US Catholic Faith in Real Life

So help me God: ‘Faithful Citizenship’ and Catholics in public life

Our bishops do a disservice if they imagine that the church’s teachings for citizenship are restricted to matters like abortion, marriage, or religious liberty.

By Stephen Schneck |
blog News

The poignancy of the moment was emotional. At the White House last Thursday, with a painting of Daniel Webster looking over my shoulder and a bust of Thomas Jefferson looking on, I raised my right hand and pledged to defend the Constitution of the United States and to faithfully execute my office. I closed with the profound oath, “So help me God.” With that I took up my responsibilities as part of the president’s White House Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.


Congratulations, Speaker Paul Ryan! Now let's talk about poverty

Will Paul Ryan be guided by Catholic social teaching in his new role as Speaker of the House?

By Stephen Schneck |
blog Justice News

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was named Speaker of the House of Representatives last week, following the resignation of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who struggled with the Republican Party’s radicals and their Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill. Like Boehner, Ryan is also a Roman Catholic, and has insisted that his faith informs his work in public life.


Under the radar: The Democratic Party is in dire straits

The Democratic Party needs to change its priorities. We need a party that can offer concrete solutions on labor, immigration, and economic justice.

By Stephen Schneck |
blog News

Nobody is talking about it, but the Democratic Party is in dire straits—really dire straits. Its future depends on a sweeping reorientation, both toward its traditional roots in the working class and toward the prospects of America’s changing demographics. Yet that needed reorientation requires vision that is not in the wheelhouse for its frontrunner presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, for the outgoing President Obama, or for the inside-the-beltway party leadership as exemplified by Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.


Guns in America: A pro-life letter to my dad

A pro-life Catholic speaks out about gun control. The violence inherent in gun ownership makes this just as much of a pro-life issue as abortion or euthanasia.

By Stephen Schneck |
blog Justice News

My dad died in 2008. He joined the National Rifle Association (NRA) when he came home from Korea and was a member for the rest of his life.

Dear Dad,

I’ve changed my mind about guns. They do need to be regulated, licensed, and limited. I say this especially as a pro-life Catholic.


Ten no-brainer ideas to end poverty

By Stephen Schneck |
blog Justice

Pope Francis has challenged Catholics with the Gospel’s call to engage the world from the perspective of those at the bottom and on the margins. He invites us to be “a poor church, for the poor.” His Holiness is not asking us merely to observe or even merely to understand what we see from the margins, but to participate. As demonstrated by his own pastoral outreach in Buenos Aires, where he was called the “bishop of the slums,” Pope Francis expects Catholics to act. But, what needs to be done? What can be done to make a difference and to make real progress on issues like poverty?


Pope Francis: Crossing borders instead of closing them

By Stephen Schneck |
blog News

The scuttlebutt around Washington is that Pope Francis wanted to come to the United States next week by walking across the border from Mexico, but that security and logistics nixed the idea. I have no clue whether the rumor is true or a too-good-to-be-true urban legend. I have my doubts. It is true, however, that he will address the issue of immigration, refugees, and migration at all three cities he will visit during his upcoming visit—Washington, New York, and Philadelphia. 


The Francis Option

By Stephen Schneck |
blog Your Faith

Floating about in right-of-center Catholic circles these days are several worrisome and closely related ideas for the role of the church in public life. Some Catholic intellectuals propose that the church should retreat from public participation that might bring it into contact with contrary values. Others contend that bishops should not advocate for social justice policies. Still others are arguing that the church should become smaller and purer. And, finally, some are advocating for what has come to be called “The Benedict Option.”


Will Congress like what Pope Francis has to say?

By Stephen Schneck |
blog News

On September 24, Pope Francis will address a Joint Session of Congress; he is the first pope to receive this honor. He will stand at the dais with Speaker Boehner and Vice President Biden behind him in a room filled with dignitaries and legislators. What follows is what I imagine he may say.

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, distinguished guests, legislators…

“May God make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)


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