Guest Columnist

“Risky Business” could well have been an apt title for a film about someone engaged in speculating on U.S. Supreme Court decisions; but it probably would not have performed as well commercially as the Tom Cruise movie of the same name – at least, up until recently. This summer the Court will decide on the applicability of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contraception coverage mandate to for-profit corporations whose owners have religious objections to the...

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January 23, 2014
Universal destination
By Russell Shaw

“Universal destination” may sound like a fancy way of saying where we’re all headed, but this odd expression happens to be the name for a central principle of Catholic social teaching. It follows therefore that it is also central to Pope Francis’ much-discussed apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).

The point is important particularly in light of the announcement that the Pope and President Obama will meet in late March in Rome to talk – according to...

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January 16, 2014
Christians in Egypt: 'we are made to feel inferior'
By Jayson Casper

 Life is not easy in Egypt for Christians, and the strain is taking its toll. And beyond the reports of churches burned and homes attacked, there is also a more subtle subtler hardship affecting ordinary families. While not universal, mistreatment and discrimination are unfortunately common.

“Every day we leave our house, not knowing what will happen,” says Girgis, an Egyptian Catholic from Helwan—a city south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo—who prefers not to use his real...

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January 14, 2014
Beyond capitalism
By Reinhard Marx

A society in which the praise of greed is invited is on the road to alienation

Evangelii gaudium is a declaration of spiritual government, a document full of positive dynamism and encouragement to bear witness to the Gospel. Secular media have also welcomed the text very attentively, making reference especially to the socio-ethical aspects. The world debate over these affirmations of the Holy Father continues to be intense.

“Such an economy kills.” With this brief phrase, Pope Francis...

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January 13, 2014
Why goodness depends on God
By Father Robert Barron

One of the commonest observations made by opponents of religion is that we don’t need God in order to have a coherent and integral morality. Atheists and agnostics are extremely sensitive to the charge that the rejection of God will conduce automatically to moral chaos. Consequently, they argue that a robust sense of ethics can be grounded in the consensus of the human community over time or in the intuitions and sensibilities of decent people, etc.

What I would like to do is lay out, in...

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January 13, 2014
Obamacare and abortion
By Russell Shaw

Four years ago, when passage or defeat of the Affordable Care Act appeared to rest in the hands of a small group of pro-life House Democrats, President Obama won their support for the health care plan with an executive order promising elective abortion wouldn’t be part of the program. Skeptics said the order wouldn’t do the trick.

They were right. The question now isn't whether the Obamacare will include abortion but how much abortion, for whom, and at whose expense.

Former Michigan...

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December 19, 2013
Who do people say Pope Francis is?
By Elise Italiano

Do not be robbed of joy while taking in media clamor.

The definitive question that Jesus asks in the Gospels is “Who do you say that I am?” He poses this question to His Apostles – the twelve men whom He chose to be his closest followers, those who would testify to the world about what they “had heard, what they had seen with their eyes, which they had looked at and what their hands had touched.” (1 John: 1). The Apostles report that other people confused Him with John the...

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Pope Francis is a master teacher for today’s world. He has a knack for summing up sagacious teachings in 140 characters or less, he organizes the main ideas of his homilies and teachings in groups of three to make them easy to follow and to remember, and he gets the attention of his “students” by living Christ’s message in an exceedingly radical way. Who better to look to, then, as a model for effectively teaching the Catholic faith?

I’ve spent the last few days poring over ...

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December 06, 2013
The joy of evangelizing
By Father Robert Barron

An emergency tends to focus one’s mind and energies and to clarify one’s priorities. If a dangerous fire breaks out in a home, the inhabitants thereof will lay aside their quarrels, postpone their other activities, and together get to the task of putting out the flames. If a nation is invaded by an aggressor, politicians will quickly forget their internal squabbling and put off their legislative programs in order to work together for the shared purpose of repulsing the...

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November 20, 2013
C.S. Lewis and the art of evangelization
By Father Robert Barron

Two famous men died on November 22, 1963. The first did so in the most dramatic way possible, assassinated in the full glare of publicity on the streets of Dallas; the second in relative obscurity, in the upstairs bedroom of his simple home on the outskirts of Oxford, England. John F. Kennedy’s legacy has, of course, been enormous, but I wonder whether C.S. Lewis has actually, in the course of these past 50 years, had a greater impact on the culture than his counterpart. When he died...

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