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. 13, July 16

American Catholics in the Public Square: A Report to the Catholic Community; the Commonweal Foundation
FOREWORD The American Catholics in the Public Square Project began in the spring of 1999 with a preliminary inquiry to some twenty-five experts. The project was approved and awarded a $1.5 million grant by the Pew Charitable Trusts. It moved into...
A Priest Forever? the Case for Term Limits
When I was in the seminary in the early fifties (yes, Virginia, there was a time before 1960), the rector kept us busy during the long, dark winters compiling a necrology of the deceased priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago. One of the findings of...
Grass-Roots Eugenics
Some Catholic bishops have been criticized for the way in which they have raised the issue of abortion in this year's election, especially with respect to the voting records of certain Catholic politicians. Commonweal has been one of those critics...
In Custody: When Jailers Resort to Violence
When my seventeen-year-old daughter first saw the photos of tortured and abused Iraqi prisoners in the Times of India, she put the paper down and said, "I'm ashamed to be an American." So was I. The delight the American soldiers seemed to take in...
Joining a Union: Why It's Hard to Organize Workers
Cintas is the largest industrial laundry business in North America. According to Forbes, it is the 417th largest corporation in the United States and is run by Richard Farmer, the 140th richest American. Farmer's personal wealth is estimated to be...
Let Them Speak: Prochoice Politicians & Catholic Universities
Catholics in Political Life, the statement issued by the American Catholic bishops at the end of their June meeting in Denver, will be remembered primarily for how the bishops addressed the issue of whether Catholic politicians with prochoice records...
My Son, the Soldier
I am the mother of a twenty-one-year-old Army Ranger, who, since August of last year, has been twice sent to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. I write these words anonymously for my son's sake and for his "band of brothers," as their deployments are classified....
One Man's Vocation: My 59 Years as a Celibate
On a spring day in 1944, two seminarians chatted about ordination to the diaconate with its commitment to celibacy, scheduled for the following morning in the seminary chapel. I remarked, "For heaven's sake, John, if you can take the step, I certainly...
Organizing Priests: A Report from the Trenches
They meet over coffee and cookies in a church basement hall on a quiet weekday afternoon. They are a dozen priests, split about evenly between those active in ministry and former colleagues who left to get married years ago. They are from the Rockville...
Patriot Acts: 'The Terminal'
In Steven Spielberg's latest, The Terminal, Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), a resident of a make-believe East European country, Krakhosia, travels to New York City on a sentimental mission but gets stranded at Kennedy Airport when a revolution back home...
Vincible Ignorance: The Bishops on Prochoice Politicians
Edward I. Koch, the former mayor of New York City, says he sometimes wondered how he had managed to have such a good relationship with the late Cardinal John O'Connor despite their opposing views on abortion rights. Koch, who is Jewish, says he once...
Want to Stay Married? Move to Massachusetts
The Democrats will convene in Boston late this month to officially pronounce John Kerry their man-who-would-be-president. The party's national convention is sure to spotlight not just the senator from Massachusetts, but the politics of his home state...