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  • Male and female soldiers putting their sperm and eggs in cold storage for future use. It’s a program that seems straight out of the pages of Aldous Huxley’s science fiction classic, Brave New World.

    Certainly, the irony of preserving their gametes while sending soldiers to be slaughtered in war wouldn’t be lost on Mr. Huxley, a writer with a sharp eye for paradox. Just as certainly, the Defense Department’s announcement last week that it will offer a new benefit to soldiers—freezing...

  • Redemptorist bishop of Rustenburg, South Africa, Kevin Dowling, C.Ss.R., celebrated his silver jubilee of ordination earlier this week. Bishop Dowling is well-known for his unwavering prophetic stand and option for the poor. He is co-president (with American Marie Dennis) of Pax Christi International—the Catholic peace movement working in over 50 countries.

    Speaking at the silver jubilee Mass, on behalf of the bishops’ conference, the Archbishop of Johannesburg, Buti Tlhagale, O.M.I...

  • “I have Russia and China in my heart,” Pope Francis said on the flight from Rome to Havana and Mexico City on Feb. 12. He also had words of praise for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and described her as “a person of good will.”

    He made these comments in response to questions from individual reporters as he moved among the 76 journalists, photographers and TV cameramen from many countries (including 10 from Mexico) who are accompanying him on the Alitalia Airbus 330, and greeted each...

  • The tall, gangly and newly bearded man known as “Mr. Lincoln” traveled vast distances in his lifetime of 50-plus years. Born in the backwoods of Kentucky, he grew up in the new frontiers of Indiana and Illinois. He worked in all places in all manner of jobs: as a farmer, a rail-splitter, village store clerk, rural postmaster, country lawyer and as an aspiring politician. He did what he could to survive. Lean and sinewy, he could hold his own against any obstacle whether it be man (like the...

  • With the “coincidence of Donald Trump’s first victory coming the night before Ash Wednesday,” asks Michael Sean Winters at the National Catholic Reporter, “who can now say that God doesn’t have a sense of humor?”

    While short on Christian charity, Mr. Trump displayed impressive ecumenical reach on Tuesday, winning all age groups and income levels, even winning college...

  • Between the kickboxing and slugfests of the political debates, it is healthy to switch channels to a university faculty fencing match, which can be just as dangerous, but sometimes deal with more lofty issues.

    The stakes at Mount St. Mary’s University of Maryland in Emmitsburg, Md, the country’s second oldest Catholic university, with 2,240 students and 120 full time staff, are high: faculty fired, reputations spoiled, students threatened with pointless dismissal, the principles of...

  • Just in time for rumination before Pope Francis arrives in Mexico—after a brief stop to make history in Cuba with Patriarch Kirill on Feb. 12—the Pew Research Center offers some statistics on the state of Catholicism in Mexico . Mexico is not only home to the world’s the largest Spanish-speaking population, Pew reports, it also represents the globe’s second-largest Catholic...

  • It was on this day in 1990—February 11—that a man of great dignity and bearing emerged from many years of captivity into the sunlight of freedom. It was a long time coming, this “freedom”; as he had spent the large part of his life—27 years—in a narrow, cramped prison cell. Eighteen of those years were spent in the same place, on a remote island, where he was forced to work along with others in a lime quarry. They were difficult years—years that could easily make or break a human being. He...

  • Twenty-five years after the beating of Rodney King (it occurred on March 3, 1991), one doesn’t hear much about police brutality in Los Angeles, which may very well be a sign of the progress that’s been made.

    And yet, shootings by police in Los Angeles County nearly doubled in the last year , from 23 to 45 cases, 19 of them...

  • The meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill “is almost a defining moment for ecumenism,” Bishop Brian Farrell, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, told America magazine on the eve of this truly historic encounter at Havana's international José Marti airport, Cuba, on Feb 12.

    “Things that seemed impossible became possible, so we can be confident that even the difficulties between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches can eventually be...