National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Distinctly Catholic

Cardinal Newman Society Swings & Misses (Again!)


I do not know many people who worry as much as I do about Catholic identity. A priest friend routinely introduces me as a "Catholic fanatic." My three jobs - NCR, CUA and the Tablet - are all involved with the Church. And, in my writing, I am as often damned as praised for a certain stiff-neckedness about my Catholicism, a charge I accept and in which I relish.

Remembering, and Mis-Remembering, Vatican II


When you get a roomful of Catholics together, the subject of Vatican II is going to come up, especially in this year which marks the 50tih anniversary of the convening of the Council. Yet, these conversations about what the Council did and did not achieve, what it meant, the whole hermeneutical question seems to me the have gotten bogged down in ideological presuppositions that distort the Council itself and, in a more fundamental way, what a Council means to the life of the Church.



Yesterday, I arrived here in Kansas City, Missouri at the airport and fell to conversation with the driver of the van NCR had dispatched to retrieve me and some fellow NCR writers to bring us to the hotel. He explained to me that officials are planning on constructing a new airport terminal over the next seven years.

Romney's Ugly Exit


I am sure that losing a presidential race you thought you were going to win is one of life's more difficult experiences. Mitt Romney delivered a gracious concession speech on election night and should have walked quietly off the stage of public life. Certainly, he has many homes to which he can repair for solace.

"Something fine and bracing"


On November 16, 1953, Cardinal Edward Mooney, the Archbishop of Detroit, invited Father John Courtney Murray, S.J. to dinner with Cardinal Samuel Stritch, the Archbishop of Chicago. The men discussed Murray’s theological efforts to develop the Church’s doctrines regarding Church-State relations. In a letter to his friend, and my mentor, Msgr. John Tracy Ellis recounting the evening, Murray wrote that at one point in the evening, Cardinal Mooney said “None of us could go as far as Gibbons went.” Murray commented to Ellis that he “was dying to ask: ‘Why not?’”



Subscribe to Distinctly Catholic


NCR Email Alerts