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Only the gifted pen of a Tom Wolfe could have minted the generation-defining sobriquet, radical chic. It first appeared in a long monograph in New York magazine in 1970, where the author wrote a withering piece describing a fashionable cocktail party at the West Side apartment of Leonard Bernstein. The impresario had invited the glitterati [...]

On May 25, 2020, the Calgary, Alberta city council passed a “conversion therapy” bill by a vote of 14-1. According to the bill, any councilor who offers to reduce a person’s same-sex attraction or reaffirm a person’s birth sex is subject to a fine of up to $10,000. The by-law also applies to anyone making [...]

“To fight racism, Catholics must hunger for justice like we do for the Eucharist.” This was the headline of a joint editorial piece published on America, the Jesuit magazine, upon the aftermath of a week’s worth of mob protest, extensive looting, and the disintegration of public law and order. In just a few words, the [...]

It was, I believe, Monsignor Ronald Knox who quipped that it is best to stay away from the engine room if one wants to enjoy life’s voyage on the Barque of Peter. He meant, of course, that politics is an unsavory business, even Church politics, and that corruption is always to be found wherever politicians [...]

“The counter-revolution will not be a contrary revolution, but the contrary of revolution.” — Joseph de Maistre Should Catholics be excommunicated for holding views on race which are found to be insufficiently woke? The Jesuits seem to think so. In a June 1 editorial, America magazine urged Catholics to “hunger for [social] justice like we [...]

Six or seven centuries “are like an evening gone” when tracing the course of common sense, and so James Madison found no anachronism in conjuring the shades of Juvenal and Cleon, more than six centuries apart, to make a point about the perils of the right and wrong manipulation of human will. He asked with [...]

It was not the head of the Catholic Church who finally condemned the tyrannical decrees of various state governors that churches are to be “nonessential,” while marijuana dispensaries, liquor stores, and abortuaries can remain open. It was President Donald Trump. He said that he is “correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.” In [...]

Almost twenty years ago, as a zealous evangelical Young Life leader at the University of Virginia, I sat on the trunk of my car with a high school senior at Charlottesville High School. He, an intelligent secular Jew, had taken my Gospel-sharing bait, and was willing to converse on God and Christianity. There we sat, [...]

There is no question that the death of George Floyd is highly questionable. The shocking and shameful insurgencies erupting in cities across the country propose that the answer is rooted in an engrained American racism. That response, too, is highly questionable. In a sense, the reaction is as disturbing as the incident itself. As fire [...]

Pope Leo XIII, born 210 years ago this year, is perhaps best known for his Marianism. He was one of the Church’s greatest promoters of the Holy Rosary, and was the first pontiff to embrace the title of Mediatrix for Our Lady. Yet Leo was one of the great thinkers of the modern age, having [...]

On May 7, Bishop Joseph Zhu Baoyu of Nanyang died peacefully in his sleep. The 98-year-old prelate is known throughout the world as the oldest person to contract the novel coronavirus and make a full recovery. It was an uplifting tale that brought comfort and hope to millions of Catholics struggling against despair in the [...]

Call the generation of which I am an exceedingly junior member either “the Baby Boomers” or the “Generation of ’68” and you evoke two similar but distinct images. The first makes one think of self-indulgent hippies-turned-self-indulgent old people; the second, revolutionaries-become-establishment. While neither is completely accurate, neither is entirely false. Like it or not, the [...]

“Active shooter at Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi.” That was the breaking news story on Thursday morning. It turned out that the shooter was no longer active, having been “neutralized” after wounding a member of the base security force. As it happens, I was in the middle of writing a piece—the article you are [...]

In 1752, a fifteen-year-old Edward Gibbon entered the halls of Magdalen College, Oxford, where his father had enrolled him as a gentleman commoner. The aspect of his new academic mother did not inspire the young scholar with immediate reverence, nor would the passage of many years cause him to look back on his brief term [...]

An interview with the Reverend Canon Matthew Talarico, Director of Vocations and Provincial Superior of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.  Q: What led you to choose your priestly vocation in the Institute and your personal devotion to the Traditional Latin Mass?  I came to know the Traditional Latin Mass when I was [...]

It’s been a strange and difficult semester for Catholic schools and colleges. Our institutions offer a unique social, spiritual, and intellectual formation that depends on personal presence, but students have been exiled from our classrooms, chapels, and athletic fields. For Catholic educators who have struggled to build on the strong relationships formed in the first [...]

The pandemic has suddenly thrown our affluent and seemingly secure and safe lives into a tailspin. In fact, the security and certainty was always an illusion, and in East Coker T.S. Eliot ponders life’s shifting uncertainty: And every moment is a new and shocking Valuation of all we have been. We are only undeceived Of [...]

Did Jesus legitimize the concept of a secular state? Many people, including well-intentioned Christians in today’s polite society, seem to think so. The “proof-text” they point to is Christ’s famous retort in St. Matthew’s Gospel, “render unto to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but render unto God that which is God’s.” Yet a closer examination, [...]

Here’s a rule of thumb: if The New York Times is praising you, you’re doing something wrong. On March 8, the Times ran an article by Tara Isabella Burton called “Christianity Gets Weird.” It’s about an Extremely Online phenomenon called—yes—“Weird Christianity.” According to Ms. Burton, what Weird Christians (like herself) “have in common is that [...]

A couple of years ago, a particularly bright and perceptive student of mine commented that Catholic parishes were like single-parent homes. She elaborated on the point, arguing that something is missing at the parish level when there is no nun or Sister present. This resonated with me because in the domestic church we encourage each [...]

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