03/01/1994

Public Arguments

Welfare EWAWKI! Tug on the welfare question today and you pull out many tangled strands: The limits of state action, the role of incentives, the law of unintended consequences, pain alleviated, harm done, the efficacy of private alternatives, the destruction of a culture of virtue. This issue of CRISIS takes a hard look at the [...]

Public Arguments

Welfare EWAWKI! Tug on the welfare question today and you pull out many tangled strands: The limits of state action, the role of incentives, the law of unintended consequences, pain alleviated, harm done, the efficacy of private alternatives, the destruction of a culture of virtue. This issue of CRISIS takes a hard look at the [...]

Vatican-Israeli Link: How the U.S. Helped By Thomas Patrick Melady Several days before the announcement on December 30, 1993, that the Holy See and the State of Israel would establish diplomatic relations, a friend phoned me from the Vatican to say that this significant even would occur. My wife and I, in Lithuania at that [...]

During the protracted liturgical debate at the bishops' meeting last November, one prominent prelate said the matter of "inclusive" or "exclusive" language was a no-win situation; but then said he had doctrinal problems with the revised liturgical texts put up for approval by the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy (BCL). His dismal assessment of the [...]

There are two key characteristics that for millennia have kept Halacha, Jewish Law, alive in the hearts of millions of Jews. These are its apparent immunity to the effects of time and space, and its image as a bestower of benefits rather than as a demander of discipline. There has always been a Jewish core [...]

I suggested last month that the pro-life movement ought to invite prospective candidates for office to ponder the strategy of the Modest First Step: It was one thing for candidates to commit themselves to a grand constitutional Human Life Amendment that they know has no chance of passing — and then remain silent on the [...]

Editor's note: On February 3, Mother Teresa addressed the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Among the 4,000 people present were President and Mrs. Clinton, Vice President and Mrs. Gore, and numerous other officials. On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the kingdom. For I was hungry [...]

To walk the street of America's inner city is to observe many pregnant young women already with one or two children. Their youthful faces belie their distended bellies. The streets are noisy and alive with sociability — yells, screams, loud laughter, and talk, car screeches, rap music, and honking horns. Everybody knows everybody here, and [...]

Official Washington is now in the midst of yet another effort to reform the nation's welfare system. But this time something is different: After 30 years of denial, almost everyone now agrees that real reform requires doing something about out-of-wedlock births, especially among teenagers. So far, though, most welfare planners are trying to use job [...]

One of George Herbert’s celebrated sonnets, the first of two that he simply entitled "Prayer," offers us 14 lines of dense, startling, unconnected images for our converse with God — a pile of picturesque nouns, vivid adjectives, and terse adjectival clauses without a single main verb or even a copula: Prayer the Churches banquet, Angels [...]

A Good number of years ago I journeyed off to "Christ in the Desert Monastery" in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to make a winter retreat. The monastery is nestled in beautiful red rock walls deep in the desert. The New Mexican landscape has an ominous aura. It invites — and threatens. Behind the mask of its [...]

Some in the contemporary liturgical academy and bureaucracy wish to remove the Offertory as a component of the Mass. They wish to replace it with a simple action of the assembly setting its table, an action in which all reference to sacrifice and the distinction between priest and assembly disappears. They find the language of [...]

In mid-1993 I tumbled all willy-nilly into the middle of a remarkable phenomenon called the Internet (or Net for short) when I joined a "list group" called CHRISTIA (Practical Christian Living). A list group is a group of computer users who sign on to a mail-distributing computer called a listserver for the purpose of discussing [...]

This is March and it seems fitting to begin with something about Saint Patrick. Almost everyone knows that his Feast is March 17, two days before the Feast of Saint Joseph and eight days before the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady, on March 25. These days, throughout the land, in places like the [...]

Each year as Ash Wednesday approaches, I page through my food-stained copy of Evelyn Birge Vitz's wonderful cookbook of the liturgical year, A Continual Feast. A friend gave it to me when it came out in 1985 (Ignatius Press now carries it), but it stood pristine and unopened on my kitchen shelf for two years [...]

Not just the day or the hour but the how of it is hidden from us, but this does not dim our curiosity about the end of it all. Au contraire. The literature on the end of the world is rich and complex. The least interesting subset of this genre is of two kinds, terrestrial [...]

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