03/01/2000

As 1999 ended, there was speculation about who had been the greatest, most popular, most significant, or most influential Catholic of the preceding 100 years. When it came to the world, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa scored high on virtually every list. In the United States, names such as Francis Cardinal Spellman, Dorothy [...]

As 1999 ended, there was speculation about who had been the greatest, most popular, most significant, or most influential Catholic of the preceding 100 years. When it came to the world, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa scored high on virtually every list. In the United States, names such as Francis Cardinal Spellman, Dorothy [...]

Why should Catholics be concerned about the Jesus Seminar, a small group of scholars who gather twice yearly in Sonoma Valley, California, to sip wine and vote on what they decide Jesus really said and did? Because, if these scholars succeed, Christianity would be completely disfigured. If that seems overstated, consider the following facts: • [...]

The following is the first article in a nine-part series on defending the truthfulness of the Scriptures from the claims of the Jesus Seminar scholars. “There's a sucker born every minute.” Sadly, P.T. Barnum's famous saying applies not only to the circus but also to academia. It seems that the scholars of the Jesus Seminar [...]

The following is the first article in a nine-part series on defending the truthfulness of the Scriptures from the claims of the Jesus Seminar scholars. The Church canonized only four Gospels; however, Robert Funk, the leader of the Jesus Seminar, wants to add the Gospel of Thomas and the Sayings Gospel Q to our canon. [...]

A few years ago, seemingly out of the blue, in the midst of a long e-mail message on other matters, a professional friend evoked her sadness at having had an abortion when she was in her twenties. Now in her late forties, my friend was well established as an international expert in her field and [...]

We were living in a suburb of Cleveland. It was a Sunday in 1994, and I took a phone call from John, a fellow Knight of the Immaculata and Notre Dame grad. He was in the beginning stages of writing a Catholic novel about Marian apparitions and had sent me a chapter. Now he wanted [...]

Readers may have noticed that I added an explanatory note to the review section. I have been asked if this is a "disclaimer," meant to disassociate myself from our reviewers' opinions. That was certainly not my intent. I deemed the note necessary by the letters I have received from some readers who assume the mere [...]

For a while, it seemed as if the full gravity of the abortion controversy might be brought to the center of a presidential campaign. Candidates, both in person and in numerous statements by their staffs, fought to establish their credentials with their natural constituencies—pro-life with Republicans, pro-abortion with Democrats. But as the field narrows, and [...]

The story runs back to the 1930s, and it was told to me by a late colleague at Amherst. He had been teaching at Ohio State University, and he had been asked to act as the lawyer for a maid who cleaned the offices. She was in the midst of a divorce from a man [...]

There's a revealing moment toward the end of Muriel Spark's 1992 memoir of her early career, Curriculum Vitae. Times were hard for her in 1953. She was 35 and still quite poor—so poor that when, the next year, she began to have the hallucinations that prompted her first novel, The Comforters, her doctor assumed that [...]

I knew when I started writing this column that I would someday find myself reviewing a film about a priest who falls in love—though I never thought it would be with a lesbian. It is a rule of contemporary film-making that whenever a Catholic priest figures in a movie for more than two minutes, he [...]

The abundance of first-rate symphonic music produced by Scandinavians in the 20th century is a mysterious secret to most music lovers. Is there life after Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen? Try Herman Koppel, Niels Bentzon, Aare Merikanto, Einar Englund, Klaus Egge, Hilding Rosenberg, Gosta Nystroem, Lars-Erik Larsson, or Geirr Tveitt, to say nothing of Vagn [...]

As I Was walking in Washington, D.C., during the coldest day in January, a prayer suddenly entered my mind for whomever would be sleeping outside that night. I do not normally worry about strangers. Indeed, I'd just been furiously daydreaming about how to explain to contributors why a capital city research institute could do even [...]

On November 17, 1999, three new Chinese orchestral pieces, composed respectively by Ping Hu, N.Y. Yates (pseudonym of a Chinese composer), and Xiao Hu, were played at the Kennedy Center, under the direction of William Hudson. Normally, this would be in the province of my friend, Robert Reilly, the music reviewer for Crisis. Reilly could [...]

The Coverdale Translation of Psalm 107:23 sonorously extols them "that go down to the sea in ships, and occupy their business in great waters." These lines have rolled over many bodies being committed to an ocean grave. A grieved prince of Wales read those words at the funeral of Lord Mountbatten. Nothing in literature is [...]

My husband and I always draw stares of shocked disbelief when others hear that we voluntarily chose to move our family from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. "Why on earth...?" complete strangers will begin, gamely trying to keep their opinions of our fragile mental health to themselves. Usually, I mumble something about housing prices, being [...]

Those of us old enough to have voted for John Kennedy recall how exciting it was to watch the returns come in—and come in and come in. It was not until the following morning that his election as president was assured. And then the exhilarating realization set in: There would be a Catholic in the [...]

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