The Pope's Moment of Grace

From Web Exclusives

When the Pope’s highly anticipated encyclical, Laudato Si finally appeared, Detroit’s Archbishop Allen Vigneron summed up its significance by calling it “a moment of grace.”The new encyclical has been widely described as “the pope’s encyclical on climate change.” But one shouldn’t be . . . . Continue Reading »

The Faith of Arthur Ashe

From Web Exclusives

When ESPN named its courage award after the late Arthur Ashe, they could not have made a better choice. World class tennis champion, educator and advocate for the oppressed, Ashe personified grace and dignity, especially during his final days.At the age of seven, Arthur picked up a racket for the . . . . Continue Reading »

Pope v. Paganism

From Web Exclusives

The pagan temptation,” as the philosopher Thomas Molnar described it, is hardly new—the Church has been fighting paganism since the time of Christ—but what is new is its aggressive resurgence, its seduction of so many Christians, and the warnings Pope Francis has issued against it.The Pope’s scorching words against paganism have not been well-received by many, but Francis has gone right on assailing it, particularly in areas that pagans care about most: the environment and sex.Francis has been a bold and eloquent defender of the environment, and understands that protecting the environment is not a recent fad, but a long-standing Catholic principle, highlighted by many of Francis’s predecessors. Continue Reading »

Francis Gives New Hope to Abuse Victims

From First Thoughts

The Vatican’s recent announcement that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, of the diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph, has given relief and new hope to victims of sexual abuse in the Church. Technically, the Pope didn’t directly “remove” Finn, as the media has . . . . Continue Reading »

Sir Martin Gilbert, Historian of Hope

From Web Exclusives

When British historian Martin Gilbert died earlier this year at the age of seventy-eight, the world lost one of its leading scholars and a man of exceptional integrity. Best known as the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill, Gilbert wrote almost ninety books and became a renowned authority on the Second World War and the Holocaust. Beyond his extensive writings, he also found time to teach, lecture, advise governments, and champion human rights. Continue Reading »

Pope Francis and Zero Tolerance

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The outcry against Francis’s appointment of Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who was long associated with a child abusing priest-to the Diocese of Osorno, has placed the pope’s “zero tolerance” policy against sexual abuse into question.As Pope, Francis has taken many decisive actions against sexual abuse. He created a special Vatican Commission to combat it, in all its forms, and soon thereafter met with a group of victims, expressing his pain over their suffering: Continue Reading »

The Vision of Father Neuhaus

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In his insightful new biography, Richard John Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square, Randy Boyagoda recounts the extraordinary journey of the man who many believe was “the most consequential public theologian in America since the days of Reinhold Niebuhr and John Courtney Murray.” Born . . . . Continue Reading »