In his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI remarked that the essential functions of the church are three, for which he gives the Greek terms: leitourgia (worship), marturia/kerygma (witness/proclamation), and diakonia (service). He uses the word marturia (witness) in the original s
The Al Qaeda that most Americans imagine does not exist. It is largely a figment of our imaginations and fears, a phantom that never existed in the way that many of us imagine. Al Qaeda is not an "organization" in the Western sense of the word. It is a movement, a historical phenomenon and
The current debate over torture revolves around a hasty judgment that has become American common sense and an axiom of public policy: that “on 9/11, everything changed.” Sept. 11, 2001, was a date on which tragic and traumatic events took place. The vivid horror of the airplane crashes a
Yom Kippur in Buenos Aires, 1945. I stood next to my father as we prayed with our small community in a rented room in the Jewish Old Age Home. The men were wrapped in white shawls, called a kittel, a symbol of the angels in heaven and a reminder of death, for it was also the shroud in which they wou
Soon after I was ordained, I drove north with two classmates to Alaska. Bishop Robert Whelan had invited me to take up my first pastoral assignment as a stand-in for Father Mike Kanicki, later himself bishop of Fairbanks, at St. Francis Xavier Mission in Kotzebue, an Inuit town 120 miles north of th
I was delighted to read the articles by Robert Ellsberg and the Rev. Gerald S. Twomey concerning Henri Nouwen (9/8). My son, a priest, gave me Nouwen’s book, Bread for the Journey, for my birthday in April 1999.
Since that time it sits on my kitchen
In the minds of many Muslims, because the Catholic Church is the oldest and was for centuries the leading institution in the West, the church and the pope as its head are identified as representatives of the West. Though Pope Benedict XVI’s address in Regensburg, Germany, on Sept. 12 was devot