U.S. Catholic

This magazine publishes news, opinions and reviews about issues concerning the everyday lives of Catholics.

Articles from Vol. 70, No. 6, June

Dear Pope Benedict ... We Asked a Distinguished Group of Commentators to Write an Open Letter to the New Pope: Past Winners of the U.S. Catholic Award for Furthering the Cause of Women in the Church. Here's What These Award-Winning Women Would like the New Pope to Know
Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. Activist, author (1992) At times of great change--times awash with new findings in science, new information about culture, new insights into history, and new policies in economics--every institution and all people...
How Will Benedict Rule? an Interview with Dietmar Mieth
"A pope, Joseph Ratzinger doesn't necessarily need to continue what he did as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith," says German moral theologian Dietmar Mieth. Mieth first got to know the future Pope Benedict XVI in the 1960s,...
If I Were Pope ... Although None of Them Got the Call from Rome, U.S. Catholic Readers Have Some Definite Ideas about How the Church Should Be Run
BEING THE SPIRITUAL LEADER of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics is not a job for the fainthearted. The demands are endless, the responsibilities are huge, the travel schedule is nonstop, and nearly every weekend and holiday is eaten up by work. But...
Leading Man: Both for the Vatican and for Hollywood the Papacy Is a Countercultural Sign of Contradiction. Their Takes, Though, Are Decidedly Different
POPE JOHN PAUL II'S FUNERAL MAY HAVE BEEN THE largest media event of modern times. Presidents, prime ministers, and prelates from more than 200 nations joined a sea of 3 million pilgrims flooding into St. Peter's Square from every corner of the globe....
Let the Merchandising Begin!
Producers of needless knickknacks everywhere are pouncing at the chance to cash in on Pope-mania. Here are some of the more interesting selections out there. Ratzinger mugs Before he was pope, there was the Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club, which boasted...
Odds & Ends
Shortly after the death of John Paul II, rumors spread about possible burial in his native Poland. But it didn't take long for the Vatican to squelch the buzz. Instead he was interred in St. Peter's Basilica along with many, many other dead popes....
Pope and Circumstances
After giving up caffeine 15 years ago, there's only been one occasion when I went back on Diet Coke--after the death of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in 1996. As a reporter at the Chicago archdiocesan newspaper, my colleagues and I worked a week of 12-hour...
Pope John Paul II: 1920-2005
Clockwise from left: John Paul II visits Mother Teresa in Calcutta, 1986. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In Rome, just days after his election as pope, 1978. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Forgiving his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot the...
Seeds of the Future: The Initial Bene-Dictums Sounded Great. but Where Will This New Pope Take Us from Here?
IF NOTHING ELSE, THE RECENT PAPAL TRANSITION EXHIBited for a global audience the richly diverse vitality, the fascinating history, and the exhilarating potential of our worldwide community of faith. Millions converged in St. Peter's Square to remember,...
The Case for Peter: It's Either Really Hard or Really Easy to Figure out Why Jesus Chose Simon the Fisherman as Leader among His Fellow Disciples
WHY PETER? IT'S A QUESTION WE MIGHT ask ourselves in this season of changing church leadership. What makes a person the best candidate for wielding religious authority on a grand scale? Why was Simon Peter, son of Jonah, brother of Andrew, fisherman...
The World Reacts to Pope Benedict XVI
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: "There are a lot of prejudices about him, and most of these prejudices are unfair. And I think you should leave these prejudices now and give him at least a...
What's in a (Papal) Name?
When Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope, why did he choose the name Benedict? Indeed, why did he change his name at all? Although it is customary for popes to take a new name, it is not required. For the first 1,000 years of Christianity, popes generally...
What's Left in His Legacy: As a Voice for Peace and Justice, Pope John Paul II Was a Man for All Political Reasons
JOHN PAUL II WILL BE REMEMBERED AS THE POPE WHO stared down global communism and put the doctrinal slapdown on liberation theology. Conservatives will laud his authoritarian reorientation toward Rome, his defense of traditional values, and his handling...
When in Rome ... Once Pope Benedict XVI Gets Settled into His New Apartment at St. Peter's, Will He Follow in John Paul II's Footsteps or Find His Own Way?
HABEMUS PAPAM. WE HAVE A pope. The election of Pope Benedict XVI marks the conclusion of one of the most significant transitional moments in Roman Catholicism, rivaled only, perhaps, by the convocation of an ecumenical council. Speculation about...
Why Can't We Taste and See? Ecumenical Progress over the Past Half Century Has Been Profound, but Eminent Lutheran Church Historian and Ecumenist Martin E. Marty Mourns the Continuing Scandal of Our Separation at the Lord's Table. Can a New Pope Help?
For decades, as a historian, reporter, and sometime ecumenist, I have covered scores of meetings of high-level committees debating themes of Christian unity. At these meetings I have often wondered whether the high officials in Protestantism and the...