Russell Shaw

Russell Shaw

Russell Shaw is the author of more than twenty books, including three novels and volumes on ethics and moral theology, the Catholic laity, clericalism, the abuse of secrecy in the Church, and other topics. He has also published thousands of articles in periodicals, among them The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, L’Osservatore Romano, America, Crisis, Catholic World Report, The National Catholic Reporter, and many others. From 1967-1987 he served as communications director for the U.S. Catholic bishops and from 1987-1997 was information director for the Knights of Columbus. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Articles by Russell Shaw

Winning Peace in Ukraine

Oct 6, 2022 / 08:00 am

People enjoy cheering on a little guy who appears to be holding his own against a bully. Much of reaction to the Ukrainians’ gutsy effort to repel the brutal Russian invasion of their country has been like that up to now.

Sticking to the Letter of Vatican II

Sep 22, 2022 / 10:00 am

What was the Second Vatican Council all about? With the 60th anniversary of the council’s opening now close at hand, you can still get an argument about that. Instead of consulting the “spirit” of Vatican II for an answer, my suggestion is that we take a look at the letter instead.

An Agenda for the Bishops

Sep 7, 2022 / 14:00 pm

There are several issues of major importance for the future of the Church that need to be on the bishops’ agenda, and the results of the upcoming vote could go a long way to determining whether they make it there.

New Test for Campus Equity

Aug 25, 2022 / 15:00 pm

In most people’s vocabularies, “equity” is a positive word signifying fairness or even-handedness. In the vocabulary of today’s woke social justice warriors, though, equity can signify something far from benign.

Making the Case for Men

Aug 11, 2022 / 11:00 am

These are not the best of times for America’s men and boys. Recent data suggest the extent of the problem, without getting at its roots.

The Pope and the Jews

Jul 14, 2022 / 10:35 am

Two substantial new historical studies of Pope Pius XII’s response to the Jewish Holocaust reach sharply opposed conclusions. Not surprisingly, it’s the negative criticism of Pius rather than the documented defense that’s getting attention.

The Culture War Turns Violent

Jun 30, 2022 / 12:15 pm

America’s culture war has turned violent. The violence has always been there of course, just below the surface, but lately it has erupted into full, frightening view.

On Scandal and Communion

Jun 20, 2022 / 11:00 am

Central to the decision by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to deny Communion to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the reality of scandal.

Grandparents and the Faith

Jun 2, 2022 / 11:45 am

In one of the Wednesday audience talks he’s been giving on aging, Pope Francis declared what he called “the alliance of the generations” to be “indispensable.”

The Father of the Abortion Movement

May 19, 2022 / 17:20 pm

In the uproar over the leak of an early draft of a Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion, the rhetoric of editorialists and commentators friendly to abortion has been short on light but long on heat. Even the conclusion of the New York Times editorial, “If you thought Roe v. Wade itself led to discord and division, just wait until it’s gone”, left you wondering: Is that a prediction or a threat?

The Trouble with Legalism

May 5, 2022 / 09:30 am

When the Church speaks definitively on morality – says that without exception something is wrong – is it declaring a truth or laying down a law? Confusion about that is rampant today.

Naming Abortion

Apr 21, 2022 / 11:40 am

The abortion-friendly Washington Post recently provided a revealing look into a debate taking place in the world of abortion advocacy. The issue, in short, is whether to call abortion “abortion” or call it something else.

Holy Week in Ukraine

Apr 7, 2022 / 10:24 am

Holy Week, the week of Christ’s suffering and death, has a special name this year – Ukraine.

The Pope and the Patriarch

Mar 24, 2022 / 10:15 am

So there will be no meeting, at least for now, between Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Kirill’s support for President Vladimir Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine has put it out of reach.

Biden's Supreme Court Pick

Mar 18, 2022 / 14:10 pm

Something unusual happened last month at the session during which President Joe Biden introduced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his choice for the Supreme Court. When her turn to speak came, she began by thanking not Biden but God.

Straight Talk on Ash Wednesday

Feb 24, 2022 / 16:30 pm

Why are so many people so keen on “getting the ashes”? The question naturally comes to mind as Ash Wednesday approaches.

Science, Faith, and Outer Space

Feb 10, 2022 / 11:40 am

I was chatting with a man who had a doctorate in astronomy and now held a top science post in the government, so I asked, “Am I right in thinking that the universe includes the whole of material reality?”

The Pope, the Pets, and Population

Jan 27, 2022 / 11:13 am

The recent comment by Pope Francis that people who have pets instead of children are, sometimes at least, manifesting selfishness brought predictable howls from pet lovers and those who felt he was treading on their sacred right to do whatever they please. But along with unintentionally giving media the sort of juicy flap over trivia that they relish, the Pope was identifying a grave and growing problem for nations around the globe.

Solving Our Race Problem

Jan 13, 2022 / 09:30 am

Here is today’s quiz: What 19th century novel points the way to a lasting solution to the racial tensions afflicting America today? 

Waiting for Dobbs

Dec 30, 2021 / 08:50 am

The Supreme Court’s long-awaited decision on abortion almost certainly is a done deal. The justices and their clerks know the result but they aren’t letting on, while the rest of us won’t find out for another five months.