Russell Shaw
August 23, 2011
Presidential candidates and religion
By Russell Shaw

As America gears up for another presidential election season, do we really have to  agonize yet again over whether being a Mormon disqualifies a person for the presidency? Since the answer apparently is yes, at least let’s try to get some use from the discussion by understanding what’s really at stake.
With two Mormon ex-governors in contention for the Republican nomination, the polls—those omnipresent, omniscient, and too often uncriticized monitors of public opinion—find fully 25...

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August 03, 2011
The 'Dolan Doctrine' and Catholic politicians
By Russell Shaw

Heat, not light, is the usual fruit of political passion. How refreshing, then, that some significant light on the vexed question of Catholics in politics managed to break through amid an ugly little controversy a while back. With another election year hard upon us, it’s worth reflecting on what transpired then.

In May, some 80 professors teaching at assorted Catholic colleges and universities whipped up an argument with a letter protesting the Catholic University of America’s decision...

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July 12, 2011
Why God lets bad things happen
By Russell Shaw

Why did God let that happen?

For centuries that question has been asked about items in the endless catalogue of human misery. About the Holocaust, Midwestern tornadoes, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. And about intimate personal tragedies: a teenager killed in an auto crash, an old person dying unwanted and alone, a marriage that collapses amid bitter recriminations.
Why does God permit such things?
Start with the fact that whoever claims to have the definitive answer is either talking...

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June 29, 2011
What the Pill brought us
By Russell Shaw

If you have access to the April 29 issue of The New Republic, take a look at a long review of several new books on abortion. The work of Christine Stansell, a professor of history at the University of Chicago and herself author of a history of feminism, it’s worth reading on several counts.

Full of misinformation and misinterpretation, punctuated by invective and anti-Catholicism, it’s an unintended primer for people with traditional views that illustrates what they face in confronting...

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June 16, 2011
In praise of 'good-enough' parents
By Russell Shaw

Back in prehistoric times when my wife and I were busy doing our parenting, I paid very little attention to the many books that promised to tell me how to do the job really well. My loss, I suppose. Yet I can’t help thinking my omission may have reflected a healthy instinct.

After all, if I’d spent a lot of time studying some expert’s version of what an ideal father was like, chances are good that I’d only have ended up depressed at how far short my own efforts fell—and at the...

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May 23, 2011
Islamic radicalism after bin Laden
By Russell Shaw

Some early media reactions to the death of Osama bin Laden were, to use as charitable a word as possible, unserious. To such a point that one was reminded of a scene in "The Wizard of Oz." The wicked witch has been killed, and the other characters dance about and merrily sing, “Ding-dong, the witch is dead!”
There are several things to be said about that kind of coverage and commentary on the killing of bin Laden. One is that it was in hideously bad taste. The death of any human being...

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For a long time I supposed that social issues — abortion, same-sex marriage, and the rest — were the great dividing line in American politics, with the collapse of natural law thinking at the root of the problem.

While I still see the culture war resulting from this as a large part of what ails us, I’ve come belatedly to understand that something else also is at work: conflict between two fundamentally different visions of government’s role in bringing about a good and just society...

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Strange as it may seem at first, I find the key to the sanctity of Pope John Paul II  in the closing words of an American novel published in 1988 — a book the Pope most likely never read.

In brief, the heart of John Paul’s practice of “heroic charity” resides in the fact that he showed the world how to carry the cross.
His May 1 beatification — the formal declaration that he’s “blessed” as a step on the way to recognition as a saint — is expected to be one of the biggest...

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The military intervention in Libya by the United States and NATO offers new evidence that the just war theory stands in need of rethinking. The theory is fine as far as it goes. The problem is it doesn’t go far enough.
People who say the just war theory should be scrapped because modern warfare makes it irrelevant miss the point. Even nuclear war is unthinkable, though not thereby impossible, precisely in light of just war principles like proportionality (the force used should be...

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April 04, 2011
Bernard Nathanson and the Church of forgiveness
By Russell Shaw

After the death of Dr. Bernard Nathanson last month, we were reminded that somebody once asked him why he became a Catholic.

Because, said Dr. Nathanson — a leader in the movement to legalize abortion who had performed or presided over many thousands of abortions before seeing the light and becoming ardently pro-life — no other religion provides as much opportunity for forgiveness as the Catholic Church does, and he had a lot to be forgiven for.
Bernard Nathanson was a realist. What...

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April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

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Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


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Jn 18:1 - 19:42


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