New Issue Now Live

Our new issue is live. Among the highlights:Paul K. Johnston on Shakespeare's argument against celibacy--and in favor of life:

Does [the] rejection of Catholic asceticism make Shakespeare anti-Catholic? Or should it make us think more deeply about the Catholic Churchs mixed message to the young, a message that could fairly be described as prolife but anti-sex? Life and sex are, after all, inextricably intertwined. If the energy for life inMeasure for Measureis not to be found in either the prison or the nunnery, where in the play is it to be found?

Mollie Wilson O'Reilly on Hurricane Sandy and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput:

When a natural disaster looms, people look to religion for answers to difficult questions about what acts of God have to do with Gods will. So its hard to imagine what possessed Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia to greet Hurricane Sandy with a lesson on the limited role of government. ...[R]eligious leaders are expected to tread more carefully where politics are concerned, and when a hurricane strikes, its not unreasonable to expect their minds to be on other matters. Chaput went far out of his way to make a political point, turning what ought to have been an expression of compassion and prayer into an endorsement of Republican ideals and budget priorities.

Lucy Lethbridge reviews Hilary Mantel'sBring Up the Bodies:

Mantels Cromwell speaks to his modern reader with a particular directness not only because he is our guide (it is his thoughts and movements, notwithstanding the outer parameters of an omniscient narrator, which take us through the action of the novel), but because his creator has cast him in a particularly modern mold. He might be a well-intentioned member of Parliament, a capable bureaucrat with a flair for efficient modernizing. For this Cromwell, the monasteries are dens of pointlessness, corruption, and sexual abuse: These days the good Christian lives out in the world. He has a praiseworthy concern for the betterment of society, for the building of new roads and the promotion of employment schemes and apprenticeships. He is a master of temporal power but ambivalent on the nature of Gods power; when his conscience pricks, it is squeamishness rather than an awareness of sin.

Also posted today, E.J. Dionne on why there is no need for Obama to back down now.

Dominic Preziosi is Commonweal’s editor. Follow him on Twitter.

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