05/01/1999

When Pope John Paul II set foot on Cuban soil on January 21, 1998, he recalled that the island, which Christopher Columbus had once called "the most beautiful human eyes have seen," was a land "where the cross of Christ was raised 500 years ago." The pope's simple statement of historical fact seemed to fly [...]

When Pope John Paul II set foot on Cuban soil on January 21, 1998, he recalled that the island, which Christopher Columbus had once called "the most beautiful human eyes have seen," was a land "where the cross of Christ was raised 500 years ago." The pope's simple statement of historical fact seemed to fly [...]

In January 1998, Pope John Paul II came to Cuba as the "messenger of truth and hope." Thousands— even hundreds of thousands—warmly received him and enthusiastically applauded his words. In spite of 40 years of communist domination, Cuba was still fertile soil for the Gospel. Papal visits do not happen in a vacuum. The success [...]

It is a truth not universally acknowledged that 35 years after the Second Vatican Council the laity has no idea what to do with itself. It was not supposed to be this way. As early as 1952, Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote that "the hour of the laity is sounding in the Church." The Council [...]

Patricia Ireland's recent reception into the Catholic Church is but one sign that the era of McGreeley-inspired dissent and desertion is winding to a close. Although Ireland (who bears no relation to the president of the National Organization of Women) was raised Catholic, she fell under the spell of Mary Daly and Richard McBrien at [...]

America will awake from the Clinton presidency with a world-class hangover. And like the standard morning after, America will marvel at the many things it reportedly did the night before. It will, of course, deny that it ever approved of Clinton as president. But the record is there. And this is, after all, the same [...]

A web of wires connected microphones, earphones, and lights behind the nameplates of the world's leading foundations: Turner, Hewlett, MacArthur, Rockefeller, Gates. The main committee meeting of the United Nations's Hague Forum featured an amphitheater of desks manned—often womanned—by delegates of 177 nations and of the rich and famous who bankroll population control worldwide. This [...]

Crisis recently had the opportunity to speak with Bishop Allen H. Vigneron, rector of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, about today's seminarians. Drawing on more than 14 years of experience, he was able to explain why he thinks today's seminarians represent a promising new generation of future priests. This interview is the fifth installment [...]

In 1968, professional golfer Jack Burke, Jr., stood in front of all the Basilian priests gathered at St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas, and made a bold statement: "Anybody in this room who is thinking about leaving the priesthood for any reason whatsoever, please leave now. No hard feelings." Anyone who knows Jack Burke, [...]

Anyone who has been to a Catholic conference has heard the following remark rise up out of the audience: "What we really need to do is to pray and get before the Blessed Sacrament!" Anyone who has spoken at a Catholic conference has had to confront this statement. Usually, in order not to appear like [...]

Bill Clinton, perhaps the greatest political escape artist of the century, may have run out of tricks, this time in the Balkans, where the fate of far tougher men than he has been sealed by age-old ethnic and religious rivalries. The NATO bombing campaign will inflict considerable damage on Serbian military forces and Yugoslavian infrastructure [...]

“Summoning his passion, nearly foaming with conviction, straining his temples with anger ... he professed his moderation. And he swore an eternal enmity to those people, swollen with surety, who thought they knew the 'truth.’" That description could have served well over the last 30 years to describe colleagues I have known in Amherst and [...]

Robert Reilly recently spoke with Swiss composer Carl Rütti on the occasion of his 50th birthday. Born in 1949, Rütti grew up in Zug, Switzerland. He has been widely recognized for his compositions in England, whose great choral tradition inspired him at an early age. Reilly was able to explore the deep faith and religiosity [...]

Hollywood does only three things consistently well: light comedy, film noir, and the western. (Star Wars is a western.) At their best, these stylized genres serve as masks of deniability behind which intelligent filmmakers hide their heterodoxies. The gods of the Copybook Headings may have been driven from the public square, but turn back the [...]

Although Persian and English share no etymological roots, the word "bad" means the same in both. This should alert us to another coincidence involving speakers of those two tongues. During World War II, Prince Hamid Qajar, who died in 1988, fought in the British Royal Navy under the pseudonym David Drummond, serving on H.M.S. Duke [...]

A year from John now, Pope Paul II will do something that, even in the heightened context of the Jubilee, will have great significance. In a mass at the Roman Colosseum, the site of much early Christian heroism, he will commemorate the Catholic martyrs of the 20th century. For the world and, alas, even for [...]

My father and mother, ages 88 and 86, recently entered the Catholic Church. Like most things in life, their entrance could never have been imagined or expected, even ten years ago. Yet, like all things in life, their conversion was providential, and, when it happened, it seemed utterly natural. How natural it is, that with [...]

To describe a political regime, we must also describe the souls of the citizens. Regimes do not take to unfavorable descriptions of their way of life, no matter how justified. And no correlation need exist between what a regime says it is and what it actually is. Regimes with written constitutions announce the standards by [...]

I just received an excited e-mail from my youngest brother concerning his recent trip to Ireland where he discovered that our great, great grandfather, Austin Joseph, was baptized in Kilkee, a village in County Clare on the island's western shores. Steve has put someone on the spoor of Austin Joseph with the hope that our [...]

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