JB 1.31.06 Over at the Against…

Over at the Against the Grain website , Christopher Blosser has done a first-rate job collecting links to the various initial reactions to Deus Caritas Est , the new encyclical from Pope Benedict XVI. The immediate press reports, as he summarizes them, seem to vary from the silly to the . . . . Continue Reading »

JB 1:30.06 For the last year…

For the last year, the marvelous John Rose and Mary Angelita Ruiz have been our Junior Fellows at the magazine, and they seem to have had a good time, despite having to put up with such shady characters as Joseph Bottum and Richard John Neuhaus. NOW F IRST T HINGS has two Junior Fellowship . . . . Continue Reading »

RJN 1.25.06 As you might imagine…

As you might imagine, I spend a good deal of time talking with reporters. I usually don’t mind it. It comes with the territory. With notable exceptions, reporters are people of good will working hard to write a story that will please their editors. It is true that they are not always the . . . . Continue Reading »

RJN 1.27.06 America,…

America , the official Jesuit weekly, had not editorially commented on the recent instruction from Rome when I wrote “Gays and the Priesthood,” which appears in the current issue of F IRST T HINGS . America ‘s editorial response was a very delicate matter, and I am told it . . . . Continue Reading »

RJN 1.26.06 And so, nine…

And so, nine months into the pontificate, Benedict XVI has issued his first encyclical. (It is dated December 25, Christmas, although released on January 25, the Conversion of St. Paul.) The title is Deus Caritas Est —“God is Love”—and it is an extended commentary on that . . . . Continue Reading »

RJN 1.13.05 The Roe decision…

The Roe decision of 1973, wrote Yale’s legendary law professor, John Hart Ely, "is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be." He is hardly alone in holding that view. Among the harshest critics of Roe, most of whom nonetheless support the . . . . Continue Reading »

RJN 1.24.06 “Hoo boy!”…

“Hoo boy!” as Albert the Alligator of “Pogo” fame used to say. Mark Gauvreau Judge stirred up a storm in the American Spectator with an article deploring the conflation of conservatism with populism. Judge is the author of two recent books, God and Man at Georgetown Prep: . . . . Continue Reading »

RJN 1.23.06 For the first time…

For the first time in about 35 years I took a winter break last week, five days in Mexico. I don’t mention this to boast of my work ethic but to confess my foolishness in not having done it more often. The five days are a little like a pleasant black hole in my memory—eating, drinking, . . . . Continue Reading »

JB 1.20.06 Fr. Richard McBrien…

Fr. Richard McBrien¯the Notre Dame theology professor and long-time lefty Catholic columnist¯is being tagged with the charge of plagiarism. The Boston Herald has picked up the story , which involves its Beantown competitor, the Boston Globe , and seems to run like this: On December 11, . . . . Continue Reading »

JB 1.19.06 There’s no…

There’s no contradiction in saying "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," for the two facts occasionally coexist. So, I recently argued in the Weekly Standard , we are living in a moment in which a set of Catholic ideas and rhetorical gestures¯the Catholic way . . . . Continue Reading »