A Online Guide to Current Thought and
Opinion in the Catholic Press
Entries in this reading guide include free content from print editions which is available online and web-only material; this guide does not include material which is only available in print editions or available
online only to subscribers.
FROM CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICES
Catholic News Service
(September 4, 2009)
• Bishops Urge United Voice on Health Care Reform -- Nancy Frazier O'Brien reports: "Many of the bishops' comments quoted extensively from earlier letters [which] stressed the need for a health care system that is accessible and affordable for all; that covers everyone from conception to natural death; that does not erode current federal policy against funding abortions; that preserves freedom of conscience for providers and institutions; and that controls costs and applies them equitably among payers."
(August 24, 2009)
• Put Ethics Back in Business -- "The current global economic crisis shows that capitalism without ethical grounding doesn't work, and Christians should keep this in mind whether they are business people, policymakers or simply consumers, a top Vatican economist said.... 'Let's start by honestly recognizing that the spirit of capitalism doesn't agree with that of the Gospel.'"
(August 12, 2009)
• Encyclical Highlights Economy of Communion Movement -- Jesse Abrams reports: "Worldwide, there are 754 businesses involved in the Economy of Communion initiative. These business owners still want to make a profit, but they distribute their profits differently from other businesses...."
Fides News Service
(June 27, 2009)
• St. Paul and Complementarity -- "...[D]iversity is necessary for the Body of Christ," explains Fr. Hermann Geissler FSO. "Should the Church exclude certain people, classes of society or professional groups, she would not really be catholic.... Without the manifold gifts which God’s Spirit gives to the faithful, the Church would be poorer and many tasks and services could not be carried out.”
• • •
Vatican Information Service
(May 11, 2009)
• Holocaust Must Never Be Denied -- "One can rob a neighbour of possessions, opportunity or freedom", Pope Benedict said. "One can weave an insidious web of lies to convince others that certain groups are undeserving of respect. Yet, try as one might, one can never take away the name of a fellow human being".
• • •
Zenit News Service
(December 2, 2009)
• Liturgy, Beauty and Truth -- "Beauty has an important part to play in attracting people to the truth," artist David Clayton tells Zenit. "We have to state clearly what the truth is, but we must do so beautifully, otherwise people are less likely to be attracted to it."
(September 28, 2009)
• The Catholic Mind -- "The mind that is Catholic is open to all sources of information, including what comes from Revelation," Fr. James Schall says in an interview. "Revelation is not opposed to reason as if it were some blind source. Revelation has its own intelligibility that can be grasped and compared or addressed to what we know in reason."
IN CATHOLIC PAPERS AND MAGAZINES
(August 31, 2009)
• The Public Duty of Bishops -- "There is no disagreement...about the moral evil of abortion," writes retired Archbishop John Quinn. "But there is deep and troubled disagreement among us on the issue of how we as bishops should witness concerning this most searing and volatile issue in American public life. And this disagreement has now become a serious and increasing impediment to our ability to teach effectively in our own community and in the wider American society."
(August 31, 2009)
• Deceptions and Distortions -- "Catholic health care organizations across the United States have unwaveringly advocated a health care system that promotes and defends the dignity of every person from conception until natural death," writes Scott McConnaha. "To suggest that the 'major Catholic organizations' would advocate expanding abortion access and coverage, as well as promote euthanasia, would be nothing more than laughable if it were not for the apparent influence the 'misinformers' have over many unsuspecting Catholics"
(August 17, 2009)
• Time for Reform -- "In Catholic theology, access to health care is a fundamental social good, because health is essential to human flourishing and the preservation of human dignity; as such, health care is an aspect of the common good," according to Michael D. Place. "Society and the state have a dual obligation to protect the right to health care and to provide the means necessary for its fulfillment."
• • •
Boston College Magazine
• Disaster Plan -- “The perception of science and religion in eternal conflict is 'a problem of semantics,' writes David Reich. "...[I]t might be a “defense mechanism” for those who find science unintelligible."
• • •
(August 23, 2009)
• For I Was Ill and You Cared for Me -- "It upsets me how little I’ve heard from religious leadersl" writes Philo Fox Rose. "Most notably, what I’ve heard from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. While the bishops have gone on record multiple times in favor of universal coverage, their recent focus on attacking the current proposals gives the impression they are hostile towards the whole effort."
(July 16, 2009)
• Does That One Come in My Size? -- Jennifer Sawyer writes: "Just two months out of college and two weeks into a new job in New York City, I’m starting my brand new life as a working woman. I have an apartment, I have a paycheck..., but I still don’t have a church."
(July 10, 2009)
• Catholics and the Culture of Hate -- "...[W]hile it is not secret that American Catholics have been publicly bickering with one another since the end of Vatican II....what we are seeing now is more disturbing than asimple clash of ideologies," writes William Doino Jr. "...[I]t is a...more intense, intramural Catholic culture war."
• • •
• A New Church Year -- "The Hours, by set forms and regular rhythms, extends the prayer of Christ across the day," Fr. Gerald Chinchar, SM explains. It's a form of prayer "that connects us day by day to the Paschal Mystery—the mystery of Christ Jesus in his act of salvation for us."
• • •
• Ten Ways to Survive the Economy -- "Like many in America today, you may identify with Job’s words, at least financially," writes Chuck Maher. "Every time we turn on the television, read the paper, or go online, it seems the economy is going from bad to worse with our investments paying the price."
• • •
Catholic Rural Life
• Another World Is Possible -- "Humans are an essential part of the environment and an integral part of our agricultural sector," writes Judith Pojda. "Because of this fact, we must go beyond examining how we...treat our farmers and those who harvest, process, package and distribute our food. We must examine our values about food...."
• • •
• The Priesthood Today -- "The Second Vatican Council...described the role of the priest by noting three functions," writes Fr. James Martin SJ. The Council "gives renewed priority to the ministry of the Word, which makes for a Gospel-based priesthood, and to the pastoral care of the faithful, which makes for a service-based ministry."
• • •
The Catholic World
• The Need to Re-engage -- Michael Sean Winters writes: "President Obama embraces policies that seek to reduce the abortion rate and the bishops are beginning to realize that they have given him little credit for this shift, despite the fact that this 'abortion reduction' language is anathema to many pro-choice activists."
• • •
The Catholic World Report
• Two Models of Hope -- "Man, as a dependent creature who comes from God and culminates in him, cannot save himself from death nor his society from disintegration," writes editor George Neumayr. "By honoring Obama’s “audacious hope,” Notre Dame has put its faith in princes and forgotten the model of hope that its namesake preeminently embodies."
• • •
• The Catholic Response -- Carl Anderson writes: "Catholics are called to work continually to build up society, to provide new hope and to establish a new culture of life. The key to this, John Paul knew, was for Catholics to form a strong identity and to accept 'the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life'"
• • •
(July 17, 2009)
• After 'the War on Terror' -- "In just a few months’ time, the administration has replaced a grandiose, counterproductive fantasy with realistic attention to a set of grievous but real problems," writes Jack Miles. "There is a new awareness in American diplomacy that international relations are now complicated by intercultural relations, including strange new culture-to-religion-to-government hybrids; and that the U.S. government ignores these realities at its own peril.
(June 5, 2009)
• Tours of Duty -- Barbara Mujica writes: "As a mother, I see Mauro’s second tour as a spiritually transformative experience for him.... He developed as a man for others by being able to see others as men...and women.... Of course, Mauro was lucky."
• • •
Everyday Catholic Newsletter
• Feeding the Hungry -- "It’s one thing to meet a hungry person on the street and another to read about children dying of hunger in an impoverished country or suffering from malnutrition in poor areas of your community," write Jim and Susan Vogt. "Conscientious people can’t help being disturbed knowing that many Americans are concerned about losing weight while many others would welcome the leftovers we put down the disposal."
• • •
• Washing Away a Social Stigma -- "Dressed in tattered clothing and often dirty, the homeless live on the streets of virtually every city in America, outcasts whom many people would prefer not to see or get near. But Clean Start, a ministry...that is supported by Catholic Extension, is changing that...."
• • •
Faith & Family Magazine
• Do You Know Where Your Kids Are Online? -- “...[E]xperts say the best safeguard against the risks of online social networking and other Internet-based communication tools is good old-fashioned pa rental boundaries and education," according to Barb Ernster. "Research shows that kids whose parents get to know the technology and teach their kids how to manage it responsibly are less likely to engage in risky behaviors."
• • •
[Articles from this journal are available online two months after publication]
• Faith and Finance -- "In the marketplace, as in all other aspects of life, there is no mechanism that substitutes for morality," according to Gary A. Anderson. "Now that faith has disappeared from the markets we know not only what a precious commodity we have lost but also how difficult it will be to recreate.
• Why Avery Dulles Matters -- Thomas Guarino writes: "When Avery Cardinal Dulles died on December 12, 2008, the Catholic Church lost its most distinguished American theologian, a man who combined the virtues of scholarly inquiry with faithfulness to Christ and the Church." He says "a sketch of the themes that dominated his tireless work of discipleship—his faith seeking understanding—is certainly in order."
• • •
(July 22, 2009)
• Family is the Foundation of Solidarity -- "Believers are convinced that ethics cannot only produce norms of behaviour, but must shape the human conscience and help to discover the demands of natural law," according toCardinal Jean-Louis Tauran. "This is a fundamental principle which imposes itself on everybody and which allows dialogue with persons of different religions and cultures."
• • •
Logos/Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture
• The Meaning of Suffering -- According to Peter Colosi, "John Paul's answer to the question concerning the meaning of suffering runs as follows: 'Suffering is...present in order to unleash love.' And in a second, more dramatic formation, he says that 'man owes to suffering that unselfish love which stirs in his heart and actions.'"
• • •
• The Good Samaritans of Oaxaca -- "At the center, migrants are not statistics; they have faces and dignity," Randy and Susan Hinthorn. "We are privileged to treat them like our brothers and sisters and call them by name. We are motivated by the words of the late Pope John Paul II, who said, 'Welcoming the immigrant in a spirit of solidarity is not an act of charity but rather an act of justice.'"
• • •
• The Traditioning Process and Catholic Schools -- "The programs we develop, the kind of students we seek to serve, our promotional materials, what we say about ourselves at open house, how we speak to the media -- all this is tied to the traditions of our past," writes James P. Keane. "It falls to us to make sure that these traditions are perpetuated when appropriate and modified when necessary...."
The National Catholic Register
(September 6, 2009)
• A Catholic Hero of 9/11 -- "Burnett’s story deserves to be remembered," Tom Lombardi writes. "...[H]is Catholic faith taught him to practice self-denial, preparing him to meet unforeseen challenges with selflessness and courage. Add to these values the fact that he was intelligent and physically strong. A sportsman, he became known as 'a take-charge kind of guy,' one destined for greatness."
(September 6, 2009)
• Appalled by the Association -- “As a member of the American Psychological Association for 36 years, I am filled with indignation at the recent statement of the APA that deems it ‘inappropriate’ for therapists to treat homosexual clients,” writes Fr. Benedict Groeschel. "This statement of the APA has been issued despite the fact that there are a number of outstanding members of that organization, including two past presidents, who have strongly supported reparative treatment.”
(July 26, 2009)
• Bishops Against the Nazis -- "On July 11, 1942, the Dutch bishops, together with all Christian denominations, sent a letter to Nazi Gen. Friedrich Christiansen protesting against the treatment of the Jews," Ulrich Lehner reports. "The letter was read two weeks later, on July 26, in all Catholic churches.... It not only brought attention to the atrocities being committed against Jews, but also asked all Christians to pray explicitly for the Jewish people."
• • •
The National Catholic Reporter
(November 6, 2009)
• Battle Against Secularism -- According to John L. Allen, Pope Benedict XVI "is opening the door to the Lefebvrites and to traditionalist Anglicans in part because whatever else they may be, they are among the Christians least prone to end up, in the memorable phrase of Jacques Maritain, 'kneeling before the world,' meaning sold out to secularism."
(October 31, 2009)
• The Next Generation -- John L. Allen reports that young Catholics today "can help us find the sane middle between two extremes: ...a form of the faith sold out to secularism; and...an angry expression of Catholicism that knows only how to excoriate and condemn." He writes: "the next generation seems well-equipped to steer a middle course, embracing a robust sense of Catholic identity without carrying a chip on their shoulder."
(September 14, 2009)
• No 'Reform of the Reform' -- "Vatican officials have denied that any new 'reform of the reform' in Catholic liturgy, such as curbing Communion in the hand or having priests face away from the people during Mass, is pending," John L. Allen reports. A Vatican source told NCR that Pope Benedict "'knows that now is not the time for more upheaval, since we already have the new Roman Missal on the way.'"
• • •
Notre Dame Magazine
• Eye of the Needle -- According to Terrence Keeley, "We...can be the change we need by understanding our callings are a privilege, not a right, and by accepting that a larger part of our reward and self-esteem must come from the intrinsic good we effect rather than our paychecks."
• • •
• Saint Without Borders -- "St. Sharbel ranks among Lebanon’s most celebrated religious men," Marilyn Raschka reports. "As did the legendary oil lamp that once illuminated his cell, Sharbel’s memory still burns today, inspiring pilgrimages, parish shrines, internet chat-room conversations and even a feature film."
• • •
Our Sunday Visitor
(August 2, 2009)
• Iraqi Catholics Targeted -- "...[S]ince the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Islamic terrorists in Iraq have ruthlessly targeted Iraq's Christians," Jeff Gardner reports. Recent attacks "are a raw reminder that life for Christians in Iraq is uncertain, brutish and getting worst."
(July 19, 2009)
• Caritas in Veritate -- "In a statement sure to raise the hackles of free-market ideologues," Russel Shaw reports, "Pope Benedict rejects the idea that social problems can be solved 'through the simple application of commercial logic' and says 'grave imbalances' exist when economic activity...is separated from political action...."
• • •
The Pastoral Review
• Definition of Religion: Interruption (2) -- "...[T]his is the opportunity that our current culture of diversity in fundamental life options offers to the Christian faith after secularisation," Lieven Boeve explains. "In a time where belief is no longer evident and an explicit choice is demanded from the believer, Christians after all become more conscious of their own specific identity."
• • •
The Priest Magazine
• Taking Roe to the Pulpit -- Nicholas Salvatore Di Iorio says, "KnowingRoe and explaining its impact will help us to know why Catholics are confused, why the faithful are questioning our moral doctrine, and how we answer their calls to preach the Gospel of Life and witness to the love it proclaims."
• • •
• Opening the Door -- "Love is what we long for and we’re created for—in fact, love is what we are as an outpouring from God—but suffering often seems to be our opening to that need, that desire, and that identity," writes Fr. Richard Rohr OFM. "Love and suffering are the main portals that open up the mind space and the heart space, breaking us into breadth and depth and communion."
• • •
St. Anthony Messenger
• The Faith Journey of Anne Rice -- "In 1998, one week after returning to the Catholic faith of her youth, and only two days after having her marriage blessed by the Church, Anne Rice, author of The Vampire Chronicles, fell into a diabetic coma," Kristen West McGuire writes. "Waking up in the hospital, she was bewildered at the prospect of returning to her Catholic faith.
• Rediscovering the Rosary -- "What I learned from praying the Rosary with my mom and dad I still carry with me in my daily Rosary prayer," James Rurak writes. "Spirituality is not just a reflection on actions that you take either as an individual or as a group. It also is a taking into your heart what God wants of you. But in order to let this happen, it takes time."http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/May2009/Feature2.asp
• To Err Is Human -- "Reconciliation has always been somewhat controversial," according to Christopher Heffren. "It is a blessing for many yet a burden for others. While some Catholics have found comfort—and relief—from the absolution of their sins, others feel content in confessing directly to God."
• • •
(July 11, 2009)
• Fraternity and the Modern Age -- "This central idea, this fusion of spirituality and social action under the banner of integral human development, is his encyclical’s theological keynote," comments Clifford Longley. "It hands [Pope Benedict] a common tool to dissect diverse problems, thus givingCaritas in Veritate a striking intellectual coherence."
(June 27 2009)
• All the Pope's Men -- "Pope Benedict is not alone in being a leader who chooses to work with men he knows and trust," writes Robert Mickens. "But an analysis of the priests he appointed to top posts reveals his determination to implement his own distinctive vision of the Church."
• • •
• The Imperialism of Money -- According to Lorenzo Cappelletti, if
"we had paid more attention to the indications that come to us from the history of the Church’s social teaching, we might have thought twice before exalting the alleged ideals of certain economic and political turning-points which, in so short a time, have merely proven to underpin the proliferation of international crime."
• • •
Today's Parish Minister
• Multicultural Ministry -- Some people are called to leave their comfort zone and initiate relationships with members of other ethnic groups," writes Fr. Rufina Zaragosa. "Extra-liturgical interaction and cooperation among the various groups in the parish serve as the indispensable context for multicultural liturgy. This contact makes common prayer a natural part of parish life."
• • •
The Word Among Us
• From Written to Living Word -- "Last October, bishops from around the world gathered in Rome for a synod on 'The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church'.... Throughout their time together, they spoke about how the words that we read in our Bibles and the words that are proclaimed at Mass are not meant for us just to study and learn. Rather, the purpose of the written word is to bring us face-to-face with Jesus, the living, eternal Word of God."
CATHOLIC BOOK CLUBS
U.S. Catholic Book Club