Death and Dying
Should the president of the United States be able to authorize the assassination of a U.S. citizen anywhere in the world without telling the public why—or even acknowledging that he has done so? The question is not theoretical. On September 30 a missile fired from an unmanned drone aircraft operated by the CIA killed two American citizens in Yemen.
It Is Not Death We Fear
An Undertaker’s Calling
Our love affair with capital punishment
John Berryman's addresses to God
How not to talk about assisted suicide
And usually kept it to herself
Unlike the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, this tragedy comes not from the stupidity of man, but from the hand of nature. And unlike hurricanes, which arrive gradually and affect a wide area, tornadoes are localized, sudden, and furious. For that reason, they raise questions of theodicy in an acute way.
Undoubtedly, in the killing of Osama bin Laden, a certain kind of justice was done, and the relief and satisfaction felt by many of the families of those murdered at bin Laden’s direction cannot be denied. Yet questions about the circumstances of bin Laden’s death remain.
There was much in Obama’s speech announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden—and in the scenes of chanting and jubilant flag-waving across the country that followed—that ought to give Christians, and not only pacifists such as myself, great pause.
If you’re a fan of the History Channel, you’ll feel right at home watching Robert Redford’s recreation of Abraham Lincoln’s murder near the beginning of The Conspirator.
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”?
Letter from Japan
A review of 'Ourselves Unborn' by Sara Dubow
What can we do to prevent another Tucson?
Remembering Wilfrid Sheed
When a patient arrives in extremis at a Catholic hospital in the rare situation reflected in the case of the Arizona woman whose life was endangered by her pregnancy, a conflict arises between the patient’s life and Catholic health care’s right to religious liberty in following its own precepts.
My mother said, “Why didn’t they tell us these things in school?” I had just come into her room. “Like what?” I said. My mother is in an assisted-living facility run by our church. “Well,” she said. “Did you know that after the Blessed Mother gave birth to Jesus, she went into the desert, to a place God had prepared for her? She was there for twelve hundred and sixty days. It’s in the Bible. Did you ever learn that in school?”
A review of Get Low
Liberals may lament the administration’s failure to make progress on immigration and climate-change legislation in this congressional session, but it may be time to shift energies to protecting what has already been passed.
Might the USCCB be wrong about the health-care law?
A review of the book On Evil
An interview with filmmaker Woody Allen
In a fit of radical judicial activism, the Montana Supreme Court has ruled that physician-assisted suicide does not violate state law, making Montana the third state (after Oregon and Washington) to legalize the "procedure."
Why doesn’t the common good enter into our national health-care debate?
A development of doctrine?
Rome’s new ruling on the morality of removing feeding tubes
How does the new Vatican statement on feeding tubes square with traditional church teaching?
The second of our exclusive excerpts from Taylor’s new book ’A Secular Age.’
Who is prepared to cope with old age?
Why is our movement toward death so full of suffering?
The Schiavo case threatens to dismantle both Catholic teaching on end-of-life issues and Catholic moral theology generally.
The passions of those on either side of the Terri Schiavo tragedy are not hard to understand. Still, whether Michael Schiavo was right to have his wife’s feeding tube removed is not a judgment that people outside the family should second-guess too quickly or easily. The choices involved cannot simply be reduced to the slogan “err on the side of life” or to accusations of euthanasia or death by starvation. Contested by Terri Schiavo’s parents, Michael Schiavo’s decision was rightfully adjudicated in the courts, not in Congress, the Florida governor’s office, or the White House.
In the wake of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia, columnist and Orthodox priest John Garvey asks, “Is God responsible”? As Garvey notes, all tragedy—on scales great and small—cause us to question God’s power.
The pope’s recent address on patients in a persistent vegetative state has left a lot of people scratching their heads. How might we read it if it were a thesis proposal submitted to an committee for review at a Catholic university? Rev. John Tuohey imagines the scenario.