The National Catholic Review

In All Things

A group blog by the editors, columnists and frequent contributors to America.

November 2014

  • Nov 24 2014 - 12:34pm
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    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 webeditor@americamagazine.org.

  • Nov 22 2014 - 11:18am
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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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  • Nov 21 2014 - 4:56pm
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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.

  • Nov 21 2014 - 4:01pm
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    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 - 3:25pm
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    “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 - 2:47pm
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    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 - 12:31pm
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    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 - 11:33am
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    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 - 4:47pm
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    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 - 12:02pm
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    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 - 8:20pm
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    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 - 1:28pm
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    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 - 12:20pm
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    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 - 1:11pm
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    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 - 9:39am
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    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 - 3:30pm
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    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 - 10:25pm
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    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 - 4:58pm
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    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 - 2:20pm
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    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 - 1:55pm
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    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 - 10:38am
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    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 - 12:02pm
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    Two years of organizing and bargaining at Georgetown University came to a successful conclusion October 28 when adjunct instructors there ratified a proposed contract reached in September. (See also Kevin Clarke’s Oct. 10 post).

  • Nov 12 2014 - 3:47pm
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    Arleen Spenceley is a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times in the Tampa Bay area. She is also a contributing writer at the Catholic Match Institute, the Chastity Project and ...

  • Nov 11 2014 - 2:38pm
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    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 - 1:49pm
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    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 - 11:54am
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    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 - 11:59am
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    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 - 1:14pm
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    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 - 12:00pm
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    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 - 8:00am
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    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 - 6:59pm
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    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 - 5:16pm
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    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 - 11:28am
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    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.