The National Catholic Review

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  • I cannot help but think about John F. Kennedy these days. I think of him not just because of that November day so long ago now, when he entered that limousine, smiled and waved, and met that cruel fate, with that limousine leaving behind in its wake a numbing ache that never went away and never-ending conspiracy theories that warped the national psyche, instead of the dreams, the goals and the promise he wanted the American nation to have and achieve. 

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  • A few years ago, while I was waiting for a Sunday Mass to begin, and after I had said my prayers, I picked up the missalette, intending to read ahead of time (as I usually do) the scripture readings for that day. And being the inveterate reader that I am (even in church!), I turned over the missalette to see what prayers or meditations were printed on the back cover.

  • At the Catholic Migration Services office in the Diocese of Brooklyn, we have long awaited a significant governmental effort to address our nation’s broken immigration system. For well over a decade, my colleagues and I experienced the bitter frustration of informing thousands of hard-working immigrants that no opportunity for legalization was available to them.

  • “In Secularism We Trust: The Fate of Religion in the 21st Century”: this was the title of the presentation and discussion at Fordham Center on Religion and Culture last Tuesday. Molly Worthen, a historian of religion, described the advance of secularization in America; Harvey Cox and Ross Douthat gave commentary from a liberal Protestant and a conservative Catholic perspective. E. J. Dionne moderated the ensuing arguments with wit and dispatch. A lot of nuanced, complex...

  • As archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley owns a newspaper, The Boston Pilot. That lets him respond when he feels done in, as in a media interview last Nov. 16. That seems to be the rationale of his Boston Pilot column posted online Nov. 19, when he followed up on his “60 Minutes” interview that...

  • As a Philly boy, I was delighted to hear that Pope Francis has announced that he’s coming to my hometown for the World Meeting of Families next September. The visit is a testimony to the hard work of Archbishop Charles Chaput, who extended the invitation several months ago to the pope. The last time a pope visited the Delaware Valley was John Paul II’s visit, in 1979. And while St. John Paul celebrated an immense Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and visited a variety of sites, there...

  • The president's proposals on immigration are sure to draw critics who will argue that the Obama administration goes too far. But Bill O’Keefe, Vice President of Advocacy and Government Relations for Catholic Relief Services, only wishes the administration would go a little further on comprehensive reform. No package put together in Washington is going to have much of an impact on migration from the south if it doesn’t include wise investments aimed squarely at the conditions which push...

  • The United States and Europe should engage in “strong mediation” to bring an end to the violence that is spreading in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Bishop William Shomali, the Palestinian-born auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, told me in an interview, November 20. 

    He went on to call for the implementation of the two-state solution to resolve the more than sixty-year old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and insisted that “this should not be left to the good will of...

  • Soldiers often possess a strong spirituality, one marked by a clear and vivid sense of mission. That’s certainly true of Thomas J. Jackson, the Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, and Instructor of Artillery, at the Virginia Military Institute. You can hear it in this letter of 1851, sent to his sister Laura. 

  • Announcing that he will suspend the threat of deportation for about half of the nation’s 11 million undocumented migrants, President Barack Obama said, “our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it.” He could have taken out the word “immigration” and been just as correct.