Zen in Venice: An Interview

On July 22, 2007, Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong lunched with Benedict XVI in Lorenzago di Cadore to update the pope on the reception of his Letter to Chinese Catholics . Later that day, the cardinal returned to Venice, where Raphaela Schmid discussed with him the current state of play in . . . . Continue Reading »

70 or 70 x 7?

The New American Bible (NAB), an unfortunate translation episcopally imposed upon Catholics for readings at Mass, has prompted earlier comment in First Things (see here and here ). The problem keeps coming back, not least in pastoral counseling. Take the woman who had had it with her husband’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Sharing Chores?

My suspicions were aroused when I saw a headline to a July 1 Associated Press story in the hometown paper , declaring “‘Sharing Chores’ Moves Up On Good-Marriage List.” This yawner of a finding was attributed to a Pew Research Center study just released on the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Silence of Saul Friedlander

In the world of Holocaust scholarship, Saul Friedlander is a major presence. A professor of history at UCLA, he is among the most widely cited authorities on the Holocaust. Having just completed his life’s work¯a massive, two-volume history entitled Nazi Germany and the Jews ¯he is . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Dictators Fear Artists

Although it has become a somewhat sappy and romanticized notion, the individual artist really does pose a threat to all totalitarian regimes. The romance should not take away from the reality of the artist’s power. Yosif Feyginberg’s 2002 documentary Glenn Gould: The Russian Journey . . . . Continue Reading »

Culture Matters

Having accepted Thomas Sowell’s great thesis that differences among peoples commonly attributed to race really reflect culture, I was struck by two CDs that have recently appeared. Both contain American vernacular music sung by men trained in the classical operatic tradition.One is Thomas . . . . Continue Reading »

The First Openly Muslim Priest

The day before the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops voted to confirm the church’s first openly gay bishop in the late summer of 2003, conservative humor website ScrappleFace satirized the move with a piece entitled " Episcopal Church Appoints First Openly-Muslim Bishop ." It . . . . Continue Reading »

Romney’s Pornography Dilemma

The headline in the New York Times reads " Romney Criticized for Hotel Pornography ," which makes it sound as though the Republican presidential candidate had been caught watching dirty movies in his hotel room.The reality is that, from 1992 to 2001, Romney was a director of Marriott . . . . Continue Reading »