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R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Made for Love

From the May 2019 Print Edition

In the early 1880s, Henry James set out to write “a very American tale.” The result was The Bostonians, serialized in a magazine in 1885 and then published in a single volume in 1886. The novel features activist meetings, conversations sprinkled with references to the cause of women’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith Amid Corruption

From the May 2019 Print Edition

The Catholic Church in the West is full of corruption—financial, sexual, and spiritual. We are forced to face this hard reality, not the least because the weak pontificate of Pope Francis offers so little of substance. The corruption that afflicts us does not arise from overpowering lusts. Our . . . . Continue Reading »

Manufacturing Hate

From the April 2019 Print Edition

Virginia governor Ralph Northam had a tough February. Soon after he made brutal remarks about the fate of children born alive after attempted abortions, his medical school yearbook page surfaced, showing one person in blackface and another in a KKK outfit. The Twitter mobs rushed in attack. Northam . . . . Continue Reading »

The Civility Trap

From the March 2019 Print Edition

Lots of folks are calling for civility these days, an understandable response to a shrill and polarized political climate. In his First Inaugural Address, as the Civil War loomed, Abraham Lincoln spoke of “the better angels of our nature.” He wanted to smooth the way for reconciliation. . . . . Continue Reading »

A Failing Papacy

From the February 2019 Print Edition

The current regime in Rome will damage the Catholic Church. Pope ­Francis combines laxity and ruthlessness. His style is casual and approachable; his church politics are cold and cunning. There are leading themes in this pontificate—­mercy, accompaniment, peripheries, and so forth—but . . . . Continue Reading »

Let’s Rebalance

From the January 2019 Print Edition

On election night, Tuesday, November 6, returns came in. There were wins and losses. My blood pressure rose and fell, exulting in victories and anguished in defeats. But morning came, and the evening’s ardor had drained away during the night’s sleep. More dispassionate, I mulled over a question . . . . Continue Reading »