Graham Greene's The Comedians is surely the most famous novel set in contemporary Haiti. The book, published in 1965, introduced the English-speaking world to the methods of governance of président-a-vie Francois Duvalier. Following the novel's publication, both Greene and his book were banned in Haiti. Papa Doc was furious with the expose, certainly, but he was also vexed by the ethnographic detail of the novel. Trained as an anthropologist, the dictator knew that careful observers like Greene are always more difficult to discredit. Duvalier did his best, however, going so far as to produce a glossy bilingual pamphlet, Graham Greene Demasque, which depic
The search for the historical Jesus and what role it should play in the faith life of believing Christians is a subject of frequent discussion in the pages America. This week (Aug. 30-Sept. 6), Bernard Brandon Scott and Adela Yarbro Collins take up the question in their responses to Luke Timothy Johnson's article, "The Jesus Controversy." Editor Drew Christiansen, S.J. also weighs in his
It’s as much a part of me as my breath.” Those are the words Joseph (Joe) Cosgrove used in a recent interview to describe the strong sense of social justice that has been his since growing up in a small Pennsylvania town. It was a sense that led him into studying both law and theology at the University of Notre Dame as he increasingly became an advocate for “the outcast,” another phrase of his that came up in a recent conversation. These twin focus points were reinforced through his long-term friendship with the Jesuit peace activist, Daniel Berrigan, who officiated at Cosgrove’s wedding Mass. Yet another formative influence was the actor-activist Martin Shee
Tom Cunningham, afternoon groceries swaying in his hands, stops to review the notices taped to the wall alongside the closed doors of St. Vincent’s emergency room entrance. The postings, in English, Spanish and Chinese, advise would-be walk-ins where to find help now that the ER has closed for good. Just a few feet away, an FDNY ambulance roars past the ER entrance ramp on 7th Avenue, sirens wailing, not rolling into St. Vincent’s, but heading downtown, fast.
“I just can’t believe it,” he says. There has been a lot of that going around Greenwich Village these days. Residents were keenly aware of St. Vincent’s precarious health, but many assumed
As the bishops meet in Baltimore this week, the political climate and economic crisis demand they consider the effectiveness of their teaching the full range of Catholic social doctrine.
Every Catholic and every American citizen knows the church’s teaching on abortion and marriage. The same cannot be said for the rest of Catholic social teaching. This has consequences for both American public life and for the church.
Few Americans citizens or politicians, including Catholics, are aware of the church’s teaching that government is necessary to serve the common good; the importance of solidarity with all of the vulnerable, not just the ones we consider inn
The connection is very close. The manger at Bethlehem was a school; its first pupils were Joseph, and the shepherds, and Our Blessed Lady. And we must add the little serving maid of whom tradition speaks.
It is true that we do not know her name, and she wrote nothing of what she saw on that blessed night. But what would you? Perhaps she could not write. What architect designed the Parthenon? He did not write, either. (She may have been Veronica who with womanly pity gave Him a handkerchief as He went to Calvary; but I am sure she must have been with the "many women" who kept near Him, when Peter and the rest fled.)
I am sure, too, that all the children in the neigh
Strange and roundabout are the ways of Fame! Betsy Ross, like thousands of other Colonial daughters, could ply a handy needle, but because she worked on a certain square of material she stitched her way into immortality. Newton saw an apple drop from a tree and gave his mind to unraveling the great Law of Gravitation that has made him famous. The political importance of Sir Walter Raleigh is known to historians, but it is the rain puddle, over which he flung his velvet cloak in a gesture of respect to the haughty Elizabeth, that brings him popular fame. So that celebrated poem, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," the most thumb-marked linen book in the nursery, the "best seller"
All of my priestly life I have reflected, taught, and written on the question: What kind of morality and moral theology are needed for the church? My view of the moral quest was always influenced by, and understood within, the larger framework of another fundamental question: What kind of church is needed in our present and future world? Inseparable from these two fundamental queries was a third question: What kind of minister is needed for our church and world?
Because I have been happily and wholeheartedly a priest for 56 years and because, for most of that time, I have taught priests and seminarians, I was morally driven to address the kind of priest Jesus might have e
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) —artist, poet, music and theater lover, and Russian Jew who became a citizen of France—lived for nearly a hundred years. During his lifetime he witnessed Russian pogroms, two world wars and the Holocaust. Chagall escaped personal injury, but endured the pain of exile. In his work one sees towns aflame, people slumped in grief, buildings falling and one crucifixion after another. Yet he retained a boundless energy and a childlike way of peopling a page. Like his contemporaries Matisse and Picasso, Chagall designed stage sets and costumes, stained glass, ceramics, tapestries and mosaics, and made engravings and lithographs. He illustrated books and paint