With God in Russia

From First Thoughts

Colbert Report chaplain and envoy-at-large to the entertainment community, Jim Martin, S.J., has announced the very good news that Walter Ciszek’s With God In  Russia, is now available on Kindle, courtesy of America Press. For anyone not yet familiar with Ciszek or this book, I urge you . . . . Continue Reading »

Freedom, Gratitude, and Ideology

From First Thoughts

The term “exceptional” often becomes a dirty word when paired with a nation’s claim to it. It becomes an obscenity when the nation is the United States. A glimpse at the clock on the wall, however, suggests that it’s about a quarter past “enough is enough.” America is . . . . Continue Reading »

Riot in the Cathedral

From Web Exclusives

What in God’s name are you doing? With deference, this question is directed to the President of The Russian Federation, and more pointedly, to his ecclesial counterpart, the Patriarch of Moscow. Vladimir Putin apparently has his appeal amongst the fairer sex, Patriarch Kirill, presumably less so… . Continue Reading »

Just War, In Theory and Practice

From First Thoughts

A couple of weeks back, Robert George delivered a First Thoughts post exhorting Catholics to take more seriously the moral hazards involved in the use of drones in war. Nicholas Hahn of Real Clear Religion  has taken him up on that  and, in the process, to task. George and Hahn are . . . . Continue Reading »

Metropolitan Jonah’s Resignation

From First Thoughts

Readers may know by now that Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen, leader of the Orthodox Church in America, resigned suddenly this past Friday night. It was Rod Dreher who broke the news , and for the better part of the weekend, hosted the primary forum for updates and feedback till word Sunday night . . . . Continue Reading »

The Death of Death’s Long Life

From Web Exclusives

A few nights ago, I woke with an unpleasant start, confused by unusual physical discomfort, and a surge of panic that “the hour you know not” was upon me. “Is this what Dad experienced,” I wondered, “as he began to slip irretrievably into it?” The prospect that my father knew what was happening yet was powerless to stop it or, in some consoling sense to put things in order, is an aspect of his throes that has worked me over for decades… . Continue Reading »

That They May Be One

From Web Exclusives

Gathered for their ad limina, Eastern Catholic bishops from the U.S. were addressed last week by Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Leonardo Cardinal Sandri. His injunction”made not about abortion, the HHS mandate, war, wealth redistribution, or gay marriage”could have a critical influence on the Christian response to all of the above… . Continue Reading »

A Man for Our Season

From First Thoughts

Today is the feast of Pope St. Martin I, who refused a seventh-century government mandate–to remain silent on the issue of monothelitism, a heresy which denies Christ exercised both human and divine wills. Hard to appreciate perhaps, but back then theology could be a blood sport, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Doubt and the Creed

From Web Exclusives

There are times, even in polite company, when a believer can feel like the last duck left in hunting season, flapping past the blind in a bulls-eye patterned sweater. In such circumstances, I will occasionally describe myself as a liturgical agnostic. Despite the apparent cheek, it’s not a joke. The phrase means something important to me that is, I suggest, consonant with a point made by Benedict XVI, writing as Joseph Ratzinger, in 1967… . Continue Reading »

Bear Trap

From First Thoughts

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia, (On The Square: “ Putinism and the Ukrainian Catholic Church ” ) spiked the moment former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, received the maximum, seven-year prison sentence for her part in negotiating a natural gas contract that obliges the . . . . Continue Reading »