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Politics

What the Presidential Election Reveals About the American Soul

What the Presidential Election Reveals About the American Soul

With the death this week of Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare movement, the passing of the generation that founded the lay movements and greatly influenced Vatican II is accelerating. St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, died in 1975, and Servant of God Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement, died in 1980. Within the past three years, three founders—Msgr. Luigi Giussani (Communion & Liberation), Fr. Marcial Maciel (Regnum Christi), and now Lubich—have passed away. Lay or “ecclesial” movements are the… READ MORE >

(4) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    albacete | election | hertzberg | olasky

Politics

God, Government and Freedom—A Response to ‘None of the Above’

God, Government and Freedom—A Response to ‘None of the Above’

When we discuss the role of government in protecting the common good, especially the poor and the weak, Catholics can and do have differences, as evidenced by Angelo Matera’s recent article and its comments. I’d like to lay out a few principles in order to take a somewhat different tack. There’s no doubt that capitalism is the greatest force for wealth creation the world has ever seen.  It accords with Catholic social teaching in respect to the right to private property, and personal freedom. We are meant to be co-creators… READ MORE >

(23) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    freedom | hillary clinton | law | mccain | order

Politics

None of the Above: The Only Vote Worth Casting in November?

None of the Above: The Only Vote Worth Casting in November?

As I listened to John McCain’s victory speech Tuesday night, spelling out the themes of his general election campaign—no apologies for the Iraq war, fight the “global war on terror” like it’s World War IV, keep taxes low, and global markets free—in other words, stay the course, the harsh reality of having to choose between him and Obama/Clinton this November began to hit me. On the one hand, despite Obama’s hope-filled rhetoric, I don’t see the Democrats moving away from their pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-school… READ MORE >

(48) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    cst | macintyre | mccain | obama

TV

HBO’s The Wire: Dignity or Despair?

HBO’s The Wire finales this Sunday at 9 p.m.., and the themes of this fifth and final season—centered around the newsroom of the Baltimore Sun, where the show’s creator David Simon once worked as an editor— have been integrity and honesty, or as Simon says—“just how far you can go on a lie.” A Sun reporter who fakes quotes, a cop who drinks too much and fabricates evidence about a serial killer so he can get the resources he needs to go after drug dealing, a mayor fighting for his political life, a senator accused of misappropriating… READ MORE >


Faith

Looking at the Pew Study: Danger Ahead?

Looking at the Pew Study: Danger Ahead?

What are we to make of the negative Catholic headlines last week from the Pew study of religious affiliation? “Catholicism has experienced the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes” … “Approximately one-third of the survey respondents who say they were raised Catholic no longer describe themselves as Catholic” … “Roughly 10% of all Americans are former Catholics.” It’s not entirely clear, at least based on the analysis of the Pew Study released Friday by CARA, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate… READ MORE >

(3) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    faith | lapsed | religion

World

Alan Wolfe and the Taming of Religion

Alan Wolfe and the Taming of Religion

Europeans routinely scratch their heads in puzzlement over the eagerness with which the American regime, unlike the modern French state (until Nicolas Sarkozy?), invites religion into the public square. How can the most progressive nation on earth have such a hankering for such a medieval mixing of Church and State? In a recent interview with Newsweek, Alan Wolfe—one of the media’s most popular commentators on the meaning of America’s “culture wars”—argues that our puzzled friends across the water are actually getting things… READ MORE >


Life

A night with the gang

It was my third night at the parish welcoming a group of homeless men for a wonderful meal, which tonight was cooked up by a lovely couple whose chili, both a vegetarian and meat version, was outstanding. I am getting to know some of the men. They spend their days in a center in midtown New York where they can’t spend the night. For Lent I decided to sign on a bunch of times, including on Good Friday, and might even spend the night one of these Fridays. There is nice fellowship, too, with the other volunteers. It’s a good feeling… READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    homeless | lent

Issues

Letting Bill Clinton Off Easy

Letting Bill Clinton Off Easy

When I saw the popular YouTube clip of pro-life protestors from Franciscan University of Steubenville interrupting Bill Clinton’s speech at a campaign rally in their town this week, my first reaction wasn’t the satisfaction that was registered all over the Catholic blogosphere—at either their audacity or Clinton’s cherry-faced loss of aplomb. Instead I felt chagrin, tinged with sadness for a lost opportunity. I’m sure the protestors were well-meaning. Given their university’s reputation for doctrinal orthodoxy… READ MORE >


Issues

Bill, the Times They are a Changin’...

I could hardly process the thoughts and images that flooded my mind as I watched Bill Clinton angrily chastise a group of pro-life student protesters from Franciscan University in Ohio this past weekend. After all, this was the same Bill Clinton whose political aspirations were forged during the antiwar protest years of the sixties, the same man who personally led student demonstrations at home and abroad. It was he and his generation who called for change so radical that much of the “establishment” in Washington could neither understand… READ MORE >


Life

Get Married! The Case for Tying the Knot Early

Get Married! The Case for Tying the Knot Early

I enjoyed reading Lori Gottlieb’s funny and insightful “Marry Him! The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough, in the March issue of The Atlantic. At 40 years of age, Ms. Gottlieb finds herself an attractive, intelligent, successful woman whose marriage prospects are plummeting like a skydiver without a parachute. She made the seemingly brave choice to have a child by a sperm-donor, thinking she would find her soul mate afterwards, only to find that she now wants her son to have a great dad, which has multiplied Ms. Gottlieb’s own… READ MORE >

(4) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    chastity | marriage

Spirituality

The Joy of Nada—Doing Nothing for Lent

The Joy of Nada—Doing Nothing for Lent

Pascal said “the sole cause of man’s unhappiness” is that he doesn’t know “how to stay quietly in his room.” That suggests something you can do for Lent—nothing. It’s not too late. If you’ve forgotten how, “All Nothing, All the Time,” a travel article in today’s New York Times, can help. “Aggressive inactivity,” says the article’s author, is an ”art form… that deserves a guide every bit as detailed as a Fodor’s or Bradt.” He’s right about that (see the links within this post).… READ MORE >

(3) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    lent | nothing | travel

Science/Tech

Sunny Anand and the Hidden Pain of the Unborn

Sunny Anand and the Hidden Pain of the Unborn

Annie Murphy Paul’s “The First Ache,” which appeared in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, is the perfect companion piece to Austen Ivereigh’s “A Question of Empathy.” Both articles show how science is changing the terms of the abortion debate by “personifying” the unborn. In Paul’s fascinating article, she zeros in on the question: When does a human being begin to feel pain in the womb? I was shocked to learn from the article that until recently doctors believed that infants couldn’t feel pain because their nervous… READ MORE >

(2) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    abortion | brain | pain | pro-choice | pro-life

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