Essays in Theology

A hopefully temporary hiatus for 'Essays in Theology'


Theologian Fr. Richard McBrien began writing a weekly newspaper column July 8, 1966, and he has been at it ever since. As near as I can tell, McBrien's first byline in NCR was in 1973. We began publishing his columns weekly online in 2008, and we saw an immediate jump in our website page views.

His column began seven months after the adjournment of the Second Vatican Council, and the purpose of it, McBrien said, was "to assist Catholics to appreciate the significance of the council and to apply its teachings to the life of the church in their parishes, dioceses and nations, and indeed to the universal church itself."

Preparing for a Year of Faith


Pope Benedict XVI recently announced that he would launch a Year of Faith to help Catholics appreciate the gift of faith, to deepen their relationship with God and to strengthen their commitment to sharing faith with others.

The Year of Faith will begin Oct. 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and will end Nov. 24, 2013, the feast of Christ the King.

Dealing with the new translation of the Mass


There used to be an anti-liturgical joke circulating that said that the only difference between a terrorist and a liturgist is that you can negotiate with a terrorist.

By the same token, there is a seriously mistaken impression abroad that the new translation of the missal was inspired and promoted by liturgists. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Real sacrifice should be remembered this Christmas


Last Christmas, I was too ill to write my annual Christmas meditation. In fact, for the first time in the then-44-year history of the column, I had to suspend it for some three months.

During my absence, The National Catholic Reporter kindly published online a selection of my previous columns. I resumed writing the column in mid-January of this year and the first column appeared once again in early February.


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In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017