Commentaries

Impatience, greed and other lessons we should have learned as children

The missing step between wanting something and not wanting to wait for it and taking action to get it without waiting is justification. We create excuses to make our sins acceptable.

The pope’s example about living in solidarity with the poor

One reason the world has reacted with such joy to the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis is his commitment to the poor. As we have read in many news reports, this is not a purely academic concern on his part. Pope Francis has put his concern into action. For him, it's meant a lifetime of living among the poor and interacting with them. It's meant riding the bus and forsaking the opulent home some feel is a cardinal's due. His devotion has led him into real relationships with people not as privileged as those who sometimes surround a "prince" of the church.

A prophet at the end of the week of fear and evil

That funny little man with the bad haircut peering through binoculars from a bunker into the distance, a staple on every evening television news the week before, was suddenly gone. Kim Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea, had been a constant in the news for promising a nuclear attack. There is no reason to fear, authorities said, North Korea does not have a delivery system capable of reaching the United States. (This recalls the observation made by comedian Mort Sahl concerning the then-feared China: "They have an atomic bomb, but we're told not to worry, they have no delivery system. But with 650 million people, they can line up and pass it hand by hand.")

Bishop McFadden: Tireless advocate in the public square

Bishop Joseph McFadden passed away on May 2 after three years of service as the president of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. The conference is the public policy agency of Pennsylvania’s bishops. “Bishop McFadden had all of the attributes that make an effective leader in public policy, including his willingness to engage with legislators and his ease around all people. He did not shy away from spirited discussion,” said PCC Executive Director Dr. Robert J. O’Hara.

Team building is essential, in sports and spiritual retreats

The old saying “There is no I in team” can really be put into play when looking at the building process of a team. I experience this first hand when I play volleyball in college. All four years we have had new members join and old members leave. I was lucky enough to have people show me what it means to be a team. I have been a part of many a retreat team during my high school years. It is here that I am blessed with the fortune of working with people who were on fire for Christ and had different team skills other than just athleticism.

Higher education and ‘breaking good’

"Breaking Bad" is a television series on AMC about a high school chemistry teacher who becomes a drug kingpin. It has quickly become a favorite of mine. Educator Walter White's story is a brilliant illustration of virtue ethics. Aristotle argued that we constantly choose what sort of people we become by our actions, virtuous or vicious.

Gosnell, abortion and the sanitizing of facts

In America, a land founded on human dignity, we like to tell ourselves that we're cultured and sensitive; that we've left history's barbarisms in the past. But in little buildings throughout this country, we routinely snip life in the bud. The daily reality of the abortion industry’s violence toward women and their innocent children is easy to ignore.

The sanctity of life trumps the Second Amendment

The U.S. Senate, in failing to enact a proposal that was only a feeble response to the homicidal epidemic in the country, delivered an insult to all who died, all who loved them, those who traveled to Washington to plead for legislation that would at least slow down firearms murders.

A powerful examination of America’s health care costs

The future of print journalism is by no means clear, particularly in the case of weekly newsmagazines. Newsweek is no longer available in print. How long Time magazine will continue to be available on newsstands is anyone's guess. But whatever the future holds, the March 4, 2013, issue of Time will be long remembered for doing what great journalism should be doing, namely, providing facts and analysis on important topics of current interest. In this case, Time's cover shouts out, "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us," announcing the 24,105-word feature story by Steven Brill (said to be the longest piece that Time has ever published). I hope that this augurs well for a healthy print future for Time. But who can say?

What the Church can learn from chicken bones and KFC

Major changes in the country came from the civil rights movement, assassinations, wars and a revolution in communications. These are major trends and events, matters of dramatic transformation in the country that will fill the history books of generations to come. Other change is evident in simpler situations such as an announcement this month by KFC, the fried chicken conglomerate