A Millennial Column

I’ve been writing op-ed columns for the Catholic press since 1979. In its present form, “The Catholic Difference,” I began this column in 1993 at the invitation of the late Kay Lagreid, then-editor of the now-deceased Catholic Northwest Progress in Seattle; the column went into national syndication shortly thereafter, with the Denver Catholic Register eventually succeeding the Progress as syndicator. This is the one-thousandth column in that series, which prompts some thoughts of a confessional nature. Continue Reading »

Loving and Staying in Goma

Goma airport, the gateway to one of the largest and most strategic cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s unstable and mineral-rich east, is the city’s only connection to distant Kinshasa, the DRC’s capital and a place unreachable from Goma by road. Consequently, it’s also one of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Catholic Writer Today

I For years I’ve pondered a cultural and social paradox that diminishes the vitality and diversity of the American arts. This cultural conundrum also reveals the intellectual retreat and creative inertia of American religious life. Stated simply, the paradox is that, although Roman Catholicism . . . . Continue Reading »

Theology After the Revolution

Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians: From Chenu to Ratzinger by fergus kerr blackwell, 240 pages, $29.95 Over the last decade, a Scottish Dominican named Fergus Kerr has produced a series of books designed to orient readers to contemporary trends. In the 1997 Immortal Longings, he discussed a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Writing Life

It is the rare reader of fiction who does not at some time or other consider becoming a writer. It comes and goes over the years for many, and some carry it about forever as an unredeemed promissory note to themselves. In their heart of hearts, they regard themselves as writers. When my first novel . . . . Continue Reading »

The Bishops in Council

Twenty-five years ago this month, Pope John Paul II made his first pastoral visit to the United States, meeting the American bishops in Chicago. In his address to them, the former university professor used a style that was both innovative and pedagogically effective: he quoted from an array of . . . . Continue Reading »