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Russell Shaw
September 08, 2014
Don Alvaro
By Russell Shaw

As Pope John Paul II was leaving Opus Dei headquarters in Rome after paying his respects at the wake of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, someone thanked him for coming. The Pope, a future saint, replied, “Si doveva. Si doveva”—I had to.

It was common knowledge that John Paul didn’t usually take time out for events like this. So why “I had to” in the case of Bishop del Portillo, the Prelate of Opus Dei? 

Friendship was one—the two men went back a long way—but also the fact that...

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August 21, 2014
The Caregiver
By Russell Shaw

The 36-Hour Day (Grand Central Life & Style) is a handbook familiar to many caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. That seemingly mysterious title is no mystery to the caregivers. They know from plenty of experience that they would need not just the regular 24 hours but a solid day and a half to touch all the bases they’re called on to touch during a typical day.

If this makes caregiving sound like difficult work, that’s because it is. Yet many...

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August 11, 2014
The Common Core controversy
By Russell Shaw

Longer ago than I care to remember, I spent three years working for a Washington-based national education organization. I liked the people, enjoyed my job, and had the pleasant feeling that I was contributing to a worthwhile cause.

I also learned a couple of things. One was that professional educators love innovation, or at least the idea. Another was that there’s a vast education machine—not only schools and teachers but administrative bureaucracies, groups like the one I worked...

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July 24, 2014
Was Vatican II needed?
By Russell Shaw

Why did we need the Second Vatican Council? Did we need it at all? Hearing those questions, most Catholics who’ve thought about Vatican II would probably cite renewing and updating of the Church as solid reasons for the ecumenical council.

That answer isn’t wrong. But a half-century after Vatican II (it took place between 1962 and 1965) it’s clear that a much larger purpose was at work, with Church renewal and updating its handmaids.

You start to see that when you consider a...

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July 10, 2014
Secularist reactions to Hobby Lobby
By Russell Shaw

Considered either as an ideology or as a program of action, secularism is deeply coercive. Reactions to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate make that abundantly clear.

Secularists typically think of themselves as champions of liberation, empowerment, and freedom of choice. Take care, though: disagree on religious grounds with something these people espouse, and they’ll be after you with fire and sword, seeking to make you fall in line. So...

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June 26, 2014
Iraq: Where to go from here
By Russell Shaw

Starting in 2003, the United States has made two fundamental mistakes in Iraq, both with strong moral implications. At the risk of oversimplification, they can be summed up like this: the first mistake was going into Iraq, the second was getting out.

The first of these blunders was George Bush’s in launching an unjust and unnecessary war. The second was Barack Obama’s in pulling out before authentic stability had been restored in a country the U.S. had done so much to destabilize....

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Forty years ago, as the falloff in Sunday Mass attendance by American Catholics was becoming too obvious to ignore, Catholic voices began to be raised here and there saying it didn’t really matter. “You aren’t a good Catholic just because you go to church,” these people seemed to enjoy telling us. “What counts is what you do outside church.”

Two responses, which too seldom were offered at the time, were relevant to that. One was that evidence was lacking to show that most...

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May 29, 2014
Crisis in the news business
By Russell Shaw

It was a week that began with the management of The New York Times forcing out the paper’s executive editor after just three years. A few days later, exhibiting what can only be called eccentric news judgment, page one of The Washington Post featured one story on trendy restaurants for upscale Washingtonians and another on teenage rodeos in Maryland. Dull items like Ukraine and Syria and kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls were nowhere in sight.

Think that things have gotten kind of weird...

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May 15, 2014
Our spontaneous Pope
By Russell Shaw

Spontaneity that reflects good-heartedness is a highly attractive trait, but the spontaneity of self-indulgence is reckless and often cruel. Spontaneity of either kind can cause confusion and dismay. Pope Francis’ spontaneity is clearly of the first sort—good-hearted, that is—but as with spontaneity of any kind, it can sometimes have confusing results.

Last month brought what may have been another instance of that when it was reported that the Pope had told an Argentine woman,...

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May 05, 2014
Studies
By Russell Shaw

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You know morality and common sense are both under siege when a plainly obnoxious practice is regarded with complacency and even respect. “Defining deviancy down,” the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an astute social observer, called it.

Draw your own conclusions therefore from the news that a journal called Porn Studies has arrived on the scene accompanied by the inevitable pseudo-scientific blather. Soon to come: The Bestiality Quarterly and The...

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Sep
21

Liturgical Calendar

September 21, 2014

TWENTY - FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

All readings:
Today »
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Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 20:1-16A

Gospel
Date
09/21/14
09/20/14
09/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 55: 6-9
Second Reading:: Phil 1: 20C-24, 27A
Gospel:: Mt 20: 1-16A

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
09/21/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 20:1-16A

Homily
Date
09/21/14
09/20/14
09/19/14

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