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Observing the evolution of the responses of governmental agencies, hospital advocates, and political lobbyists to the novel coronavirus from my vantage point within the medical system has raised my level of concern about its likely enduring legacy on American medical practice. The disruptions imposed by our current situation have the potential to dislodge obstructive barriers [...]

Reading and hearing the Passion of Christ this past Lent, I have been even more strongly impressed than in previous years by the historical objectivity and specificity of the four Gospel accounts of the events they relate. Competent narrative historians understand, as good novelists do, the importance of minute but telling factual detail to an [...]

There is an old Chinese curse that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” Well, we are cursed indeed. Though many have suffered grievously from this virus, you, graduating seniors, whether from high school or college, make up your own category of sufferers. Who could have imagined it would end this way? Some of you [...]

There is another plague which has deeply affected our country and world for decades, even centuries. It also involves isolation, separation, masks which cover up shame, deep wounds that cry out for healing, and the self-imposed closure of church doors, which represent ways to close off the mercy of God. This also requires the intervention [...]

May 18, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Saint Pope John Paul II. Karol Józef Wojtyla was born in Wadowice, a small town in the south of Poland, which was once a center of crafts in the eighteenth century. Its nine thousand residents were primarily burghers and farmers who lived in small [...]

Angles at Play

The English have a genius for play. Which other nation of Christendom has at the center of its villages not just a church but a field for sport? Along with the church and pub, the quintessential center of the English village is the cricket green. In England: An Elegy, Sir Roger Scruton described cricket as [...]

Great hopes and boundless resources are being poured into global efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a unique moment of unity and solidarity when humanity has mobilized to save lives. Billions of people are making sacrifices like staying home and shutting down events and businesses to keep others safe. This moment is particularly [...]

God’s judgment is a mercy. This is not a popular idea. Firstly, this is because we do not like the idea of being judged. And secondly, we do not experience judgment in our lives as merciful. It is usually harsh and always unpleasant. God’s judgment, however, is not an experience of this world. His judgement [...]

As of this writing, just five percent of Americans have not been on some form of lockdown over the past seven weeks to curb the spread of Covid-19. As society reopens, politicians, pundits, and business leaders are divided over the next step. So is the Catholic Church. In some areas not hammered so hard by [...]

De mortuis nihil nisi bonum. Ray Repp passed away several days ago. Every Catholic of my age will remember that suddenly we had songs to sing at Mass that were composed by people of our own time, who seemingly had come out of nowhere. These songs were called, generally, “folk” songs. There were two reasons for [...]

What would James Madison and Thomas Jefferson—the philosophical and logistical masterminds behind the historically influential Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom in 1786—have to say about the latest ruckus over religious liberty in their beloved Old Dominion? Lighthouse Fellowship Church, a church located on tourist-friendly Chincoteague Island, is suing Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, whose [...]

Covid-19 will most likely prove one of those demarcating events in history that will be prefixed with “pre” and “post.” Until then, these are without doubt days of blind trust. No one is quite sure what is going on, but doubt is not a popular public disposition. With sorrow for those who have suffered due [...]

“I make myself a leper with the lepers to gain all to Jesus Christ. That is why, in preaching, I say ‘we lepers,’ not, ‘my brethren.’ ” — Saint Damien of Molokai The history of the Church during pandemic is full of saints who were miraculously defended from disease. For instance, the Church invokes Saint [...]

Since mid-March, journalists across the country have been announcing that we have suddenly become a nation of homeschoolers. “The coronavirus has turned caregivers around the world into homeschoolers,” declares CNN. Media outlets from USA Today to the Washington Post have been posting homeschooling tips for disoriented parents and even more disoriented kids: read aloud with [...]

Edmund Burke once said, “People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have most to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous.” By the grace of God, as a society we have not reached [...]

Today, the Little Sisters of the Poor were back at the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping finally to bring their eight-year legal battle to an end. While several of the justices seemed inclined to side with the Trump administration’s expanded religious exemptions to the contraceptive mandate, I’ve been surprised to see much of the opposition to [...]

And so it has come to pass in these strange and dangerous days that an American cardinal is being criticized—and even exhorted to resign—for expressing support for an American president. But those who are critical of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan for taking part in a conference call with President Trump, and later complimenting the [...]

Memory is a tricky thing, and historical memory can be trickier. For example, to many Catholic Americans, the 1950s look like a golden age of innocence, when life—especially church life—looked like a series of Norman Rockwell and Harold Anderson illustrations. As with all such reminiscences, it is not entirely inaccurate. Certainly America’s Catholics benefited alongside [...]

“In an age of decadence, the Stoic philosophy held together the civil social order of imperial Rome, and taught thinking men the nature of true freedom, which is not dependent upon swords and laws.” – Russell Kirk Piety Hill is the name given by the late Russell Kirk, the “Father of American Conservatism,”to his ancestral [...]

Pity today’s college teachers, especially those at the rank of assistant professor. After years of graduate study, they were fortunate enough to find a college teaching job. Soon, however, they discovered that the subjects and courses they love to teach must be made “user-friendly.” This means emphasis, primarily, upon getting good student evaluations. One usually [...]

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