Evangelium Vitae

Cardinal Dolan Gets Canon Law Wrong on Abortion

“Ghoulish, grisly, gruesome.” These are the strong words used by Cardinal Timothy Dolan to describe the Reproductive Health Act signed on January 22 by Catholic Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo that, with a broad definition of heath, permits abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy. When the cardinal appeared on Fox and Friends on January 28, … Read more

Francis Uses Junk Theology to End the Death Penalty

“One has to strongly affirm that condemnation to the death penalty is an inhuman measure that humiliates personal dignity, in whatever form it is carried out.” On August 2, Pope Francis altered the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) regarding the morality and application of the death penalty. The above quote is … Read more

On the Legacy of St. John Paul the Great

The feast of St. John Paul II was celebrated on October 22, the 39th anniversary of Karol Wojtyła’s formal installation as the Bishop of Rome. This occasion is an ideal time to reflect on St. John Paul the Great’s contribution to the Church and the world. Papal biographer George Weigel continues writing about the late Pope’s legacy, … Read more

A New Ars Moriendi to Address Physician-Assisted Suicide

If you live in a state that has not taken up legislation on physician-assisted suicide (PAS), beware. It is coming. PAS has become a volatile issue in state legislatures and the media. Advocates for PAS typically present three arguments to promote its legalization: (1) to relieve the suffering patient of pain, (2) to relieve the … Read more

Me Before You: On Disability, Suicide, and Guts

They all think any minute I’m going to commit suicide. What a joke. The truth of course is the exact opposite: suicide is the only thing that keeps me alive.  ~ Walker Percy Ordinarily I’d avoid commenting much on a movie I hadn’t seen. However, I’m willing to make an exception in the case of “Me … Read more

Mary’s Witness to the Gospel of Life

Saint John Paul II taught that Mary is a singular witness to the Gospel of Life. Having recently celebrated the feast day of John Paul the Great and recalling that, according to the liturgical calendar, Mary is some eight months pregnant (Christ’s birth hastens!), it seems appropriate to consider Our Lady’s witness to the joyous … Read more

Life and Good or Death and Evil?

I recently read with great interest a fascinating story by the Associated Press. The life of a young girl, Lake Annabelle Hall, was saved following surgery to remove a cyst on her left lung. Had it not been discovered it would have killed her. She received such tremendous care that four teams comprised of 43 … Read more

The Cultures of Life and Death in Poetry

The Culture of Death in Poetry We are all familiar with Blessed John Paul II’s description of the Culture of Death in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae.  The good Pope, of course, was not the first to notice and give expression to this phenomenon. In 1922, T. S. Eliot released to the world his account … Read more

Suicide No Way to Go

Suicide and the legalization of physician assisted suicide seem to appear in headlines more and more. Elected officials such as Peter Shumlin, governor of Vermont, increasingly favor legalization of physician assisted suicide as “the right thing to do” with promises that “we are going to get it done.” Mainstream media addresses suicide positively. Consider the … Read more

Temper, Temper: Salon’s Abortion Tantrum

Every parent has experienced a child caught in the act, perhaps even with evidence of melted chocolate still on the corner of her lip, who resolutely denied the obvious. “What? Who me? Couldn’t be!” A good many parents have also encountered the icy indifference of a bolder child, one who does not care if he’s … Read more

Abortion and the Contraceptive Mentality

This year marks an auspicious anniversary—forty years of nation-wide abortion on demand since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. These cases declared a right to abortion that was more permissive than the law of any state. A woman could take the life of her unborn child for virtually any reason at any time. The … Read more

An Icon of God’s Love: Bella Santorum

The elections are over and I for one am relieved that the campaigns are in the rear-view mirror. American political discourse is a patience-testing experience, but I am grateful for and recall fondly one glimmer of love and joy from the political campaigns. Bella Santorum Daughter of Senator Rick and Karen Santorum, Bella, who has … Read more

The Pope Gets Political

Evangelium Vitae – the “Gospel of Life” – is a warning and a plea to the people of the United States and other developed nations. The warning is that ours is fast becoming a culture of death. The plea is for us to join together in building a new culture of life. Pope John Paul … Read more

Remembering the Jesus Seminar

Three major news magazines did it this past Easter season. One should feel guilty about letting these journals set the agenda for theological discourse, or for any discourse, for that matter. C. S. Lewis thought that the reading of any magazine was bad for one’s English (he died before the advent of Crisis). It cannot … Read more

Who Should Be Here?

This essay is part of today’s symposium of lay Catholic opinion on immigration. For other contributions see this one by Christopher Manion, this one by John Zmirak, and this news report from Zenit. For Deal Hudson’s view, see this article in The American Spectator.   A national tragedy is taking place. While we argue about … Read more

Can the Church Ban Capital Punishment?

Today Crisis is offering a symposium on capital punishment. For Archbishop Charles Chaput’s view, see this essay. For news about recent Vatican statements on the issue, see this article.   This piece on capital punishment is a revision of the original, which first appeared in Latin Mass Magazine (Summer 2001). It is written from a … Read more

The Myth of Religious Tolerance

The vehement, sometimes acrimonious debates that accompanied the drafting of the Vatican II declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, yielded an exceptionally precise and carefully worded document. Noteworthy in the 5,700-word declaration is the absence of even a single reference to religious “tolerance” or “toleration.” The choice of religious “freedom” or “liberty” as the proper … Read more

Death Penalty: Magisterium vs. Left and Right

When it comes to the death penalty, the Church teaches: Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, nonlethal … Read more

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