The National Catholic Review


  • Paul Mayer, who succumbed to cancer last November, had a knack for noticing a moral crisis. He might have learned it from his German-Jewish parents, who whisked him from Frankfurt to New York just before Kristallnacht. He grew up to become a Catholic and a Benedictine priest, only to leave the cloister when he heard the call to march with Martin Luther King, Jr., at Selma. From there he organized against war in Vietnam, poverty in New Jersey’s slums and nuclear weapons around the world.

  • Born and raised in Scotland, I left in 1979 as an “economic refugee” to live and work in London. At that time, the Scottish National Party seemed small and insignificant, so much so that some people observed that they could hold their annual party conference in a phone booth. Scroll forward 35 years, and we face the possibility of waking up on Friday to a very different political situation. Much has been said and written on reasons for voting “yes” or “no.” Those favouring independence are...

  • Jesuit education is a vast topic encompassing history, biography, spirituality and pedagogy. It's interwoven with the history of the Catholic Church and the life of St. Ignatius, and yet even non-Catholics find the themes and principles of Jesuit education hospitable and illuminating. Where does one go to understand it?

  • And then there was less than a week to go. The final weekend of campaigning in the Scottish independence referendum has come and gone, bringing with it too many events and gatherings, rallies and gigs to count. Both the official "Yes" and "No" camps would have us believe that spontaneous city-centre gatherings spoke of the strength of their respective positions, but the reality is that these were highly orchestrated, photogenic jamborees. Yet no city or town, highland village or island, it...

  • Earlier this month, The New Republic’s Franklin Foer ran a long piece on what he argues is the biggest threat to civil liberties in America: local government.

  • Vatican wedding

    Pope Francis presided over the weddings of 20 couples in a historic ceremony Sunday at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

  • PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA — Oscar Pistorius, the famous South African disabled athlete and Paralympian known as the “Blade Runner,” was convicted on September 12, 2014 of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The case, which has generated something of a global media frenzy, highlights not only personal tragedy but sheds light on the South African criminal justice system and the less than healthy side of post-apartheid society.

  • As regular readers know, of late I've been reading through the letters of St. Ignatius for renewal and re-grounding. The letters are remarkable in their boldness and clarity, and in their capacity to jar one from spiritual complacency.

    Each page teaches me once more about faith, detachment, discernment, and the high stakes of discipleship. Through the lens of faith, everything is different. Writing in 1532, Ignatius offered these words to Isabel Roser:

  • Glasgow; Tuesday 02/09/14. [Owing to a technical glitch, this blog posting of 2nd September vanished for a while. For the sake of continuity, I now offer it again.]

  • Slate’s Reihan Salam has a piece on “The Biggest Problem in American Politics,” which is that he’s a conservative in New York City and is thus always on the losing side in congressional elections.