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Post date: 04/18/2019
“We are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life.’ We find ourselves not only ‘faced with’ but necessarily ‘in the midst of’ this conflict ….”  These words come from St. Pope John Paul II’s famous encyclical, “The Gospel of Life” (no. 28). And their truth was...
Post date: 04/18/2019
Readers of a certain vintage (say, over 60) will remember the Imperial Margarine TV ad that dismissed butter as “the high-priced spread.” That image came to mind rather unexpectedly when I was addressing the parents’ associations of two prestigious Catholic prep schools several years ago. No, no one threw a margarine-smeared dinner roll at me...
Post date: 04/18/2019
We stand at a pivotal point in the great moral debate over abortion in our country – not because new arguments have emerged, but rather because laws so breathtaking in their barbarism have been passed, and a film so visceral in its presentation of the reality of abortion has found a wide audience. As John Henry Newman reminded us, assent to a...
Post date: 04/18/2019
As a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, I have attended its annual assemblies in Rome since 2012. Pope Francis has asked the academy to explore a range of issues with moral implications, in keeping with an “integral ecology” linking respect for human life with human solidarity and respect for creation. Nonetheless, I was surprised to find...
Post date: 04/05/2019
I had written a column for this month. It was a continuation of last month’s theme on areas of public policy where we agree. But the news about the flooding in Nebraska and a couple of conversations made me change my mind. If we’re going to talk about unity, we should talk about what is going on right now in our archdiocese and across the state. ...
Post date: 04/05/2019
I probably shouldn’t admit this in front of my grandchildren, but I am a fan of McDonald’s fish sandwiches. When I was a young lawyer in San Francisco, my firm’s office was right across Market Street from a McDonald’s, and every day for a year, I had two fish sandwiches and a chocolate shake for lunch. I am ashamed. But I still like them. As it...
Post date: 04/05/2019
When Pope Francis talks about evangelization, his poster child could well be an immigrant in North Dakota.  Sister Brenda Hernandez Valdes, a 34-year-old Daughter of Immaculate Mary of Guadalupe, lives more than 1,500 miles from her home in Coahuila, Mexico, serving the sprawling Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota, and ministering to the Hispanics...
Post date: 03/15/2019
“If indeed ‘the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,’ the Church ‘cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.’” – Pope Francis, “The Joy of the Gospel,” No. 183. The annual advocacy day of the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC), Catholics at the Capitol, is just around the...
Post date: 03/15/2019
Though I reside in Santa Barbara, I am in Los Angeles a good deal for meetings and other events. When I’m in the city, I like to walk the downtown neighborhood. My favorite building to look at while I’m on these strolls is the Disney Theatre, home base of the L.A. Philharmonic and the creation of Frank Gehry, probably the best-known architect in...
Post date: 03/15/2019
In December 1894, Capt. Alfred Dreyfus of the French Army was convicted of treason on the grounds that he had given military secrets to France’s mortal enemy, Germany. The charge was false; Dreyfus, a Jew, was framed. His trial was surrounded by mass hysteria and people with no grasp of the facts celebrated when Dreyfus was condemned to life...

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