In All Things

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

July 2014

  • Jul 22 2014 - 11:15am
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    The Catholic bishops of the Holy Land want “an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza “and the restart of peace negotiations,” Bishop William Shomali, auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem told me in an exclusive interview today, as the toll of deaths and destruction continued to escalate.

  • Jul 22 2014 - 8:32am
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    Another birthday has just passed me by in the rearview mirror of life. It came and went so fast I hardly had time to notice it. The candles on the cake are piling up so and are increasing in number, that I’m left to wonder, will I be able to see the cake through the forest of candles? Will the time come when just one candle will do, as the time of my first birthday when I sat in my highchair before a humungous cake, with some curls on my head and not much more teeth than that in my head? Lo...

  • Jul 21 2014 - 5:33pm
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    USCCB Chairmen Respond to ‘Unprecedented and Extreme’ Executive Order

    July 21, 2014

  • Jul 21 2014 - 4:36pm
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    One of the toughest political calculations in Washington is balancing competing claims of gay rights with the traditional prerogatives of religious freedom. After a number of setbacks on that front, President Obama may have finally found a small patch of middle ground with Monday’s (July 21) move to bar federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

  • Jul 21 2014 - 9:00am
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    There are two great days in a person’s life,” said William Barclay, “the day we are born and the day we discover why.” That’s a very profound statement to say about life, but surely Mr. Barclay was proscribing the number of “great days” a person can have.

  • Jul 19 2014 - 9:37pm
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    Cambridge, MA. We are all familiar with the phenomenon of “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) as an increasingly common characteristic of our descriptions of ourselves. Just as the number of independents has grown phenomenally and the Democratic and Republican parties declines, and just as, by the title of Robert Putnam’s well-known book, today we bowl more than ever, but join bowling leagues more rarely than ever. The “Nones” (“none of the above”) are quickly growing communities.

  • Jul 17 2014 - 5:43pm
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    After a brief ceasefire on Thursday, the Israel Defence Forces have begun a ground incursion on the Gaza Strip. I can't find any updated statement so far from the White House or the State Department but U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had this to say during a press conference that had been called to introduce the new Special Envoy and Deputy Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura and Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy.

  • Jul 15 2014 - 5:40pm
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    Almost 27 years ago I attended a debate between Rowan Williams and Graham Leonard in Christ Church, Oxford. It was on the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood. Of course, Pope John Paul had ruled that the Catholic Church was not competent to change the tradition and moreover had forbidden any further discussion of the question at least in the Catholic Church. But sometimes questions cannot be settled prematurely even by papal or episcopal fiat.

  • Jul 15 2014 - 3:28pm
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    In comments in a university hall in Molise, an agricultural and industrial region in southern Italy, on July 5, Pope Francis offered more evidence that he intends a serious challenge Pope Benedict's standing as the "green pope." Speaking before a group of students, struggling farmers and laid-off workers (Reuter's description) who had assembled to hear...

  • Jul 14 2014 - 9:27am
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    As the sun rose on the morning of July 13, each side's body count, since the discovery of the corpses of the kidnapped boys, was accounted for: dead Palestinians, 140 plus; dead Israelis, 0. Saturday’s targets in Gaza included a mosque, a home for the disabled and the police chief’s house, where the Israeli strike killed about 18, including all his children.

  • Jul 12 2014 - 5:09am
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    Uluru, Australia. The waning days of my sabbatical have seen me in Australia again, and again at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne (and more briefly in Sydney and Brisbane), where I have served for the past month as a visiting research fellow. It has been a privilege once more to interact with the ACU faculty, particularly those engaged in interreligious dialogue and comparative theological studies, and it may turn out that I visit again next year.

  • Jul 11 2014 - 11:15am
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    New York, N.Y. (July 11, 2014) – Father Matt Malone, S.J., editor in chief of America, announced today the appointment of Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, R.S.M., as U.S. Church Correspondent. Sister Walsh is the current Director of Media Relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and will step down from that post this summer. In her new role, Sister Walsh will be responsible for planning and producing America’s coverage of...

  • Jul 11 2014 - 9:28am
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    Pope Francis is well on the way to achieving a total and radical reform of the Vatican’s finances. That became abundantly clear on July 9 when the Australian cardinal George Pell, the man he appointed to spearhead that reform, presented the New Economic Framework for the Holy See at a crowded press conference in the Vatican.

  • Jul 11 2014 - 7:00am
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    Ramesh Ponnuru is a Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor for National Review magazine. He is a regular contributor to Time magazine and ...

  • Jul 10 2014 - 9:18am
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    Oh God, who do I root for now?

    Should I pick the German team from the native land of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI? Or root for the Argentinian squad from the homeland of Pope Francis? Do I go for the Latin American or the Bavarian Catholics?

    Maybe I need to go to confession for scrupulosity. I can hear myself now. “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been four days since my last World Cup game.”

    What?!

    “Yes. I took the World Cup in vain five times this week...

  • Jul 9 2014 - 10:43am
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    The arrival of many thousands of unaccompanied immigrant minors to our southern border has reignited fierce debates over who is to blame, how they got to the border and what to do about it. We have witnessed the vociferous standoffs in Murietta, Calif., where the Border Patrol intended to process several hundred of this minors.

    The clashing groups of pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant people required the Border Patrol to find another location for processing—less public and not near main...

  • Jul 8 2014 - 12:11pm
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    In recent months, Pope Francis has come back time and again to the thought that Christians—and Christianity—are still being persecuted in the world that all of us sinners live in. It conjures up tales of the Middle Ages and the long ago, when martyrs were made from those who went about bravely professing the Christian faith against “fire and sword.” It is hard to fathom that this is the case in our supposed modern world. Yet, this is the case in the Middle East today.

  • Jul 7 2014 - 3:31pm
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    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Declaration of Independence

  • Jul 7 2014 - 10:00am
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    My sister calls it the trifecta, although without the happy connotation of that word: the window of time every year from Father’s Day in June to our dad’s birthday in July. In between is Independence Day, the date of our dad’s death. The trifecta covers about a month. It is our yearly time of intensified grief, when we are reminded that we are fatherless, and we relive the days leading up to his death, and we regret that there are no more of his birthdays to celebrate. I’m always glad when...

  • Jul 5 2014 - 8:20am
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    Elizabeth Nolan Brown is a Washington, D.C.-based Staff Editor for the libertarian magazine...
  • Jul 4 2014 - 6:10am
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    The family is at the heart of church and society. There’s nothing new in that sentiment. Nor is there any great shock in the recognition that ‘family’ here is defined as the traditional family envisioned by the church for generations as imitating the Holy Family. When something is so central to what binds us, tighter definitions are approached with caution. As Catholics we know this all too well. When Pope Paul VI issued "Humanae Vitae" in 1968 he was writing to a church united in its...

  • Jul 3 2014 - 4:59pm
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    Dear King George III,

  • Jul 1 2014 - 4:33pm
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    When the Supreme Court on June 30 issued a split decision narrowly backing the right of for-profit corporations to deny contraception coverage to their employees for religious reasons, many assumed that faith-based nonprofits would have it easy when their own cases eventually reach the high court.

  • Jul 1 2014 - 12:11pm
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    Advocates for religious freedom won a major victory in the Supreme Court of the United States on June 30. Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion for the court in Burwell v.

  • Jul 1 2014 - 9:00am
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    I asked the middle-aged man across from me, “Who was the last good American president?”

    It was the year 2000. As a 19-year old college journalist studying history and political science, I was eager to know my drinking partner’s response to this question. He had just finished railing against Presidents Clinton, Reagan and Bush '41. At this point, I was wondering if he liked any U.S. president at all.

  • Jul 1 2014 - 7:18am
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    The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on June 30 in favor of Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties, the companies seeking an exception, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (R.F.R.A.), from the Obama Administration’s contraception-coverage mandate. Justice Kennedy, the key fifth vote, joined Justice Alito’s majority opinion but also wrote a concurrence emphasizing the limits of the decision. Indeed, Hobby Lobby...