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Russell Shaw
April 20, 2012
The Pope at 85
By Russell Shaw

Nearing his 85th birthday April 16 and, three days later, the seventh anniversary of his election to the throne of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI—even after so many years—apparently remained something of an enigma for many people. A small but telling incident before Easter may hold a key to understanding this unusual man.

In case you missed it, here’s what happened:

Preaching at the Chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Holy Thursday, Benedict spoke with regret of  “a group of priests...

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April 11, 2012
Converting the culture
By Russell Shaw

“Social issues.” It’s a squishy, equivocal term suited to a mentality ill at ease with the hard-edged implications of “moral issues” and “morality.” What implications? That there are definite moral truths that show some things to be always and everywhere wrong and deserving of condemnation. Not what the “social issues” mindset cares to hear.

There’s some helpful thinking on this subject in a new book by an archbishop that I want to recommend. But before getting to that,...

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March 12, 2012
Contraception or religious freedom?
By Russell Shaw

In determining to fight President Obama’s famous—or should I say infamous?—contraception mandate, the American bishops, I suspect, were devoutly hoping two things would not happen.

The first undesired outcome was that the issue would become politicized. The second was that it would be seen as an argument over contraception itself.

 Predictably perhaps, both have occurred, at least to some degree. Politicization has taken place, as almost certainly was bound to happen, with the...

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February 28, 2012
The larger issue behind the contraception mandate
By Russell Shaw

As the controversy over the Obama administration’s January directive to religious institutions to pay for employees’ contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs was heating up, Michael Gerson—a conservative columnist frequently friendly to the Church’s views—speculated on the reasoning behind this provocative move.

“The Obama administration seems to have calculated that, since contraceptives are popular and the Catholic Church is not, the outcry would be...

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February 13, 2012
The future of the Church in America
By Russell Shaw

A quiet, closed-door meeting in Washington next month will be of crucial importance in shaping the Church’s response to the nation’s biggest church-state crisis in decades.

When some 40 bishops of the administrative committee of the national bishops’ conference gather March 14-15 at conference headquarters, they’ll be looking at the Obama administration’s January mandate to Catholic institutions to violate Catholic teaching as well as the problematical “accommodation” of...

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February 06, 2012
The crisis in American marriage
By Russell Shaw

I was chatting with a priest who is a judge with the marriage tribunal of his large Eastern diocese when he shared an interesting tidbit of information. In his diocese and the other dioceses of his state, the number of requests for marriage annulments has lately fallen by 10 percent.

Good news? Fewer marriages on the rocks? Not really, he explained. “People are getting married later, some don’t bother to marry at all, others marry outside the Church, and others don’t come to the...

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January 18, 2012
The crisis of marriage
By Russell Shaw

Is it possible that secular liberals, some of them anyway, are starting to realize that knocking the supports out from under traditional marriage may not be such a great idea? If so, and if their next step is to think seriously about how to halt this destructive process, it will be the dawning of a new day.

The latest indication of such stirrings on the left that I’ve come across is an op-ed piece by Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus. “If current trends hold,” Marcus writes,...

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An address by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on gay rights as a priority of U.S. policy deserves far more attention than it’s gotten up to now.

As a statement of the views of the Obama administration, Clinton’s remarks were a remarkably candid — and remarkably chilling — exposition of official determination to make the world safe for LGBT at home as well as abroad.
Speaking last month at United Nations offices in Geneva, Clinton first sought to spin a muddled synthesis linking...

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December 20, 2011
Maybe we are expecting too little for Christmas
By Russell Shaw

The problem many of us have with Christmas isn’t that we expect too much of it but that we expect much too little. My Christmas wish for all of us, myself included, is that we raise our sights and ask for all that God really wants to give us. If we can open ourselves to receive that, we may be astonished at what we get.
 
There’s a hint of it in something written by Father Alfred Delp, S.J., a German priest executed by the Nazis near the end of World War II. Speaking of Christ’s...

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As active U.S. military involvement in Iraq draws to a close, what does the moral scorecard on this adventure look like from an American point of view? Granted that a comprehensive weighing of results will only be possible some years from now, at the moment the picture is something like this.
 
In a perverse way, American policy in Iraq has been a model of consistency from start to finish. The original decision to invade back in 2003, based as it was on faulty intelligence and mistaken...

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Jul
28

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

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Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

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First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »

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Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

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