05/01/2001

The map at the subway station on Manhattan's East Side shows it as St. Michael's Liberal Catholic Church. Liberal Catholic Church? What does that mean—a statue of the archangel wearing a "Hillary for Senate" button? I look for Gothic spires off Lexington Avenue and East 53rd Street, where the listing in the phone book for [...]

The map at the subway station on Manhattan's East Side shows it as St. Michael's Liberal Catholic Church. Liberal Catholic Church? What does that mean—a statue of the archangel wearing a "Hillary for Senate" button? I look for Gothic spires off Lexington Avenue and East 53rd Street, where the listing in the phone book for [...]

"Bioethics"—the word sounds like old-fashioned medical ethics applied to new medical technology. It's the application of traditional philosophical or theological principles to the moral dilemmas created by, say, cloning or experimenting with new AIDS drugs, right? Not really. Like the word "bioethics" itself, which dates only from the early 1970s, the philosophical underpinnings of bioethics [...]

Whenever I read the novels of Jon Hassler, whose funny and beautifully crafted stories, mostly about Catholics in the upper Midwest, call to mind his fellow Minnesotan and Catholic writer, the late J.F. Powers, I wonder what it's like to be one of the best American novelists alive, yet largely unknown beyond a coterie of [...]

Your Inner Cop

Colson's Law is named for the man I learned it from: Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries. It is one of the fundamental laws of human history. It has always been true, and it always will be true, unless human nature itself changes in its very essence. It is the law of four "C's": [...]

In January, Crisis music critic Robert R. Reilly spoke with Italian composer Gian Carlo Menotti (b. 1911) when he was at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., to direct the 50th- anniversary production of his opera, The Consul, for the Washington Opera Society. Menotti has written some of the [...]

The squalid manner in which former president Bill Clinton left office earlier this year, leaving a trail of dubious pardons behind him, spoke volumes not only about an administration that some saw as deeply corrupt, but about the entire "American century" that just ended. Unfortunately, at the end of this 100 years of stupendous achievement, [...]

Only a few days after his inauguration, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush dined with the newly installed archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore (now Cardinal) McCarrick. In spite of concerns about security, the dinner took place in the archdiocese's chancery, not the White House. On January 31, Bush met in the White [...]

The adage that no one's wallet is safe while the legislature sits requires a codicil: Lock up the Constitution when Congress debates election reform. The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act—that mouthful of a name for the pending legislation designed to reduce the influence of money in politics—is actually a serious threat to the First Amendment's [...]

A former boss, a Protestant with a strong religious sense of the importance of not wasting time, passed out a copy of The One- Minute Manager to the whole staff at an organization where I worked some years ago. It was a pious effort to get us all to consult with him, and for him [...]

I don't believe in God, but I definitely believe in icons," a famous choreographer once told me. So does Hollywood. Take Ridley Scott's Hannibal, the third installment in the continuing saga of Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter, the psychiatrist-turned-serial-killer who "eats the rude" as part of his private campaign to elevate America's aesthetic tone. As [...]

Still shaken over the passing of the millennium, I have retreated to my favorite musical refuge, the 18th century. Thanks to the Naxos, Chandos, CPO, and Hyperion labels, my refuge is secure. The composers of the last half of the 18th century produced some 20,000 symphonies, along with similar quantities of compositions in other genres. [...]

There is no lovelier Hymn to Mary in modern English than Let It Be, the Beatles song written in 1969: When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, Speaking words of wisdom: Let it be. Those pellucid lyrics by Paul McCartney, who, with John Lennon, composed the plaintive melody, stand [...]

Among the things hidden from the learned and the clever are the glories of heaven. There are glories of human intelligence and design on this earth, but the eternal glories of heaven are revealed to children, who have no desire to outwit God. The child expects God to be God. God's heaven is no stranger [...]

One of our favorite buzzwords these days is "globalization." Globalization is when someone sitting on the Metro in Washington, D.C., talks on a cellphone to a colleague in a skyscraper in Tokyo about opening a branch office in Hamburg. Many people can hardly wait to take it a step further and set up a global [...]

Jean McCall Oesterle was 90 years old when she died March 7, on the old-calendar feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose name she added to her own when she entered the Church more than 60 years ago. She and her husband, John, who died in 1977, belonged to that generation of converts who came into [...]

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