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With Good Reason
February 17, 2014
In what 'age' of the Church are we living?
By Father Thomas Berg

If true wisdom is anything, it is the ability to judge current situations within an historical context: “to know the age in which one lives.” Such historical contextualization is often crucial to the moral assessment of one’s “life and times.” For example, we would be at a loss to assess adequately the disordered state of contemporary sexual mores without discovering their roots in the cultural and sexual revolution of the late 1960s.

Consequently, it is always a valid...

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December 05, 2013
Evangelii Gaudium: exhorting a self-referential Church
By Father Thomas Berg

In his hand written notes that formed the basis of his presentation during the General Congregations prior to the Conclave, then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio penned the following:

“When the Church does not go out of herself to evangelize, she becomes self-referential; she grows ill (like the stooped woman in the Gospel). The evils which appear throughout history in Church institutions are rooted in this self-referentiality – a kind of theological narcissism.”

This theme – the...

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October 10, 2013
This book is rocking the Catholic world
By Father Thomas Berg

My friends know that I appreciate candor, and that I can be frank to a fault. I don’t tolerate it well when everyone in the room is desperately trying to ignore the proverbial eight-hundred pound gorilla sitting in the corner.

Author Sherry Weddell does not tolerate this well either.

And she would like us – “active” and presumably committed Catholics, lay, religious, consecrated and clergy – to focus on one rather large gorilla sitting in the corner of our contemporary Church:...

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Yesterday's publication of an exclusive interview with Pope Francis by Antonio Spadaro, SJ, editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal, is creating quite a buzz in the media.  I offer here three reflections on what I believe Pope Francis meant in the context of some key—and easily misinterpreted—responses to the questions posed to him.

1. The Primacy of Mercy in the Thought of Francis

When Spadaro asked the Holy Father what kind of church he dreams of,...

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September 10, 2013
Remembering the encyclical 'Fides et Ratio'
By Father Thomas Berg

As our attention seems to coalesce on next April 27, 2014—Divine Mercy Sunday—as the likely date Pope Francis has in mind for the canonization of Blessed Pope John Paul II (and likely along with him, Blessed Pope John XXIII), it’s worth recalling that this September 14—feast of the Holy Cross—marks the 15th anniversary of the promulgation of John Paul’s wonderful encyclical Fides et Ratio (FR), on the relationship between faith and reason.

This encyclical reminds us...

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December 21, 2010
Final column — at least for a while
By Father Thomas Berg

I penned my first 'With Good Reason' column a bit over four years ago in November of 2006. At the time, my hope was to make a solid contribution toward curbing our cultural malaise which is, in myriad ways, so adverse to reasoned consideration of our beliefs, policies and behaviors. Such a culture-as I suggested at the time-cannot sustain for long a thriving and well-ordered democratic way of life.

And so it is, in that deeper-than-usual nostalgia and spirit of reflection which envelopes...

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November 16, 2010
Knowing right from wrong
By Father Thomas Berg

American culture is happily awash of late with appeals to human reason.

Case in point is a new book by ultra anti-religionist Sam Harris. Although the fundamental thesis of The Moral Landscape -- that "science should one day be able to make very precise claims about which of our behaviors...are morally good" -- is quite a stretch even by secular standards, Harris nonetheless does a couple of remarkable things for a leading public atheist.

First he insists that a knowledge of right and...



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October 14, 2010
Researchers create artificial human ovary
By Father Thomas Berg

A recent study published in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics described the scientific manufacture of an artificial human ovary which in turn produced a viable human egg.  Begun from real human ovarian tissue and grown on a prefab laboratory matrix, the artificial ovary was hailed as a major breakthrough.  As the authors observed, the experiment is proof of principle that an artificial ovary "can be created with self-assembled human theca and granulosa cell micro tissues,"...

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September 08, 2010
A Legal Bombshell Hits Stem Cell Science
By Father Thomas Berg

On August 23, Chief federal Judge Royce C. Lamberth of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Obama administration's guidelines for funding embryonic stem-cell research (which went into effect on July 7, 2009) violate federal law. He then placed a temporary injunction on any further funding.  On Tuesday August 31, the administration filed a motion to stay that decision while a case challenging the funding policy makes its way through the courts.

Lamberth took up...

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June 15, 2010
Have Stem Cells Become Passé?
By Father Thomas Berg

I last wrote an update on stem cell research in December.  On that occasion I explained that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had announced the approval of thirteen new lines of human embryonic stem cells for use in NIH-funded research under the new NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research published in July of 2009.   

What has been happening in stem cell science over the past six months to a year?

For the better part of the past two years, scientific attention has focused on...

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29

Liturgical Calendar

July 29, 2014

Saint Martha

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Gospel of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

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First Reading:: Jer 14: 17-22
Gospel:: Jn 11: 19-27

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