CARDINAL GEORGE Pell’s December 2018 conviction on charges of “historic sexual abuse” was a travesty of justice, thanks in part to a public atmosphere of hysterical anti-Catholicism – a fetid climate that had a devastating impact on the possibility of his receiving a fair trial.
IN DECEMBER 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus of the French Army was convicted of treason on the grounds that he had given military secrets to France’s mortal enemy, Germany. The charge was false; Dreyfus, a Jew, was framed.
There is a famous quote from St. John Chrysostom that draws attention to the supreme purpose of Lent; namely, the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. “Every year we celebrate Easter, the greatest and most shining feast of the Liturgical calendar.”
IN THE MID-1980S, my wife and I were invited to a baptism and post-christening reception at the home of the newborn’s parents. During the latter festivities, I was introduced to a young man who was working on a doctorate in Church history at Harvard. We fell into conversation and after 20 minutes or so I had one of those rare experiences that is so precious in life: I knew, instinctively, that Borys Gudziak and I were going to be close friends for a very long time.
At the beginning of February I began working in the diocesan Chancery building as the new director of the Propagation of the Faith (Missions Office) for our diocese.
Despite Pope Francis’ lecture on the subject at Synod-2015, and notwithstanding the passages on it in Synod-2018’s final report, there is little agreement in 21st-century Catholicism on what “synodality” means. In practical terms, perhaps synodality ought to mean something roughly analogous to what our British cousins mean by “horses for courses.” There, the phrase is a homely caution against one-size-fits-all remedies to problems.
FIRST CIRCULATED underground in communist Czechoslovakia in October 1978, Vaclav Havel’s brilliant dissection of totalitarianism, “The Power of the Powerless,” retains its salience four decades later. It should be required reading for politicians given to describing the Knights of Columbus as an “extremist” organization because of the Knights’ pro-life convictions and activism.
WRITING RECENTLY on women seeking the presidency and the “likability” factor in our politics, Peggy Noonan made a tart observation: “There are a lot of male candidates with likability problems. Some, such as Andrew Cuomo, a three-term governor of a large state, are so unlikable they aren’t even mentioned as contenders.”
FROM THE 1920s through the 1960s more than 300,000 African-Americans across the country chose to enter into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Their choices to become Catholic set them apart from most African-American Christians who were members of Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal and Holiness traditions.
by Michael Rizzo
THE START OF the spring semester at St. John’s University, Jamaica, brought with it new classes, students returning to campus and for journalism majors, a day related to their area of study that is often overlooked.