04/01/1985

Lecturing recently in Toledo and in San Diego, I saw at first hand the hot and contradictory passions stirred among Americans by Nicaragua. Arguments fly back and forth. The moral judgments of some directly oppose the moral judgments of others. Worse still, the moral issue cannot be settled simply by agreement on the facts. Even [...]

Lecturing recently in Toledo and in San Diego, I saw at first hand the hot and contradictory passions stirred among Americans by Nicaragua. Arguments fly back and forth. The moral judgments of some directly oppose the moral judgments of others. Worse still, the moral issue cannot be settled simply by agreement on the facts. Even [...]

A Critique of the Bishops' First Draft The publication of the first draft of the pastoral letter of the American Bishops on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy has stimulated lively debate among Catholics of all political persuasions. As was to be expected, reactions were divided along political lines: conservatives were uneasy with the [...]

I have chosen these three figures, Von Ketteler, Leo XIII, and John Paul II because they represent the Church coming to grips, in the 19th and 20th centuries, with certain moral issues created by the industrial revolution. All three addressed the so-called "social question." That term came to designate problems following upon the exploitation of [...]

One of the choicer ironies to have surfaced lately in the abortion debate is this: Only the pro-life party, and not the pro-abortionists or their fellow-travelers, can explain why it's wrong to blow up abortion clinics. The pro-abortionists can't explain why it's wrong because they can't explain why anything is wrong. They have intellectually disarmed. [...]

The following statement, accompanied by over 4,000 signatures, has been sent to Bishop Joseph L. Imesch, Chairman of the National Council of Catholic Bishops commission on the forthcoming Pastoral Letter on women. The statement was written and is being circulated by Women for Faith and Family, an organization of lay Catholic women, based in St. [...]

The very question "Does prayer work?" puts us in the wrong frame of mind from the outset. "Work": as if it were magic, or a machine —something that functions automatically. Prayer is either a sheer illusion or a personal contact between embryonic incomplete persons (ourselves) and the utterly concrete Person. Prayer in the sense of [...]

I had occasion recently to study an address given to 1 the General Plenary Council of the Friars Minor at Bahia in 1983, by Father Leonardo Boff. It was entitled "Liberation Theology and the Franciscan Spirit," and it impressed me as being a clear and persuasive piece of work, expressing ideas that have a wide [...]

Easter is the central mystery and feast of the Christian faith. Likewise, it is the only promise to mankind that, ultimately, means anything. The greatest, perhaps only service the Church can perform for each of us is to be sure we hear this message, this doctrine, as it is taught, not as some theologian, or [...]

The City of Man

The other day I drove to Chicago to be interviewed by Mike Wallace for a prospective 60 MINUTES segment on women in the Church. In a hotel suite turned into an ad hoc studio, we recorded three reels of film. Since out of that extended conversation little more than a sentence or two is likely [...]

Although a national policy of nuclear deterrence that apparently has not "failed" would seem worthy of continuation by a nuclear power, ways of improving that deterrent may be considered. One may argue, in fact, that given the high stakes in the current nuclear balance of power if deterrence should fail, a non-aggressive nuclear power is [...]

Anti-Catholic hatred is still one of America's more popular forms of bigotry. The evidence shows up persistently: in the vitriolic speeches of Jimmy Swaggert, or the ubiquitous posters (claiming that the Vatican secretly owns...everything) and leaflets distributed by Tony Alamo, or the cartoons of Jack Chick. And the same sort of hatred shows up, equally [...]

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