06/01/1991

The pope’s splendid new encyclical, Centesimus Annus (dated May 1, 1991), adds a new characteristic to his defense of liberty. It has been clear for many years that Pope John Paul II supports democratic institutions more than any previous pope and sees them as the best way to secure human rights. It has also been [...]

The pope’s splendid new encyclical, Centesimus Annus (dated May 1, 1991), adds a new characteristic to his defense of liberty. It has been clear for many years that Pope John Paul II supports democratic institutions more than any previous pope and sees them as the best way to secure human rights. It has also been [...]

If the initial reception of Centesimus Annus is any indication, the pope's latest treatise may become the most controversial social encyclical issued this century. From the day of its release, May 1, 1991, a struggle has ensued to define its meaning in a concrete form. All parties understand that the stakes are high, for this [...]

One of the central themes of our horrific century, now drawing to a merciful close, has been the attempt of many powerful and highly intelligent people to find a substitute for God as the focus and directing principle of their lives. Numerous such efforts have been made. All have ended in fearsome or pathetic failure. [...]

Ronald Regan never existed. Well, yes, he was president for eight years, if you want to get technical. And during that time America did see its largest peacetime economic expansion ever, a reversal of the decline that had afflicted its armed forces since Vietnam, and the beginning of the collapse of the Evil Empire. And, [...]

Much of the enthusiasm for ecumenism generated by the Second Vatican Council seems to have waned. This is both bad and good news. It is bad news because we still have far to go in effecting reunion among Christians. Such a reunion is Christ's will and therefore an imperative for every believer. The Catholic Church can [...]

Charlie Brown and Lucy are looking over the brick wall. Lucy has her elbows on the wall, with a sort of forlorn, not-again look on her face as she listens to Charlie Brown affirm, "I want to be liked for myself." Charlie then turns on her with a kind of determined earnestness, "I don't want [...]

I guess you could say the devil made me do it. There I was, assembling thoughts for this column, when I took a break for the news at noon. After network coverage, our ABC anchor here promised a preview of a segment slated for "20/20" that evening. The locals weren't alone in promoting the sensational [...]

When teaching on issues like abortion and contraception, bishops and theologians often seem ineffective. I guess that both bishops, theologians and maybe a lot of the rest of us are ignoring the reality of the indwelling Spirit. It is of course not accidental that the statement of faith in the Church is made in the [...]

It is rather common, I suppose, for reviewers to be acquainted with the authors they review. Less commonly does the acquaintance turn to friendship. The very natures of the crafts of writing and reviewing create between the two practitioners a sort of wariness, and modern critical theories intent on ignoring all that an author means [...]

Nothing puzzles Catholics more than the attitude of our separated brethren toward the Blessed Virgin Mary—and vice versa, of course. For that matter, many converts tell cradle Catholics that the greatest obstacle to their conversion was the Church's teaching on Mary. Or at least what they conceived that teaching to be. In the newspapers the [...]

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