R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Hammering on Rome

From First Thoughts

Wow. The New York Times can’t stop itself. In an editorial on Saturday , the Grey Lady deemed last weeks changes to the motu proprio concerning crimes against the holy sacraments worse than inadequate. “Among all the defensive posturing and inept statements,” write the editors, there . . . . Continue Reading »

Never Change — Until We Change

From First Thoughts

As Meghan noted earlier this week, it seems that the YMCA will be dropping the MCA from their name. Men? That became politically incorrect ages ago. Christian? Hardly a factor in their programming for decades. Association? No problem there, but YA doesn’t make any sense. I’m fine with . . . . Continue Reading »

New Norms From Rome

From First Thoughts

The Vatican has put forward new norms for handling clerical sexual abuse. The spin in the AP story in the New York Times offers occasion for reflection. Thought #1: The story says, “The bulk of the new document merely codified the ad hoc norms for dealing canonically with pedophile . . . . Continue Reading »

Another Problem for the Church?

From First Thoughts

Italians newspapers are reporting intensified investigative interest in Cardinal Sepe of Naples. (For English language reporting, see a recent article in the Irish Times .) Cardinal Sepe may, perhaps, be a true son of southern Italy, using his position to distribute goodies funded by the massive . . . . Continue Reading »

Burqa Ban

From First Thoughts

As predicted, the French lower house passed a largely symbolic measure that bans full face coverings in public . In a posting last week , I pointed out that whatever one thinks of the French ban, it fits into a more than one-century-long tradition of enforcing (or at least trying to enforce) a . . . . Continue Reading »

Hitler Goes Motown

From First Thoughts

Am I the only one who finds this youtube video kinda creepy? Yes, Charlie Chaplin lampooned Hitler decades ago in The Great Dictator (1940). But the critical edge was plain to see. This video, which has Der Fuehrer singing the theme song to The Jeffersons , is more in the spirit of Mel Brooks, who . . . . Continue Reading »

The Gospel Of Scientific Materialism

From Web Exclusives

The scientific popularizers”Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, and others”don’t go in for nuance, as David Hart has pointed out again and again in our pages. They cheerfully champion the most reductive sort of materialism, including the idea that free will does not exist … Continue Reading »