The Catholic Difference

The Catholic Difference is a weekly column syndicated by the Archdiocese of Denver.

Why Europe doesn’t have children

Budapest archbishop Peter Erdo is, at 51, the youngest member of the College of Cardinals. In a late October interview, Cardinal Erdo said, bluntly, that “our society today is in

A Gulag Christmas

“Vorkuta” has not become a universal metaphor for unmitigated evil, like “Auschwitz.” Indeed, one of the striking things about the collapse of European communism in the late 1980s and early

What being “pastoral” means

At a recent meeting to debate Catholic reform in the United States, I said (as I’ve often said before) that I’m less interested in changing the process by which bishops

What to do about defiant Catholic legislators

Writing with an eye toward the 2004 election, a friend had the following, arresting thought: “The sad fact of the matter is that, if every Catholic elected official in the

“Frankenfood”? Or feeding the hungry?

A November conference at the Vatican helped surface one of the most important debates in global Catholic social justice circles today. The argument involves “genetically modified organisms” or GMOs. Critics

Latex and life

Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, the Colombian president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, has been no stranger to controversy throughout a long, distinguished, and sometimes fractious ecclesiastical career. Yet

More than a hobby

Ambrose, Augustine, and Bonaventure; Charles Borromeo and Francis de Sales; Felix Dupanloup and Wilhelm von Ketteler – the tradition of scholar-bishops runs deep in Old World Catholicism and continues to

Having the time of your life

Father Shane Baxter was ordained this past summer and is now doing a fifth year of theology in Rome. One of the North American College’s nicest traditions is to invite

A long, complex, and open conclave

Rome in mid-October was awash with rumor-mongering and media speculation, what with the Pope’s silver jubilee, an extraordinary meeting of the College of Cardinals to review the pontificate’s accomplishments, and

Evelyn Waugh, 1903-2003

According to an often-repeated tale, British novelist Evelyn Waugh was once accosted at a party by a matronly lady who had taken offense at his manners; Waugh, it may be

Robert Pickus – a life lived vocationally

I didn’t keep very accurate daybooks in the first years of my professional life, so I’m not sure whether I first met Robert Pickus in November 1976 or May 1977.

A living prayer of self-sacrifice

Shortly after John Paul II’s difficult September pilgrimage to Slovakia, I received an e-mail from a Polish friend, a poet and longtime friend of the Pope’s. In language whose insight

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