Evangelium Vitae

virtue signaling

Virtue Signaling is the Opposite of Virtue

On April 12, the attorney general of California, Xavier Becerra, said that North Carolina will remain on the list of states to which California employees may not travel using state money. The reason for the ban is simple: California wants you to know how virtuous it is. In other words, the state is virtue signaling. [...]

A New Ars Moriendi to Address Physician-Assisted Suicide

If you live in a state that has not taken up legislation on physician-assisted suicide (PAS), beware. It is coming. PAS has become a volatile issue in state legislatures and the media. Advocates for PAS typically present three arguments to promote its legalization: (1) to relieve the suffering patient of pain, (2) to relieve the [...]

Me Before You: On Disability, Suicide, and Guts

They all think any minute I'm going to commit suicide. What a joke. The truth of course is the exact opposite: suicide is the only thing that keeps me alive.  ~ Walker Percy Ordinarily I’d avoid commenting much on a movie I hadn’t seen. However, I’m willing to make an exception in the case of “Me [...]

A Seamless Garment That Fits

It has been the taunt of those advocating the moral legitimacy and legalization of abortion since the modern pro-life movement began: “You're not pro-life; you're just against abortion. You couldn't care less about the lives of mothers or children after the nine months of pregnancy are over.” The accusation as made is truly false. In [...]

Mary’s Witness to the Gospel of Life

Saint John Paul II taught that Mary is a singular witness to the Gospel of Life. Having recently celebrated the feast day of John Paul the Great and recalling that, according to the liturgical calendar, Mary is some eight months pregnant (Christ's birth hastens!), it seems appropriate to consider Our Lady's witness to the joyous [...]

Life and Good or Death and Evil?

I recently read with great interest a fascinating story by the Associated Press. The life of a young girl, Lake Annabelle Hall, was saved following surgery to remove a cyst on her left lung. Had it not been discovered it would have killed her. She received such tremendous care that four teams comprised of 43 [...]

The Cultures of Life and Death in Poetry

The Culture of Death in Poetry We are all familiar with Blessed John Paul II’s description of the Culture of Death in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae.  The good Pope, of course, was not the first to notice and give expression to this phenomenon. In 1922, T. S. Eliot released to the world his account [...]

Suicide No Way to Go

Suicide and the legalization of physician assisted suicide seem to appear in headlines more and more. Elected officials such as Peter Shumlin, governor of Vermont, increasingly favor legalization of physician assisted suicide as “the right thing to do” with promises that “we are going to get it done.” Mainstream media addresses suicide positively. Consider the [...]

Temper, Temper: Salon’s Abortion Tantrum

Every parent has experienced a child caught in the act, perhaps even with evidence of melted chocolate still on the corner of her lip, who resolutely denied the obvious. “What? Who me? Couldn’t be!” A good many parents have also encountered the icy indifference of a bolder child, one who does not care if he’s [...]

Abortion and the Contraceptive Mentality

This year marks an auspicious anniversary—forty years of nation-wide abortion on demand since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. These cases declared a right to abortion that was more permissive than the law of any state. A woman could take the life of her unborn child for virtually any reason at any time. The [...]

An Icon of God’s Love: Bella Santorum

The elections are over and I for one am relieved that the campaigns are in the rear-view mirror. American political discourse is a patience-testing experience, but I am grateful for and recall fondly one glimmer of love and joy from the political campaigns. Bella Santorum Daughter of Senator Rick and Karen Santorum, Bella, who has [...]

Barbaric Fragmentation: John Courtney Murray Foresaw the U.S. United in Confusion

Voting patterns of this last election give ample support to the notion of the divided country, and it is now virtually obligatory to bemoan polarization while calling for unity in our fragmented polis. As obvious as our polarization seems, perhaps disunity is not the real problem; instead, perhaps we already have a unity, just of [...]

The Pope Gets Political

Evangelium Vitae - the "Gospel of Life" - is a warning and a plea to the people of the United States and other developed nations. The warning is that ours is fast becoming a culture of death. The plea is for us to join together in building a new culture of life. Pope John Paul [...]

Remembering the Jesus Seminar

Three major news magazines did it this past Easter season. One should feel guilty about letting these journals set the agenda for theological discourse, or for any discourse, for that matter. C. S. Lewis thought that the reading of any magazine was bad for one's English (he died before the advent of Crisis). It cannot [...]

Who Should Be Here?

This essay is part of today's symposium of lay Catholic opinion on immigration. For other contributions see this one by Christopher Manion, this one by John Zmirak, and this news report from Zenit. For Deal Hudson's view, see this article in The American Spectator.   A national tragedy is taking place. While we argue about [...]

Can the Church Ban Capital Punishment?

Today Crisis is offering a symposium on capital punishment. For Archbishop Charles Chaput's view, see this essay. For news about recent Vatican statements on the issue, see this article.   This piece on capital punishment is a revision of the original, which first appeared in Latin Mass Magazine (Summer 2001). It is written from a [...]

The Myth of Religious Tolerance

The vehement, sometimes acrimonious debates that accompanied the drafting of the Vatican II declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, yielded an exceptionally precise and carefully worded document. Noteworthy in the 5,700-word declaration is the absence of even a single reference to religious "tolerance" or "toleration." The choice of religious "freedom" or "liberty" as the proper [...]

Death Penalty: Magisterium vs. Left and Right

When it comes to the death penalty, the Church teaches: Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, nonlethal [...]

Man vs. Nature?

"Environmental stewardship" is a concept that has grown more important in Catholic political discussions over the past few decades. Our rights and responsibilities with respect to the natural world have been addressed in many recent social encyclicals, including Pope Benedict XVI's Caritas in Veritate. While the pope is quite clear that we are to respect [...]

Catholics and the Politics of the Death Penalty

On January 29, the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Death Penalty (CMN) was launched. According to its executive director, Karen Clifton, the CMN was created "with the encouragement of the USCCB." The support of the bishops' conference is substantial. The Coordinating Committee includes both Kathy Saile, the director of the Office of Domestic Concerns, [...]

Resolutions for a New Feminist

Ten Resolutions of a New Feminist ManHenry Karlson    The answer to the question of women's rights, as with all other serious questions, is in an understandable, sensible and revived Christianity. -- Vladimir Soloviev   In his 1995 "Letter to Women," Pope John Paul II, continuing in the tradition of his encyclical Mulieres Dignitatem, stated [...]

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