Over the past four years, Pope John Paul II has developed what is arguably the most sophisticated moral, philosophical, and theological analysis of democracy on offer in the world today. In a triptych of encyclicals — Centesimus annus (1991), Veritatis splendor (1993), and Evangelium vitae (1995) — the Holy Father has both secured the teaching [...]

Over the past four years, Pope John Paul II has developed what is arguably the most sophisticated moral, philosophical, and theological analysis of democracy on offer in the world today. In a triptych of encyclicals — Centesimus annus (1991), Veritatis splendor (1993), and Evangelium vitae (1995) — the Holy Father has both secured the teaching [...]

A Dream on Canvas

Since the early eighties, Bill and Mary Agee have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, all in the public eye. At thirty-nine, Bill, who is from Boise, Idaho, became the youngest CEO of a Fortune 100 company in American history when he assumed the position at Bendix Corporation in 1976. Mary Elizabeth [...]

If all the converts who entered the Catholic Church were to tell about their road to Rome, it would probably appear that no two of them followed exactly the same route. It does not surprise us, having accepted the claim of the Church to be the "pillar and ground of truth," that as many roads [...]

There have been rumors for years that the great Catholic novel Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset was to be made into a film. The rumor has finally become a reality, at least in part. The first volume of the trilogy, The Bridal Wreath, has been brought to the screen by the director Liv Ullmann. Ullmann, [...]

Many Catholic writers have balked at being called that. They were Catholic and they wrote, all right, but they didn't want to be read as if the point of their fiction was a religious message. As if you could earn an indulgence by reading them. And maybe they didn't like the prospective company. There used [...]

In one of the two greatest lines of world poetry, Dante bows gently toward "The Love that moves the sun and all the stars." Many moralists speak of love as the one fundamental and universal moral principle, the golden rule honored in all traditions. But what do we mean by love? In English we are [...]

Trans-Modern Church

That the Catholic Church is in a serious period of conflict and change is recognized by all her observers. The changes ahead for the Church can be analyzed by having recourse to four terms — modern, postmodern, anti-modern, and trans-modern. This last term is a new one, but it is very useful in understanding the [...]

Christmas Cheer

Everyone loves Christmas — even agnostics. The English tolerance for, if not cultivation of, eccentricity easily embraced Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), the agnostic composer of some of this century's most beautiful religious music, including Hodie Christus Natus Est, finally available here in time for Christmas on a special EMI import CD (CDC 54128). This is [...]

Somwhere, I once acquired from a book story, a copy of The book of Common Prayer  of the Protestant episcopal Church in the United States.  I have the volume on the Sacraments, Rites, and Ceremonies, which contains the Christmas Service.  This book was published in New York with no date.  On the inside title page, [...]

Five years before her death, in a 1959 book review published in her Georgia diocesan paper, Flannery O'Connor made a startling and prophetic claim. "It is an embarrassment to our fundamentalist neighbors," she wrote, "to realize that they are doctrinally nearer their traditional enemy, the Church of Rome, than they are to modern Protestantism. The [...]

Thanks to Shannon Faulkner, we now know just how much influence liberal feminists exert over the media. As soon as Faulkner dropped out of the Citadel, the debate quietly shifted from whether Faulkner should have been allowed to attend to feminist disapproval of the cadets' celebration of her departure. Rather than focus on the issue [...]

Conventional liberal wisdom holds that the Catholic Church is suffering a vocation crisis because of its rigid restriction of the priesthood to celibate males. Hence it is supposedly necessary that priests be allowed to marry, that women be ordained to the priesthood, and that "resigned" priests be fully reinstated. Women deacons, too, must be ordained [...]

I am writing this in October, as the days grow shorter and the night temperatures inch toward the freezing point. When I drive my son around our neighborhood early on Sunday mornings, helping him deliver newspapers before the 7:00 o'clock deadline, we make our way in the dark until the very end, when the approaching [...]

When you see a homeless man with a sign saying, “Hungry, need a meal”, what is the biblical thing to do? Here are possible answers: (a) Be generous: Give him a quarter, a dollar or a five-dollar bill; (b) Be tough: Go on by, being careful not to make eye contact; (c) Select some other [...]

As the United States looks to another presidential election, the largely unreported story is that contemporary new-era politics may well make our Catholic social teaching triumphant. Yes, I know it seems improbable given that many of our peers proclaim the dearth of salient personalities, lack of gusto, and conservatism's general air of feeble Reaganesque imitation, [...]

Just when you thought it was safe to call yourself pro-family, the Byzantine ethos of "family preservation" among social workers rears its ugly head. Wendy Anisman's case in Pittsburgh, PA demonstrates the fantastic contortions of "family preservation" in current social welfare circles. After the break-up of her marriage to Denis Baier, Wendy placed their son [...]

There are swirling and volatile policy debates in Washington these days about the plight of the poor and how to alleviate the problems that poverty creates in our society. The budget battles on Capitol Hill suggest that there are two options for the fiscal and sociological sanity of the nation: either we must balance the [...]

Morris Arkes, eighty-one, retired from running a shipping room and working his whole life with his hands, died in Chicago on September 28. Since November last, he had been in the hospital most of the time. He would be home for a few days, then back in the hospital for weeks, as his whole system [...]

In past years Crisis has asked some of its readers for their views on neglected Catholic classics, new and old. This year we simply asked what people were reading that they would recommend — the responses were varied and interesting. Heather Higgins The challenge of any such list is not just recalling what books one [...]

She walks so slowly on her crutches she seems fragile, an impression that doesn't last for very long. Mother Angelica is made of something as tough as the steel she leans on. This Poor Clare nun from Ohio has single-handedly built a multimillion-dollar television and radio complex on the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama, and created [...]