U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 66, No. 12, December

Bending the President's Ear. (Signs of the Times)
When Jean Bethke Elshtain, a professor of political ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School, was invited to the White House for a meeting only days after the September terrorist attacks, she was not quite sure why she was on the list. "I...
Buy Now, Pay Later: Why Buying More Stuff Now Won't Help Us Build a More Stable Future. (Margin Notes)
WHEN DOROTHY'S LITTLE DOG REVEALED the man behind the curtain, he at least had the decency to be embarrassed. Our modern economic wizards don't appear to care that their curtain has been pulled open. Most of them are yanking it apart themselves. In...
Does Peace Have a Prayer? (Editors' Note)
At the prayers of the faithful, I had planned to voice a prayer for the people of Afghanistan, especially for the millions of refugees. But before I could do so, somebody else did it much more eloquently than I would have. On October 7, our parish...
Don't Give the Priest Shortage the Silent Treatment: Fear of Vatican Reprisals Has Contributed to a Conspiracy, of Silence about the Decline in Vocations, but We Need Brave Bishops Who Won't Ignore the Elephant in Our Rectory Living Rooms. at Least One Priest Says, "It's Time for Us to Talk." (Sounding Board)
I DON'T THINK ANYONE WOULD QUESTION THAT ONE OF the most serious problems the Catholic Church faces in our day is the shortage of priests. It has reached crisis proportions. More than 100,000 priests have left the active ministry during the past 25...
Feedback
Q: If I were a bishop under these circumstances, I would probably ... Form a coalition with other bishops who agree that celibacy should be discussed openly in the U.S. bishops' conference and in a Vatican synod. Peggy Saunders San Carlos, Calif....
Go Global: Here's One Globalization Movement We Should Welcome. (the Examined Life)
I WAS DOING MY PATRIOTIC DUTY SHOPPING AT THE mall one recent weekend when some smiling ladies came up and offered me a little red, white, and blue ribbon to wear on my lapel. I thanked them and went to pin the ribbon on my jacket when I stopped and...
Is This Just War? Two Catholic Perspective on the War Afghanistan: The Editors Interview Lisa Sowle Cahill and Father Michael Baxter, C.S.C. (interview)(Cover Story)
Just as government officials have been struggling to find the right course of action in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, Catholics--both here and around the world--have been struggling to determine what's right and what's wrong in...
Live It Up!
Last December, a couple of weeks before Christmas, Gwendolyn Brooks died. She was a poet of soaring lyricism and flinty vision whose work and way of living were rooted in the black experience in the United States. Born in Kansas in 1917, she spent...
McCormick's Quick Takes. (Culture in Context)
Traffic (USA Films, 2000). There are no white knights in Stephen Soderbergh's disturbing but electrifying pilgrimage through the corridors and battlefield's of America's long-running, unsuccessful, and morally ambiguous "war on drugs." While the...
Merry Christmas. (Odds & Ends)
Christmas comes hard this year given September 11 and its incredible aftermath. The traditional adjective merry rings awkward this season. Yet our national leaders urge us to normalcy. Easier said than done. Let's give it a try, however. To Bill...
Mission Possible. (in Person)
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO WAIT FOR THE UNITED NATIONS or other organizations to do something about injustice in the world, you can start by selling doughnuts outside of church. That's what Alicia Marill and her friends did 25 years ago to raise money for...
Odd Man Out: Sometimes the Extra at History's Greatest Dramas, Saint Joseph Still Has an Important Role. (Testaments)
I OFTEN THINK OF JOSEPH AS THE OLD MAN CROUCHED AT the bottom of Giotto's Nativity, overcome by sleep and his own irrelevance in the face of recent events. The majority of the picture is given over to Mary and her newborn, and rightly so. A midwife...
Plenty Good Room: Thoughts on Mary for the Holiday-Frazzled
It all began when I misheard the prayer at Christmas Eve Mass. "The room of Mary gave birth to our Savior," I thought the priest said. He probably said "womb," but it began a train of thought. If this mysterious woman has inspired prayer, poetry, art,...
Sympathy for the Creator: When We Encounter Suffering, Destruction, and Death, God, Too, Suffers. Perhaps It's Time to Comfort as Well by Renewing Our Faith and Love and Working Together with the Creator
It was a summer day. I was 5 or 6 years old, no older. I was running fast down a sidewalk in our neighborhood, heading for home, when I stumbled and fell, my bare knees skidding on the cement. Sitting on the sidewalk, crying and holding my bleeding...
Truth and Consequences: Past or Present, Just What Makes a Martyr?
In what century have the largest numbers of Christians died for their faith? If you're thinking Roman Colosseum, try thinking instead Nazi Germany, Latin America, China. Many have argued that more Christians died in the 20th century than during the...
Unwrap the Gifts of Advent: Christmas Should Be an Attitude toward Life, Not an Endurance Exercise. This Advent Season, Why Not Shop the Scriptures Rather Than the Malls to Prepare?
Thanksgiving, and in some places Halloween, is barely over these days before stores begin to play Christmas songs as background sound for the orgy of buying and wrapping and overspending. The pumpkins and scarecrows and cornucopia of October and November...
What's This "Preferential Option for the Poor"? (Glad You Asked: Q&A on Church Teaching)
I once overheard two lifelong Catholics discussing before Mass a collection envelope for relief of Third World victims. They agreed there were plenty of problems closer to home and confided that they had each thrown away the offending envelope. ...
When Hollywood Wages War: The Myth of Peace-Loving American Innocents Triumphing over Evildoers Has Long Been a Staple of Hollywood Movies. but in the Current War, Patrick McCormick Warns, Such Simplistic Movie Plots Provide False Comfort and Lead Us Astray. (Culture in Context)
IN THE MINUTES AND HOURS AFTER U.S. AIRLINERS cannoned into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, reporters and politicians looked for words to describe these horrors and give some comfort to their stunned audiences. Almost instinctively many of them...
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