01/01/1999

Millennial Jitters

On December 31, 999 A.D., the people of Rome and travelers from throughout Christendom gathered in old St. Peter's to greet their Lord. In the past year, millennial anticipation had broken out all over Europe: Church-building had ground to a halt, religious revivals swept through the peasant population, masses were said, confessions heard, incense burned. [...]

Millennial Jitters

On December 31, 999 A.D., the people of Rome and travelers from throughout Christendom gathered in old St. Peter's to greet their Lord. In the past year, millennial anticipation had broken out all over Europe: Church-building had ground to a halt, religious revivals swept through the peasant population, masses were said, confessions heard, incense burned. [...]

The Father in 1999

Editor’s Note: In order to promote study and preparation for the millennium jubilee, Crisis hereby grants permission to reproduce this study guide at will for group use. Preparation for the millennium is now well under way. This final year is dedicated to God the Father and is "aimed at broadening the horizons of believers so [...]

My "Notes Toward Unity" (Sed Contra, October 1998) elicited more response than any column I have written in the past four years. Catholics around the nation are frustrated; they want their voice heard in the culture. More and more Catholics are tired of being invisible. We can only hope that the airing of the Kevorkian [...]

In a memorable 1992 essay, Daniel Patrick Moynihan noted how the meaning of "normal" in our day has been expanded to include behavior that only a short time ago was universally acknowledged to be morally wrong or pathological. The Senator described this habit as "defining deviancy down," and although he focused primarily on the ease [...]

Once, when asked his philosophy, Franklin Roosevelt answered simply, "I am a Christian and a Democrat." As always with Roosevelt, there was more to it than that. He was not just a Christian, but a Protestant, an Episcopalian, a descendant of Huguenot and Yankee New Englanders on his mother's side. And he was not just [...]

Fides et Ratio has already prompted some commentators to observe the irony of the Church's efforts to educate the modern mind. At the end of the last century, the popes had to defend the legitimacy of supernatural faith against the pretensions of secular rationalism; now, at the end of the 20th century, it takes a [...]

There are few policy questions as important to the general public as what to do about education. Everyone agrees that that education on all levels—and especially the education of minority students—is in utter disarray, but it is difficult to forge a consensus on what precisely should be done to address the problem. In the midst [...]

“Movie music!” is the exclamation of recognition that newcomers often make upon first hearing classical music. They seem as delighted with this discovery as was Moliere's Middle-Class Gentleman when he realized he had been speaking prose all his life. One tries not to wince noticeably when explaining to the neophyte that William Tell rode long [...]

Film: Easeful Death

Truth sometimes finds its way into the movies—accidents happen—but when it comes to death, Hollywood is incapable of honesty, and the bigger the budget, the balder the lies. Real movie stars live forever or die nobly, uttering memorable last words and expiring with a smile; you never see the catheter, or smell the pus. Even [...]

‘‘Raising his voice [in the House of Commons] till the arches of Irish oak resounded, he spoke." Thus does Macaulay begin his account of Edmund Burke's celebrated speech in 1788, pressing for the impeachment of Warren Hastings. Burke had brought forth a mass of evidence of "high crimes and misdemeanors" by Hastings, Governor-General of India. [...]

Anglo-Sino-Jewish connections form a triangle that dismays only those who sniff conspiracies in the Trilateral Commission and the fluoridation of water. I offer a few meager examples of the ties between these gifted races, like the English broadcaster who gives such useful information about the Hong Kong stock market on the Bloomberg News Radio. The [...]

In the hoopla over the National Conference of Catholic Bishops's unusually strong remarks during their annual meeting late last November about the life issues ("Living the Gospel of Life"), another serious remarkably weak statement passed virtually unnoticed. In his presidential "Statement on Iraq," Bishop Pilla of Cleveland again brought the bishops' conference close to endorsing [...]

When the bishops from the northwestern states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska paid their ad limina visits to the Vatican on October 9, Pope John Paul II focused his remarks on the ups and downs of liturgical renewal in the 30 years since the Second Vatican Council. "The challenge now," he said, "is [...]

Surprising doctrines are heard of late. Our private lives and public lives, it is suggested, are completely different. We are quite astonished that our inner self can even recognize our outer self. We cannot judge, not merely "lest we be judged," but also because we can conclude nothing about our inner life from our external [...]

Logicians have an exercise called "The Liar's Paradox" which is used to illustrate a number of things. The basic scenario is this: Your ship goes down, and eventually you drift ashore, where you are greeted by a native who informs you that everyone on this island always lies. Can you believe him? If what he [...]

Millennial Danger

In the winter of 1980, I faced my first class at Mercer University in Atlanta, an "Introduction to Religion" course for ten students in the evening program. The brightest of them was already well-established as the financial controller of a hotel on Peachtree Street. Two decades later, she teaches philosophy and humanities at The University [...]

Let’s put things in perspective: If anyone had told us, six years ago, that in 1998 the Republicans would win control of both houses of Congress, and that the majorities organizing the Congress would have a heavy preponderance of pro-lifers, we would have regarded the prophecy as a pipedream. The good news, and the sober [...]

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