October 28, 2019

[This is a guest post from Matthew Cooper, who blogs at the Heavy Anglo-Orthodox.] Readers of my blog are by now probably well familiar with my rejection of intégrisme, the political philosophy which holds a belief that spiritual institutions must vie for and possess temporal political power. My point of view is largely as follows. First of all, the very roots of intégrisme are agnostic. They avow respect for religious institutions not because they share the basic epistemological and value-oriented… Read more

October 21, 2019

From the grateful welcome given to the Three Magi (i.e., pagan wise men) at Bethlehem to St. Paul’s quotations from Greek philosophers to St. Thomas’ labors of commentary on Aristotle (which twice earned him condemnation in his day from the otherwise long-forgotten Bishop of Paris), the Church has always engaged with the wisdom of other cultures. (A short tour of the astonishing collections of the Vatican Museums will make the same point.) Drawing on the teachings of Vatican II, St…. Read more

October 14, 2019

What’s going on this month at the Amazonian Synod in Rome, we need to remember, is not merely about Pope Francis and the struggle with his detractors. Nor about the regional views of the Amazonian bishops. Nor even just about the endangered rainforest itself. Here’s what it’s also about: criminalization and assassination of leaders and activists who defend Amazonia appropriation and privatization of natural goods, including water both legal logging concessions and illegal logging predatory hunting and fishing, mainly in… Read more

October 10, 2019

In less than two weeks, a group of seven Catholic peace activists will be put on trial in Georgia. The Kings Bay Plowshares 7, as they’re called, face 25 years in prison for nonviolently and symbolically “disarming” the submarine base on April 4, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Their target, as many probably do not know, was the largest nuclear submarine base in the world — the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in St. Mary’s,… Read more

October 7, 2019

The Marian spirituality of the Church in Latin America is everywhere to see, particularly in the several national shrines across the continent. Many Americans are familiar with Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City but may not be aware of Our Lady of Lujan (in Argentina), Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre (in Cuba) or Our Lady of Aparecida (in Brazil), among others. The Aparecida shrine — a national cathedral — is the second largest basilica in the world and the largest Marian… Read more

October 3, 2019

In 2008, Fr. Emmanuel Katongole, a Ugandan priest born in 1960 of Rwandan parents (one Hutu, one Tutsi), was moderating a panel at a gathering of the African Great Lakes Initiative near Kampala. A woman named Angelina Atyam shared with the audience her story of the abduction of her daughter from school in 1996, together with 139 other girls, by Joseph Kony’s infamous Lord’s Resistance Army. (The LRA abducted an estimated 26,000 children and killed over 200,000 people.) In the… Read more

September 30, 2019

I’m fascinated by the story of the once-secret “Pact of the Catacombs” and its role in the post-Vatican II shift in the Church toward a “preferential option for the poor.” It makes a good starting point for the series of posts I want to publish here briefly outlining the rise of liberation theology in the Latin American Church leading up to next week’s launch of the possibly epochal Amazonian synod (October 6–27). On the evening of November 16, 1965, shortly… Read more

September 26, 2019

Wilson Pinheiro, murdered in 1980. Vicente Canas, stabbed to death in 1987. Chico Mendez, assassinated in 1988. Jose Claudio da Silva, ambushed and killed in 2011. These are Brazilian activists who died for their efforts at protecting the Amazonian rainforest and the 3 million indigenous peoples who live within the region called Amazonia or the Amazonian biome. Another victim of this long-standing repression was Sister Dorothy Stang, the American-born Sister of Notre Dame de Namur who taught briefly at a… Read more

September 24, 2019

Here’s how my Solidarity Hall colleague, Mark Gordon, launched this column, named for Dorothy Day, back on January 22, 2016: Welcome to the first post on Solidarity Hall’s new group blog, The Dorothy Option. Our title is taken from a June 2011 post of mine at Vox Nova titled, “Catholic Citizenship and the Dorothy Option.” For the historical record, it’s worth noting that my use of the now ubiquitous “Option” device appears to have been the first. Rod Dreher didn’t propose his Benedict Option, now the gold standard of… Read more

June 29, 2018

The polarization of American politics is reflected in a like polarization of politics around the world, because capitalism is a world system, and that system is in a protracted crisis that has been mounting for decades, and is reaching a kind of dangerous endgame that combines war, mass displacement, famine, financial ripoff schemes, and ecological collapse. Read more

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