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Kevin Staley-Joyce is an Assistant Editor at First Things.

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Hygienic Relics

From First Thoughts

NPR reports that a Swiss company is one of several firms offering the bereaved the chance to transform their loved ones’ ashen remains into diamonds as postmortem keepsakes. In three months’ time, using the standard industrial techniques to create synthetic diamonds, the company . . . . Continue Reading »

Papal Distinctions

From First Thoughts

Along with being named person of the year by  Time , Pope Francis has gained a similar accolade from a zeitschrift of more rarified interest, namely,  The Advocate , the nation’s largest gay magazine. The Advocate describes the search for its favorite as strongly flavored . . . . Continue Reading »

Transgender Denial at Smith College

From First Thoughts

Feminism of the primitive observance meets Third-wave feminism in this unusual  story . Calliope Wong, who self-identifies as neither male nor female, applied to the famously “lifestyle left” and female-only Smith College, only to be turned down on grounds of gender. The story, . . . . Continue Reading »

Offending Analogies

From First Thoughts

During the Supreme Court’s oral arguments yesterday examing Proposition 8, Chief Justice John Roberts entertained an analogy for the move to redefine marriage: If you tell a child that somebody has to be their friend, I suppose you can force the child to say, “this is my friend,” . . . . Continue Reading »

Praying with Pope Francis

From First Thoughts

Pope Francis is a pontiff of firsts—-the first Jesuit, the first Francis (of Assisi, not the Jesuit Francis Xavier), and the first pope from the New World, and indeed from a nation encircled by the global south. We can in one sense call him the first American pope. While not from a nation of . . . . Continue Reading »

A Capuchin Pope?

From First Thoughts

For the small percentage they comprise of Catholics worldwide, Italians are disproportionately represented in the Roman Curia and ecclesial governance more broadly, not to mention their long history of native-born popes. And while the last memory of an Italian pope is now three decades old, . . . . Continue Reading »

“Except the New York Times”

From First Thoughts

It seems a safe bet that First Things’ beloved founder would have been a kindred spirit to Amos Shuchman, a New Yorker whose obituary  appeared earlier this month in the local paper of record: SHUCHMAN–Amos, of New York, on February 1, 2013. Beloved and caring husband of Alice . . . . Continue Reading »

Clerics as the Clerisy

From First Thoughts

Duncan Stroik writes in Crisis   of the need for priests and seminarians to achieve literacy in art and architecture, expected as they are to play the role of curator of artistic beauty as often as they curate beauty in the liturgy. Renaissance priests, as it were, seem especially needed in an . . . . Continue Reading »

Boasting Honestly

From First Thoughts

Wall Street recruiters receive their fill of curious applications, with some aspirants inflating GPA figures and test scores, and others presenting overwrought or bluffed accounts of job skills and experience. But one Wall Street hopeful drew praise and intrigue Monday after penning a  cover . . . . Continue Reading »