At lunch with some Catholic editors, I heard the following comment, "The trouble with Catholics who support cutting government spending is that they don't seek direction on their knees before God." I replied, "How do you know that, and how do you know that those who support the status quo are making prayerful decisions?" The [...]

At lunch with some Catholic editors, I heard the following comment, "The trouble with Catholics who support cutting government spending is that they don't seek direction on their knees before God." I replied, "How do you know that, and how do you know that those who support the status quo are making prayerful decisions?" The [...]

Today, Gaudium et spes must be read in the light of Centesimus annus and other writings of Pope John Paul II. These are, by far, the most concrete, sophisticated, and accurate descriptions of the contemporary world. They are rooted in a thoroughly contemporary grasp of the philosophy and theology of the human person, community, and [...]

Crisis Update

The December Crisis reported that LifeLine, a pro-life long distance carrier, had terminated its contract with Catholic Answers for reasons suggesting an anti-Catholic bias. Further communication has clarified the situation: The LifeLine salesperson who was responsible for the inflamatory letter has been terminated. LifeLine continues to serve a variety of Christian organizations, including numerous Catholic [...]

Catholic Essentials

Nation It is considered progress by the those who consider human life sacred that fifty-five senators believe infanticide is unacceptable even though the child's head is yet to be delivered, while forty-four think it is. It appears the question of when life begins has become irrelevant, but it is certain that it stops when surgical [...]

Not long ago a lengthy story appeared on the front pages of the nation's largest circulation newspaper, the Wall Street Journal. The story was about a well-known business figure, and it consumed a remarkable 74 column inches of the newspaper. The subtitle of the story might have been a line from Shakespeare's Richard III: "I [...]

Now that President Clinton has agreed to send American troops to Bosnia as part of a NATO peacekeeping force, the fireworks in the Congress have been ignited. Senator Phil Gramm and Pat Buchanan have led the parade of naysayers. But they are certainly not alone. There are those who contend the mission is unclear. There [...]

President Clinton's Department of Justice is urging the Supreme Court to make a momentous change in the law governing allowable gender distinctions between the sexes. If the department succeeds the result would be to outlaw almost all distinctions between men and women in programs and institutions run or aided by government. That would include public [...]

In Mel Brooks's film History of the World, Part I, the king of France, before the Revolution, is walking on his estate, musket in hand, engaged in the diversion of skeet-shooting. But with a twist: When he says, "pull," a lever is pulled, and the catapult hurls into the air not a clay pigeon... but [...]

Can Catholic Americans be trusted in the public square? That question may strike some as anachronistic. Surely, they might say, it is an outdated question that is no longer pertinent to our day or to the call for a vibrant Catholic participation in American public life. After all, we do not live in a time [...]

He came to explain his Bosnia policy to the nation on November 27th. But sitting in the glare of television lights, clutching his hands for dear life, the president interrupted his Oval Office address for a bit of campaigning. His target was the Catholic vote. "A few weeks ago, I was privileged to spend some [...]

American Catholic leaders speak confidently about the voice of the Catholic voter growing louder in the public square. No longer can this largely white-collar, family-oriented, well-educated mass of 30 million voters—28 percent of the electorate—be counted on to trudge dutifully to the polls, as their mothers and grandfathers did, and pull down the Democratic lever. [...]

I suppose if we were to tell our friend Jeeves that there is a crisis in the arts, he would say something like, "I had received that impression, sir." Ours is a society possessed by vulgarity and loudness, and much of our music is notable, if that's the right word, for being vulgar, and loud, [...]

The call to build FutureChurch was the rallying cry of 3,500 Catholic dissidents at the 1995 Call to Action conference held in Chicago this past November. For an orthodox Catholic taking a firsthand look at this subculture that threatens to form an "American Catholic Church," the open, aggressive rebellion unleashed in session after session is [...]

On the Feast of the Assumption in 1990, Pope John Paul II issued another in a long series of great documents—documents that in more than a few cases are likely to order and enhance the life of the Church for decades if not centuries to come. This particular document was Ex corde ecclesiae, "From the [...]

The penultimate volume of Julian Green's four-part autobiography, anglicized as Love In America, borrows its haunting epigraph from Francois Villon, "In my own country I am in a distant land." Certainly, no writer's personal situation was ever more appropriately limned by this striking verse than that of Julian Green. Born ninety-five years ago in Belle [...]

Martin Scorsese has said that the two great influences in his life have been cinema and religion and that they continue to be his two main interests. Growing up in Little Italy in New York's Lower East Side, Scorsese was an asthmatic child who, unable to play the games his contemporaries played, sought refuge in [...]

An English Master

Edward Elgar (1857-1934) was the greatest Catholic composer at the turn of the nineteenth century and the greatest English composer since Purcell some two hundred years earlier. Elgar's mother, Ann, was a convert to Catholicism and, despite her husband's objections, raised her children in the faith. Among the things she used to read them as [...]

School Watch

America's brightest children may now gather around for a spellbinding hand of Magic: the Gathering. This card game, used to "enrich" the education of gifted public school students, guides them in fantasizing about and acting out basic features of the occult, such as the conjuring of demons, the sacrifice of victims in hideous rituals, and [...]

The expected reaction to the Responsum ad dubium ("Response to a Doubt") from the usual suspects whose "Catholic" identity rests upon rejection of virtually every Catholic belief and refusal to accept the authority of the Church, was immediate. The ruling, released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on November 18, reaffirmed the [...]

Intellectual disorder eats at the heart of every university, journal, city, and, yes, church. We are taught that there is no truth to be known—the only thing that exists is power. Everyone stands for an arbitrary commitment. Truth-tellers and truth-claimers are the most dangerous people in our social contract: They imply that it is possible [...]

The Ohio Valley, my home for three decades, is a land of great scenic beauty, archaeological and historic treasure, wildlife habitat, agriculture, and interspersion of industry centered around electric power generation and transport of heavy commodities, such as coal, chemicals, and grain. Along the thousand miles through which the Ohio flows from Pittsburgh to Cairo [...]