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...
March 16, 2015
‘A moral seduction.” That is how our late friend and columnist John F. Kavanaugh, S.J., described the debate around physician-assisted suicide in 1997.
“We have succumbed before,” Father Kavanaugh wrote, “in our always justifiable wars, in the treacherous bargain with capital punishment, in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to dehumanize unborn children. But now the stakes are higher. The ‘slippery slope’ of diminished human...
March 9, 2015
March 2, 2015
The children appeared sick and malnourished. They lived in large dormitory style rooms and were forced to use the bathroom in public view. Some had to wear prison style clothes and sleep with the lights on. Schooling was infrequent at best.
February 23, 2015
To a public accustomed to Pope Francis’ emphasis on the poor and marginalized, the Vatican seemed off message in the lead-up to the Pontifical Council for Culture’s plenary assembly on the theme “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference.” The English version of a promotional video for the event, featuring the Italian actress Nancy Brilli, was taken down...
February 16, 2015
We expect a great deal from the nation’s public primary education system. Though teachers are the frequent targets of some politicians—collateral damage in an undeclared war on public sector union membership—they accept each school day the challenge of preparing the next generation of Americans for productive and meaningful lives.
February 9, 2015
The words poor and poverty seldom appeared in the State of the Union address delivered by President Obama on Jan. 20, but the policies the president proposed would benefit many working and lower income families. The president spoke in favor of expanding child care, instituting paid leave policies for workers and subsidizing community college costs. The speech was met with measured approval from Catholic advocates of social justice, including...
February 2, 2015
In the aftermath of last month’s rampage in France—17 people died at the hands of three Muslim terrorists, who were subsequently killed by French police—many strident supporters of Western civilization turned their anger and fear on the Muslim world as a whole. In Germany record numbers came out for demonstrations against immigration; in France retaliatory attacks struck mosques and Muslim-owned businesses; and in the United Kingdom politicians seized on...