Commonweal

An independent journal of opinion that is edited and managed by lay Catholics. Addresses a broad range of subjects, including national and international politics; social and ethical issues such as abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia; and science and r

Articles from Vol. 131, No. 15, September 10

Brain Drain: 'The Manchurian Candidate'
Without tampering with the bones of its narrative, Jonathan Demme has transformed The Manchurian Candidate, turning the classic cold-war pulp thriller into a fictional sibling of Fahrenheit 9/11. Paranoia still fuels the tale, as it did in Richard...
Closing Catholic Parishes: A Painful Process That Could Be Done Better
Last May, Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley announced that nearly one-fifth of the 357 parishes in the archdiocese would be closed. At the time, various media outlets linked the closings to the sexual-abuse crisis, as did many of Boston's Catholics,...
Gift or Curse?
When I was a student in Rome, in the 1980s, I attended a presentation on the U.S. bishops' newly released document, The Challenge of Peace. During the session, a key sticking point for many was the issue of possessing--but not being morally able to...
Holding Bush Accountable
As we go to press, the Republican Party is gathered just a few miles from our offices to nominate George W. Bush for a second term as president of the United States. Most knowledgeable observers expect the November election to be very close. The nation...
Listen Up: Bishops Need to Hear Theologians Debate
Critics of Pope John Paul II claim that although he often refers to certain themes from Vatican II, he has failed to heed the "spirit" of the council. Quarrels about the "spirit" of Vatican II are often nothing more than partisan positioning, but an...
Meet David Kraehenbuehl: A Composer Worth Hearing
A concert last spring by the Amor Artis Chamber Choir and Orchestra at Manhattan's Blessed Sacrament Church gave New Yorkers the long overdue opportunity to hear a major work--Drumfire: A Cantata against War--by the late American and Catholic composer...
None of the Above: Why I'm Sitting out the Election
Since former Commonweal columnist Sidney Callahan has confessed her past votes ("A Prolife Case against Bush," June 4), I'll confess to mine. During the last race I registered Republican to vote for John McCain in the primary, and voted in the general...
Papal Term Limits? Give It Some Thought
Most observers of John Paul II don't expect him to resign the papacy. Still, many have an opinion about it. Some have commented on his dedication and willingness to suffer for the church he loves. Others have said that having a leader who is so physically...
Ratzinger, Feminist? Not Quite
Good. The Vatican document On the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World (released July 31), rejects "an outdated conception of femininity" as passivity. The letter to the bishops of the world, written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,...
The Religion Gap: Can Democrats Bridge It?
This may well be remembered as the year of the Democratic Revival, when Democrats stopped allowing religion and God to be co-opted by the Republican Party and started to fight back. For the first time in a generation, the presidential campaign has...
Torturing Prisoners: Setting the Tone at the Top
The United States has suffered several defeats in the "war on terror," the latest and worst of them, conceded last month in two separate reports, being the "demoralization" and corruption of the U.S. Army in matters concerning the torture of prisoners....