While it hasn't generated as much controversy as abortion itself, the subject of "imperfect legislation" has had its day in the boxing ring. In the abortion context, "imperfect legistlation" means a law which limits or contains or cuts back upon legalized abortion-on-demand (the situation we have now in these United States). On and off through [...]

While it hasn't generated as much controversy as abortion itself, the subject of "imperfect legislation" has had its day in the boxing ring. In the abortion context, "imperfect legistlation" means a law which limits or contains or cuts back upon legalized abortion-on-demand (the situation we have now in these United States). On and off through [...]

Beauty has no trouble finding an audience. Truth and goodness pass by incognito while heads turn paying homage to the handsome passerby. Over a century ago Baudelaire’s poetry reminded us that through beauty we can move toward God or the devil. These days we need to be reminded that our hunger for beauty can make [...]

Once again, this March, the USCC Administrative Board injected itself into the national political debate, just before Congress voted on welfare reform, and once again, “objectively,” it came down on the side of the Democratic Party. Nonetheless, this statement was better than average, if only rhetorically. (The good parts, I suspect, come from Bishop John [...]

No doubt the Republican Party wants to keep the pro-life vote in 1996, but does it understand what it has to do to keep it? Although most of the declared or probable Republican presidential candidates describe themselves as pro-life (except California governor Pete Wilson and maverick Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter, running on what he [...]

Psychology has begun to discover forgiveness. That is, psychotherapists, in recent years have started to appreciate how forgiveness brings about benefits for the person who does the forgiving. This is a major new positive development within contemporary psychology. The secular psychologists, from Freud and Jung to the humanistic approaches developed by Rogers and Maslow completely [...]

“You’re only young one, but you can always be immature," quipped Dave Barry. So it is with American Christianity, Evangelical and Catholic. On no current issue is this more true than our present fin de siecle fixation with spirituality. Faced with the recent profusion of literature on the inner life, one is tempted to endorse [...]

As we went to press, Governor Casey announced the sudden end of the candidacy he had only recently declared. The following piece, written in the interval, may stand as an account of the perils foregone by that announcement — but also of the real possibilities, and the political advantages, that were dissipated by the way [...]

One of the most curious and disturbing trends of our culture is the belief that the chief purpose of law is to annul the law itself. When authority is used to divest the community of its obligations under law, or when authority is used to recognize rights as so many immunities against the law — [...]

As an authentic expression of magisterial teaching, the encyclical Veritatis splendor enunciates Christian truth for God’s people who live within the economy of faith. Still, as many commentators have observed, the present encyclical also represents a new initiative in the history of magisterial teaching. The Magisterium of course has addressed "the sphere of morals" and [...]

The relationship between Fritz Kreisler and his wife Harriet that lasted for more than sixty years of the present century is a study in loyalties. When Fritz first met her aboard the S.S. Prince Bismarck returning to Europe from New York in 1901, he was established as a violinist of international renown. Born in Vienna [...]

Christians in this century have had to come to terms with living in a world where beliefs concerning man’s relationship with his Creator, previously thought to be so fundamentally beyond question, have been systematically uprooted, undermined, and rejected. So, too, the artist in the 1990s is working in an environment where the understanding of the [...]

The attempted suicide of Western classical music has failed. The patient is recovering, no thanks to the efforts of music’s Dr. Kevorkian, Arnold Schoenberg, whose cure, the imposition of a totalitarian atonality, was worse than the disease — the supposed exhaustion of the tonal resources of music. Schoenberg’s vaunted mission to “emancipate dissonance” by denying [...]

In 1990, I ran as the Conservative Party candidate for governor of New York garnering 827,000 votes, more votes by a third party candidate for this office than any other candidate in the state’s history. Encouraged by the outcome, I decided to place myself in consideration for the ’94 gubernatorial contest. For three years I [...]

The following incident actually happened in one of my classes at Boston College. For purposes of inclusion in my forthcoming novel, it is slightly expanded and the names have been changed. Father Peter is essentially myself. ‘Isa (“Hee-sah”) is my protagonist. His name, a common Arabic/Muslim one, means “Jesus.” It was Tuesday evening, time for [...]

“Some of the anxieties that seem to have gripped us as we deal with the liturgical texts have to do with orthodoxy, lest we be spouting heresy as we praise the Divinity,” Greensburg Bishop Anthony Bosco advised his brother bishops at last November’s NCCB meeting. "As far as orthodoxy is concerned," quipped the bishop, "I [...]

Eating is the most basic form of interaction between any living being and its environment. It is the fundamental manifestation of the power of life. The world appears to the living being as food or possible food. The world as food is the expression of the unity of everything, and at the same time, of [...]

One Saturday afternoon in late Winter I decided to take one of my usual walks. I put on a jacket with a hood, Levis, sturdy shoes, and gloves. It was chilly. One walk I sometimes take goes down Prospect Street out of the university, to 33rd Street in Georgetown, across M Street, which is the [...]

My sister gave birth to her fourth child a few weeks ago — a beautiful girl, so I'm told. I must wait to see her, since she lives over 200 miles away. Our children alternate with one another in age-10, 9, 8, 7, almost 6, 3-1/2, 2-1/2, newborn. This has serendipitously made the most of [...]

End Notes

In his new encyclical released March 25th, Evangelium vitae, the Holy Father speaks of a culture of death, not as a threatening possibility, but as something that has already arrived. The phrase, I am told, is original with Cardinal O’Connor, so it seems unlikely that it is some dark and distant part of the globe [...]