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Maury's Silent Majority

Maury’s struggling to stay in character. Normally he’s the picture of paternal stability: amused but not belittling, hortatory but not pedantic, firm but not overbearing. This is why they seek him out in their most difficult moments, this parade of wounded people from cash-poor neighborhoods across the country. They flock to his sound stage in Stamford, Connecticut hoping to find the sort of judge, the sort of social worker, the sort of counselor—and yes, the sort of father—that they haven’t encountered elsewhere. Maury Povich gives a fair hearing. But even Maury is occasionally worn thin by the monotony of human weakness, and today is one such day. Continue Reading »

The Catholic Church's German Crisis

The 21st-century Church owes a lot to 20th-century German Catholicism: for its generosity to Catholics in the Third World; for the witness of martyrs like Alfred Delp, Bernhard Lichtenberg, and Edith Stein; for its contributions to Biblical studies, systematic and moral theology, liturgical renewal, and Catholic social doctrine, through which German Catholicism played a leading role in Vatican II’s efforts to renew Catholic witness for the third millennium. At the Council, more than the Rhine flowed into the Tiber; let’s not forget the Seine, the Meuse, the Potomac, and the Vistula. But the Rhine’s flow was strong. Continue Reading »

Loved Through Eternity

I wasn’t going to say anything further about being adopted, not beyond what I’ve said before. The wistful “melancholic nostalgia” I described about being adopted is gone. It has been replaced with . . . well, I don’t know, perhaps, a practical certainty I’m better off. The fact of adoption weighs on some adoptees, adopted as babies with little or no access even in later life to the real story. I was one of those.There is at the heart of things the knowledge somebody could not, or would not keep me. It puts a strain on things. It adds a tentative dimension to many relationships. I don’t like it, but there it is, hunched in a corner waiting to snag me unawares. So, no, I wasn’t going to say anything more. Continue Reading »

Missing Mass

In our family, we went to Mass every blessed Sunday of the year, and here and there you would have to go to Mass during the week because of funerals or weddings or Days of Obligation or Masses to Open the School Year or Masses in Memory of the Faithful Departed. So by the time I was fourteen years . . . . Continue Reading »

My Plea

The day my soul became Catholic was the day I found out that as a divorced and remarried woman I could not receive Communion. Tears of sorrow and joy flowed. Sorrow because I had by then grasped the truth of transubstantiation, only to find I couldn’t consume, and joy because at last we found the ground of real authority—His Church, the one He founded, the one tasked to keep all He taught Her Apostles. Continue Reading »

Difficult Marriage in A Modern Age

In 1567, the famous reformer Pope Pius V condemned various propositions from the writings of a little known theologian by the name of Michael Baius, a professor at the University of Leuven in Belgium. Concerned with combatting a rising secularism, yet ironically yielding to it, his problems are to a great extent our own. Continue Reading »

As Marriage Multiplies in Meaning

I bumped into this piece, ” Polygamists Celebrate Supreme Court’s Marriage Rulings ” and thought, well, of course they do.  Anything goes now.  Who is to judge?  Marriage means what we want it to mean.  What we could discuss, since the morality argument is . . . . Continue Reading »

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