05/01/1991

The nagging tensions inherent in any attempt to reconcile the demands of academic freedom with a firm commitment to the Church's official teachings have again been forcefully brought home to us in an important document issued last June by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under the title, Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation [...]

The nagging tensions inherent in any attempt to reconcile the demands of academic freedom with a firm commitment to the Church's official teachings have again been forcefully brought home to us in an important document issued last June by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under the title, Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation [...]

In America today few if any issues are debated more passionately and contentiously than abortion. Yet, recent polling data reveal that most Americans are profoundly ignorant about all phases of the abortion question. What first appears to be a profound irony may in fact be the very reason that public arguments about abortion produce so [...]

Twenty-six years ago, under the aegis of Vatican II, the Catholic Church looked to the world and found "a new age of history" marked by "critical and swift upheavals spreading gradually to all corners of the earth" (Gaudium et Spes, 4). It was an age in which men, "in wonder at their own discoveries and [...]

There is an anecdote concerning H.G. Wells which has escaped all biographies of the man, and yet exemplifies his character with more vibrancy and verisimilitude than a dozen Fabian memories. The scene: the bar of a London theater in the 1920s. Herbert George Wells, a literary doyen of the greatest celebrity, at a time when [...]

During the 1988 presidential election, candidate Bush made only one New York City campaign stop — it was in my neighborhood, Ridgewood, Queens. He appeared at our Catholic High School before blue-collar locals and hundreds of "New York's Finest," who conferred on him the endorsement of their union, the Policeman's Benevolent Association. George Bush's advisors [...]

Before I left my room, I put a copy of Albert Camus's Lyrical and Critical Essays in my black carrying sack with the red letters The Tennessean marked on it. I walked across the Potomac on Key Bridge — one of the world's loveliest vistas — to the Metro stop. The train came along shortly. [...]

The conservative monthly the American Spectator runs something called the Great American Saloon Series—affectionate profiles of atmospheric bars here and abroad. I have often thought that one could do such a series on some of the thousands of distinctive Catholic churches in the United States and the rest of the world. I meant not so [...]

Planned Parenthood the world's oldest and largest birth control and abortion service organization. It prides itself on providing low cost birth control services for minorities and the poor, particularly those in the inner-city. The newest targeted group is college students, who are being deluged with propaganda of the sort that assumes that all college students [...]

Editor's note: If you have never read Sheldon Vanauken's novel Gateway to Heaven (Richelieu Court), reviewed last month by Gregory Wolfe, you should know that the hero and heroine are Richard "Val" Valiance and Mary, whom he marries. Mary, who was crippled as a girl, was brought up in her father's house in Georgetown. This [...]

I learned of his death when at Mass someone invited our prayers for the repose of the soul of "the Catholic novelist, Graham Greene." Would he have accepted that description? He seems to have spent the decades since his best novels, those which established him as a Catholic writer, trying to distance himself from the [...]

Over the years, there is no sentence I have more often quoted, I suppose, than this conviction of Charles Peguy: "Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics." This conviction gives the metaphysician, the poet, and the mystic the courage to believe that he or she can make a contribution to the political life of [...]

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