The National Catholic Review

Podcasts: 2008

America's New Look

January 5 -12
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To celebrate its 100th anniversary, America unveiled a new print design with its January 5-12 issue. Associate editors James Martin, S.J., and Matt Malone, S.J., discuss the new design and how the look of the magazine has changed over the last 15 years. Father Martin also introduces America's new Books & Culture section, which will expand the magazine's coverage of film, television and theater.
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Tony Blair on Faith & Globalization

December 22-29 Podcast
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair sat down with religion reporters in New Haven before his final class on "Faith and Globalization" at Yale University, and the America Magazine Podcast was in attendance. The class is among the first initiatives launched by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which seeks to promote understanding among religions and show that faith can be a force for good in the modern world. Mr. Blair responded to questions about the rise of the new atheism, Rick Warren, Catholic social teaching and what he has learned from his students.


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Pius XII & The Nazis

December 15 Podcast
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Why did Pius XII choose to act as he did during World War II? Could he have spoken more forcefully against the slaughter of the Jews? Has he been misunderstood by his critics? Historian Gerald P. Fogarty, S.J., takes up these questions as he considers the complicated legacy of Eugenio Pacelli. Read Father Fogarty's article, "A Pope in Wartime," from the Dec. 15 issue of America.
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The Fantasy Films of 2008

December 8 Podcast
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Australian film critic Richard Leonard, S.J., reflects on the popularity of "The Dark Knight," "Wall-E" and other fantasy films from 2008. The fantasy genre has been big since the early 1970s, Leonard argues, and our fascination with superheroes and villains has had a notable impact on our views on politics and even faith. Father Leonard is the director of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting. Read the groups's review of "Australia" and other films from 2008.
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John Dear's Struggle for Peace

December 1 Podcast
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Controversial peace activist and Jesuit priest John Dear talks about his new book, A Persistent Peace: One Man’s Struggle for a Nonviolent World, which chronicles his conversion from a “spoiled frat boy” at Duke University to a crusading opponent of war who has been arrested over 70 times. A frequent traveler who has visited war zones worldwide, Dear has waged an especially intense campaign against the military activities of the United States, a country he believes is fast on its way to becoming an empire. Dear talks about his commitment to the Beatitudes, why every Catholic should join Pax Christi and why America should stop accepting advertisements for military chaplains. Listen to this episode

The Music of Olivier Messiaen

November 24 Podcast
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Tim Reidy visits Symphony Space, a concert hall in New York, for a centennial celebration of the music of Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), a Catholic composer who, in the words of Father John Coleman, sought to use music to "communicate the mysteries of Christ to non-believers." The artistic director of Symphony Space, and two of the artists who took part in the centennial performance, discuss the spiritual power of Messiaen's work, and what makes him unique among twentieth-century composers. Includes samples from "Visions de l'Amen" and Messiaen's groundbreaking "Quartet for the End of Time." Read Father John Coleman's article on Messiaen in our Nov. 24 issue.

Listen to this episode.

Excerpted performances of Messiaen's work are widely available on Youtube. Here are samples of the compositions discussed during the podcast:

"Le Merle Noir"
"Quartet for the End of Time"
"Visions de l'Amen"

One Church Celebrates the Pauline Year

November 10 Podcast
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To celebrate the Year of Saint Paul, and in conjunction with America's special issue on Paul's legacy, Tim Reidy visits with Father Gilbert Martinez at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan, the motherhouse of the Paulist Fathers. Father Martinez explains how worshippers can obtain a plenary indulgence at St. Paul's, in honor of the Pauline year, and reflects on the artwork in the church inspired by the great apostle. Listen to this episode

Kathleen Norris on The Noonday Demon

October 6 Podcast
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Kathleen Norris, author of the best-selling The Cloister Walk, talks about her new memoir, Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks and A Writer’s Life. Norris describes her battles with acedia, a spiritual affliction once called “the noonday demon” by monks and other contemplatives. Norris also talks about the difference between acedia and depression, and recalls the life and work of her late husband, the poet David Dwyer. Listen to this episode.

The Synod on the Word of God

September 29 Podcast
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Drew Christiansen, S.J., editor in chief of America, previews the Synod on the Word of God, the worldwide gathering of bishops taking place in October to discuss the place of Scripture in the life of the church. America's special issue on the synod covers the meeting from a variety of angles, looking at the Catholic understanding of the Old Testament, lectio divina and the preaching and proclamation of the Word. How can the church make the second reading from Paul better known? Can the revitalization of Scripture help renew the study of moral theology? Fr. Christiansen discusses these and other issues in this wide-ranging interview. font color="#333333" size="-1">Listen to this episode

Mark Stricherz on the Catholic Bosses

September 22 Podcast
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Mark Stricherz, author of Why The Democrats are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the People’s Party, recalls the Catholic bosses of the post-war era who helped to transform the Democratic party and advance the cause of Civil Rights. Stricherz, who will be blogging for America during the fall election season, also looks at the contest between Barack Obama and John McCain and analyzes why “value voters” are still skeptical of an Obama presidency. Read Stricherz’s article from the September 22 issue of America,“King David’s Legacy.” Listen to this episode.

Convention Recap

Special Election Podcast -- Convention Recap
Matt Malone, S.J., associate editor of America, and Michael Sean Winters, America blogger and author of Left at the Altar: How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats, look back at the two party conventions and asses the candidates’ chances entering the final 60 days of the campaign. Listen to this episode.

Donna Freitas on Young Adult Fiction

Sept. 15 Podcast
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Donna Freitas, the author of Sex and the Soul, talks about her new young adult novel, The Possibilities of Sainthood, which tells the story of a young girl who wants to become the the patron saint of kissing--while she's still alive. Given the paucity of young adult novels with a Catholic bent, Freitas and host Tim Reidy discuss how such a book can educate as well as entertain. Listen to this episode.

Uwe E. Reinhardt on Health Care Reform

Sept. 8 Podcast
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Uwe E. Reinhardt, a professor at Princeton University and an expert in health care, describes the different models of universal health insurance, and analyzes the Democrats' health care proposals. Reinhardt also looks at the success of the the mandatory health insurance initiative in Massachusetts, and the challenges of applying that model to the nation. Read Reinhardt's article, "The True Cost of Care." Listen to this episode

The Life of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Sept. 1 Podcast
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2009 marks the bicentennial of the founding of the Sisters of Charity by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. The first native-born American saint, Saint Elizabeth Seton was a convert to Catholicism whose childhood was spent in revolutionary war era New York. She married into a prominent New York family and moved in elite social circles, once attending a birthday celebration for George Washington. Sister Regina Bechtle, S.C. discusses the life and work of this uniquely American saint. To read Sr. Bechtel’s article “An American Daughter,” from the Sept. 1 issue, click here. Listen to this episode

Forgiving Priests Guilty of Abuse

August 18-25 Podcast
Camille D’Arienzo talks about her article in the August 18-25 issue of America, “Mercy Toward Our Fathers.” “Has the church, from top to bottom, determined that those who have sexually abused minors are outside of the circle of those whom God can forgive?” writes D’Arienzo, a Sister of Mercy and regular commentator on 1010 WINS in New York. “Is there no grace left for them?” Listen to this episode

Austen Ivereigh on Lourdes & Lambeth

August 4-11 Podcast
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Speaking from Lourdes, English journalist Austen Ivereigh describes the jubilee celebrations taking place at the shrine, and ponders why Catholic devotional practice still flourishes in this corner of secular Europe. Ivereigh also reports on the Lambeth Conference, the once-a-decade meeting of Anglican bishops, where Archbishop Rowan Williams is seeking to hold the church together amid battles over the neuralgic issue of homosexuality. Read Ivereigh's article for America on Lambeth here. Listen to this episode

Courting the Latino Vote

June 23-30 Podcast
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Karen Sue Smith, editorial director of America, analyzes the Latino vote and its potential impact on the 2008 election. Nearly 18 million Latinos are registered to vote, 4 million more than in 2004, and their numbers are growing in states throughout the country, not just in the Southwest. Interestingly, immigration is not the number one issue for these voters–the war and the economy have taken precedence in recent polls. Read Smith’s article on Latino voters from the June 23-30 issue of America. Listen to this episode

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis

May 12-19 Podcast
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Stephen Adly Guirgis, author of "Our Lady of 121st Street" and "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot," talks about his new play, "The Little Flower of East Orange," which is playing at the Public Theater in Manhattan through Sunday May 4. In an interview recorded at his home in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Guirgis discusses his Catholic upbringing, moments of grace in his life and the writers who have inspired him. Listen to this episode

David Gibson on the Pope's Visit

May 5 Podcast
David Gibson, author of The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World, discusses the pope's recent visit to the United States, including his private meeting with sexual abuse victims and his address to the U.N. Gibson also offers a first-hand view of the liturgies in Washington and New York, and reflects on how the trip might shape Benedict's papacy and the American church as a whole.

Top Ten Catholic Novels

April 28 Podcast
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In this excerpt from "Pathways of Learning," Sister Marie Pappas' weekly show on the Sirius Catholic Channel 159, America associate editor Jim Keane, S.J., and Fordham University professor Angela O'Donnell discuss their "top 10" Catholic novels. Among the authors who make the list are Graham Greene, Flannery O'Connor, Ron Hansen and the science-fiction author Walter Miller. Listen to this episode

'Sex and the Soul'

April 21 Podcast
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Donna Freitas, author of Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses, describes the "hook-up culture" prevalent on both Catholic and non-Catholic campuses, and why students aren't happy about it. Many students yearn for a more traditional romantic culture, Freitas explains, yet they are unsure how to attain it. Only evangelical schools seem to have succeeded in creating an alternative environment, with the cultivation of elaborate courtship rituals. Can such a model be brought to Catholic schools? Maybe not, but Freitas offer advice for young people trying to escape the degrading excesses of the college party culture. Listen to this episode

America's Centennial Begins

April 14 Podcast

With its April 14, 2008 issue, America begins its 100th year of publication. On this week's podcast, editor Drew Christiansen, S.J. discusses the magazine's long history, how much has changed since 1909, and how much remains the same. Joining him are acting publisher James Martin, S.J., and James Keane, S.J., who along with Jim McDermott, S.J., will be editing a series of historical pieces for the centennial year. Listen to this episode

The Power of Forgiveness

March 31-April 7 Podcast
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Filmmaker Martin Doblmeier discusses “The Power of Forgiveness,” his new documentary for PBS. The film tells stories of both individual and group forgiveness, and reports on forgiveness studies, a blossoming field of scientific inquiry. Doblmeier talks about his trip to still-segregated Northern Ireland, where experts are trying to integrate the lessons of forgiveness into the curriculum, and recounts the heated reaction to the proposal to build a “garden of forgiveness” at the Ground Zero memorial in New York City. To see when the film will be playing in your city click here. You can order the film, and “The Power of Forgiveness” book, on the Journey Films Web site. Listen to this episode

Remembering Oscar Romero

March 24 Podcast
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March 24 marks the 28th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. Michael E. Lee, a professor of theology and Latin American studies at Fordham University, discusses the life of Archbishop Romero, and the status of his cause for canonization. Among the issues addressed is whether Romero in fact experienced a "conversion" shortly after his appointment as archbishop. Listen to this episode

Remembering Oscar Romero

March 24 Podcast
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March 24 marks the 28th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. Michael E. Lee, a professor of theology at Latin American studies at Fordham University, discusses the life of Archbishop Romero, and his prospects for sainthood. Among the issues addressed is whether Romero in fact experienced a "conversion" shortly after his appointment as archbishop.

Roger Haight on Catholic Theology Since Vatican II

March 17 Podcast
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Roger Haight, S.J., visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary and author of a three-volume work on ecclesiology, Christian Community in History, discusses the extraordinary flowering of Catholic Theology since Vatican II. Among the figures he reflects upon are Karl Rahner, Johannes B. Metz and Elizabeth Johnson. According to Fr. Haight, the "expanded territory covered by the theologians of our era bears comparison to the transition from the monastery to the university in the High Middle Ages." Listen to this episode