US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Jason Isbell's brilliant lyrics describe the struggle of blue collar life

By Danny Duncan Collum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

The release of Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free was as much of a mainstream media event as one can expect in this age of audience fragmentation. The album debuted at the top of the Billboard charts in country, rock, and folk, and it garnered Isbell profiles everywhere from The New Yorker to NPR.  

Isolated brothers rely on movies and each other in ‘The Wolfpack'

By Kathleen Manning| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture
The Wolfpack
Directed by Crystal Moselle (Kotva Films, 2015)
After watching Star Wars as kids, no wrapping paper roll in my house was safe; my brothers and I stole them for light saber battles. The Wolfpack opens with a similar scene of kids recreating movies, but only slowly does this documentary reveal the strange necessity of their movie play. 

Is social justice the same as socialism?

By Kathy McGourty| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Lately there have been accusations that a church with a social justice mission is one that supports socialism.

Conservative TV personality Glenn Beck told Christians, "I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice' or ‘economic justice' on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. . . . If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop."

Our health care system needs a heart transplant

By Thomas G. Pretlow, M.D.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
And our politicians need a brain transplant. Universal health care is the most compassionate option we have, argues a Catholic doctor, and it’s the smartest, most economical solution as well.

The Congo’s killing fields

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Families separated. Millions left for dead. Do we share some of the blame?

Patrick Mwnyamahord knows where his father is buried because a neighbor showed him that small place. What he doesn't know is how his father got there, and there was no one he could safely ask, not then. Twelve years ago he and his family made one of a series of sudden escapes from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) into nearby Burundi. On this particular exodus his father was too ill to travel and the family had to leave him.

‘Charity Detox’ fails to reveal root causes of poverty

By Jack Jezreel| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture
In Robert Lupton’s follow-up to his popular Toxic Charity, the author weighs the future of effective efforts to reduce poverty. Echoing themes of his previous work and drawing from a wide and sometimes wonderful collection of stories and experience, Lupton insists that church handouts do little for those who are poor and, in fact, can do harm. 

Flannery O’Connor: Finding God in human messiness

By Ted Rosean| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture
Thirty years ago, the fine theologian John Shea, teaching a course on redemption, introduced me to Flannery O’Connor’s fiction. I found her stories violent, shocking, funny, and awfully readable—but they left me, as a young student without a great deal of real life experience, confused about what exactly the stories had to do with redemption. 

Does the NFL fumble when it comes to ethics?

By Lawrence A. Wenner| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture Justice
Baseball may be America’s pastime, but football is America’s game. And NFL football, with its Super Bowl, super-sized players, and super-sized profits, captivates our attention like no other sport. Many young males dream of the chance (against very poor odds) to shine on the NFL gridiron. Die-hard fans hope (also against poor odds) that “their” team will take it all and, in the process, make them “winners,” allowing them to bask in the reflected glory of being champions.

‘Spotlight’ shines light into church's darkest places

By Elizabeth Lefebvre| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture
(Open Road Films, 2015)
Directed by Tom McCarthy

‘University Ethics’ asks that colleges practice what they preach

By Denise Lardner Carmody| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

Universities regularly teach ethics across their curriculum and in graduate courses at professional schools, but as James Keenan writes, the university itself does not engage seriously with ethics when pursuing its goals and mission. Simply put, Keenan asks that the university practice what it teaches.