Columbine, Newtown and our culture of death

Blame it on the guns. No, blame the judges who banned Godtalk in schools, along with most lessons about right and wrong. No, our lousy national mental health care system caused this hellish bloodbath. No, the problem is the decay of American families, with workaholic parents chained to their desks while their children grow up in suburban cocoons with too much time on their hands. No, it's Hollywood's fault. How can children tell the difference between fantasy and reality when they've been … [Read more...]

Law, faith and the good death

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- As the end of his life drew near, Pope Pius XII began addressing complex medical questions that were personal, theological, practical and scientific, all at the same time. For example, how far could doctors go to relieve a dying patient's pain? Months before his death in 1958, the pope wrote: "Is the suppression of pain and consciousness by means of narcotics (when it is demanded by a medical indication) permitted, by religion and morality, to the patient and the doctor … [Read more...]

Waiting for the WHY shoe to drop

You're waiting for the other shoe to drop.You know the shoe I'm talking about -- the religion shoe. When the Virginia Tech University story broke, you began clicking from website to website, channel to channel, seeking information and, then, something more. You've seen photos of mourners in pews, offering comfort and seeking solace. You know that believers will pray and that journalists will keep aiming cameras at them, because, that?s what Bible Belt people do. People in southwest Virginia put … [Read more...]

Amarillo makes Catholic news — again

The Catholic Diocese of Amarillo is not the kind of place that makes national news very often.Yet the bishop of the Texas high plains did precisely that in 1981 when he took an idealistic -- some said foolhardy -- stand to defend the sanctity of life. Bishop Leroy Matthiesen urged workers at the nearby Pantex plant to walk away from their jobs assembling nuclear weapons.Peace activists cheered, while big-league journalists rushed to cover the story.A quarter of a century later, the tiny Diocese … [Read more...]