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perspective

Misreading Huntington, missing history

One of the oddities of recent Roman commentary on world events has been the virtually unanimous criticism of Harvard professor Samuel Huntington’s celebrated argument that the 21st century world will […]

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perspective

Marriage=(man+woman)=injustice?

When Dr. Johnson famously suggested that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels, he wasn’t demeaning patriotism. Rather, he was criticizing clever rhetoricians who, to advance their own political agendas, […]

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perspective

The difference between knowledge and wisdom

This past April 25th marked the fiftieth anniversary of the most important scientific article of the twentieth century: James Watson and Francis Crick’s description in Nature of the “double-helix” structure […]

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perspective

God-talk and our European cousins

Nothing more graphically illustrates the cultural gap between the United States and western Europe than the recent flap over President Bush’s public references to God, to good and evil in […]

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perspective

A tale of two translations

Here’s a tale of two translations that doesn’t involve the liturgical tong wars. Permit me a brief but crucial Latin phrase. In the 1965 Pastoral Constitution on the Church in […]

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perspective

A theological time-bomb

Every year at Christmas time, the Pope meets with the senior officials of the Roman Curia for a review of the year just past and a look into the year […]

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perspective

Boys and girls and liturgy

If you’re into androgyny  — the idea that maleness and femaleness are of no real consequence for our lives and loves, our discernments and our destinies — read no further; […]

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perspective

Parsing the peace movement

Shortly after the war in Iraq had begun in earnest, Pope John Paul II, addressing a group of Italian military chaplains, referred to the “vast contemporary movement in favor of […]

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perspective

Force of law, law of force

The juxtaposition of “the force of law and the law of force,” a trope that got established in the Catholic conversation months before armed force was used to enforce disarmament […]

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perspective

A novena for priests

Young priests are among the great signs of hope in the Catholic Church in the United States today. Eleven months ago, when the Long Lent of 2002 was taking a […]

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perspective

The Pope and the Genius

In his new poem, “Roman Triptych,” Pope John Paul II makes extensive references to the Sistine Chapel, which has a special hold on his mind, heart, and soul. Karol Wojtyla […]

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perspective

One nation, under judgment, with consequences for all

No one expects this past summer’s Federal court decision striking “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance to stand. Indeed, after a day of being vilified from coast to coast […]