02/01/1994

Public Arguments

Priests! Forty-seven years ago, at the tail end of my thirteenth year, my father reluctantly took me to the train in Pittsburgh that would carry me out to South Bend, Indiana, to Holy Cross Seminary. He thought I was too young to enter the seminary even if I did want to become a priest—which he [...]

Public Arguments

Priests! Forty-seven years ago, at the tail end of my thirteenth year, my father reluctantly took me to the train in Pittsburgh that would carry me out to South Bend, Indiana, to Holy Cross Seminary. He thought I was too young to enter the seminary even if I did want to become a priest—which he [...]

Reflections on the Israeli-Vatican Agreement On the night of the signing of the Vatican-Israel agreement last month, I got a call from my good friend, Saint Petersburg Bishop John Favalora, to share with his good friend, "Rabbi Jacob" (as he calls me), his joy at what he and I both saw as the day that [...]

"Look, you don't have to understand why those verbs are irregular. You simple have to memorize them," I told my daughter who was studying for her French final and complaining about the impenetrability of the logic of language. "Once you've got them in your head, they're in there for good," I added by way of [...]

Long before the Clarence Thomas hearings degenerated into R-rated absurdity, one of the substantive issues about the Thomas nomination concerned the nominee's interest in natural law. Thomas's stated interest in natural law triggered a short-lived attention to the topic from American Christians. Christians are, of course, divided on the question of natural law, and the [...]

On November 30, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case in which, once again, it will rule for the nation on the meaning and effect of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. The New York Times has expressed horror that the Court would venture to take up the case. But at the very least Grumet [...]

It is hard to recall now the euphoria felt in the pro-life movement nearly five years ago, in July 1989, when the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. For it appeared that the Court had taken the first step in the overruling of Roe v. Wade. Chief Justice Rehnquist [...]

“Fanatic” is now modern society's supreme insult—especially when combined with "religious." The other new F-word is "fundamentalist." When the federal government—our federal government—decided that David Koresh was a "fanatic," they went in with guns blazing and well-known results. The explanation afterwards was that he and his group were "fundamentalists." (Southern Baptists, beware!) The media now [...]

A Priest—A Man—to Imitate By William Simon You can almost see the sun shine through the gleam in his eyes. His hand brings the touch of warmth and kindness. And his words are medicine of healing and hope. He is Father Maurice Chase of Los Angeles, and to spend five minutes in his presence is [...]

Earlier this year, at the celebration of the golden jubilee of my priestly ordination, I depart somewhat from the usual pattern for such observances. Customarily, jubilarians invite a friend—or friends—to deliver appropriate sermons or speeches at the Mass and banquet marking the occasion. Rather than subject the audience to well-intentioned exaggerations—or even outright fabrications!—which would [...]

College and university parishes around the country have found themselves in a dilemma. Priests, endeavoring to make the Catholic faith relevant to young people, have taken to folk masses replete with guitars, replacing Scripture with readings from Bob Dylan, and so forth. Unfortunately, these innovations have served only to transmogrify the Mass into something vaguely [...]

The current crisis in vocations to the priesthood is mistakenly seen as something to which the Church must respond in terms of the secular agenda. The crisis exists, we are told, by experts both in the Church and on the op-ed page of the New York Times, because the Church is lagging behind the world. [...]

The Catholic Church since Vatican II has blundered in attempting to satisfy the modern demand for a more enjoyable and freer life on earth. By decentralizing its administrative structures without proper safeguards, the Church unwittingly gave legitimacy to grassroots activists—within its own institutions—who work against its teaching and way of life. As a result of [...]

One of the finest private art collections in the U.S., assembled at the beginning of this century, is now the heart of a beautiful, if underused, public museum in downtown Baltimore. The product of the taste and railroad fortune of the father and son team of William and Henry Walters, the collection of the Walters [...]

Don’t ask me why, but on Thanksgiving morning, before going over to friends for dinner, I was looking through L'Osservatore Romano. On the back page, I noticed that the Vatican Post Office had issued two postcards on "Bimillenary of Horace's Death." Quintus Horatius Flaccus, the great Latin poet, was born in Venosa, Lucania, near the [...]

Prague is Europe's rediscovered crown jewel. Just four years after the communists were peacefully ousted in the Velvet Revolution of 1989, tourists are streaming into this lovely, unspoiled city on the Vlatava. So captivating are the Baroque buildings lining the streets winding down from Hradcany Castle; so mistily romantic is the cityscape of church domes [...]

In the Holy Land one can visit places that figure in the earthly life of Our Lord. In Rome one can visit the tombs of Peter and Paul and see the prison in which they were confined. At places like Notre Dame, at the end of a campus road, one finds the community cemetery and [...]

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