09/01/1996

Slavery and Abortion

There was a time, 135 years ago, when American law held that all human beings were created equal—except for black human beings. American law currently holds that all human beings are equal—except for the unborn child. The Supreme Court of the United States did legalize de facto abortion on demand in 1973. But now the [...]

Slavery and Abortion

There was a time, 135 years ago, when American law held that all human beings were created equal—except for black human beings. American law currently holds that all human beings are equal—except for the unborn child. The Supreme Court of the United States did legalize de facto abortion on demand in 1973. But now the [...]

With the virtual collapse of the university as a center for intelligence about God, much residual theological discourse has relocated to think tanks. But it is like changing the great leviathans of the deep into goldfish in an aquarium. That was my impression of something called a "Jesus Seminar," which has become a perverse media [...]

Singing Lessons

Neither the legitimate liturgist nor the competent choral director takes any great pleasure in noting that since the '60s a fundamental transformation has affected the celebration and concept of the liturgy. This change has tragically damaged our sacred music. The job of recovery, the step that will get us singing again, begins with our understanding [...]

The readings for the day of St. Philip Neri include St. Paul's counsel to the Philippians: "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice." St. Philip took St. Paul at his word. "Allegramente! Allegramente!" he regularly urged his companions, inviting them to "be of good cheer." The accounts of Philip depict a person [...]

Catholics Dissidents

The Association of Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) wants your signature on a referendum. ARCC proposes that the Vicar of Christ be replaced with a General Council co-chaired by an elected pope and layperson. Led by ARCC, the We Are Church coalition of twenty dissident groups is seeking a million signatures to present [...]

Ireland’s Secret

Alice Taylor is one of Ireland's best-kept secrets. Although the fifty-eight-year-old housewife from County Cork is well known in her own country as the author of To School Through the Fields, the best-selling book in Ireland's history, most Americans have never heard of her or of her runaway bestseller. Since it was published in 1988, [...]

Crisis readers are a unique group. As seen in the 1996 reader survey (p. 29), you are clearly well- educated, politically active, and religious. The results make me curious to know more. What other magazines do you read? What books and movies do you like, what television and music? I suspect the culture you inhabit, [...]

I am a bit surprised, and even a little embarrassed to admit it, but I learned something the other day from our sometime problem-child, elder-Catholic-statesman, Senator Edward Kennedy. Learned may be a slight exaggeration: Was reminded of? Realized once again? Had it more deeply brought home to me? Whatever the right subjective description, the objective [...]

Coming into their San Diego Convention, the mood of the Republican Party was despondent, almost funereal. Now the GOP acts like a man who just received a death-row reprieve. With a single stroke, the Dole campaign transformed itself from bumbling confusion into a plausible contender. Desperation may have mothered Jack Kemp's selection as vice-presidential nominee, [...]

The return of Archbishop Weakland to the Milwaukee See comes at a critical moment for the future of Wisconsin's communities. His comments about the human needs of persons confronted with changed rules for welfare in our state remind us that such needed reform demands the deepest involvement of our spiritual leaders. With all its powers [...]

Polls show that relatively few voters cast their ballots on the abortion issue alone. Even though they vote pro-life by a margin of 2 to 1, it seems impossible that abortion could end up being the most important issue this fall. But for those familiar with partial-birth abortions, it's not hard to imagine. The Partial-Birth [...]

It turns out that I had it mostly, but not entirely, right in an earlier column, when I suggested that Bob Dole was a version of Bertie Wooster, from the old stories by P.G. Wodehouse. The resemblance was in the cast of mind, and I suggested that Dole offered an example of what Bertie Wooster [...]

The Catholic Bach

Suppose you were Bach, and no one noticed? Welcome to the early eighteenth-century world of Jan Dismas Zelenka, a Catholic composer at the court of Dresden, who lived in relative obscurity from 1679 until his death in 1745. Buried on Christmas Eve in the Old Catholic Cemetery in Dresden, he suffered the same fate as [...]

Hysteria, pronounced Freud, was the psychic disorder to   which Victorians most readily succumbed, whereas narcissism, according to Christopher Lasch and others, is the one to which we twentieth-century dwellers are most vulnerable. Because environmental activists are saturating this and other nations' classrooms with fear-driven environmental education (E.E.), the most common psychic disorder of the new [...]

Chief Justice Marshall's famous remark in 1819 that "the power to tax is the power to destroy" undoubtedly implies that the power to tax is also the power to do less than destroy. Coercion to modify conduct and coercion to limit one's liberty of expression have always been familiar incidents of requirements to render unto [...]

It was a spring to try our souls. Clinton's justification of infanticide in the partial-birth abortion ban veto and the decisions by the Ninth and Second Circuits to promote assisted suicide gave shocking reminders—lest we forget—that the serpent yet slithers through the world, spewing venom most dangerously from those whose commission is to protect the [...]

A priest friend told me that he gave a sermon at Mass in which he explained that in Christian teaching, God has an internal life, a life that manifests itself in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To his surprise, days later a parishioner accused this priest before his pastor of [...]

September marks the centenary of the birth of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The thought of the writer who became all but identified with flaming youth and the roaring '20s as a hundred years old rattles the imagination. When he died in 1940, at the age of 44, Fitzgerald seemed to have outlived his material and to [...]

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