4), is powerfully illuminating. I have long loved artists like B. B. King and Marvin Gaye, whose beautiful song during the Vietnam era claimed, “We can rock the world’s foundation/ Everybody together, together in a wholy/ We’ll holler love love love across the nation.” Mr. Nava’s soulful and insightful interpretation of hip-...

  • April 18, 2016
    Illusions of Certitude

    After reading “Scalia v. Aquinas,” by Anthony Giambrone, O.P. (3/21), I was tempted to defer to the dictum, “Say good things about the deceased or say nothing.” But in fact Justice Scalia’s confidence in his ability to divine the true meaning of the Constitution is an example of legal fundamentalism no less naïve than the religious variety....

  • April 4-11, 2016
    Holy Mary

    I very much enjoy John Anderson’s film reviews, but I have a quibble with his recent “Lives of Christ” (3/14). In the first part of the review, which focuses on “Risen,” Mr. Anderson notes that one of the most humorous parts of the film occurs when “half the men bashfully raise their hands” after being asked, “Who knows Mary Magdalene?”

    Even though Mr. Anderson parenthetically admits that this joke is based on...

  • March 28, 2016
    A Public Failure

    Re “When I Was in Prison” (Current Comment, 2/29): “For profit” is not the root of the prison problem. Every organization has financial performance goals, even America , even the Jesuits, even your local church. The problem is a lack of oversight generally of privatized services by public entities, in many cases resulting from poorly designed contracts and a tendency of public agencies to consider their responsibility transferred to the...

  • March 21, 2016
    Before the Law

    Re Of Many Things , by Matt Malone, S.J. (2/29): I continue to disagree about the value of Justice Antonin Scalia’s influence on the court. There is a major defect to his “originalism.” His Catholicism should have made him morally aware and morally practical in judgment, but he made an active effort to dissociate his belief (though not his religion) from his...

  • March 14, 2016
    A Quieter Politics

    Most of what is written in “Election Angst” (Editorial, 2/22) is rather superficial and has been over-talked and over-written so much that most people have already heard it in one form or another. Moreover, the Ignatian suggestion of inner silence and reflection is common not merely to the Google executive but, more important, to equally old or older Christian...

  • March 7, 2016
    Voter’s Complex?

    In “The Greatness of a Nation” (2/15), Bishop Robert McElroy writes, “Voting for candidates is a complex moral action in which the voter must confront an entire array of competing candidates’ positions in a single act of voting.” It is not as complex as Bishop McElroy suggests. As today’s laws and institutions permit the killing of innocents, injustice grows....

  • February 29, 2016
    What Does Evil Look Like?

    I was deeply disappointed in the choice of picture to accompany “The Glamour of Evil,” by Gerald Schlabach (2/8). Granted, the gal is wearing an outfit I wouldn’t be caught dead in because it is way too revealing. Nonetheless, I believe it’s pairing with an article on “evil” is deeply offensive. What was America trying to convey? Women are evil? Certain...