Look at that cover; Pope Benedict XVI and Jordan’s Prince Ghazi Muhammad bin Talal, taken during Benedict’s visit to the Holy Land in 2009. Given the headlines coming our way every day from an evolving Middle East, and what these changes mean for governments and churches, could it– or the cover story featuring an interview with Jesuit Father Samir Kahalil Samir — be more timely?
Like its editor Dr. Matthew Bunson, The Catholic Answer has a gift for timeliness; it’s previous issue anticipated World Youth Day and the May/June release not only explored Eastern Rite Catholicism just as the headlines were blaring about the difficulties being endured (and progresses being made) by our brothers and sisters who worship in Coptic, Maronite, Melkite and other Rites, but the issue got your attention with yet another terrific cover.
But I hope I am not giving the impression that the magazine is narrow in focus. Quite the contrary, it’s timeliness may be due to the fact that this OSV publication is fundamentally rooted in the Eternal Truths contained within Catholicism. Along with interesting and often instructive features, the magazine invites reader questions on scripture, theology, morality and church teaching and delivers comprehensive answers, hence “The Catholic Answer” is a title both an objective and cleverly subjective as well.
All that considered, you will understand why it gives me great joy to share news that with this latest issue, I debut a new regular column, Ora Pro Nobis. Picking up the reins from Marcus Grodi, who has put aside his long-running column Duc in Altum to pursue other things, I write:
G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy.”
I am bound to agree. After decades of writing freelance, I have come to realize that nothing so challenges and satisfies as writing about Jesus Christ and his truth as articulated through the Catholic church – popes and pew-sitters alike. To follow the great Marcus Grodi on the backpage of The Catholic Answer is vast privilege and humbling challenge, which makes me a bit of a grateful begger; there’s a reason why this new column is called Ora Pro Nobis. How blessed I am, though, to launch it in an issue so chock-full of perilous, exciting and instructive orthodoxy!
The rest of the column is a look at Jerid Miller’s feature piece on Pope Benedict’s apostolic exhortation, Verbum Domini, and how Chesterton, St. Therese Couderc and simple silence all conspire, in different ways, to demonstrate and validate Benedict’s lesson, “The realist is the one who recognizes in the word of God the foundation of all things” (VD 10)
The column, and the terrific features and Q&A’s mentioned here, can be accessed online by subscribers. I must confess, this is a magazine I like to be able to carry with me out to the porch or on a train. I rather like holding “The Catholic Answer” open to a world full of questions. You may find you like that, too!
UPDATE: As a little welcome present, TCA has made my column available online. Thanks, guys!