June 8-15, 2015
Fifty years ago, a young scholar at the Department of Labor, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, wrote The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. “The racist virus in the American blood stream,” he said, “still afflicts us,” and “the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.” Mr. Moynihan had discovered that nearly a quarter of African-American births were “illegitimate.” Only a minority of African-American children who were 18 at that time had...
May 25-June 1, 2015
At a conference at Notre Dame in late April, speakers explored the issue of polarization in today’s church under the heading “Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal.” From a variety of backgrounds, they drew a picture of today’s Catholic Church in the United States with its polarities, tensions and different ways of thinking.
May 18, 2015
May 11, 2015
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Higher Education Act. Part of Johnson’s Great Society agenda, the legislation was created as a way to lessen the economic divide between poor and rich American families by providing better financial support and resources for lower-income students seeking higher education. Fifty years later, however, with rising tuition costs and a rapid increase in student loan burdens discouraging working- and middle-class...
May 4, 2015
Nearly 50 years after Pope Paul VI pleaded “No more war, war never again,” at the United Nations, his call remains as urgent as ever as members of the so-called P5-plus-1 group work to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. The members, led by the United States, hope that the details of a framework deal reached in early April will be hammered out by the end of June and that the terms will help to forestall a potentially disastrous arms race.
April 27, 2015
It has been very discouraging to watch the acrimonious debate over religious liberty in Indiana and Arkansas. The passage of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act in these states sparked widespread protests over possible discrimination and exposed a deep divide in our nation on questions of marriage, civil rights for gay and lesbian people, and freedom of religion. One of the many unfortunate outcomes of this controversy is that these issues are now co-mingled in the public mind. Another is...
April 13, 2015
We live in an era of new martyrs and new questions about the nature of martyrdom. In Libya, in mid-February, the windswept beach was a scene befitting a tourist poster—except for the line of kneeling men in orange suits and their anonymous executioners wrapped in black: 21 Coptic Christians marched to their deaths. These were simple workingmen who died with “Jesus” on their lips, according to accounts that sprang up on the Internet.
April 6, 2015
While Christians believe in the Easter story, it is sometimes difficult for us to connect with Easter in a personal way. The events that we hear recounted during the Easter Triduum may sometimes seem far removed from our daily lives. But is it true that the Passion narratives and the story of Christ’s resurrection have no intersections with our present-day world? As St. Paul would say, “By no means!” Each moment of the triduum can offer important insights into our...
March 30, 2015
Catholic women from around the world recently shared their stories of faith and service during an observance of International Women’s Day at the Vatican. The event, called Voices of Faith, took place on March 8, during Women’s History Month, and was notable for its open dialogue about the status of women in the church today.
March 23, 2015
The issue of lethal force—employed by police against African-American citizens in Ferguson, Mo., Staten Island, N.Y., Albuquerque, N.M., and Cleveland, Ohio—remains in the public consciousness as the spotlight shifts now to another deeply embedded abuse of power: brutality in prison. In scandalous numbers, prison guards responsible for the rehabilitation of prisoners abuse them mercilessly—at times to death—and are rarely held to account for their crimes...