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World

Gained in Translation: Lessons from a visit to a Mexican orphanage

Gained in Translation: Lessons from a visit to a Mexican orphanage

A few months ago, I traveled with eighteen other Catholic singles to Casa de Elizabeth—an orphanage in Imuris, Mexico, a region in the state of Sonora, about two hours south of Tucson. It is an area marked by small rivers that flow west from the Sierra Madre, where many of the residents sell their wares, like handmade tortillas, in the middle of the roads. There are about one hundred children at Casa de Elizabeth, ranging from infants to teens. Some have lost both parents and have no other relatives. Others have been victims of violence… READ MORE >


Politics

Abortion in Britain: The Case for a New Approach

Abortion in Britain: The Case for a New Approach

Britain’s lawmakers have voted to extend scientific research on embryos to allow the mixing of human and animal egg and sperm, to allow lesbians to create children through IVF without the need for a father, and against lowering the 24-week legal limit for abortions The promises of brave-new-world cures for diseases swung Members of Parliament behind the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Religious objections were parodied as unjustified interference in the lab. But the debate on lowering the abortion limit last week merits careful… READ MORE >


Science/Tech

Emancipate the Embryo! Britain set to enter ‘brave new world’

Emancipate the Embryo! Britain set to enter ‘brave new world’

British Members of Parliament must decide this month on a vast range of ethical issues contained in the Labour Government’s most far-reaching shake-up of fertility and embryology legislation in almost 20 years. The awesomely complex ethical issues raised by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill will be hotly contested when its body parts are voted on at the end of this month. On Monday, the bill passed successfully through the Commons after three hours of heated – but also thoughtful – discussion, but many of the MPs… READ MORE >


Politics

Beyond Left and Right: Awaiting the Pope’s Next Encyclical

Beyond Left and Right: Awaiting the Pope’s Next Encyclical

G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “The whole modern world has divided itself into conservatives and progressives. The business of progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” The tired categories of Left and Right, which we associate with Liberal (or Progressive) and Conservative, originated in the French Revolution, and have long outlived their usefulness. They are way too clunky to capture the complex political opinions that most of us make up as we go along,… READ MORE >


Faith

Meeting the War Wearied with Christ

Meeting the War Wearied with Christ

“eternally scourged…” Plate 3 Miserere et Guerre—Georges Rouault (1871-1958) One day last week I stood in front of St. Stephen Martyr Church in D.C. with a young religious sister and the pastor of the parish. The scene would have made for a typical beginning to a joke, “A priest, a nun, and a friar, were…” We were talking, laughing, and enjoying the sun; a diocesan priest in black, a Franciscan sister in brown and a Dominican in white. A young lady with olive skin, black hair, and black eyes approached us. Her accented voice… READ MORE >


Faith

Gazing Upwards: The Pope’s Homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Gazing Upwards: The Pope’s Homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Although I’d followed Pope Benedict from event to event during his visit to the U.S., one of the most moving moments for me was watching him on TV as he delivered what I believe was his most personal statement, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. As pastor of the Universal Church, the Pope is most at home with the Eucharist and the liturgy. His homily, characteristic of his writing in general, was both understated and profound.    Using the architecture of St. Patrick’s as his springboard, Benedict offered a beautiful… READ MORE >

(2) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    benedict xvi | pope | st. patricks

Faith

After the Pope: Time to Hit the Books?

After the Pope: Time to Hit the Books?

It’s going to take a while for all (or any) of us to absorb the significance of Benedict XIV’s first apostolic visit to the United States. Unlike his predecessor, the larger-than-life John Paul the Great, who from the first displayed an actor’s genius for what one observer described as “the symbolic gesture”, Benedict’s public demeanor is that of a mild-mannered intellectual with a professorial penchant for pedantry. He gives speeches before roaring thousands much the way one suspects he used to give… READ MORE >


Faith

Valedictory to Pope Benedict XVI

What made me weep, as I watched television coverage of Pope Benedict’s visit, was the simple act of the pope giving communion to people. The news media relayed many over-the-top comments about what the pope’s visit meant: “It’s like Jesus coming to America.” I wrote a panegyric myself about Benedict’s gifts. But Pope Benedict’s leadership and his teachings and all the pomp and circumstance of the visit would have meant nothing if it were not for the Body and Blood of Christ that unites us to God and to one another. … READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    benedict xvi | eucharist | pope

Culture

‘The Father of the World’—The Pope at the U.N.

‘The Father of the World’—The Pope at the U.N.

As I listened to the Pope’s U.N. address, while driving through Manhattan with Godspy editors John Romanowsky and John Murphy, and my son Gianni, on our way to videotape among the crowds at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, just outside U.N. headquarters, I thought to myself—what could I possibly write about the Pope’s astonishingly deep and complex address to the world community? Fortunately, later that night, the task was done for me by Simon Fung, a talented, young Catholic graphic designer who works for Grassroots Films. As we stood… READ MORE >


Faith

Following Christ in the Footsteps of Peter

I am not a morning person, but this morning I extracted myself from the warmth of slumber at 4:30. I dragged myself to the shower and groggily went out into the chill. My destination was Annunciation Parish in Northwest Washington. There a happy party of about 100 waited to board buses to go to the residence of the Vatican nuncio. We were going to see the Holy Father off, to thank him, wish him well, and simply to be with him. Love is about simply being present to the other. As we waited the church lights went on and a group hurried in… READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    benedict xvi | pope

Faith

Reflections on the Pope as he is about to speak at the United Nations

Reflections on the Pope as he is about to speak at the United Nations

When I first heard that Cardinal Ratzinger had been elected to the papacy, my reaction was, “Good.  We’re going to stick it to the liberals!”  There had been so much discussion following John Paul II’s death about whether the Church would now accommodate herself to the secular city via women’s ordination, etc., that I could only breathe a sigh of relief that the Tradition was once again safely in the hands of a traditionalist.  Then I started actually reading the works of the newly-elected Pope Benedict XVI. I… READ MORE >


Faith

With the Pope at Nationals Park

With the Pope at Nationals Park

1:30 p.m. I’m just back to St. Stephen Martyr from the Pope’s mass at Nationals Park. Without a ticket to get inside the stadium, I watched the mass on a giant TV screen set-up just outside the security gates. (My homemade sign reading “Prayers for a Ticket” didn’t land me any supernatural luck – just what I get for trying to use prayers as a bartering tool.) It was an interesting scene: a teeming crowd huddled together beneath the screen, cheering when the popemobile made its appearance, waving to the pope when he waved, and… READ MORE >


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