The National Catholic Review

Of Many Things

Pages

  • August 29-September 6, 2016

    More than halfway through the general election, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is imploding. The Republican flagship resembles Jonah’s boat to Tarshish: the tempest-tossed and panic-stricken passengers are looking for someone to blame, someone they can sacrifice to their angry god.

    Mr. Trump’s favorite scapegoat these days is the national media. "If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn't...

  • August 15-22, 2016

    A little over seven years ago I went to an early evening Mass in the chapel upstairs that serves the 20 or so Jesuits who live above the offices of America Media here in Manhattan. By Communion time, I felt a strange sensation in my left ear, like when you get water lodged in your ear after a swim. By the end of Mass, the sensation had become a loud, painful, pinging sound. By the end of dinner, I had lost all my hearing in that ear....

  • August 1-8, 2016

    With this issue we are pleased to welcome to these pages the Right Hon. David Miliband , former British foreign secretary and current president of the International Rescue Committee. Mr. Miliband’s essay on the global refugee crisis is the second article we have published this year by a senior international diplomat about innovative approaches to seemingly intractable...

  • July 18-25, 2016

    The late Justice Louis Brandeis was famously suspicious of bigness. As his biographer Jeffrey Rosen recently observed, for Justice Brandeis a truly democratic government “was only possible on a human scale.” Big, impersonal government bureaucracies, said Brandeis, tend to serve themselves rather than the people who are their titular sovereign and can be just as dangerous as the antitrust monopolies Brandeis battled in the business world....

  • July 4-11, 2016

    If you are familiar with the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, then you will likely know his famous “Rules for Discernment” or, to put it simply, his method of decision-making. James Martin, S.J., once described this method in our pages: “Discernment for St. Ignatius means being aware that God wants us to make good decisions, that God will help us make good decisions—but that we are often moved by competing forces: ones...

  • June 20-27, 2016

    From the third-floor corner balcony of the Gran Hotel Ciudad de México, I enjoyed a panoramic view of at least seven centuries of human history. From the ghostly ruins of the Templo Mayor, to the Baroque splendor of the 16th-century cathedral, to the mammoth Palacio National, from which a vast swath of North America was once governed, this teeming, cacophonous square in the heart of Mexico’s capital tells the story of several empires won and lost: the...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    The legislative overreach exemplified by the North Carolina Legislature’s recent decision to require citizens to use the bathrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms that correspond to the gender of their births is surpassed only by the executive overreach of the U.S. Justice Department’s subsequent announcement that every school district in the country should do precisely the opposite. The Obama administration’s directive, The New York Times reported, “...

  • May 23-30, 2016

    Living as I do in a very large glass house, I am reluctant to throw stones. In fact, I don’t even permit them on my property. I say this because spring is a good time to take stock of the moral quality of one’s relationships and general environs, to get a better idea of how one is or is not a part of the world’s problems. In recent years, in addition to the indispensable, unbelievably patient grace of God, I have come to rely on a more this-worldly...

  • May 16, 2016

    Given my vocational choice, it is perhaps unsurprising that one of my favorite movies depicts an activist priest in pitched battle with the forces of injustice. “On the Waterfront,” Elia Kazan’s 1954 masterpiece starring Marlon Brando and Karl Malden, is based in part on the life of John M. Corridan, a Jesuit priest who took on the mob-controlled labor unions on Manhattan’s West Side docks. The pivotal scene of the movie is when the priest, played by Malden, is standing over the...

  • May 9, 2016
    Eighth-graders in Catholic schools in Chicago a half-century ago had a lot on their minds. Beyond coping with being a teenager and surviving adolescence, deciding which high school to attend loomed large. Often family tradition was decisive. Other times it was where friends decided to go. That’s how I ended up at St. Ignatius. At 13, I had made a life decision. Back then we did not hear much theory about Jesuit education. We just lived it. It got into religion courses, of course, but also into...