Columnists and contributors
Dwight G. Duncan
Hacks, flacks, and yoots
On the 40th anniversary of Watergate, we once again face the prospect of billowing scandal in the Executive Branch, what with the I.R.S. targeting taxpayers for their political opposition to the administration, cover-ups about the Benghazi attacks, and the Justice Department fishing through journalists' phone records to try to stop media leaks.
Causeway vs. Broadway
People say, when reveling in the extraordinary excitement of Stanley Cup hockey, "How come the games aren't like this all season?"
By Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap.
Living the Social Gospel
Below is the May 11 Regis College Commencement Address by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley
It is a privilege to be with you today as we celebrate the achievements of this year's graduating class. Regis College has more than eighty years of proud history educating women and now men to be leaders in society, in their professions and in the Church. We are all indebted to the vision and dedication of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who so wisely and so well established the foundation we stand on today. We are blessed by the very capable manner with which Dr. Antoinette Hays refines the Regis mission for today's world while holding fast to the timeless principles on which the College was founded. I am honored to be added to the ranks of those who have received honorary degrees from Regis College.
How others view the Gosnell trial
First I will say how (I hope) you and I look at the Kermit Gosnell trial, and then I will describe how others view it. These others include, on a reasonable reckoning, most of the main-stream media, the Obama administration, most law professors now, perhaps several members of the Supreme Court, and also about 95 percent of college professors.
A season of gratitude
During the spring fundraising event season, Catholic Charities has the incredible opportunity to gather with supporters to celebrate the work we do and the clients we serve across Eastern Massachusetts -- while also thanking those who help us achieve our mission of building a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people.
Kevin and Marilyn Ryan
Tribalism is in our blood
Many Catholics grew up learning about Kateri Tekakwitha. If you were from New York she was in your curriculum when you learned about the saints. You prayed for her in part because she was from your state.
Jaymie Stuart Wolfe
Have you ever noticed that we're almost always "in transition"? I say that because I've realized just how frequently I seem to be waiting -- or trying -- to get to the other side of something. All the while I keep telling myself that in a few weeks/months/years, things will settle down/clear up/be resolved/improve. Despite a huge amount of evidence to the contrary, I've managed to hold on to the idea that life moves from one stable state of things to another. Nonsense!
J. David and Angela Franks
Monstrosity and truth
Monstrous acts hold up a mirror to our culture. Newtown, Marathon Day, the Cleveland dungeon, Gosnell's house of horror. The horror.
One -- again -- approaches this subject warily. When sports columnists wander from their cage in the toy department to grapple with issues like health, medicine, and injury they are instantly out of their depth.
Surprise! Approval of same-sex marriage has risen sharply among Americans in just a few years -- according to one poll, from 41 percent in favor in 2004 to nearly 60 percent now.
Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk
The morality and wisdom of incremental legislation
People with strong pro-life, pro-family convictions will sometimes disagree among themselves about whether they should support a particular piece of legislation being debated in the halls of their state legislature or in Congress. Their disagreement will often center on whether it is morally permissible and politically prudent to support a bill that is a step in the right direction, but that still permits other objectionable practices. Is it good and wise to take an "incremental" approach to reversing an unjust law, confronting the offensive practices "piece by piece," rather than all at once?
The bishop of Rome as Christian radical
It was a brief greeting to former colleagues. But if you read Pope Francis's April 18 letter to the Argentine bishops' conference closely, you get a glimpse of the man, his convictions and his vision.
Playoffs -- down to one
Here we are but a fortnight into playoff season and our field is already cut in half. The Celtics are gone. Might the Bruins soon follow? For the Celts, the beginning was an ending and how deeply that term obtains will be their off-season's total pre-occupation.
God has no grandchildren
Although I spend the majority of my time defending the teachings of the Church on life, marriage, and sexuality, I know that facts, evidence, and arguments will not win the battle. My work encourages the faithful, but those without faith are easily led by the media. The only way the truth will prevail is if the number of converted souls increases.
Father Robert Barron
'Gay marriage' and the breakdown of moral argument
In his classic text ''After Virtue,'' the philosopher Alisdair MacIntyre lamented, not so much the immorality that runs rampant in our contemporary society, but something more fundamental and in the long run more dangerous; namely, that we are no longer even capable of having a real argument about moral matters. The assumptions that once undergirded any coherent conversation about ethics, he said, are no longer taken for granted or universally shared. The result is that, in regard to questions of what is right and wrong, we simply talk past one another, or more often, scream at each other.
Lord Stanley's Cup time
It is Stanley Cup time, ever among the sporting calendar's joyful interludes, and you're excused if you find the sensation a bit bizarre this year.
'42' and us
Baseball and movies don't often play well together. William Bendix as a Marine who dies happy in ''Guadalcanal Diary'' because he's just heard that the Dodgers have won is an icon of 1940s Americana; the same William Bendix as the Bambino in The Babe Ruth Story is a sad business, to be consigned to the (bad) memory bank. ''The Natural'' and ''Bull Durham'' have their moments, but when push comes to shove, they're both, finally, about something other than baseball. ''61*,'' Billy Crystal's made-for-HBO flick about Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and the chase for Ruth's single-season home-run is a terrific story of male friendship (and gave this lifelong Yankees-deplorer a soft spot for the 1961 Bronx Bombers); but computer-graphic reconstructions of old ballparks being what they were when it was made in 2001--i.e., not that persuasive--''61*'' just misses being a great baseball movie.
Jaymie Stuart Wolfe
Remedies, not rewards
It is a beautiful thing to hear your son singing the hymns at his Confirmation. And though Austin will be embarrassed by my saying so, it's even more beautiful to know that he does not consider the sacrament he received last Sunday any sort of "graduation" from church. Quoting Winston Churchill before Mass began, Austin got it right. "This is not the end, nor even the beginning of the end; it is perhaps," he said with a wry smile and a bit of British accent, "the end of the beginning." Bravo!
Father Jose Medina
The heroic striving for the Good
On Patriots' Day, an explosion awakened us from the torpor and complacency of everyday life. Once again, like on September 11 and the evening after the shootings in Newtown, we were silenced by the presence of evil in our midst, and once again before evil, every one of us refused to surrender to it.
How all seniors can benefit from volunteering
Every Tuesday, Youville Assisted Living resident "Mary" volunteers at a local soup kitchen. She and fellow volunteers spend three hours preparing meals for the homeless. This weekly routine is rich with personal history for Mary, who has made and maintained many enduring friendships through her volunteer work. Now in her 80s, she still looks forward to seeing her friends at the soup kitchen and making a positive difference in the lives of so many.
Finding my way
As a 16-year-old young woman, baptized Roman Catholic, it can be difficult to find a comfortable place within the Church. Our society's focus on materialism and superficiality causes our generation to become distracted from the path of God, and youth are exposed to many influences and messages that put us in a different place and direction than our parents and grandparents experienced at our age. This is where we are presented with a challenge and an opportunity--to resist ever-present temptations, and to find a balance in our lives: within society and in the Catholic community.
Dwight G. Duncan
The miracle of Father Kapaun
Over the last two weeks, Boston and Massachusetts have experienced first-hand the mystery of evil, what with the bloody Marathon bombing and the ensuing manhunt. What is it that causes an apparently nice young man, a student at my university, to engage in terrorist activity that kills and maims innocent people? Evil is a mystery, and so is human freedom. Fortunately, the manifestation of evil is always attended by manifestations of goodness--in the selflessness of first responders, in the courageous acts of police and law enforcement, in kind acts of mercy and compassion by the person on the street.
On harsh times
There has always been a bit of disconnect between the games we play and times of distress.
Sports equate with "fun" and are classified as "entertainment." So when bad things happen, ought the games to be stopped? Are they appropriate when their relative unimportance is resoundingly underscored by the bitter sweep of harsh reality? Should we be happily at play when and where great sadness abounds?