Last fall, the Archdiocese of Boston released an ambitious plan designed to stem the decline it has experienced—in priests, Mass attendance, and treasure—since the 2002 wave of sexual-abuse scandals. Whether the plan will work remains an open question. That something needs to be done is a sentiment shared widely among Boston-area Catholics.
As her memoir My Beloved World makes clear, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has spent a lifetime challenging offensive remarks about minorities and the poor.
Victories often contain the seeds of future defeats. So it is -- or at least should be -- with the Senate's morally reprehensible rejection of expanded background checks for gun buyers.
The Faith of a Catholic Novelist
In one of the most anticipated plays of the season, Tom Hanks stars as Mike McAlary, a writer who worked his way to stardom at three New York tabloids from 1985 to 1998. Beneath its nostalgic surface—the foul-mouthed newsroom repartee, wafting cigarette smoke, and late nights at the bar—the play poses serious moral questions about journalism and its place in the quest for celebrity.
The documentary format of The Gatekeepers is tame, the content explosive, splicing interviews with archival footage outlining the history of Shin Bet since the 1967 Six-Day War and the contours of Israeli policy vis-à-vis its Arab nemeses. The House I Live In takes us on a dismal road trip through our nation’s inaptly named corrections industry, issuing a verdict both unanimous and harsh.
Pope Francis’s choice of title and his actions in his first days as pope indicate that he places humility and compassion for the marginalized at the heart of his ministry—“servant leadership,” in today’s church parlance.
From Chile to Mexico—and among U.S. Latinos—there was a collective gasp of excitement over the election of Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis. To assess the possible impact of the new pope on Latin-American Catholicism, however, it is necessary to understand several complex and deeply entrenched challenges.
Virtually everyone in Latin America (and North America as well) has every reason to be thrilled with the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papacy. Still, there are some who continue to raise questions about his actions during Argentina's guerra sucia.
In winning election as Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio defied the papal pundits, even though they should have seen him coming. His rise marks the decisive shift within Roman Catholicism toward Latin America and the developing world.
John Thavis presents many stories that will make you laugh. Others may make you cry.
Divisions in the church are usually seen as mimicking those of secular politics. Conservatives or traditionalists are pitted against liberals or progressives. But Timothy Radcliffe, a Dominican friar and the former head of his order, suggests a more fruitful way to understand the Catholic split.
A Friend Remembers Dorothy Day
Lessons From the Picket Line
At a moment when prominent American politicians are promoting a vision in which society is little more than a collection of individualists in competition with one another, John Paul II's image of life as a common banquet seems particularly apt.
One school of thought on the right rejects adjusting to a new electorate; strategies for future victories are based on a naked use of government power to alter the political playing field. Michigan's Republican-led right-to-work law is an example.
Rightward Tilt Clouds the Christian Message
Revisiting ‘Economic Justice for All’
The Catholic Right’s False Nostalgia
A Partisan Abuse of the Church’s Moral Teachings
Ayn Rand, an atheist, considered charity a sign of weakness. Paul Ryan’s Randian views—notably his budget plan’s drastic cuts to food stamps, which now aid 46 million—have not sat well with many Catholics.
Pawan Sinha is a neuroscientist at MIT. His special interest is visual learning and how the brain recognizes what it sees. Many scientists stay inside their laboratories and study their data. And God bless them. They make important discoveries, and some of them even change the way we live. But Pawan Sinha isn’t one of those.
Translating Moral Principle into Public Policy
Who better than a group of women who have consecrated their lives to the Almighty to remind us that our decisions in November have ethical consequences? Those who serve the impoverished, the sick and the dying know rather a lot about what matters -- in life, and in elections.
President Obama and Mitt Romney have chosen running mates who reflect their political philosophies. Both vice presidential candidates are also Roman Catholics, the first time this has happened in American history. Yet despite the obvious sincerity of their faith, their moral and political views reflect the positions of their political parties more than those of their church.
Progressives should put aside their disappointment with Barack Obama. The alternative is a presidency that would shred safety nets and regulations while running the country according to the cruel and primitive forms of individualism not seen since pre-New Deal America.
Twenty-five years ago the U.S. bishops issued their last comprehensive commentary on the moral dimensions of our political economy. The anniversary of their Economic Justice for All arrives during the nation’s most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression, at a time when Americans yearn for a positive vision of an economy that can support struggling families, restrain private greed, and provide resources for enriching the common life.
When the Vatican Confounds Conservatives
The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
How persuasively is the church making its case against gay marriage?
Coming of age in East Germany
What can we do to prevent another Tucson?
In mid-November, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops discussed a report detailing an extensive “review and renewal” of its domestic-poverty program, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The reevaluation came in response to complaints that the CCHD’s grant recipients were involved in efforts that contradict Catholic teaching.
Letter from Sierra Leone
How the Fourteenth Amendment became controversial
The mainstream media and the Obama administration must stop cowering before a right wing that has forced its own propaganda to be accepted as news by persuading journalists that "fairness" requires treating extremist rants as "one side of the story."
Might the USCCB be wrong about the health-care law?
Extending the argument against sex-selective abortion
It will take some time before a new array of justices on the Court rethinks the labored departure from precedent made by the majority in Citizens United. Meanwhile, much corporate mischief will have been done.
Women’s varied struggles to shape their own lives are exemplified by three resolute Americans whose paths crisscrossed as they made their way through the patriarchy of nineteenth-century Massachusetts. Their stories are told in a trio of recent books that study the era’s intricate nexus of family, friendship, and class.
How the Obama administration deals with a challenge even more complicated than it looks will determine the kind of summer the president has and the kind of election the Democrats will face this fall.
A review of the book On Evil
How the bishops conference gets health-care legislation wrong
A profile of the ethicist Gilbert Meilaender
Arizonans have plenty to be anxious about, but indulging in a crude nativism won’t stop the flow of undocumented immigrants or prevent violent crime along the border.
Stanley Hauerwas & the Christian Difference
The New York Times's worldview is secularist and secularizing, and as such it rivals the Catholic worldview. But what makes the Times unique is that it is not just the nation's self-appointed newspaper of record. It is, to paraphrase Chesterton, an institution with the soul of a church.