Art & Culture

Genetics

What if embryonic DNA could be extracted from amniotic fluid and information from that DNA could be used to build a high probability composite of what the embryo will look like as a 2-year-old, a 6-year-old and beyond? DNA phenotyping, also known as molecular photofitting, is a process of predictive modelling linking genetic traits and [...]

What if embryonic DNA could be extracted from amniotic fluid and information from that DNA could be used to build a high probability composite of what the embryo will look like as a 2-year-old, a 6-year-old and beyond? DNA phenotyping, also known as molecular photofitting, is a process of predictive modelling linking genetic traits and [...]

Catholics who concern themselves with political and social issues, and non-Catholics who believe in a social order that takes natural law and human nature seriously, face trends that seem overwhelming and point toward a social order with no concern for most of what makes us human. Hence the talk about the “Benedict option,“ which seems [...]

When the press falsely quoted Cardinal Raymond Burke last May as stating that the Irish were “worse” than the pagans for having passed a referendum recognizing same-sex “marriage,” they missed an opportunity to offer a valuable lesson in history. What His Eminence actually said—namely, that while the “pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviors, they never [...]

Last week at Providence College, a group of students occupied the office of the president, Father Brian Shanley, for thirteen hours, presenting him with a list of demands toward making the school a more “inclusive” place for students of various racial and ethnic backgrounds. (I use the scare quotes not to criticize the students, but [...]

We live in the age of conspiracies. What, if anything, do they tell us about the world we live in today? And, what if, behind all these theories, there is indeed one monumental conspiracy? On December 10, 2015, a video purporting to be film of Stanley Kubrick appeared on the internet. Allegedly the work of [...]

I have to admit that when I know a movie was produced by bible-believing Christians I don’t expect much. Such was the case with films like October Baby, Gimme Shelter, Son of God and Old Fashioned. I am not saying that these are horrible films—they are just not very good films—and certainly nowhere near great [...]

The controversy over a Super Bowl ad for a snack chip that allegedly “humanized,” of all things, a pre-born human being highlights the deliberate rejection of reality of the “abortion rights” objectors. On its face, as others have noted, the controversy exposes the pernicious obfuscation that a fetus is nothing more than a “meaningless blob [...]

What is the worst thing about living near an open sewer? It is not that you sicken at the stench of it every time you leave your front door. It is that the noisome vapors are so pervasive, and you have lived with them so long, you no longer notice it. What is the worst [...]

The annual Cardinal Winning Lecture on Catholic Education, sponsored by the St. Andrew’s Foundation, was delivered on February 6, 2016, at the University of Glasgow in Scotland by Tracey Rowland, the Australian theologian and Director of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne. Rowland is the author of two books on Benedict XVI and of [...]

“Are you planning to debate abortion in class?” asked our new principal. We were standing in the hallway near my classroom. “Yes,” I said. “Don’t,” she said. “Why not?” “Because…” She paused, seeming surprised that I would question her. “Because eighth graders are too young to discuss it.” “But we’ve debated it several times the [...]

In the twenty years since the publication of Deal Hudson’s marvelous book Happiness and the Limits of Satisfaction, the eclipse of Greek and Christian ideas about happiness by the pursuit of pleasure, of “well-feeling” rather than “well-being,” has only advanced. This movement has been deepened and accelerated by my colleagues in the social and behavioral [...]

On Going to Gaming

When I was a graduate student at the Angelicum back in the 1980s, I sat at the feet of learned and clever Dominicans who were determined to teach me theology. It was a heady experience and to help pay for it, along with providing support for the young family I brought with me to Rome, [...]

In The Merchant of Venice, Portia famously describes and praises the quality of mercy. I probably recall this monologue readily because I had to commit it to memory for recitation when I was a freshman in high school. Forty nine years after my entry into high school and three-hundred-ninety-four years after the death of Shakespeare, [...]

In an attempt to help their highly ranked—yet financially struggling—Catholic university, the Board of Trustees at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, MD, hired Simon Newman, a Los Angeles private equity and strategic planning leader to be its new president in 2014. A year later, Newman found himself at the center of a faculty-led firestorm over [...]

Catholic intelligence is not ordinarily focused on what a given pope might think, affirm, or write, however wise this source may prove to be. Catholicism has a many-faceted tradition that includes what is true while it carefully wrestles with what is not true. During the more recent pontificates of Popes Wojtyla and Ratzinger in particular, [...]

It is clear from their relatively tiny numbers—only a few million in a total population of 318,000,000—that men who have sex with men (MSM)* are not “everywhere” as MSM insist they are. It is also clear from their sexual activities, particularly related to anal sex, that their sexual practices also set them apart from the [...]

Last month we examined the current state of the humanities in universities as an example of what happens when an institution attempts to “evolve” in order to maintain its place of prestige in the world. Too often, the disciplines of the humane letters have abandoned their own characteristic modes and methods of examining reality and [...]

I would like to weigh in on Ross Douthat’s on-going dialogue with theologians employed at nominally Catholic institutions. Like Douthat, I am not a theologian. However, we don’t have to be theologians in order to be good Catholics or people of good sense. I think us “amateurs” can contribute two very solid points that the [...]

The world is not good enough. It could be better. We all agree about that. There are disagreements over how bad it is, and what causes this inadequacy. A popular explanation is that all of the world’s problems are caused by oppression, the process by which the powerful exercise their supremacy over the weak. It [...]

Those religious who governed the West’s seminaries and monasteries before Vatican II stressed—whether specifically as part of their order's constitution, or on a broader basis—the dangers involved with “particular friendships.” Contrary to what is often supposed, these dangers did not exclusively concern homoerotic attraction, never mind outright homosexual affairs. Nor were such cautions made in [...]

If every poem has a past, then the strands of my own past are laced with lines of the loveliest lyric, forged a century or more ago by Gerard Manley Hopkins, an obscure Jesuit priest whose sonnet, “God’s Grandeur,” I elatedly discovered while a student at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. His was the opening [...]

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