Women in the Church
Studying a cause for canonization often reveals more about the people promoting the saint than about the candidate herself. Kateri Tekakwitha’s cause offers an especially illuminating glimpse into American Catholic history. Her path to sainthood tells us a great deal about how U.S. Catholics have understood themselves, both as members of the church and as citizens of the nation.
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.
Broadway’s most recent foray into Catholicism has come to an abrupt halt. The closing of the The Testament of Mary, after only forty-three preview and regular performances, was announced hours after Fiona Shaw failed to garner a Best Actress Tony nomination on April 30 (and despite three Tony nominations, including Best Play). The end of the run means New York audiences will be deprived of an uneven but powerful night of provocative theater.
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.
Written by and for women who wholeheartedly embrace church teachings concerning sexuality and gender, the essays in this collection may evoke indifference among some readers and anger among others.
What can the next pope learn from Benedict, and what should we seek from him? Our special series concludes with new stories from William L. Portier and Richard R. Gaillardetz.
The humility of Benedict's decision to give up power will affect future papacies, all to the good.
John Thavis presents many stories that will make you laugh. Others may make you cry.
Divisions in the church are usually seen as mimicking those of secular politics. Conservatives or traditionalists are pitted against liberals or progressives. But Timothy Radcliffe, a Dominican friar and the former head of his order, suggests a more fruitful way to understand the Catholic split.
Evaluations of Benedict's tenure have balanced the pros and cons of his deeds according to the lights of the balancer. What is untallied, except for his failure to unmistakably demand accountability in regard to clerical sexual abuse, is what has remained undone. Underlying conditions like the limitations of the clergy or the eroding credibility of church teachings on sexuality are no better than when he took office.
Even Benedict's most ardent supporters concede that his papacy has been marred by too many scandals and too many gaffes. And the courtly secrecy surrounding the deliberations to elect the next pope provides a reminder of the lack of transparency and accountability in the operations of the entire hierarchy.
Now It's Rome's Turn
Benedict, Eight Years Later
A Friend Remembers Dorothy Day
The Case for Women Deacons
The Catholic Right’s False Nostalgia
Who better than a group of women who have consecrated their lives to the Almighty to remind us that our decisions in November have ethical consequences? Those who serve the impoverished, the sick and the dying know rather a lot about what matters -- in life, and in elections.
The protagonist of David Cronenberg's take on Don DeLillio's novel is so inwardly frozen that only by doing something drastic can he jar himself into full consciousness.
For a generously bearded, self-styled “prophet” of Paris’s Belle Époque, Edouard Vuillard has a disappointingly uneventful biography. But the very domesticity of this Catholic mama’s boy was translated by his genius into startlingly vibrant depictions of interior spaces.
With the Siena conference on euro reform ending in an even divide, the survival of the European Union seems at ever greater risk.
What the CDF Gets Wrong about the LCWR
The Freedom from Religion Foundation may not see the Gospel as a liberating document, but I do, and I can't ignore the good done in the name of Christ by the sisters, priests, brothers and laypeople who have devoted their lives to the poor and the marginalized.
In the days after Vatican II, confession slipped its old juridical moorings, with its distinctive laws, regulations, judgment, and penance. At the moment it is searching for new moorings. What will confession look like once it finds them?
Robert Barron's 'Catholicism'
How a rectory saved me
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”?
A review of Don Brophy's biography of Catherine of Siena
Ever since Catholic sisters arrived from Europe nearly 300 years ago, they have performed heroic, thankless, and often uncompensated work that significantly shaped and humanized U.S. society. Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America is a touring exhibit that honors these achievements.
Last month, the USCCB issued a statement claiming Elizabeth A. Johnson's latest book “contaminates the traditional Catholic understanding of God.” Regrettably, the bishops' statement reflects, among other problems, a theological failure to take evolution seriously.
Letters from a Saint
It was in Rome during the heady days of Vatican II. There was to be a meeting of the Consilium, the commission for the reform of the liturgy, where the subject of deaconesses was raised—and not one woman was in the room.
Lisa Sowle Cahill’s middle way
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?”
Extending the argument against sex-selective abortion
A selection of articles from Commonweal on Benedict XVI.