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Personality, Place, and Catholic Education

Some friends said, “Ho, hum.” They thought Pope Benedict’s recent address to Catholic educators during his U.S. visit was a nonevent. My reaction was different. Benedict brought home to me the daunting challenge of Catholic education. He observed that Catholic universities should not . . . . Continue Reading »

The Rare Achievement of Disagreement

Look, when we think about ending an early human life, this is something that is really bad for the embryo or early fetus that dies, it’s losing out tremendously—I agree with that as I already said. And then you said that it’s one of the things that we should care about. And, um, I think . . . . Continue Reading »

John Cardinal O’Connor, 1920—2000

How am I indebted to him? Let me count the ways. No, it would take too long. Suffice it to say that he received me into full communion; he ordained me a priest; he was a friend who never said no when he could say yes. And he was a great Cardinal Archbishop of New York. John Paul II called him . . . . Continue Reading »

Tsunami and Theodicy: Myanmar

(Tens of thousands of Burmese have already died in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar this past weekend, and tens of thousands more are threatened by disease and a lack of food and clean water. Children comprise upward of 40 percent of the dead. We thought this would be an appropriate . . . . Continue Reading »

Jon Hassler’s Hope

When Jon Hassler, the Catholic novelist who was so unjustly tagged a “regional writer,” died in the spring, at the age of seventy-four, his passing did not trigger the barrage of appreciative pieces one might have expected in Catholic publications. Death, like life, can be unfair.Though he . . . . Continue Reading »

Christ Against the Multiculturalists

Address written for entering students of Wabash College, Class of 2012 Christians believe that God became human in Jesus Christ. If so, it follows that there is something called humanity. That is, humans have a nature, a shared or common nature. Human nature is not just a social construction. Human . . . . Continue Reading »

A Crime So Monstrous

If when you think of slavery, you imagine a distant, bygone era, ponder this conversation: Florin: That’s not a lot. For one night, I make two hundred Euros off her . . . . She’s very clean. A very nice girl¯you won’t have any problems with her. Whatever you say, she will . . . . Continue Reading »

Benedict and the Human Face of God

We will be, or at least we should be, pondering the visit of Pope Benedict for a long time to come. I do not agree with the widely expressed view that this will be his only pastoral visit to America. To judge by the vitality exhibited, which seemed to grow with his every day here, this may be a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Philosophy of Medicine Reborn

Where is the profession of medicine going? Has it become simply applied biology, another “job” among equally good ways of earning a living? What kind of person should the physician be? What about bioethics? Is patient autonomy the only viable moral absolute? Oh, and¯who is Dr. Edmund . . . . Continue Reading »

The Role of the Priest in Public Affairs

Catholic leadership in the secular world belongs to laypeople, not to clergy or religious. The visible role of the priest in public affairs¯if by public affairs we mean political affairs¯should normally be pretty small. It’s very dangerous for the Church to identify with one political party. . . . . Continue Reading »



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