Commentaries

An unexpected usage of that good word, ‘consubstantial’

The Year of Faith: It’s time to get to work

Responding to editors’ requests for a regular sampling of current commentary from around the Catholic press, here is an unsigned editorial from the Oct. 3 issue of the St. Louis Review, newspaper of the St. Louis Archdiocese. The numbers are startling but should come as no surprise. In the last 20 years, our local church […]

Parish restructuring: Hard work by many, for the good of all (Editorial)

It would be too easy to look at the list of almost 60 parishes engaged in a restructuring or dialogue process this autumn and expect that they’ll all be ordered to close at any moment without so much as a peep from pastors and their parishioners. Far from it. The parish restructuring process currently under […]

Finding a relationship made of true partnership

When it comes to functional relationships, it seems that celebrities these days don't have a chance. Take, for example, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, Katy Perry and Russell Brand. The gossip rags are full of stories about lost relationships and broken hearts. These days, we're not at all surprised when stars split up. We are naturally wary when we hear about a brand-new celebrity couple. (After all, this is the celebrity culture that gave us Kim Kardashian's 72-day marriage.) We celebrate a couple's happiness by wondering when they'll break up.

Every vote counts

Every four years arrives both a great opportunity to participate in the democratic process and a brutal marathon of attack ads and speechifying that can exhaust all but the most partisan of voters. Presidential election years seem to combine the best and the worst of American politics, but what is undeniable is that for months on end, little else gets much attention. This election year, it would be a big mistake to overlook what else is on the ballot. There are many ballot measures that require the attention of all voters, especially Catholics. The moral issues involved and the implications for our country are such that Catholics must school themselves in what the church teaches on a variety of issues, from the treatment of undocumented immigrants to abortion, same-sex marriage and physician-assisted suicide.

Prayer and hard work necessary in priestly formation

When we respond, “Lord hear our prayer” to the offertory petition at Mass, “Let us pray for priestly vocations,” what should we include in this petition? Having worked in seminary formation, I can say that the formation of seminarians is awesome work in need of much prayer. During a recent faculty seminary meeting, in which […]

More reasons against capital punishment

The death penalty ultimately provides no justice to victims and discredits us as citizens. Because we must be certain of guilt, appeals drag on for years. Repeatedly, families are forced to read again the gruesome details of crime. The money spent on the death penalty could be better spent on counseling or even financial support for the victims' families.

Caring for the frail and sick also is part of being pro-life

It's good to be reminded, or to realize for the first time, that caregiving is pro-life. What seems so obvious can be easily overlooked, especially if you're a caregiver. So busy (at times so overwhelmed) with your caregiving duties, you may tend to think that you no longer can contribute to normal duties. But you can also fail to notice what you are doing. You're the light of the world in a moment of darkness when it comes to the value of life.

Students should spend time outside our linguistic empire

Hablas espanol? What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. And three languages? Trilingual. And someone who speaks just one language? An American, of course. It's an old joke that speaks for itself, but behind it there's a long back story. We Americans are victims of our own success -- with a bit of the credit going to our British forebears. By the 19th century the sun never set on the English language. And its world dominance came with the rise of America's military and then economic power in the mid-20th century. It has turned us all into linguistic imperialists.

America shrugged: What we lose without a sense of awe