discipline

What Ireland’s Abortion Referendum is Really About

This year Ireland will hold a referendum on the issue of abortion. The date has not yet been set but the vote will probably take place in May. Since 1983, enshrined in Article 8 of the Irish Constitution, there has been a constitutional ban on abortions taking place in the Irish Republic. This prohibition was [...]

Lent and the Great Paradox

As eighteenth century English writer Samuel Johnson might have put it, “Nothing concentrates the mind like knowing that I am dust, and to dust I shall return.” And nothing is a more bracing reminder of that reality than the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday. Placed on the forehead in the form of the cross, [...]

Does Doctrine Matter?

Man is a rational animal. That doesn’t mean he’s always reasonable, but it does mean that his actions are guided by what he believes about the world and how it hangs together. Reality comes first for him, or at least it should and often does. That is one reason love of God—of the Most Real [...]

Misbehaving Children Need Punishment

There seems to be a lot of overlap between people who don’t believe in spanking, and people who don’t believe in sin. This is a long-standing theory of mine, but it was especially confirmed in recent weeks following the kerfuffle over NFL superstar Adrian Peterson’s severe spanking of his 4-year-old son. To be clear, I [...]

Hear the Word

It can be disconcerting to watch the ranks of people walking along the city streets with wires in their ears, oblivious to the lives being lived around them, and tuning in only to what they choose to hear.  It is surprising that more of them are not run over by taxis, but even if they [...]

Common Wisdom: Being There

There was a great hullabaloo recently in our local press about the awarding of a medical degree to one of my neighbors. She had decided, at the age of forty, to become a physician. There was a lengthy interview, accompanied by a beaming photo. The awed journalist asked how on earth this belated vocation had [...]

The Curran Controversy: A Crisis Editorial

The exercise of discipline is often a painful experience — not only for the one disciplined, but for the one who disciplines him as well. Although the Vatican did not intend to cause Father Curran distress (indeed, the Sacred Congregation made every effort to find a mutually acceptable solution), no one can deny that his [...]

Common Wisdom: Short Stay

You learn, to your surprise, that surgery is indicated. Minor, but requiring general anesthesia, and there's the rub. To you, the prospect of extinguishing the light carries with it the real possibility it will not go on again. But there seems no option; the alternative is to risk detection of cancer. So you agree, and [...]

MENU