A Pandemic Gift

The experience of the pandemic is an experience that we should never forget and pray that we never have again. Probably for each of us, the experience has been in some way a learning experience. It probably forced all of us to reflect deeply on our lives and our relationships. I have come to believe that all of us are a product of our relationships — our relationships with God and with others.

AM[D]G

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam [For the greater glory of God], often reduced to the abbreviation, AMDG, was the Latin motto of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. Georgetown Prep is a Jesuit school. So what happened to the D-word? What happened to God? Why did AMDG become AM[D]G while being translated into fundraising English?

The Next Pope and the Crisis of the West

In February 1968, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła wrote Father Henri de Lubac, SJ, about a project in which the cardinal was engaged: a philosophical explanation of the uniqueness and nobility of the human person.

The Next Pope and Vatican Diplomacy

During a short papal flight from Boston to New York on October 2, 1979, Father Jan Schotte (later a cardinal but then a low-ranking curial official) discovered that Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, had done some serious editing of the speech Pope John Paul II would give at the United Nations that day.

The Next Pope and Vatican II

Polemics about the Second Vatican Council continue to bedevil the Catholic conversation. Some Catholics, often found in the Churches of western Europe, claim that the Council’s “spirit” has never been implemented (although the Catholic Lite implementation they propose seems more akin to liberal Protestantism).

Books for the Summer Of Our Discontent

Since plague time began, I’ve found the following books reassuring, challenging, illuminating, and in some cases just plain fun: which is to say, apt reading in, and for, this troubled moment.

Will Nancy Pelosi Take a Page From Her Father’s Playbook?

In 1918, Mayor James Preston presented a 264-piece silver service to Cardinal James Gibbons on behalf of Baltimore and its citizens — a municipal tribute to the city’s beloved archbishop on the 50th anniversary of his episcopal consecration.

A Devotional Alliance of the Two Hearts

In June, we honor both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The title “Immaculate” belongs to the whole being of our Mother, and not just to her heart. This title ‘Immaculate’ flows from God’s gift to her by becoming His Mother. “One is my dove, my perfect one and Thou art all fair my Love and there is not a spot in thee.” (Can 4:7)

The Biases of a Royal Commission

A brief dip into Latin helps us understand how preconceptions can lead to biased judgments that falsify history — as they did when an Australian Royal Commission on sexual abuse recently impugned the integrity of Cardinal George Pell.