A Tale of Two Cities—And of Two Churches

You will recall the lapidary opening of Dickens’s famous novel of London and Paris in the period of the French Revolution. Headed ‘Book I—Recalled to Life: Chapter I: The Period” it begins: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . . .” For reasons that will quickly become . . . . Continue Reading »

Re-Styling Tradition

A new Roman Catholic church, dedicated to St. Thomas Aquinas, has risen at the Newman Center of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Designed by architect Kevin Clark, the church and center together came in at a cost-effective $25 million. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church is a classic . . . . Continue Reading »

The Flock vs. the Shepherd

A poll taken of Long Island Catholics and reported in Newsday has a finding that has become customary in media discussions. While 88 percent of Catholic respondents regard religion as “very important” or “fairly important” in their lives, they aren’t that happy with Church doctrine. . . . . Continue Reading »

Catacomb Time?

At Christmas 1969, Professor Joseph Ratzinger gave a radio talk with the provocative title, “What Will the Future Church Look Like?” (You can find it in Faith and the Future, published by Ignatius Press). One of the concluding paragraphs was destined to become perhaps the most quoted . . . . Continue Reading »

Burning Black Churches

Media reports of the last week have speculated that recent fires at black churches are racist arsons somehow linked to the horrible murders at the historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. A July 1 headline in The Atlantic ominously declared: “Black Churches Are Burning Again . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pope's Moment of Grace

When the Pope’s highly anticipated encyclical, Laudato Si finally appeared, Detroit’s Archbishop Allen Vigneron summed up its significance by calling it “a moment of grace.”The new encyclical has been widely described as “the pope’s encyclical on climate change.” But one shouldn’t be . . . . Continue Reading »

The Difference Cardinal George Made

On September 2, 1939, the House of Commons debated the British government’s response to the German invasion of Poland the previous day. The ruling Conservative Party was badly divided between those demanding that Britain fulfill its obligations to Poland and those addicted to the habits of appeasement. “Party loyalty” was being invoked to drown out Conservative opposition to Conservative prime minister Neville Chamberlain when the deputy leader of the opposition Labour Party, Arthur Greenwood, rose to speak. Then, from the Tory back benches, came the voice of an anti-appeasement Conservative, Leo Amery, who cried, “Speak for England, Arthur!” Continue Reading »