In All Things
A group blog by the editors, columnists and frequent contributors to America.
Nov 26 2014 - 10:00am0 comments
My Dear Doctor Franklin,
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I thought I’d sit right down and write you a letter. Since you were famous for words, both for the written as well as the spoken variety, I have taken the opportunity—nay, the liberty!—of sending some thoughts your way about this uniquely American of holidays which, I am sure, you know something about (well, at least about the Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock and their historic repast).
Nov 26 2014 - 9:47am0 comments
Stephen M. Barr is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware, where he serves as a member of the Bartol Research Institute. He holds a PhD in physics from Princeton University.
Nov 25 2014 - 4:12pm0 comments
Last night was disheartening all around and may have been doomed to be so. Tonight may not be much better, except with more National Guard and fewer buildings to burn.
Coming from a family of civil servants, I have an innate tendency to give police officers the benefit of the doubt in such situations. We ask police to do the work of keeping our streets safe, which can include not a small degree of confrontation and violence. If that's the deal the larger society has made, is it fair...
Nov 25 2014 - 3:17pm0 comments
I was out of the country when Ferguson erupted over the summer. From abroad, it looked like the Arab Spring had come to the Midwest. Last night as I watched the news coverage, it looked the same: an angry, outraged citizenry clashing with the police power of the state. “Unbelievable” was the word CNN’s reporters used repeatedly as they roamed around the small part of Ferguson where people were rioting. Were they talking about the vandalism they were seeing, or the tear gas they were choking...
Nov 25 2014 - 12:52pm1 comment
Courtesy of Vatican Radio:
The full text of the address delivered by Pope Francis to members of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday November 25, 2014.
Mr President and Vice Presidents,
Members of the European Parliament,
All associated with the work of this Institution,
Nov 25 2014 - 10:07am0 comments
When we are children, we believe that our families will always be the same. Time moves slowly, and we don’t understand that a future awaits in which family members will be born, or die, or marry into other families, or stray, or become estranged. And perhaps no holiday better illustrates a family’s ebb and flow, its metamorphosis and stasis, than Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a magnet that draws people back into their families, even as polar opposites attract. Gratitude and home go together...
Nov 24 2014 - 12:34pm2 comments
This is part of an occasional series of blogs looking back on the Synod of Bishops on the Family in October 2014. To submit an entry to the series, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nov 24 2014 - 4:37am2 comments
This is one case where I’m glad to have been mistaken. My last print column for America was a call to action for Catholics to revive their past leadership in supporting cooperative economic models—from monastic communities, to the first credit union in the United States, to the world’s largest network of co-op industries in Spain. But I ended on a sour note. Amid a growing renaissance of the cooperative...
Nov 22 2014 - 11:18am1 comment
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....
Nov 21 2014 - 4:56pm0 comments
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.
Nov 21 2014 - 4:01pm0 comments
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.
Nov 21 2014 - 3:25pm0 comments
“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...
Nov 21 2014 - 2:47pm1 comment
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...
Nov 21 2014 - 12:31pm7 comments
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...
Nov 21 2014 - 11:33am0 comments
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...
Nov 20 2014 - 4:47pm4 comments
The possibility of an executive order by President Obama to prevent deportation of many undocumented persons while the executive order is in effect is a cause for hope. Among the most sympathetic undocumented persons are students educated in the United States and you cannot help but cheer for them. At the same time, what is frightening is the suggestion that while these children may get relief from deportation, their undocumented parents may not.
Those who argue for support of...
Nov 20 2014 - 12:02pm0 comments
A welcome sub-theme of Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago seems to be a call for civility in dialogue. The theme echoed in an interview with NBC News’s Ann Curry that aired Nov. 16, his homily at the Vespers service Nov. 17, the eve of his installation as archbishop, and even his...
Nov 19 2014 - 8:20pm1 comment
I have long suspected that the decline of stable, living-wage, blue-collar jobs has something to do with falling marriage rates, a decline especially pronounced among men and women without college degrees. So have many policy wonks and sociologists. In the mid-twentieth century, high-value manufacturing jobs and widespread union contracts enabled a man with a high school degree, and willing to work, to readily find a job with family-supporting wages and benefits. The same man today, if...
Nov 19 2014 - 1:28pm0 comments
Few recent episcopal appointments have attracted as much public attention as that in Chicago this week. The media have had a great time contrasting the supposedly arch-conservative Cardinal Francis George with his surprise successor, the barely known but arguably liberal former bishop of Spokane, Blase Cupich. But dramatic turnovers in the American church have a long and colorful history, and Chicago may have the most colorful of all.
Nov 19 2014 - 12:20pm0 comments
Mike Aquilina is an American Catholic author of more than 40 books, including “The Fathers of the Church,” “The Mass of the Early Christians,” and “Roots of the Faith.” Popularizing the study of the Church Fathers, he has hosted nine television series and several...
Nov 18 2014 - 1:11pm29 comments
The term “complementarity” has been referenced frequently this week on social media and in traditional media as the Vatican hosts an international, interreligious conference bearing the title: “The Complementarity of Man and Woman: An International Colloquium.” The aim of the gathering, according to the conference’s website is “to examine and propose anew the beauty of the relationship between the man and the woman, in order to support and...
Nov 18 2014 - 9:39am0 comments
Cokie Roberts, political commentator for ABC News, has stood for more than four decades as a prominent Catholic woman in the public. From 1996-2002 she and Sam Donaldson co-anchored the weekly ABC interview program This Week. Roberts also serves as Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio. She has won countless awards, including three Emmys, has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the...
Nov 16 2014 - 3:30pm0 comments
A telling look at Chicago’s Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich comes from an interview with NBC News’s correspondent Ann Curry and America editor Father Matt Malone. (The interview aired on NBC Weekly News tonight. An edited transcript of the full interview is available here.)
Nov 15 2014 - 10:25pm1 comment
The well-publicized Nov. 10-13 meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops seems to have left a lot of people yawning. Maybe it was just the impression conveyed by media desperate for something spicy to cover. When it comes to the annual fall assembly of bishops, media sometimes forget they are covering a business meeting not a show. But maybe it was an agenda that left them cold.
Nov 14 2014 - 4:58pm0 comments
Aging punk-rock fans (are there any other kind?) will be pleased to learn that the irrepressible "Godmother of Punk" (do we really call her that?) Patti Smith has been invited by Pope Francis to perform at the Vatican's annual Christmas concert. Patti will be among 17 other acts due to play at Rome's Conciliation Auditorium on Dec. 13 in...
Nov 14 2014 - 2:20pm0 comments
New York, N.Y. (November 14, 2014) – Father Matt Malone, S.J., president of America, announced today that America has partnered with NBC News and Ann Curry for a special profile on Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich as he becomes the new Archbishop of Chicago. The extended segment will air on NBC Nightly News Weekend on Sunday, November 16 at 6:30pm EST.
Nov 14 2014 - 1:55pm0 comments
Is the Francis effect slowing the diminishment of Latin America’s Catholic population? A new survey from the Pew Research Center suggests cause for hope, but reports it is too soon to tell.
Nov 14 2014 - 10:38am0 comments
Though not heralded by media, one of the most important presentations at the Nov. 10-13 meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore came from the Education and Cultural Diversity Committees. The committees, headed respectively by Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha and Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, urged the bishops to reach out to increase underserved populations in Catholic schools, especially Hispanics.
Nov 13 2014 - 12:02pm0 comments
Nov 12 2014 - 3:47pm0 comments
Nov 11 2014 - 2:38pm3 comments
Election of Bishop Christopher Coyne, auxiliary bishop of Indianapolis, as chairman-elect of the U.S. Bishops’ Communications Committee may be another blessing of the Pope Francis effect. Bishop Coyne was a last minute addition to the two-man slate for chair-elect of the communications committee, when Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, dropped out of the running in light of a Vatican document released last week.
Nov 11 2014 - 1:49pm1 comment
Today, November 11th, is Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor and remember the service of those countless men and women who, throughout American history, answered the summons to “duty, honor, country” when the times required it, when precious rights and liberties had to be defended against those who objected to the ideals, ways and practice of democracy.
Nov 10 2014 - 11:54am5 comments
It may be time for détente between youth-oriented programs and parishes.
I offer this suggestion after hearing about a parish on Long Island which prepared a sixth grade reconciliation service for its religious education students. Only two-thirds of the expected students showed up. The reason? The service conflicted with a play rehearsal at the local public school that the religious education director had not been informed of.
Nov 6 2014 - 11:59am0 comments
In an average week, one-in-five Americans share their religious faith online, about the same percentage that tune in to religious talk radio, watch religious TV programs or listen to Christian rock music, according to a national survey released on Nov. 6 by the Pew Research Center.
Nov 5 2014 - 1:14pm1 comment
After a litany of bad news, sometimes a fella just needs to shop around a little on the good old internet for some happy news to restore his faith in humanity. If that's your aim this morning than you should skip the story trending today about Fort Lauderdale homeless advocates, two pastors and a 90-year-old man, arrested for committing one of the corporal works of mercy in public, on the street and all, where everyone, including children, could see them.
Nov 5 2014 - 12:00pm0 comments
Two days last month I flew to Kansas City and next took the F train and walked to Pier 60 on the Hudson River to help celebrate the anniversaries of the National Catholic Reporter (50th) and Commonweal (90th). One in the “heartland” of America, the other in the center of the world.
Nov 5 2014 - 8:00am1 comment
Scott Hahn is a Catholic scripture scholar, author, and currently serves as the Distinguished McEssy Visiting Professor of Biblical Theology at Mundelein Seminary (Chicago); he also holds the Fr.
Nov 4 2014 - 6:59pm1 comment
Kathleen McChesney, in 2002, was a top executive at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). McChesney left the FBI after 24 years of law enforcement service there and became head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Secretariat for the Protection of Child and Young People. She signed on for a three-year term at the USCCB in an unprecedented role as the church faced its greatest scandal of the modern day, the sexual abuse of children by clerics.
Nov 3 2014 - 5:16pm1 comment
We know for certain when the summer months are truly over: the warm sunny days recede into the distance of memory and evolve into the long dark winter evenings of the present; the humid breezes turn into an autumn chill; the green grass fades while the many-colored leaves start their migration from the trees, waiting to be raked and collected like so many scattered thoughts. We begin to understand (as if we’ve ever really forgotten) how the years pass and that time really does fly, making us...
Nov 3 2014 - 11:28am0 comments
The appointment of Holy Cross Sister Joan Marie Steadman as executive director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious bodes well for the organization that serves superiors of about 80 percent of the women’s religious orders in the United States.