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perspective

Conclave issues

I first met John Allen through one of those instant arguments that e-mail makes possible. Allen had reviewed my biography of John Paul II, Witness to Hope, in the National […]

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Meeting Archbishop-Elect Timothy Dolan: A Parody

Washington (Reuters). Outraged commentary quickly followed Bishop Timothy M. Dolan’s June 25 remark that his first priority as the tenth archbishop of Milwaukee would be to talk with those “meat […]

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Making Catholic moral theology make Catholic sense

That Catholic moral theology is still in trouble nine years after Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor has been painfully demonstrated by some of the commentary during the past […]

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After Dallas: The Issue is Headship

The bishops have passed their “Charter,” the implementing norms for dealing with clergy sexual abuse are en route to Rome for review, the media pack has moved on to other […]

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The summer game: a memoir

When I shed this mortal coil it may surprise St. Peter, on examining my file, to discover that I was once a sportswriter. Indeed, not a mere sportswriter, but a […]

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The “mystery of evil”

In his Holy Thursday letter to priests, Pope John Paul II described clergy sexual abuse as an expression of the “mystery of evil” at work in the world. Some columnists […]

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perspective

What must be done in Dallas

Expectations for the bishops’ meeting in Dallas in mid-June have gone over the top. More journalists have applied for credentials than applied to cover the Pope’s last visit to the […]

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“Xavier Rynne,” R.I.P.

No reporter or op-ed columnist ever refers to the Dalai Lama as a “liberal” Buddhist or a “conservative” Buddhist. I suspect that’s because everyone understands that Buddhism is far too […]

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A saint from Richmond?

On All Souls’ Day last year, I accompanied several priests and students of Rome’s  Pontifical North American College to a Mass being offered at the college mausoleum in Rome’s great […]

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Martyrs in Algeria

On March 27, 1996, Muslim extremists kidnapped seven Trappist monks from their monastery in the Atlas Mountains near Algiers. After two months, the Groupe Islamique Arme (GIA) announced that the […]

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perspective

What celibacy is, and isn’t

Today’s scandal-time has inevitably raised questions about the celibate priesthood. Most polls indicate that a significant majority of U.S. Catholics would not object to changing the practice of clerical celibacy. […]

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perspective

From Scandal to Reform: Above All, Holiness

Over the past several months, as story after story of clerical misconduct filled the papers and the news broadcasts, I have thought time and again of the good priests I […]