Patheos Catholic Joins Joint Call to End Capital Punishment

This morning the editorial boards of four prominent and politically diverse Catholic news publications came together to call for the abolition of capital punishment in the United States of America. We, the editors of four Catholic journals — America, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter and Our Sunday Visitor — urge the readers of our diverse publications and the whole U.S. Catholic community and all people of faith to stand with us and say, “Capital punishment must end.” … [Read more...]

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Sr. Mary Ann Walsh: A Humble Way of Mercy

A few years ago I happened to be sitting at a conference breakfast next to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, who at that time was serving as director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. -- a position of weight, responsibility and connections that might be a terrible temptation to ego in another person. Sister Mary Ann managed to wear it lightly, yet powerfully and to great effect. As we munched on sausages and scrambled eggs, I marveled at her energy and … [Read more...]

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“Sisterhood” May be Reality-TV for Reality-TV Haters

Maybe.When it was announced that Lifetime network would be airing a "reality" series chronicling five young women as they "discerned" whether or not they have religious vocations, I was as skeptical as Diana von Glahn, who felt pure dread at the prospect.More than dreading, I was a bit repulsed by the very idea. Having experienced my own vocational discernment as long-looking -- a process both serious and slow, and full of challenges to my own self -- the notion that five women being … [Read more...]

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Unhappy Nation America: Not a Family, Not a People

America is not happy. However it might look on paper, in reality we are not getting along. We are e pluribus unum, no more.I wrote that, and later struck it as being too harsh, for my latest column at First Things, which was written after an evening's troubling conversation with an African American friend who is feeling done with everything and everyone. The militarized police in Ferguson so strained his basket of disciplined goodwill that I suspect one more straw, no matter how light, will … [Read more...]

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Christian Right? Christian Left? It’s Great to Have a Christian Anything

I’ve written two posts worth of thoughts on the idea of an authentically Christian left-wing political movement, and they’ve mostly consisted of cautions and warnings – obstacles to be overcome, temptations to be avoided.That may run the risk of under-emphasising how glad I am that people are thinking about such a movement, and indeed, how glad I am that it’s possible for people of all political stripes to unabashedly talk, in mainstream media outlets, about being inspired, not just by the ch … [Read more...]

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Over FCC Plans, MSM Finally a Bit Curious re Obama Admin – UPDATED

It's only taken seven years, but a member of the mainstream media is finally asking "what are they thinking?"That would be the formerly "respectable" Howard Kurtz, the Columbia J-school grad who wrote for the Washington Post and worked for CNN and the Daily Beast, before he fell from grace and landed at Fox News, where he writes: What on earth is the FCC thinking?The last thing we need is the government mucking around with news content.The title of this Big Brother-ish effort by the … [Read more...]

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Putting Away the Labels to Hear/See Each Other

Under it's new editor, Matt Malone, S.J., America Magazine is doing a very good thing:America aspires to nothing more than to live up to the fullest meaning of our motto, to pursue the truth in love, for as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written,“The only strength with which Christianity can make its influence felt publicly is ultimately the strength of its intrinsic truth.” The fundamental truth of Christianity is personal, the person of Jesus Christ, the one for whom love and for … [Read more...]

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NSA Inevitability and what Ted Kennedy Knew! – UPDATE

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” ― George Orwell, 1984Just some stuff to think about as we digest all of this breaking news about what the government knows and when it knows it, how it gets it and where it stores it. And how ubiquitous is the case (tracking credit cards, too?).Do people fear the wheels are coming off the trolley? Is this fear widespread? A few weeks ago I was reading Christopher Lawford's lovely, candid and a … [Read more...]

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Men on Strike: Fathers, Family, Frank Talk and First Things

Two weeks ago at First Things, I wondered what it would be like if Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) had her way and women ruled the world.This week I'm continuing on the theme of men and women and families and faith:Family illiteracy, [author Mary Eberstadt] says, “breeds religious illiteracy.”In turn, increasing our scriptural literacy is one way for Christian communities to help their members understand and form families. Eberstadt’s book...has, in tandem with Helen Smith’s Men on Strike, … [Read more...]

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Using Gosnell to Snip at Obama, or the Press? – UPDATED

"If these children are being born alive, I have confidence that a doctor..."That is part of State Senator Barack Obama's argument, in 2003, as to why he would not support any sort of legislation insuring medical care for babies delivered during botched abortions. More completely, he said:I think it’s important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births. Because if these children are being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who i … [Read more...]

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