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March 13, 2006

Vol. 194 / No. 9

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Thomas J. MassaroMarch 13, 2006

Pope Benedict’s first encyclical letter is superb in many ways and well deserves the nearly universal praise it has received. I found Deus Caritas Est informative, inspiring and at times extremely consoling, even sublime. The world certainly stands to benefit from this profound reflection on t

Richard RyscavageMarch 13, 2006

Self-styled progressive Catholics have, for over a generation, downplayed the role of charity in social action. They might revere Mother Teresa of Calcutta as a saint, but they dismissed her charitable approach as a superficial, Band-Aid response to poverty. Some even considered her approach dangero

Susan A. RossMarch 13, 2006

I was happy to discover that Pope Benedict’s first encyclical is not a crackdown on dissident theologians, nor a stern reprimand to the secular world. Rather, it is an extended reflection on the nature of Christian love. It is addressed not only to the bishops of the world, but also to priests

Robert P. ImbelliMarch 13, 2006

The two most prominent authors we are reading in my course this semester for advanced undergraduates on the classics of spirituality are Augustine of Hippo and Dante Alighieri. I see by his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, that Benedict XVI has been reading them as well. It will come as no surpri

Of Many Things
George M. AndersonMarch 13, 2006

A black wooden ring on his finger—what could it mean? A sign of mourning, as in Victorian times? I noticed it during a conversation with Bernard Lestienne, a French Jesuit who works in Brazil at the Instituto Brasileiro de Desenvolvimento. He was in New York for a conference, and as he rose to

The EditorsMarch 13, 2006

The world has always been a dangerous place, and each generation has had to confront its own set of challenges. During the years of the cold war, when the Soviet Union and the United States were locked in a nuclear standoff, the very survival of the international community was at stake. The danger w

Faith in Focus
Laura SheahenMarch 13, 2006

The Sufi poet Rumi tells the tale of a holy man who sees a snake crawl into a sleeping man’s mouth. Shouting, the holy man wakes the sleeper and forces him to eat rotten apples. He then makes the astonished man run for hours, whipping him as the man cries out in exhaustion. Finally the former