Faith and Culture

The Catholic Writer Today: A Continued Conversation

Midway through the title essay of The Catholic Writer Today, Dana Gioia writes, “By now I have surely said something to depress, anger or offend every reader of this essay.” Gioia is probably correct in that assessment. But I find great hope in his candor and analysis of a complicated problem: “…the paradox that, although Roman Catholicism constitutes the largest […]

THE USCCB MEETING, JORDAN PETERSON, AND THE “NONES”

Last week, I gave a presentation at the USCCB Spring Meeting in Baltimore. My topic was what I identified as the second greatest crisis facing the Church today—namely, the massive attrition of our own people, especially the young. I trust that the first—around which most of our discussions that week revolved—is obvious to everyone. Judging from the extremely positive reaction […]

Paul on the Areopagus — A Master Class in Evangelization

"St. Paul Preaching in Athens" (detail) by Raphael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The account of St. Paul’s address on the Areopagus in Athens, found in the seventeenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, is a sort of master class in the evangelization of the culture, and anyone engaged today in that essential task should read it with care. The context for Paul’s speech is his mission to Greece, which commenced when […]

WAKE UP: THE REAL DANGER POSED BY THE CALIFORNIA CONFESSION BILL

Confessionals

SB 360, a piece of proposed legislation currently making its way through the California state senate, should alarm not only every Catholic in the country, but indeed the adepts of any religion. In California, as in almost every other state, clergy members (along with a variety of other professionals, including physicians, social workers, teachers, and therapists) are mandated reporters—which is […]

Seeing Abortion

We stand at a pivotal point in the great moral debate over abortion in our country—not because new arguments have emerged, but rather because laws so breathtaking in their barbarism have been passed, and a film so visceral in its presentation of the reality of abortion has found a wide audience. As John Henry Newman reminded us, assent to a […]

New York, Abortion, and a Short Route to Chaos

Art Babych / Shutterstock.com (editorial use only)

t was the celebration that was particularly galling. On the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signed into law a protocol that gives practically unrestricted access to abortion, permitting the killing of an unborn child up until the moment of delivery. In the wake of the ratification, the legislators and their […]

About Social Justice and Evangelization

While I was in Chicago for the Christmas break, I had a wonderful meeting with around thirty young Jesuits, all in their “pre-tertianship” period of formation. This means that these men had already passed through their lengthy education in philosophy and theology and had been involved for some time in a ministry of the Jesuit order. The group I addressed […]

The Situation After Baltimore

"Christ Walking on the Waters" (detail) By Julius Sergius Von Klever [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Questions about the state of the process of the reform of the Church in the United States during this second major phase of the clergy sexual abuse crisis have come like a downpour after the meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore November 12-15. This article originally appeared in The Anchor, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass, […]

The Paradigm for Bishop-Led Church Reform

The bishops of the United States are in Baltimore this week for their annual Fall meeting, but this year’s reunion is anything but routine. It will be focused fundamentally, with prayer, penance, and deliberation, on the response to the new wave of sexual abuse scandals; in particular, on how bishops need to be, not part of the problem, but a […]

Stephen Hawking: Great Scientist, Lousy Theologian

Photography Courtesy of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Stephen Hawking was a great theoretical physicist and cosmologist, perhaps the most important since Einstein. It is only right that his remains have been interred alongside those of Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey. He was, furthermore, a person of tremendous courage and perseverance, accomplishing groundbreaking work despite a decades-long struggle with the debilitating effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease. And by […]