‘Franciscan’ Before Francis of Assisi

In a way that I found pleasantly surprising, Basil of Caesarea’s Sermon IX on creation bears an eerie resemblance to some of the writings of Francis of Assisi on the same subject. What’s particularly interesting is placing Basil’s text alongside some of his contemporaries (such as Gregory of Nyssa) only to discover that Basil’s particular insights […]

10 Ways to Misunderstand Vatican II

The current issue of America magazine includes an article by the eminent church historian John O’Malley, SJ, a professor at Georgetown University and author of many important books. O’Malley’s piece, simply titled “Misdirections,” is a commentary on ten ways he understands people to commonly misinterpret the Second Vatican Council, its mission, its documents, and its historical […]

When Style Trumps Spirit: Ministry and Clothing

There is a very interesting and lengthy piece of commentary recently published in the National Catholic Reporter by the well-known theologian Thomas O’Meara, OP, a dominican friar and emeritus professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. His piece “calls out” some ecclesiastical leaders of the church who appear more interested in Baroque finery of […]

Great NYT Article about Sr. Rose Pacatte, the Movie Critic

There is a great article in today’s New York Times about Sr. Rose Pacatte, a member of the congregation of the Daughters of St. Paul, a women’s religious community well known for its media ministry and book publishing. This article highlights how Sr. Rose has participated in this year’s Sundance Film Festival and mentions a few of […]

The ‘March for Life’ and My Enduring Incredulity

Last year on the day of the annual “March for Life” in Washington, DC, I wrote a blog post titled, “Why I do not support the (so-called) March for Life.” It received a lot of attention, including an article in the National Catholic Reporter that same day, “On this March for Life day, a reasoned discussion […]

The Disturbing Truth of US Gun Violence and a Vatican Response

At the end of December, Mark Shields, a PBS commentator, said on the PBS NewsHour that since 1968 “more Americans have died from gunfire than died in … all the wars of this country’s history.” There has been some interesting response to that claim, because it seems somewhat hyperbolic. That is, until you look at the […]