To Seek God in the Spirit of Truth

This essay is adapted from a commencement address delivered on May 16, 2008, to the students of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., is a great servant of our Lord and his Church. He has long been a kind of hero of mine: for his humility and moderation, and for . . . . Continue Reading »

The Emerging Church and Its Critics

Order a pint of Guinness, turn up Coldplay, and meet me in the corner booth of our local pub because I want to tell you a story.Rushing to finish Why We’re Not Emergent , I balance against the train’s jolts while furiously underlining various passages. I live in Bushwick, . . . . Continue Reading »

Personality, Place, and Catholic Education

Some friends said, “Ho, hum.” They thought Pope Benedict’s recent address to Catholic educators during his U.S. visit was a nonevent. My reaction was different. Benedict brought home to me the daunting challenge of Catholic education. He observed that Catholic universities should not . . . . Continue Reading »

The Rare Achievement of Disagreement

“Look, when we think about ending an early human life, this is something that is really bad for the embryo or early fetus that dies, it’s losing out tremendously¯I agree with that as I already said. And then you said that it’s one of the things that we should care about. And, um, . . . . Continue Reading »

John Cardinal O’Connor, 1920—2000

How am I indebted to him? Let me count the ways. No, it would take too long. Suffice it to say that he received me into full communion; he ordained me a priest; he was a friend who never said no when he could say yes. And he was a great Cardinal Archbishop of New York. John Paul II called him . . . . Continue Reading »

Tsunami and Theodicy: Myanmar

(Tens of thousands of Burmese have already died in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar this past weekend, and tens of thousands more are threatened by disease and a lack of food and clean water. Children comprise upward of 40 percent of the dead. We thought this would be an appropriate . . . . Continue Reading »

Jon Hassler’s Hope

When Jon Hassler, the Catholic novelist who was so unjustly tagged a “regional writer,” died in the spring, at the age of seventy-four, his passing did not trigger the barrage of appreciative pieces one might have expected in Catholic publications. Death, like life, can be unfair.Though he . . . . Continue Reading »

Christ Against the Multiculturalists

Address written for entering students of Wabash College, Class of 2012 Christians believe that God became human in Jesus Christ. If so, it follows that there is something called humanity. That is, humans have a nature, a shared or common nature. Human nature is not just a social construction. Human . . . . Continue Reading »