Crisis Magazine

The Hook: A Week in the Life of a Catholic Preacher

It's Thursday night, and Rev. Bill Parent, a Roman Catholic priest, is still struggling with the opening of his Sunday homily. His fingers sit unmoving on his computer keyboard. He has had several ideas, but none has taken hold. He writes two sentences, stops, and rubs his chin. Then he quickly highlights them and presses [...]

Brother Beat

Sixty years ago, Catholicism -- for the first time -- stood at the center of American literature. Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O'Connor, J. F. Powers, Pietro di Donato, and Mary McCarthy represented the front rank of contemporary fiction. Meanwhile poets like John Berryman, Allen Tate, Robert Lowell, John Frederick Nims, and Robert Fitzgerald became the [...]

Underground Catholic priest and nun murdered in China

Lest we forget that our Catholic brothers and sisters in China are still suffering great persecution: A priest and a nun who were both members of China's underground Catholic church were murdered in the north of the country this week but the motive was not clear, police said Thursday. AsiaNews, a Vatican-based news service, said [...]

Why Young Catholics Are Leaving the Church

They leave for different reasons. Some saw hypocrisy. Others were hurt by those in authority. Still more disagree with a Church teaching. Sometimes, all they're waiting for is an invitation back. And often, it's not the Catholic Church itself that the "fallen away" have a beef with but their particular experience of it. "Evangelize at [...]

An Evening with Bishop John Shelby Spong

This wasn't what Bishop John Shelby Spong expected. Meeting in a posh ballroom of the glitzy, glass Marriott Hotel on Times Square, his audience was overwhelmingly white-skinned, white-haired, well-educated, and well-heeled. Nothing unusual there. But the questions?"All evidence suggests that pre-modern forms of Christianity are in better health than the small strands within Christianity that [...]

‘The Risk of Education’

Readers may remember that I wasn't the biggest fan of The Catcher in the Rye when I read it in high school. But J. D. Salinger's passing last week brought the book to mind for Father Dwight Longenecker, who says that its message may be even more important for adults than for teens: Holden's problem is that he can't learn how [...]

Ralph McInerny passed away this morning

I have sad news to report: The great Catholic philosopher and writer Ralph McInerny passed away this morning. He was just shy of his 81st birthday. While Ralph may be best remembered in general circles as the author of the popular Father Dowling mystery series, he has a special significance to the staff and friends [...]

Sense and Nonsense: A Conversation with Rev. James V. Schall, S.J.

  Crisis Magazine music critic Robert R. Reilly sat down with noted writer, political thinker, and Georgetown University professor Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., to talk about the life of the mind, the future of the West, and lessons learned over a long career in education. ♦           ♦           ♦ Robert R. Reilly: What is the [...]

The Apple Argument Against Abortion

In this Crisis Magazine classic, philosopher Peter Kreeft says that if you know what an apple is, you know enough to recognize the truth of the pro-life argument.   I doubt there are many readers here who are pro-choice. Why, then, do I write an argument against abortion? Why preach to the choir?   Preaching [...]

Cursing, Catholic Style

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Ted Gioia says it's time for some new and improved profanity. He has some ideas...     Some years ago, during the seventh inning of a baseball game, umpire John Hirschbeck got carried away in a dispute with pitcher Hideki Irabu, the temperamental but promising New York "Yankee" from Japan. [...]

Reconciling Judas: Evangelizing the Theologians

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Edward T. Oakes, S.J. looks at the troubling tendency of theologians to abandon the historic faith.     In 1968, a professor of theology at the University of Regensburg wrote a modestly sized treatise on the Apostles' Creed called Introduction to Christianity. Its impact, however, was anything but modest, for [...]

The King’s Anguish: Mistranslating the Holy Scriptures

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Anthony Esolen takes a discouraged but entertaining look at the lectionary.     "If any man," says the preacher, "can show just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace."   At that the door is flung open, [...]

A Portrait of Dietrich von Hildebrand

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Thomas Howard sketches the life and work of Dietrich von Hildebrand -- often considered a 20th century Doctor of the Church.    The name Dietrich von Hildebrand is not, perhaps, as well known as it should be among intelligent and literate Catholics -- or, for that matter, among Christians of [...]

Off the Rails: Was Vatican II Hijacked?

In this Crisis Magazine classic, James Hitchcock says that while the Second Vatican Council was itself orthodox, much of what followed was not. Here's why.     Most Catholics in 1959 probably didn't even know what an ecumenical council was. And yet, here it was. Pope John XXIII announced that the goals of the Second [...]

When Abortion Kills Twice: The Abortion/ Breast Cancer Link

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Tom Hoopes reports on the link between abortion and breast cancer, and explains why mainstream medicine is ignoring the facts.     Janet Gail was used to looking at mammograms and finding bad news. As a hospital technician in Pennsylvania, that was her job. But she was unprepared for what [...]

Don’t Wear that Mini to Mass

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Benjamin Wiker says we have an obligation not to be unnecessarily distracting to others at Mass.     As I have not received nearly enough hate mail of late, I thought it best to write something else on modesty, this time modesty at Mass (see my first article, "Drawing a [...]

Over the Rails America

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Anthony Esolen says a forgotten tourist attraction in rural Pennsylvania can teach us much about the nation we once were, and what we have become.       On a dead-end stretch of what was once U.S. Route 22, in a small village with tacky-friendly billboards boasting "Genuine Dutch Cooking," [...]

Drawing a Hemline: Sexual Modesty and the Pursuit of Wisdom

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Benjamin Wiker almost gets lynched arguing for a return to sexual modesty in dress.     I have a suggestion for those in academia who are concerned that women be treated as intellectual equals: Try sexual modesty. Before the lynching party arrives, I hope I will have time to explain. [...]

On the Trail of the Ark

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Raymond Matthew Wray travels to a lonely corner of Ethiopia, where the Orthodox Church claims to have the "lost" Ark of the Covenant.     "He says you must go now," my translator told me. I looked from him to the official standing across from the old church ruins. "I [...]

The Death of Morality

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Benjamin Wiker says that the single greatest moral crisis we've ever faced is upon us now.     It is difficult to gain attention in an era that uses superlatives to describe dishwashing liquid and mayonnaise. Perhaps speaking simply and directly might prove such an oddity that words may again [...]