07/01/1998

Few have written more wisely on the relation of art and culture than Jacques Maritain. In Art and Scholasticism, written just after the end of the World War I, Maritain traced the deterioration in modern art to the artist's turn toward ideology. When the artist becomes preoccupied with communicating ideas, the beauty of what he [...]

Few have written more wisely on the relation of art and culture than Jacques Maritain. In Art and Scholasticism, written just after the end of the World War I, Maritain traced the deterioration in modern art to the artist's turn toward ideology. When the artist becomes preoccupied with communicating ideas, the beauty of what he [...]

A quick test: (a) Who was the commencement speaker at your high school graduation? (b) At your college graduation? (c) Regardless of your answer to (a) or (b), can you recall anything he or she had to say? An unscientific sampling of friends and acquaintances produced the following results: (a) 2 of 10 could identify [...]

I have a friend, a priest, who has come to cut a considerable figure as a public person, in letters and in politics. He writes well and often, he has a deft touch as an editor, and most improbable of all, he has a facility for drawing into a common, civil conversation—and at times even [...]

My wife Alice and I were married on an August morning in 1964 in a Presbyterian church just south of Richmond, Virginia. As our wedding reception drew to a close in the midday summer heat and we prepared to drive off to begin our married life in Austin, Texas, Alice's mother took me aside and [...]

The work of Frank Borzage—more than 100 films in forty years—is one of the best kept secrets of the American cinema. The director himself, in the words of critic Andrew Sarris, remains an elusive figure in film history. A contemporary of John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, King Vidor, and Frank Capra, working during the [...]

What is moral leadership? Does it exist in contemporary politics? Is Washington the place to find it in this age of spin, damage control, plausible deniability, no controlling legal authority, and stonewalling? None of these questions is new. Around the turn of the century journalists, muckrakers, and mugwumps complained about the corruption of American institutions. [...]

On April 20, 1998, a six person jury in Chicago found Joseph Scheidler, founder of the Pro-Life Action League, and two other defendants guilty on twenty-one counts of extortion under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). They are liable for treble damages totaling more than $240,000, to be paid to the various abortion [...]

Should RICO, the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Statute, be applied beyond a John Gotti, the gangster, or a Charles Keating, the savings-and-loan kingpin, to a Mahatma Gandhi or a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? I thought not when, as counsel to Sen. John McClellan (D-AR), RICO's chief sponsor in the Senate, I drafted [...]

It is time for Congress to review and revise the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, popularly known as RICO. When Congress enacted the legislation in 1970, it was intended, as its title suggests, to disrupt and punish racketeering—that is, the organized business of extorting money by intimidation, violence, or other illegal methods. More than [...]

A year ago, things looked bleak for John Bruchalski, M.D. Still recovering from a debilitating illness, and with a burgeoning practice in obstetrics and gynecology, Bruchalski needed to find a partner, fast. No problem—except that Bruchalski needed a physician who shared his belief that natural family planning (NFP) is the only moral and healthy child-spacing [...]

In evaluating managed care, the critical issue is its effect on how patients and their doctors make medical decisions. At the heart of the Catholic approach to health care is a personalist philosophy that treats the human person as the focus of all decisions. The genuine welfare of the person—both spiritual and physical—must be the [...]

The steadfast piety of the Jews, who have been oppressed and persecuted in every age, remains the greatest force of conscience in world history. In our own time the Holocaust presents the most disturbing portrait of the state of that conscience. How such a thing is even possible in the heart of man needs to [...]

Wailing cries of impending financial doom resound within the classical music business. Yet never before has such a cornucopia of recorded music been available, while each month more releases of music pour forth that, until few years ago, one had no hope of hearing. The labels suffering the most are those still endlessly replicating the [...]

How can the spiritually conscious artist hold the attention of an audience whose members, as Flannery O'Connor bluntly put it, have had the moral sense bred out of them? "A secular society," she said in 1963, "understands the religious mind less and less. It becomes more and more difficult in America to make belief believable. [...]

Of all the blithe habits that befog our culture as it careens toward wreckage, one of the most annoying is the almost universal tendency to call Cunobelinus Cymbeline and Boudicca Boadicea. Cymbeline was just the poeticized name given by Shakespeare to the Briton king and father of Caractacus, or Caradawg, according to the listless labials [...]

Emma Burleigh, my mother-in-law, celebrated her 100th birthday on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. More than five years ago, as she was approaching her 95th, she agreed to move in with us, declaring that, considering her frail health, she would surely die soon. But she surprised herself. She moved in, and [...]

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, as People's Exhibit A, I submit a proposal by the United Nations that may, among other things, make "enforced pregnancy" an international crime. Never heard of it? Let me explain. In the grand fashion of recent UN initiatives, a proposed treaty will establish an International Criminal Court (ICC) so [...]

Contrary to initial impressions, this column is not about a virus or bug in the Windows setup of my computer. Rather, it is about an actual bug on the screen of my window facing Dalghren Chapel and the early morning sun. Looking out one day, I noticed a rather large—indeed, ugly—bug slowly crawling around on [...]

Commencement is over, the students are gone, an unreal peace descends upon the campuses of the nation. But on their walkways will soon be seen returning students of yesteryear, alumni and alumnae, occupying once more the same old spatial coordinates but with time in their eyes, the sense that the permanency of place only underscores [...]

MENU