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We live in a culture that says you can become—and, in fact, are— whatever you think you are, so few people dare question the transgender person’s idea of reality. Of course, it’s possible that nature may in some rare instances “cross-wire” a male by feminizing his brain before birth so he feels more like a [...]

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. I thought often of these first lines from Genesis while crossing the North Atlantic two weeks [...]

What are your pronouns? How do you self-identify? As recently as when I was in college, earlier this young century, those two questions would have elicited confusion, if not mockery. Now, they are increasingly part of the grammar of our introductions to others. During an LGBTQ town hall this past fall, Sen. Kamala Harris stated [...]

The Fox or the Child

The purpose of the modern critique of Catholic sexual morality is not to redefine sexual ethics but to un-moralize (de-moralize?) all forms of sexual expression, i.e., to give our sexual desires free rein unencumbered by guilt or responsibility. In an age where our goodness is determined by feelings of goodness about ourselves, this makes perfect [...]

As everyone knows, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives have passed a bill of impeachment against the president of the United States, Donald Trump. Oceans of ink have and will be spilled over this matter—and I am happy to add to the literary carnage. There is a great deal to be mulled over here. From the [...]

If the Church is a body, as St. Paul describes it in 1st Corinthians, then the heart of Catholicism here on earth must be the monastery. Its prayers to God for the world are pumped, like blood, throughout the body of Christ giving Christianity life. If by analogy the monastery serves as our heart, what [...]

During a recent eighth-grade trip to Chicago, chaperones and students of Notre Dame Academy in Toledo walked out of a performance of The Nutcracker after learning that lead characters would be portrayed in a gay marriage. This was a courageous and bold move—a correct application of Pope Francis’s well-publicized encouragement of young people “to make [...]

During and after the grim martial law period in the early 1980s, many freedom-minded Poles would greet each other on January 1 with a sardonic wish: “May the new year be better than you know it’s going to be!” As 2020 opens, that salutation might well be adopted by Catholics concerned about the future of [...]

Three notable Catholic thinkers drew considerable attention in the year of 2019: Saint John Henry Newman for his canonization, Bishop Fulton Sheen for the approval of his beatification, and G.K. Chesterton for his cause for sainthood being stalled. Although Newman is best identified as a theologian, Sheen as a preacher, and Chesterton as a journalist, [...]

As Time cries, “Advance!”, we look back on a year that might fill the mouth of Time with lamentation. The Syrian civil war, the Christchurch mosque massacre, economic collapse in Venezuela, Hong Kong protests, the El Paso Walmart shooting, the Sri Lanka Easter terror attack, the Notre-Dame fire, and political upheaval in America. What is [...]

One of the commentators on a recent Crisis article of mine declared that “Charles Coulombe is a weird person who desires the destruction of democracy and its replacement with monarchy again. There is a bizarre thread in Crisis now that desires such stupid stuff.” I suppose I am a weird person, so I can’t disagree [...]

After the experience of having four babies in a span of six years, I’ve learned a lot about the postpartum period. Because of that, I’d like to officially define postpartum as the first full year after giving birth. Currently, postpartum care for the mother is often no more than a simple six-week check-up. You could [...]

“The foolishness of God is wiser than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25) There is no Catholic dogma on Mary as Co-Redemptrix. However, several popes (Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, and John Paul II) have taught the substance of this title; a separate essay could establish that point. What is [...]

On December 17, the day the first “O Antiphon” signaled the intensification of preparations for Christmas, the Church read the genealogy of Jesus from Matthew’s gospel: writing for a predominantly Jewish-Christian audience, the evangelist stresses that the blessings promised to and through Abraham, and the dynastic promises made to King David, are about to be [...]

President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order that interprets Judaism as a nationality or race—i.e., it should not be seen exclusively as a religion—so that the federal government can threaten to withhold funds from schools deemed to be fostering anti-Semitism in school activities, programs, curricula, and classrooms. The order was signed the day after [...]

Editor’s note: the Rev. James V. Schall, SJ,  joined Crisis Magazine as a columnist in January of 1983. He passed away in April. On this second day of Christmas, we honor him by republishing this timely and timelss column, which originally appeared in the December 1995 print edition of Crisis. Requiescat in Pace, Father Schall. [...]

After years of literary success and popular acclaim, Leo Tolstoy became dissatisfied with the complacency of the intelligentsia in what it had accepted as life’s meaning (or lack thereof)—in a word, he was suicidal. He had become convinced that no answer to his existential questions could be found in the “chemical compositions of the stars” [...]

Christmas in a Cage

I had heard that this store went “all out” at Christmas, but I was still taken aback. Ten-foot-tall nutcrackers, sprawling miniature villages, plush snow unicorns, plastic pine trees encrusted with glitter and glass, jingle bell muzak at high volume, seasonally garish sweaters, gigantic drummer boys para-pum-pum-pumming, a marshmallow army of leering lawn inflatables, and a [...]

Integrity in the political arena is rare. Regardless of facts or circumstances, people so instinctively align with their party or “tribe” that many Americans have become nearly indifferent to critical thought or the search for truth. This is partly why Christianity Today editor Mark Galli’s December 19th editorial supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump [...]

The Well-Fought Fight

The incorporation of Anglican hymnody into English-language Catholic worship is one of the great blessings of the past 50 years. And within that noble musical patrimony, Ralph Vaughan Williams surely holds pride of place among modern composers. Well do I remember the summer day in 1965 when I heard a massed chorus of men and [...]

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