My Father’s Handkerchiefs

I have a dozen white cotton handkerchiefs, neatly folded and placed in my clothes drawer. Over the last year, though, I have cycled through but five handkerchiefs, rarely pulling out the others. Those five are colored handkerchiefs, inherited from my father. He died a year ago tomorrow… . Continue Reading »

Little Change in Abortion Attitudes

Much of the mainstream media coverage of Roe v. Wade’srecent forty-year anniversary indicated that grassroots abortion rights activists are pessimistic about the future. However, in the days before the March for Life many pro-choice commentators expressed optimism. They claimed that recent polling data indicates that public opinion is shifting in a direction more sympathetic to legal abortion… . Continue Reading »

The Evangelical Reform of the Church

Hans Kung, out there on the far left fringes of Catholicism, has ideas about the reform of the Catholic Church; so does Bernard Fellay, the schismatic bishop and leader of the hard-right Lefebvrists. The National Catholic Reporter has its notions of Catholic reform; so does the National Catholic Register; neither is likely to agree with the other about the proper reform agenda… . Continue Reading »

The Pope’s Benedict Option

As a cloistered nun in the Dominican order makes her first profession, her white veil is replaced with a black one and her superior declares that she has become “recognized as a house of prayer … and a temple of intercession for all people.” The expectation and desire of her life, from that moment on, will be to spend the rest of her days in monastic enclosure, unseen by most but”in the mysterious way of prayer”deeply and efficaciously connected to the world through the near-constant praise, supplication, and penance she offers for its sake… . Continue Reading »

For Cardinal O’Brien, A Sad End

“If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well, it were done quickly.” So speaks Macbeth of the murder of the king, but the words might well be self-applied by someone who finds themselves in the situation faced by Cardinal O’Brien, when he learned of the news stories reporting accusations against him of inappropriate behavior… . Continue Reading »

Garry Wills, Sigh

I thought he was dead, but no. Garry Wills has a new book out, and he’s making the rounds on TV talk shows. The new Wills is the old Wills, which means the liberal Catholic who is angry at the Church. Why Priests? falls below his usual low standards. The main thesis is that priests ruin everything. They’re power-hungry monsters who’ve taken over the Church, destroying the affirming, companionable, and egalitarian message of Jesus… . Continue Reading »

Interview with Tomasz Pompowski on Pope John Paul II

A journalist since 1992, Tomasz Pompowski has worked as the deputy chief of the opinion sections of the Polish dailies Polska and Dziennik. He is the co-founder of the prestigious weekly Europa, the author of dozens of original articles about the history of the Cold War, and co-producer of the film Nine Days that Changed the World about the role of Pope John Paul II and Solidarity in the fall of communism… . Continue Reading »

Euthanasia’s Euphemisms

When a social movement must rely on euphemisms to obfuscate its goals, it is a good bet that there is something wrong with its agenda. From its very inception, euthanasia advocates have euphemistically bent language as a means of convincing society to endorse killing”an accurate and descriptive term that simply means to end life”as an acceptable method of ending human suffering… . Continue Reading »

Recalling Francis Schaeffer’s Christian Environmentalism

A crowd of about 35,000 had gathered near the Washington Monument during a cold blustery Presidents Day weekend in the midst of an unusually mild winter to prod the Obama administration to take actions against climate change. The largest climate action rally in American history had been scheduled for noon on a Sunday, not exactly a time chosen with regular church-goers in mind”though, undoubtedly, for some present the environmental cause would be the closest thing to a religion in their lives… . Continue Reading »