Distinctly Catholic

Is There Any Sorrow Like Unto His Sorrorw?


Here are three songs which fill my heart with dread on this most dread day. First, the Taize chant, "All you who pass this way, Look and See," captures our reluctance to actually gaze upon the suffering of our Lord, which gaze is the only means to really accept our own sufferings. And the answer to the question - Is there any sorrow like unto His sorrow - would be "No." 


The Sacred Triduum Beckons


Today, the Church enters liturgically into its greatest mystery, the Sacred Triduum, in which we celebrate the events that, together, have brought about our salvation. Here, in these days, is the answer to all varieties of Pelagianism for these days are about God’s great deeds. In the accounts of the Passion, the humans do not come off very well and we are all kidding ourselves if we think we would have done any better if we had been there at the time.

Happy April 1


I think we were all surprised at the news this morning that Bishop Robert Finn, citing his conviction for failure to report sex abuse, had decided to resign as Bishop of Kansas City. But, even more surprising was his decision to accept a position as National Spokesman for the Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). This takes the whole Nixon to China meme to an entirely new level. We here at NCR wish Bishop Finn well in his new post.

Inequality: The Problem No One Can Tackle


Two essays crossed my desk recently, both of which in different ways focus on the issue of income inequality and both of which, somewhat strangely, seem unaware of the religious and moral frameworks with which Americans have traditionally discussed the issue of social equality. At a time when the most visible religious leader in the world, Pope Francis, has made inequality such a central theme of his pontificate, this absence is bizarre.

Indiana's RFRA


Indiana’s newly minted Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has provoked more controversy than its authors bargained for, and more controversy than the new law deserves. But, this is the point to which our political and legal culture has brought us and it is worthwhile trying to sort through the issues – yet again – because they are not going away unless everyone, on both sides of the debate, recognizes the legitimacy of the other side’s concerns and works towards a solution, not a victory.


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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017