In All Things
A group blog by the editors, columnists and frequent contributors to America.
Sep 23 2014 - 3:33pm0 comments
Hard to believe but Bruce Springsteen is now eligible for Medicare. The seemingly timeless rocker turned 65 years old on September 23.
Just as his music, which straddles the line between rock, folk and country, defies easy labels, Springsteen the man is giving new meaning to the term "senior citizen."
So says Chicago author June Sawyers, who's written four books on Springsteen, including a new e-book called "Workingman." I interviewed Sawyers on WGLT Radio, the...
Sep 23 2014 - 1:14pm0 comments
When and where is it?
Oct. 5-19, 2014, Vatican City
What is this?
The synod is a meeting of Pope Francis, bishops, clergy and laypeople.
What is its purpose?
Pope Francis has written that the synod will discuss the "challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children, and the role of the family in the life of the church." The discussion will be based largely on responses to a questionnaire sent...
Sep 23 2014 - 11:55am0 comments
Recently, in a corner of a small island in the North Atlantic, an elderly man died. He was 88 years old and had been in failing health for some time. In his life, he had started out as an ordained minister and along the way, unavoidably (or, more accurately, eagerly) got involved in politics.
Sep 22 2014 - 2:37pm28 comments
About 18 months ago a Vatican official told me he had asked a U.S. philanthropist for advice on how to deal with controversy with American nuns. The philanthropist advised: "Just say 'thank you.'"
The conversation came to mind as I read comments Sept. 18 in The New York Times by Vice President Biden in which he said he advised Pope...
Sep 22 2014 - 12:25pm0 comments
If you happened to pull yourself away from all the Cupich-to-Chicago news this weekend (last night someone in my community called his appointment the most important moment in the American Church since "Humane Vitae," so I’m going to say he didn’t), you might have seen reference to some sort of a dust up between New York Times TV columnist Alessandra Stanley and Shonda Rimes, the creator of some of ABC’s most successful dramas in the last 10 years ("Grey’s Anatomy," "Scandal").
Sep 21 2014 - 8:06pm0 comments
I have been on many papal trips to foreign countries over the past thirty years and have experienced some profoundly moving and faith-filled moments on several of them but I had never before seen a Pope so overcome with emotion that he wept. But that is what I witnessed on Sunday evening, September 21, in the cathedral of Tirana.
Sep 21 2014 - 6:13pm0 comments
Pope Francis drew enthusiastic and prolonged applause when, in his homily at mass in Mother Teresa Square in Tirana, the capital of Albania, attended by some 300,000 people—most of them Catholics but also very many Orthodox and Muslims—he greeted them saying, “May peace be in your homes! May peace reign in your hearts! Peace in your country!”
Sep 21 2014 - 9:57am0 comments
Cambridge, MA. I am just returned from Loyola University in Chicago, where I was graciously hosted for two days by Mark Bosco, SJ, Director of the Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage.
Sep 20 2014 - 9:51am0 comments
Bishop Blase Cupich, the newly appointed archbishop of Chicago, is a longtime contributor to America. Readers of the magazine and our website will know him for his many pastoral, thoughtful and forthright articles that have appeared over the years. Here a few from recent years, with some highlighted quotes:
"Staying Civil" March 5, 2012 (Looking at the USCCB's response to the HHS mandate): "[...
Sep 20 2014 - 9:03am1 comment
While in my Jesuit training, I spent three years teaching high school at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwest South Dakota. You've probably heard of Pine Ridge; the New York Times and Washington Post love to send reporters out for week-long jaunts after which they write about how sad and desperate it is out there. They're not completely wrong, but they miss an awful lot.
Sep 19 2014 - 4:43pm0 comments
Pope Francis is going to Albania on Sunday, Sept. 21. It is his first visit to a European country and he has chosen to go to the only majority Muslim country on the periphery of the old continent, where Christians and Muslims who suffered under communism now live together in harmony and have formed a national unity government.
Sep 19 2014 - 12:15am1 comment
Americans looking for a signal as to the kind of men Pope Francis hopes to put in leadership in dioceses like Chicago might turn their attention to Sydney, where Bishop Anthony Fisher, O.P., 54, was just announced as the next archbishop of Australia’s only cardinalatial seat.
Sep 17 2014 - 7:48pm13 comments
Mark P. Shea is a Washington-based Catholic writer, blogger, and speaker. Raised as an agnostic pagan, he became a non-denominational Protestant Evangelical in 1979 before converting to Catholicism in 1987. In addition to a number of books and regular articles in Catholic periodicals, Mr.
Sep 17 2014 - 9:09am0 comments
Pope Francis has invited the President of China, Xi Jinping, to meet him in the Vatican to discuss world peace, but he has also expressed his own willingness to travel “tomorrow” to Beijing for this same purpose if that were preferable.
Sep 17 2014 - 8:06am1 comment
Today is the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine (d. 1621), the important Jesuit bishop and theologian. Or is it?
Sep 16 2014 - 4:55pm2 comments
Prosecutors in Bogota, Colombia are attempting to determine if any criminal charges will be filed in the aftermath of the suicide of a 16-year-old Catholic high school student. The young man, Sergio Urrego, jumped from an upper terrace of the Titán Plaza shopping center last month and succumbed to his injuries three hours later at a local hospital. He explained in a suicide note that he could no longer endure his treatment at the Gimnasio Castillo Campestre.
Sep 16 2014 - 11:33am3 comments
Paul Mayer, who succumbed to cancer last November, had a knack for noticing a moral crisis. He might have learned it from his German-Jewish parents, who whisked him from Frankfurt to New York just before Kristallnacht. He grew up to become a Catholic and a Benedictine priest, only to leave the cloister when he heard the call to march with Martin Luther King, Jr., at Selma. From there he organized against war in Vietnam, poverty in New Jersey’s slums and nuclear weapons around the world.
Sep 16 2014 - 11:30am0 comments
Born and raised in Scotland, I left in 1979 as an “economic refugee” to live and work in London. At that time, the Scottish National Party seemed small and insignificant, so much so that some people observed that they could hold their annual party conference in a phone booth. Scroll forward 35 years, and we face the possibility of waking up on Friday to a very different political situation. Much has been said and written on reasons for voting “yes” or “no.” Those favouring independence are...
Sep 15 2014 - 4:57pm0 comments
And then there was less than a week to go. The final weekend of campaigning in the Scottish independence referendum has come and gone, bringing with it too many events and gatherings, rallies and gigs to count. Both the official "Yes" and "No" camps would have us believe that spontaneous city-centre gatherings spoke of the strength of their respective positions, but the reality is that these were highly orchestrated, photogenic jamborees. Yet no city or town, highland village or island, it...
Sep 14 2014 - 3:20pm1 comment
Pope Francis presided over the weddings of 20 couples in a historic ceremony Sunday at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Sep 13 2014 - 10:20am0 comments
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA — Oscar Pistorius, the famous South African disabled athlete and Paralympian known as the “Blade Runner,” was convicted on September 12, 2014 of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The case, which has generated something of a global media frenzy, highlights not only personal tragedy but sheds light on the South African criminal justice system and the less than healthy side of post-apartheid society.
Sep 12 2014 - 6:52pm0 comments
Glasgow; Tuesday 02/09/14. [Owing to a technical glitch, this blog posting of 2nd September vanished for a while. For the sake of continuity, I now offer it again.]
Sep 12 2014 - 10:27am0 comments
What makes an exemplary baseball player? It is philosophical question that we could answer many ways. We might cite ideals, rules or expectations associated with the game. We might reflect on issues of preference, popularity or professionalism. We could also look for an exemplar that embodies what is good, true and beautiful in baseball.
Sep 11 2014 - 1:41pm5 comments
President Obama laid out a strong case for why ISIL (the Islamic State in the Levant) must be defanged in his address to the nation yesterday. The president grounded U.S. action in humanitarian concerns and referred to the many horrific actions the Sunni extremist group has taken—massacring captive soldiers, killing children, raping and enslaving women, beheading hostages—as he sought to rally Americans for military strikes against ISIL. Even as he did so, he was at pains to clarify that...
Sep 11 2014 - 11:51am1 comment
The seven-week long Israeli-Palestinian war in Gaza ended on Aug. 26, leaving more than 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis dead and widespread destruction in Gaza. But if the situation on the ground does not change soon another war could break out again, Bishop William Shomali, the auxiliary-bishop of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, warns in this exclusive interview with America.
Sep 11 2014 - 10:45am14 comments
Senator Ted Cruz had a heck of an evening as keynote speaker at the In Defense of Christians summit’s “solidarity dinner” event last night in Washington. The Texas Republican was driven from the stage by hoots and catcalls, not something you hear everyday from the mouths of staid Middle East Christian bishops and eparchs. The Senator had been energetically scolding the audience for its...
Sep 10 2014 - 3:23pm0 comments
The recently released movie "Calvary" is drawing comments in the Catholic world. Some bloggers from the canon law community are worried that the movie may mislead people about the secrecy of the confessional. The movie opens with a confession scene where a victim of sexual abuse by a priest tells the confessor he plans to kill him Sunday next. He figures that killing a good priest, Father James the confessor, played terrifically by Brendan Gleeson, would garner lots of attention.
Sep 10 2014 - 12:29pm1 comment
These are astonishing days in Scotland, and in the rest of the UK. The mood is unprecedented; febrile, fevered, frenzied. We are seeing and hearing developments that nobody could have foreseen, precisely because we have never been in this situation before. The Scottish Independence Referendum is now only days away. Since the weekend the campaign has taken extraordinary turns that have brought about breath-taking responses; one day in particular (Tuesday the 9th) saw shock after shock.
Sep 10 2014 - 9:18am1 comment
Sister Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B. is a Benedictine nun, speaker and writer. She is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Penn., where she has served as prioress. Focusing on feminist spirituality and social issues, her web column “From Where I Stand” appears weekly in the National Catholic Reporter. Sister Chittister holds an M.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in speech communication theory from Penn...
Sep 9 2014 - 11:43am23 comments
The Vatican has published the names of the 253 persons who will participate at the Synod of Bishops on the Family, October 5-19. Among them are cardinals, bishops, priests, men and women religious, 14 married couples and representatives of the other Christian churches.
Since this is an Extraordinary General Assembly of the synod—only the third of its kind since Paul VI established the synod as an organ of collegiality in the wake of the Second Vatican Council—the rules for...
Sep 9 2014 - 9:20am19 comments
Cardinal Dolan is getting heat. He is grand marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York and says he has no problem with the decision of the parade committee to allow gays and lesbians to march as a group in the oldest parade honoring St. Patrick in America. This is not a religious rite though some attend it religiously. It’s of course associated with Catholics, especially in New York where the saint is patron of the archdiocese’s (some say the nation’s) premier church, St....
Sep 8 2014 - 11:26am2 comments
Coverage of Catholicism in media is in an evolutionary stage. Perhaps most dramatic is the Boston Globe Media’s decision to ramp up its coverage of Catholicism by hiring and promoting the ubiquitous writer John Allen, the CNN commentator and National Catholic Reporter alumnus, and by setting up the Catholic web site “Crux: Covering All Things Catholic.” The site debuted September 2.
Sep 8 2014 - 11:16am0 comments
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady, the Primate of All Ireland, less than a month after he turned 75, the official age of retirement for a bishop.
The Vatican gave no reason for the pope’s decision, but informed sources say it is directly linked to the cardinal’s role, some 40 years ago, in the mishandling of the case of the sexual abuse of teenagers by a priest, which has provoked controversy in Ireland with ongoing calls for his resignation.
Sep 5 2014 - 11:15am0 comments
An open-ended ceasefire came into force between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza on Aug. 26 after more than 50 days of conflict that left around 2,143 Palestinians (including some 577 children) dead and over 11,230 injured (including some 3,374 children), according to Palestinian and other sources. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and 6 civilians (including one Thai national) were killed, while 450 Israeli soldiers and 80 citizens were wounded.
Sep 3 2014 - 10:52am0 comments
Last week the California Institute of Technology announced that the full text of Richard Feynman’s Lectures On Physics are now available online for free, at feynmanlectures.caltech.edu.
Sep 3 2014 - 8:48am4 comments
Father Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I., is an Oblate priest, theologian and popular spirituality writer. He is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.