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Letter Number Nine

With the Synod on the Family well underway in Rome, considerable attention has been given (and not only in the media) to the “Kasper Proposal” to admit the divorced and civilly-remarried to Holy Communion. No doubt discussion on this will continue, although Pope Francis has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want the Kapser Proposal to be the dominant issue, the principal focus of attention, at Synod-2015. Continue Reading »

School Shootings and the Book of Job

Last Thursday morning, I was teaching a freshman honors seminar in Newberg, Oregon. We were discussing Genesis 32, that enigmatic passage where Jacob wrestles with God. Just south of us, in Roseburg, Oregon, my students’ counterparts were being murdered in their writing classroom. In another of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Moral Universe of Hannibal

A woman lovingly plucks a dead pheasant. A man places a human arm on a cutting board with care, readying his chef’s knife. A woman sinks into a bathtub, seemingly dropping into an abyss. A corpse is lifted on high, framed by wings made of broken glass.All these images (horrific, gorgeous, . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter Number Eight

As has been noted in this space before, it’s virtually impossible to have a serious discussion when the basic materials allowed into the conversation are three-minute sound-bites. 

Issues Beneath Issues at Synod 2015

Written from Rome: Since Pope Francis announced that two Synods would examine the contemporary crisis of marriage and the family and work to devise more evangelically dynamic responses to that crisis, a lot of attention has focused on issues of Catholic discipline: How does the Church determine . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter Number Seven

Two addresses, given on the morning of October 5, set down important markers for Synod-2015 on its first formal day of work. Pope Francis began by urging the Synod to “always keep before our eyes the good of the Church, of families, and the supreme law, the salus animarum [the good of souls].” The Holy Father then defined the unique character of a Synod: Continue Reading »

Go To Church, Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber famously got his start in the music industry at the age of thirteen after being discovered on YouTube. Several multi-platinum R&B records later, he is now twenty-one, and frequently mocked on Late Night for his bad boy antics, which include: vandalism, an arrest for drag . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter Number Six

The Synod on the Family 2015 formally opened on Sunday morning, October 4, with the celebration of Holy Mass at the Altar of the Confession in the Papal Basilica of St. Peter’s, with the Holy Father presiding and the Synod fathers concelebrating.

Synod on the Family

The following is a preview segment of R. R. Reno's “The Public Square” from our upcoming November issue. Another segment can be found here. A group of bishops from around the world gathers in Rome this week. The synod’s topic is the family. But the underlying issue is . . . . Continue Reading »



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