A Response to the Bishops of Malta

At the heart of what these bishops and others have called a “merciful” path is a frenzied desire for happiness and for the avoidance of pain and suffering, supposing that these people have suffered enough. This stands in direct contrast to the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the saints, whose premise is that suffering is not something to be avoided at all costs—one can learn to live through it. Continue Reading »

Secular Pilgrims in America

Atheists have long been a vocal minority in America, their relations with the dominant Protestant culture defined by consistent, unresolved antagonism, unexpected ideological affinities and interdependencies, and the back-and-forth movement of individuals between atheism and belief. Continue Reading »

Cocktails with the Existentialists

More than seven decades have passed since philosophy held court on the world-historic stage, in the cafes and jazz halls of wartime Paris. For those who lament the decline of the “public intellectual,” this period richly serves the needs of nostalgia, conjuring chic melancholy, debates conducted in a tobacco haze, and the evergreen romance of La Résistance. Continue Reading »

Lessons from an Era of Confusion

“A man will give his life for a mystery, but not for a question mark.” Immediately after Vatican II, the North American College was a house of question marks—and worse-than-question-marks. The Catholic Church in America paid, and is paying, a heavy price for that season of deep confusion. Continue Reading »