September 11 issue, now online

We're back to our regular biweekly schedule starting with the September 11 issue of Commonweal -- the "Laity Issue" -- now online and in the mail. Free for all to read:

  • Our editorial on the president's promise to make health-care reform "abortion-neutral," and the difficulties of carrying that out.
  • Peggy Steinfels's memoir of growing up Catholic in Chicago (already under discussion below).
  • Richard Alleva's review of the film The Hurt Locker.

There's much more in this issue for subscribers to enjoy: Kathleen Sprows Cummings fills us in on the myth of the Council of Mcon -- at which, according to a pernicious legend, Church leaders debated whether women have souls -- and how the success of that particular falsehood illustrates the historical divide between Catholics and feminists. You'll also find columns by E. J. Dionne (on the passing of Ted Kennedy) and Cathleen Kaveny (a response to the article by Gilbert Meilaender in the August 14 issue); an update from Britain by Bernard Bergonzi on the bleak outlook for the Labour Party; an article by a former altar girl -- yours truly -- lamenting the Vatican's chilly attitude toward that form of lay ministry; and short editorials about Senator Kennedy, the most recent revelations regarding torture under the Bush Administration, and the Vatican visitation/investigation of American women religious. There's an art review by Leo O'Donovan; book reviews by Andrew Bacevich, Eduardo Pealver, Oliver Larry Yarbrough, and Francis X. Clooney; and Celia Wren's review of the new PBS documentary The National Parks. And as they say on PBS, all this is thanks to readers like you. (Not a subscriber? Operators are standing by!)

Mollie Wilson O'Reilly is editor-at-large and columnist at Commonweal.

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