Last fall, the Archdiocese of Boston released an ambitious plan designed to stem the decline it has experienced—in priests, Mass attendance, and treasure—since the 2002 wave of sexual-abuse scandals. Whether the plan will work remains an open question. That something needs to be done is a sentiment shared widely among Boston-area Catholics.
The award-winning novelist and short-story writer talks about writing, reading, the place of faith and religion in fiction, and the meditative qualities of authors like Walker Percy and Flannery O’Connor.
Despite Evangelical Catholicism’s hectoring tone and the particular set of political judgments into which it straitjackets John Paul II, readers ultimately can’t afford to ignore George Weigel.
In winning election as Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio defied the papal pundits, even though they should have seen him coming. His rise marks the decisive shift within Roman Catholicism toward Latin America and the developing world.
The Catholic Right’s False Nostalgia
There are currently several different, sometimes contending ways of being Catholic. To some degree that has always been so. The notion of the church as a rigorously disciplined and monolithic enterprise is largely myth, and modern myth to boot. What is not myth is the dramatic change in the self-understanding of Catholics brought about by the Second Vatican Council.
In the fall of 1965, I worked in the final session of the Second Vatican Council. A young priest and doctoral candidate, I was tasked with distributing documents and collecting votes and amendments from my assigned section of bishops. Almost half a century later, a bound set of those documents holds a prized place in my library—and the events and personalities of those days hold a prized place in my memory.
President Obama and Mitt Romney have chosen running mates who reflect their political philosophies. Both vice presidential candidates are also Roman Catholics, the first time this has happened in American history. Yet despite the obvious sincerity of their faith, their moral and political views reflect the positions of their political parties more than those of their church.
On Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin’s painting The Silver Goblet
We’re still debating whether what we’re doing in Libya can rightly be described as war, though bombs dropped amid an “intervention” are just as deadly. But where’s the debate over whether it’s fair or accurate to assert that Republicans in Congress have not-so-stealthily declared a “war on women”?
What can we do to prevent another Tucson?
The Careers of Pat Robertson & Francis Schaeffer
Lisa Sowle Cahill’s middle way
‘Three Faiths’ at New York’s Public Library
PBS's 'The Calling'
Could the vogue for Herbert McCabe portend a renaissance of liberation theology and the revolutionary spirit of the ’60s? His admirers have not linked his Catholic faith and his socialist politics, and McCabe himself denied an intrinsic connection. Still, there exists a bond between his theology and his radicalism, a bond particularly worth examining today.
Might the USCCB be wrong about the health-care law?
A pope who can and cannot change
A selection of articles from Commonweal on Benedict XVI.
Stanley Hauerwas & the Christian Difference
The New York Times's worldview is secularist and secularizing, and as such it rivals the Catholic worldview. But what makes the Times unique is that it is not just the nation's self-appointed newspaper of record. It is, to paraphrase Chesterton, an institution with the soul of a church.
The Holy See has changed the way the Catholic Church receives Anglicans into full communion. Does this signal a shift in the Catholic Church’s methodology for ecumenical engagement? As a consequence of the shift, will the church eventually alter the very goal of such engagement?