09/01/2000

Although expected, when it came it still felt like a kick to the abdomen. I am referring to Justice Stephen Breyer's opinion for a 5-4 Supreme Court majority overturning Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban (Stenberg v. Carhart). This opinion forces us to consider that future attempts to limit abortion will likely take place in an environment [...]

Although expected, when it came it still felt like a kick to the abdomen. I am referring to Justice Stephen Breyer's opinion for a 5-4 Supreme Court majority overturning Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban (Stenberg v. Carhart). This opinion forces us to consider that future attempts to limit abortion will likely take place in an environment [...]

Chief Justice William Rehnquist I did not join the joint opinion in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. vs. Casey (1992), and continue to believe that case is wrongly decided. Despite my disagreement with the opinion, under the rule laid down in Marks vs. United States (1977), the Casey joint opinion represents the holding of the [...]

"In its ruling, the Supreme Court has taken the outrage of abortion itself one step further by opening the door to an even graver crime, the destruction of children literally inches and seconds from birth." ~Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua Archbishop of Philadelphia "A victory for barbarism.... The primary duty of any government is to protect the [...]

As an estimated 70,000 gay-rights advocates gathered in   Rome this July for World Pride 2000, some 10,000 Episcopalians thronged Denver, Colorado, to attempt to sort out, among other things, the church's mind on same-sex unions. The other things addressed by the Episcopal Church U.S.A. (ECUSA) at its 73rd triennial General Convention included a full communion [...]

For 30 years Catholics have watched sadly as schools and parishes all over the country have shut down. Many marvels structures full of memories, often sitting on prime real estate, have been sold to developers to make way for condos and strip malls. Protests and nostalgia have not been, enough to fight the inevitability of [...]

Five years ago in Bogota, a statue of the Divine Child told Mother Angelica to build a shrine. She was traveling in Colombia promoting her Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). Not many knew that EWTN had begun airing 24 hours of programming in Spanish, so Mother and the president of EWTN, Deacon Bill Steltemeier, were [...]

“Ya, ya, ya...hoy, hoy, hoy!" the delirious Mexico City crowd chanted while it filled Reforma Boulevard, partying into the night. "Now, now, now...today, today, today!" Mexico just elected a new president. But not the same old "new" president. For the first time since 1929, the ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), went down in [...]

William F. Buckley, meditating on the politics of abortion, suggested before the GOP convention that George W. Bush would do well to address the subject in a fireside chat. Although Buckley's piece was prompted by the now moot controversy concerning the vice-presidential feasibility of Governor Tom Ridge, a "pro-choice" Catholic, its directives survive the immediate [...]

Crisis readers, I am sure, will want to know about the recent publication by Carroll & Graf of three novels by Madeleine St John (pronounced "sin-gin"), an Anglican and a Londoner, of Australian birth. St John's work deserves to be widely read by Catholics who are in the habit of recommending only writers now long-deceased. [...]

No close observer of the Supreme Court was completely surprised by the decision overturning Nebraska's partial-birth abortion prohibition (Stenberg v. Carhart). Nevertheless, the defense of so barbarous an act was a stunning demonstration of raw judicial power. By a vote of 5 to 4, the justices applied the test they had contrived in 1992—that the [...]

July 20. The day had finally come: the hearings, in Congress, on "the most modest first step of all." Rep. Charles Canady (R- Fla.) would be presiding over the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House Committee on the Judiciary, and he would be guiding the committee in considering the bill that he himself had [...]

Film: Schlock Value

"Innocence always calls mutely for protection, when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm." —Graham Greene, The Quiet American G.K. Chesterton once said that anything worth doing is worth doing badly. I wonder whether [...]

Why, you are probably wondering, have there been so few, if any, French symphonists? What about Arthur Honneger (1892-1955) and his five symphonies? Sorry—though the French claim him for their own, he was Swiss. Yes, Cesar Frank (1822-90) wrote one symphony, and Vincent d'Indy (1851-1931) wrote several, but that hardly qualifies them as symphonists (and [...]

As we enter the silly season of another presidential campaign, the conscientious Christian finds himself, as in most things, situated in the midst of a delicate paradox. On the one hand, we have seen a string of real-life absurdities in recent politics that exceeds the imaginative powers of the great humorists. Phrases like "It all [...]

I shall always be grateful to the neighbor of my parents who some years ago gave me a copy of Dryden's translation of Virgil's Georgics. Splendid as were the illustrative plates, they could not overwhelm the verses of the laureled poet whom Cowper, slightly provincially, called the Milton of Rome. The average pedestrian need not [...]

Summer rites of passage wind down and the flying public puts away suitcases that actually reappeared on carousels. A recent participant in the melee of terminals teeming with passengers delayed, bumped, or stranded, I was reminded of the anguished faces in Michelangelo's The Last Judgment and convinced that, if I am dispatched to hell, my [...]

On finishing my annual eight-day retreat at lovely Georgetown Preparatory School on Rockville Pike, I returned to my room. Checking over e-mail, I noticed an unfamiliar source. It was entitled, "Possible Useful Information." I am rather a sucker for possible useless information. This particular citation was about natural law. Its Web site address was www. [...]

Catholic opponents of the death penalty sometimes seem to lose sight of the primary purpose of punishment. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (final text) says, "Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense.” If I commit a serious offense against society, I bring about a disorder, and the point [...]

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