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Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s intellectual formation was built upon two lies that have doggedly enslaved our culture…

People in Washington stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Sept. 18, 2020. Ginsburg died due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer. She was 87. (CNS photo/Al Drago, Reuters) The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has filled our social media feeds with images of the iconic Supreme Court Justice. Scrolling through her photos was a reminder that no one has worn black robes with such style and savvy. The second woman to be a Supreme Court justice exuded a sense of quiet confidence, deep intelligence, and an unmistakable panache. Her pithy quotes included many wise notions: So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune. Don’t be distracted by emotions like anger, envy, rese...

Amy Coney Barrett’s possible SCOTUS nomination is a Trump referendum for faith voters…

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter to never miss a story. Religion Unplugged is a non-profit online religion magazine funded by The Media Project. Our journalists around the world bring you the latest religion news and views on the world’s religions in public life. Through our stories and editorial partnerships, we aim to increase religious literacy and go deeper into stories that affect people of faith the most. 

Chaplains’ vital role remembered on anniversary of WW2’s Operation Market Garden…

September 26, 1944. In an Arnhem hospital, Father Danny McGowan decides to go for it. He fills a bag with food, calmly leaves the building and finds a ride to the nearby town of Oosterbeek. The German who gives him the ride, seems to think that transporting a British captain in the midst of an ongoing war is an entirely normal thing. McGowan was one of the chaplains of the British First Airborne Division. He had landed by parachute in the fields near Ede only eight days before. Like almost all chaplains involved in this battle, he spent his time caring for the wounded both physically and spiritually. On the Sep. 20, upon returning from saying Mass in a local church, German soldiers capture him and send him to Apeldoorn. There, he celebrated Mass daily, visited the wounded and spread the ne...

Christian Life is work — on God’s terms…

By Tom Hoopes, September 17, 2020 In this Sunday’s Gospel, the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A, Jesus tells the story of the laborers who each receive the same pay whether they worked an hour a whole day. The parable has a beautiful meaning on the literal level — and a life-defining meaning on the spiritual level. The story could literally be about the living wage. We are used to thinking of the story of the laborers as a scenario that couldn’t happen in real life. But maybe it could. “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard,” Jesus’s story begins. Harvesting is always a frantic time — especially for a time-sensitive crop like grapes. To get all of a large vineyard’s grapes in on time takes many hands, and this landowner sta...

What we most need today, in the Church and in America, is the courage to exercise practical reason — and to stand by our judgments…

“Why does opium make us sleep? Because of its soporific power.” So ran Molière’s send-up of self-important Parisian physicians. Sohrab Ahmari’s “The Trouble with Christian Leftism” invites a similar question-and-answer. By taxing progressive Christians with having succumbed to the opium of the intellectuals—Marxism in its various forms—Ahmari invites us to ask what is its hidden power. Why are we so prone to be always looking for the next social-scientific solution to our problems? Because we pine for a knowledge that will take away the burden of living by practical reason. Aristotle sized up prudence with his customary brevity: “the reason must be true and the desire must be correct, if indeed the deliberate choice is to be an excellent one.” That is an imposing task. For our practical re...

Jesuit Father Paul Mankowski was a man for strengthening others…

When the choirs of angels led Father Paul Mankowski, SJ, into the Father’s House on September 3, I hope the seraphic choirmaster chose music appropriate to the occasion.  Had I been asked, I would have suggested the Latin antiphon Ecce sacerdos magnus as arranged by Anton Bruckner. The all-stops-pulled moments in Bruckner’s composition, deploying organ, brass, and full choir, would have been a perfect match for Paul Mankowski’s rock-solid Catholic faith, his heroic ministry, and his robust literary and oratorical style; the a capella sections, softly sung, mirror the gentleness with which he healed souls. Above all, I would have suggested Bruckner’s motet because Father Mankowski truly was what the antiphon celebrates: “a great priest who in his days pleased  God.” We were friend...

This NYMag article, published two months ago, considers the possible implications of an election-season Ruth Bader Ginsburg death…

She’s been through a lot. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images Despite the prayers for her well-being that millions of progressives offer each week, and her own remarkable courage and stamina, health scares involving Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continue to arise, as the Washington Post reports: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced Friday that she is being treated for a recurrence of cancer, this time on her liver, but says she remains able to do her work on the Supreme Court. “I have often said I would remain a member of the court as long as I can do the job full steam,” Ginsburg said in a written statement issued by the Supreme Court. “I remain fully able to do that.” Ginsburg, 87, the court’s oldest member, has battled cancer four times and has had other health concerns. She wa...

Why Marxism is the opium of the intellectuals…

“Why does opium make us sleep? Because of its soporific power.” So ran Molière’s send-up of self-important Parisian physicians. Sohrab Ahmari’s “The Trouble with Christian Leftism” invites a similar question-and-answer. By taxing progressive Christians with having succumbed to the opium of the intellectuals—Marxism in its various forms—Ahmari invites us to ask what is its hidden power. Why are we so prone to be always looking for the next social-scientific solution to our problems? Because we pine for a knowledge that will take away the burden of living by practical reason. Aristotle sized up prudence with his customary brevity: “the reason must be true and the desire must be correct, if indeed the deliberate choice is to be an excellent one.” That is an imposing task. For our practical re...

New Italian Missal introduces new formula of consecration…

COMMENTARY: Italian is not an international language, but it has great influence in the Church — so it’s especially unfortunate that two different consecratory formulas can now be used when celebrating Mass there. With the approval of the new Italian translation of the Roman Missal third edition (2002), consider the following: A Catholic anywhere in North America — from Alaska to Zacatecas — will hear the same consecratory formula for the chalice at Mass, whether attending Mass in English, French, Spanish or the original Latin. The same would be true if he went to Mass in Spanish in Argentina or in French in Zaire. But that same Catholic on pilgrimage in Rome, attending an early morning Mass at one of the many altars in St. Peter’s, will hear a different consecratory formula depending on w...

Lessons about democracy in ‘Justice League — Rule of War’…

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.” It feels like he penned that phrase yesterday. Self-governance is something achievable when the people hold a common truth and trust of each other. The greatest dictators accumulated power during a crisis. At first there’s a promise of protection. Rulers tell the people how they will safeguard against outside (or sometimes inside) threats. Little by little freedoms are given up in the name of safety. Justice League Rule of War (Issues 48-50) shows how easy it is for protectors to transform into tyrants. Understand the Will of the People Traveling in space, the Justice League discover a ship containing young alien...

Catholics need to start again in many ways, in how we live and participate in civil society. And Cardinal Tobin isn’t helping…..

Cardinal Tobin is greeted by Italian Cardinal Bertone at the Vatican, November 19, 2016. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters) A plea for something better from people of faith. Newark’s Cardinal Tobin has said that it is more problematic to vote for Donald Trump than for Joe Biden. With all due respect, I don’t know that he should be making that call in either direction. The bishops’ role is to inform consciences. He seems to think we are beyond “single issue” voting. Unfortunately, I think he buys into some cultural lies in his implication. By single issue, we, of course, know he means abortion. But here’s the thing: Abortion has never been a single issue. The riots in the streets? They are about a lot more than racism. I’d never do it, but I’ve lately had the urge to run through the streets screa...

George Weigel’s ‘The Next Pope’ is a renewed agenda for the Church through a revitalized sense of mission…

The Next Pope:The Office of Peter and a Church in Missionby george weigelignatius, 141 pages, $19.95 In the Catholic Church, synods of bishops are complex bits of theater. The pope sets the theme, observes the proceedings, and writes the “apostolic exhortation” that translates a synod’s work into teaching. Some post-synodal texts, such as Paul VI’s Evangelii Nuntiandi (“Evangelization in the Modern World,” 1975), are brilliant. Others, such as Pope Francis’s document Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love,” 2016), are more problematic. The role of synods is consultative, not legislative. At their best, they provide a forum for bishops from around the world to meet at the Vatican for several weeks, discuss freely and frankly issues facing the Church, and advise the pope accordingly. Or, that’s t...