Commentaries

The degeneration of words as weapons

Columnist Effie Caldarola is appalled by how easily and rapidly speech degenerates into hate speech and racial innuendo. We must evaluate what we read and hear with thoughtfulness, and respond with words chosen carefully on the scale of love.

In absence of reasoned argument, schools are civilization’s best hope

The gridlock that Jesuit Father William Byron observes in Congress isn't exactly barbarism, but it's close, he writes. What's needed is the ability to listen in an orderly conversation, which requires orderly thinking.

Reflect calmly on the news, not the next ‘crisis’

With a minute-by-minute assault on our senses by the news media, columnist Stephen Kent says we should heed Pope Francis' message "to be people of depth, attentive to what is happening around us and spiritually alert."

HHS mandate will hurt poor people

Fines for not complying with the HHS mandate calculate to $36,000 per year, per employee. Consider the amount of fines that will be levied against all Catholic institutions that refuse to comply, and one can imagine how that is going to affect their programs for the poor.

A modest proposal: Surely we can execute people better than this

With tongue firmly in cheek, columnist Steve Kent thinks if we're going to use the death penalty in America, we ought to be more efficiently barbaric. Or else we'll lose capital punishment to noted practitioners such as North Korea.

Music might be changing, but not the message

Columnist John Garvey can't help but see the irony of a secular culture that loves Pope Francis' clothes and a few of his phrases, but won't tolerate religious symbols, clothing or the name of God in public expression.

Saving South Sudan

From Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, the Catholic bishops of that republic proclaimed on Nov. 15 a pastoral message of "hope and encouragement," marking the conclusion of the church's Year of Faith and celebrating this young state's independence from Sudan in 2011.

Why I’m going to the Philippines

Pictures and numbers that show the disastrous effect of Typhoon Haiyan numb the mind. More than 4 million people have been displaced -- about the population of Kentucky.

Human trafficking a shameful reality in Pa.

Pennsylvania is a “pass through state” whose laws and atmosphere make it easier for traffickers to carry out their war, primarily, on women, writes columnist Joelle Shea.

A missed opportunity

The controversy over a gay official at a Seattle Catholic school has been kept alive as fuel for those who delight in portraying the church as a rule-obsessed bureaucracy, writes columnist Steve Kent. An opportunity has been missed to present the whys of Catholic teaching, not only the rules.