06/01/2000

Is the most urgent challenge facing the Church a crisis of faith or a crisis of the institution? That question, framed in an unusual public exchange between two prominent European cardinals last December, may be decisive in choosing the next pope. But before getting into that—who are the papabili? Those most often mentioned are Cardinals [...]

Is the most urgent challenge facing the Church a crisis of faith or a crisis of the institution? That question, framed in an unusual public exchange between two prominent European cardinals last December, may be decisive in choosing the next pope. But before getting into that—who are the papabili? Those most often mentioned are Cardinals [...]

Anti-Catholicism has always been a problem in America, although today it is nothing like what existed in an earlier era. Catholics are part of the nation's economic, political, and cultural establishment, no longer the lesser citizens of a society that was generically Protestant and fairly proud of that fact. But every so often, events conspire [...]

Congresswoman Anne Meagher Northup knew about personal responsibility when she was a 20-year-old student at St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. It meant that she, not her father, would pay for her bus ticket back home for Christmas. It meant that if she wanted to join her nine sisters and one brother at home [...]

For almost 18 centuries, Christians built chapels and churches without any universal legislation from Rome. With almost no written direction to the pastors and architects, Christians built beautiful, durable churches that accommodated the liturgy wonderfully and that we are the grateful beneficiaries of. Why then do we need a document on art and architecture today? [...]

The image of Christ in the visual arts is a history of reverence, wonder, and controversy. Art historically, one can trace the depiction of Christ from an icon of power and transcendental remoteness to a depiction—especially prevalent in modern times—of Christ as a man of flesh and blood, seemingly more human than divine. In the [...]

The Jesus Seminar, so-called, recently has been running out of steam. Its two flagship projects on the words of Jesus and the deeds of Jesus recently have been completed. The chairman, Robert Funk, has great agendas for reconstructing the whole of the first five centuries of Christianity, showing that the creeds and theology of St. [...]

Vice President Gore had the opportunity to address the Catholic Press Association at its May convention in Baltimore, Maryland. He decided not to at the last minute, but I couldn't help thinking about what he might have said. Here's how I imagined the question-and-answer period following his speech: During the primary, you and Sen. Bradley [...]

There was a time when being a college or university president actually entailed some understanding of and devotion to the life of the mind. A few years ago, the Yale Alumni Magazine published a typical daily schedule of President A. Whitney Griswold, who served during the 1950s. With rare exceptions, the business part of his [...]

Finalmente! After years of pressing the argument in the pages of Crisis, the Wall Street Journal, and National Review, the most "modest first step" of all was finally taken: On April 13, Rep. Charles Canady (R-Fla.) introduced the federal bill that would protect the child who survives an abortion (the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of [...]

I'm vacating this space for the rest of the year—I have a book to finish— and the prospect of not seeing any movies (well, many movies) for the next few months has put me in a reflective frame of mind. Not that I spend much time reflecting on the movies I've reviewed for Crisis in [...]

Since 1938, Lucerne, Switzerland, has been the venue for one of the world's famous music festivals, attracting each summer the highest-caliber orchestras, soloists, and conductors. Ten years ago, the International Festival of Music Lucerne expanded its program to include a spring session, which, this year, coincided with the week and a half preceding Palm Sunday. [...]

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche has been the darling of modern intellectuals who claim that all religious and philosophical truths have been exploded by growing scientific and rationalistic knowledge. It was Nietzsche who first put forward the claim that there are no facts, only interpretations. And probably no thinker has been so influential in proclaiming [...]

In a recent motion picture, computer technology shows the monster Godzilla toppling the Chrysler Building onto my bedroom. Special effects in the film King Kong of 1933, which ended on the nearby Empire State Building, were crude by comparison, but the script had memorable lines, the finest of which was the last: "Oh no, it [...]

What do women want? In politics, the answers are as predictable as they are condescending: handsome and/or earth-toned candidates; smaller kindergarten classes; Hillary. As Martha would say, each of these seems "a good thing," at least in a gauzy, soft-focused sort of way. Yet without more, all lack the capacity to resonate when the focus [...]

What is the one word that best describes what we are to ourselves from the hands of God? The answer is gifts. We do not come to be because God owes either Himself or us something. Neither we nor the world is necessary. This primary understanding of gifts means that everything is full, not of [...]

Fr. Robert Spitzer, president of Gonzaga University in Spokane, recently vetoed an invitation to a representative of Planned Parenthood to speak on the campus of his Jesuit institution. The invitation had been issued by the Women's Studies Club. Fr. Spitzer reasonably thought that welcoming to his campus a spokesman for the nation's largest abortion provider [...]

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