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Seriously Seeking Christian Unity

This week (January 18-25) marks the annual celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Around the world there are various prayer services and programs offered to engage in conversation about the issues that continue to divide the church, which is fundamentally all the baptized, and the Spirit’s role in reconciliation. Pope Francis, following […]

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Our Complicity with Evil and the Role of Conscience

In a recent America magazine article, the Boston College ethicist Fr. James Keenan, SJ, writes about the need for Catholics in the United States to take seriously what the Second Vatican Council teaches in Gaudium et Spes (no. 16) about the primacy and importance of the well-formed conscience in moral discernment. His recent work suggests that the […]

Pope Francis’s Opening Remarks at Synod (Full Text)

Eminences, Beatitudes, Excellences, Brothers and Sisters, I give you my cordial welcome to this meeting and my heartfelt thanks for you solicitous and qualified presence and attendance. In your name, I would like to express my earnest and profound gratitude to all the persons who worked for long months, with dedication, patience and competence, reading, […]

Burke, The Media, and the Development of Theology

It is difficult to discern which public-relations spin is correct when it comes to the public and well-publicized disagreements among the college of cardinals about the nature, scope, hopes, and fears of the upcoming Synod on the Family. Some commentators have suggested that this is an example of infighting and ecclesiastical politics playing out, while […]

Thomas Aquinas: Patron Saint of (so-called) Heretics

Today is usually a pretty big deal for students of theology. When I was doing some philosophy studies as a Franciscan postulant, the seminary where my classes were held was closed on this feast day. Thomas Aquinas, who today is remembered for his genius, theological acumen, and universal orthodoxy, wasn’t always received with such illustrious […]

Latest America Magazine Column: Against Clericalism

It has been really interesting to see the immediate and personal response from a whole spectrum of people to my latest America magazine column: “Lead Us Not Into Clericalism.” There have been a handful of comments on the America website itself, but there have also been a huge number of responses online — especially in the world […]

Liberation Theology, Pope Francis, and Good News for the Church

This is something you don’t see everyday: Good news coming from the sitting Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). According to a Religion News Service report this is exactly what we’re getting these days! Francis, who has called for “a poor church for the poor,” will meet in the next few days with […]

The Church and ‘Historical Amnesia’

This morning I woke up to find an article posted on the Commonweal magazine website titled, “Historical Amnesia: When Catholic Leaders Misread the Past,” by Nicholas Clifford, the emeritus historian from Middlebury College. In my opinion, it is a very interesting and well-written piece that creatively highlights a number of ways that church leaders have — […]

Preliminary Comments about DOMA Ruling

I have been thinking and praying about what and when to say something about this week’s decisions from the US Supreme Court. On Tuesday, Civil Rights in this country were ostensibly thrown back fifty years into a very unsettling and precarious place in certain parts of the country with well-known and documented histories of racism […]