Thanks to President Trump’s “America First” rhetoric and the rise of populist-nationalist parties in Europe, there’s a lot of debate about “nationalism” these days. On that subject, as on so many others, it’s worth listening to Pope St. John Paul II, not least because last month marked the 40th anniversary of his epochal Nine Days in Poland in June 1979 — days on which the history of the 20th century pivoted in a more humane direction.
On first meeting Dr. Andrzej Grajewski, you probably wouldn’t guess that this mild-mannered Polish historian is one of the world’s leading experts on the ecclesiastical Dark Side of the Cold War: the relentless communist assault on the Catholic Church. But he is, and his expertise comes primarily from years of patient combing through the Bad Guys’ secret intelligence service files.
Throughout the 20th century — the greatest period of martyrdom in history — persecuted Christians used the dross of this world to make religious artifacts.
Continuing a venerable tradition, I offer the following for your canicular reading pleasure: John Hay spent decades at the center of American public life as Lincoln’s secretary and biographer, a Republican political operative, an accomplished diplomat, and Theodore Roosevelt’s secretary of state.John Taliaferro’s biography is terrific: “All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt” (Simon and Schuster).
Extra credit question: Name the author of this admonition – “Seeds of dissolution were already present in the ancient heritage as it reached the shores of America. [And] perhaps the dissolution, long since begun, may one day be consummated.
I don’t think our laws should treat animals better than humans, and I’m noticing a troubling trend in that direction. State lawmakers in Albany have introduced more legislation this year to protect animals than ever before.
by Father Cao Xuan HungWE ALL ARE BORN in debt. I don’t mean owing money. I mean the debt of gratitude to our parents.
THIRTY YEARS AGO last week, Poland began to self-liberate from communism through the first semi-free elections held behind the iron curtain since World War II.
by Father Michael J. LynchIn the past, the invitation to a Passover Seder seemed rare, but now these kinds of invitations to Christians to join in the telling of the story of liberation are common. Similarly, the invitations to “Iftar” (the breaking of the fast) are multiplying. In New York City alone this season, there were multiple Iftars on almost every evening of Ramadan, which spanned from May 5 to June 4. Any person of goodwill was welcomed to break the fast at sundown.
POPE FRANCIS’S recent motu proprio on sexual abuse, “Vos estis lux mundi” [You Are the Light of the World], was a welcome addition to Church law, as world Catholicism seeks to heal the wounds of abuse victims, promote chaste living, foster mutual accountability within the Body of Christ and restore the credibility of the Church’s leadership. The response to the motu proprio by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, ably summed up that document’s achievement: