Editors' Note: On January 25, 1985 Pope John Paul II announced that he planned to convene an extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held Nov. 25-Dec. 8 in Rome. Emphasizing that Vatican II continues to be "the fundamental event in the life of the contemporary church," John Paul stated that the [...]

Editors' Note: On January 25, 1985 Pope John Paul II announced that he planned to convene an extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held Nov. 25-Dec. 8 in Rome. Emphasizing that Vatican II continues to be "the fundamental event in the life of the contemporary church," John Paul stated that the [...]

The sessions of the 1983 Synod on Penance came as near as anything probably could to shaking my confidence in the Holy Spirit's guidance of the Church. Here were the leaders of the largest Christian denomination on Earth gathered together at a time when the sense of sin and the sense of a need for [...]

Pope John Paul II took the first part of his name from Pope John XXIII who twenty-five years ago electrified the world by calling for Vatican Council 11 (1962-65)—and, exactly on the anniversary of that summons, Pope John Paul II called for a new, two-week Extraordinary Synod in Rome to evaluate the results of that [...]

What this fall's extraordinary synod holds in store for us is obviously a matter of speculation for the moment, but a plausible starting point for such speculation is the current state of the Church. The central fact of late twentieth century Catholicism is that it is the era succeeding the Second Vatican Council. For all [...]

No one knows for sure what the Pope has in mind for the Extraordinary Synod. Since all but a small minority of the world's Catholic bishops concur with him on matters of faith and morals, as they were one with Paul VI in 1964 when he polled the various hierarchies on contraception, it is not [...]

According to recent news reports, the Holy Father will convene an extraordinary World Synod of Bishops next November to discuss the Second Vatican Council "to revive in some way the extraordinary atmosphere of ecclesial communion which characterized that ecumenical assembly." The secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Jozef Tomko, has said that there [...]

The negative side-effects of Vatican II resulted chiefly from our failure to educate clergy and public in its divinely inspired message. What the Council proclaimed has been heard through the distorting megaphones of the secular, religiously ignorant media. Catholic publications have delivered it in the form of ugly conservative vs. liberal polemics, more as accusation [...]

Twenty years after its initial promulgation, the Council's "Decree on Priestly Formation" may well be scrutinized in the light of its effects by the forthcoming Roman Synod. Even the most ardent Federalist among the Fathers assembled may concede, on reflection, that it has returned too much power to the States. It goes without saying that [...]

Our Lord said that the substitution of human tradition for the divine law is a key element in the spiritual disease of Pharisaism. The message is pellucidly clear in Mark 7 and Matthew 15. He told the Pharisees: "You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions." The pseudo-reform following the Second [...]

Like Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado, many of us could undoubtedly draw up an itemized list of events, issues, and even persons in the Church after the Second Vatican Council, to which list, presented to the coming Synod, we could gladly subscribe the words, "There's none of them to be missed." Just think of the delights [...]

Pope John Paul II is right to insist that the Second  Vatican Council is the great spiritual event of our age. He is right too to declare that we need a new Synod to discuss Vatican II. For we must distinguish the true Vatican II from the impostors, the false-Vatican IIs that have been assailing [...]

President Reagan's visit to the military cemetery at Bitburg where the bodies of fallen German soldiers lie buried provided the occasion for extraordinary reactions, not only on the part of the President's natural enemies, the Democrats and the bulk of the press, but also and most unwisely on the part of Jews. The partisan effort [...]

Intellectual divisions are sometimes deceptive. They are not always so exclusive as they appear. Take, for instance, liberals and conservatives; they are polar opposites, aren't they? Well, not on everything. Consider the question of the moral status of the American regime. On this there is a curious convergence of sentiment between otherwise opposing camps. Both [...]

Once when I was about eleven, my father drove me out to one of the hollows in the hills south of Johnstown, Pa., where he was to collect insurance from a family he wanted me to meet. The yard of their home up above the road was littered with old rusting automobiles, barrels, and small [...]

The crypto-religious character of Communism is sufficient to explain the sympathy that it evokes among many genuinely religious people, especially in England and America, and this is more or less true of the other new political movements of which I have spoken. In Germany National Socialism, in spite of its clash with the Churches, has [...]

The whole human race faces a moment of supreme crisis on its advance towards maturity. So warned the Fathers of Vatican II in opening their discussion of the problem of war in the modern world. How did we get to this moment of supreme crisis? The roots of the crisis can easily be traced at [...]

The anniversary this spring of the end of World War II in Europe was an occasion to recall the great deeds of statesmen and the great sacrifices of millions in the unequivocally noble cause of defeating Nazi Germany. There is some truth to the old axiom that history is written by the victorious, so it [...]

The question of how Catholic religion can and I should influence democratic politics yields an analytically simple answer. But it has become historically complex in the United States. I believe this complicating took place for typical human reasons: certain key distinctions have been blurred, either because of intellectual weakness or because it served someone's purpose [...]

I am not qualified to catalogue the psycho-sexual disorders of a Roman Catholic priest who finds it necessary to scream, while leaving the office of a professional woman, "Get back in your cage, woman," and then announce to a clerical staff unsurprised by this latest display of inanity and psychological imbalance, "Where is my whip, [...]

Editors' Note: Controversy over the just distribution of the nation's resources is a permanent battleground in American politics. This is perhaps inevitable. One recalls Harold Laswell's dictum that politics concerns "Who gets what, when, how?" On the practical level, these are the perennial questions with which citizens and their elected representatives must wrestle. Yet too [...]

Contrary to the common impression, the brunt of President Reagan's proposed cuts does not fall on the poor. The president is not asking for many changes in the "safety net." It may look as though he is, but that perception is largely the result of confusion about the way subsidized housing is treated in the [...]