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Academic Point Counterpoint

From Web Exclusives

This week was the annual meeting of the editorial council of First Things . In addition to taking care of the business that magazines have to attend to, the custom at these meetings is to take up a major subject or two. This year, Wilfred McClay of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga led the . . . . Continue Reading »

Lives Lived Greatly

From the June/July 2008 Print Edition

The Public SquareThe beginnings of this reflection appeared on the First Things website. Permit me a word on that. A recent survey of our readers indicates that relatively few also check the website on a regular basis. I cannot say that I’m surprised. We’re probably still in the opening . . . . Continue Reading »

Disingenuousness and Clarity

From Web Exclusives

In an act of raw judicial power, and by a one-vote margin, the California Supreme Court has declared that there is, in California law, a constitutional right for same-sex couples to enter into what the state will recognize as marriage. This despite a recent referendum in which Californians . . . . Continue Reading »

John Cardinal O’Connor, 1920—2000

From Web Exclusives

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 »

Benedict and the Human Face of God

From Web Exclusives

We will be, or at least we should be, pondering the visit of Pope Benedict for a long time to come. I do not agree with the widely expressed view that this will be his only pastoral visit to America. To judge by the vitality exhibited, which seemed to grow with his every day here, this may be a . . . . Continue Reading »

Friday of Good Shepherd Sunday

From Web Exclusives

The Thursday Mass at Nationals Park introduced the Holy Father to aspects of the aesthetic suffering endured by the faithful in America. The background notes we have been supplied are not specific about who, for instance, is to blame for the choice of music. The whole thing was overweeningly, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Papal Week That Was

From Web Exclusives

Triumphalism, as we all know, is a very bad thing. On the other hand, defeatism is worse. In any event, I am persuaded that the apostolic visit just completed was a triumph. As is probably evident from my earlier postings on the visit, as well as some of my comments on EWTN, I was not sure about . . . . Continue Reading »

Benedict in America: As of Thursday

From Web Exclusives

Perhaps it was just as well to try to get the question out of the way right at the start. For weeks, it seemed that every report and comment began with the question of whether Pope Benedict would be addressing the sex abuse crisis and, if so, how. While still on the way to America, a news . . . . Continue Reading »

Benedict and Beauty

From Web Exclusives

In my commentary here and in my coverage of the papal visit with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN, I had occasion to make somewhat critical remarks about the way the Mass was celebrated at Nationals Park in Washington. My observation that New York, by way of contrast, did itself proud was quite untouched by . . . . Continue Reading »