Serving the Least of These

Matthew 25.31-46 exemplifies the divine inversion. Inverting worldly expectations, the king explains to those gathered before his throne that they served him as king by serving the least kingly people of all: the hungry, thirsty, naked, and the sick and imprisoned. The king identifies these individuals as his very brothers… . Continue Reading »

Celebrating St. Ignatius of Loyola

As the Jesuit high school where I work began to wind down for the year, I reached a point where I needed clarity, something to bring calm to the chaos of the closing weeks and to center me in a reality more timeless than the NBA playoffs. So I decided to return, as I do often, to the life and thought of the man whose feast day we celebrate today, and every July 31: St. Ignatius of Loyola… . Continue Reading »

Problems with (Some) Catholic Social Thought

Reinhard Marx, the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich and Freising, is a genial man with a sense of humor, as I’ve learned in conversations with him. Given his last name, it was a clever stroke to title his 2008 book on Catholic social thought Das Kapital: A Plea for Man. As head of the German bishops’ committee on social questions, he has been a strong advocate for curbs on what Europeans often refer to as “savage capitalism.” … Continue Reading »

Love is the Antidote to Prenatal Eugenic Cleansing

Scientists recently announced that they are perfecting a maternal blood test that will permit technologists to map the entire genome of the developing fetus. Unlike amniocentesis, which requires the insertion of a needle into the womb to obtain amniotic fluid, the test would come earlier in the pregnancy and put the fetus at no risk”unless that is, it reveals unwanted genetic conditions or propensities. In such cases, the fetus’s very life would suddenly be at material and immediate risk… . Continue Reading »

Why I Don’t Call Myself a Gay Christian

Joshua Gonnerman wrote a provocative piece for this column, “Dan Savage Was Right.” What began as an advocacy for the Church to become family for the homosexual community soon became a discussion of the validity of Gonnerman’s matter of fact description of himself as “a Christian who is committed to chastity and who is also gay.” His piece went viral within the Christian blogosphere, and as a result, Gonnerman wrote a follow-up piece, “Why I Call Myself a Gay Christian.” … Continue Reading »

A River Runs Round Me

In an attempt to become a better steward of my time, I bought a small notebook. I figured if I kept track of what I do day to day, hour to hour, I’d provide my professional and personal lives with some needed order. The entries are revealing. I spend an inordinate amount of time on the computer. I suppose I waste enough time on so-called social media, like Facebook or Twitter, but much of my time is work: translating, researching, writing, maintaining websites, managing communication. Point is, much of my life is spent staring at a screen… . Continue Reading »

A Fact Ignored by the WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released Born Too Soon, the first country-by-country comparison of national rates of pre-term birth. This 125-page report, funded by dozens of public agencies and private foundations, claims to be “the global action report on preterm birth.” Hidden it its pages is a story of what must be better understood to help women carry a healthy baby to term… . Continue Reading »

The Church and the End of the Welfare State

Throughout the post-Vatican II years, the U.S. bishops’ conference has typically defended the welfare state and not infrequently urged its expansion. Everyone familiar with the situation knows that this has had far more to do with the political predilections of certain conference staff members than with the settled judgment of the American episcopate”or with a careful application of the principles of Catholic social doctrine. But things are changing … Continue Reading »

A Review of Mara Hvistendahl’s Unnatural Selection

The venerable Durham Cathedral in England houses a manuscript containing a collection of eleventh-century Old English proverbs known as the Durham Proverbs. One of these proverbs states, “Man does as he is when he can do what he wants.” The proverb’s author clearly understood that, with our fallen nature, humanity has a propensity to turn liberty into license. But often, those who get to do as they wish end up disliking the consequences… . Continue Reading »