• The Bad Decision That Started It All

    Forty years ago, in Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down state laws forbidding the sale, distribution, and use of contraceptives on the basis of a novel constitutional doctrine known as the right to marital privacy. At the time, the decision appeared to... Read more
  • How one Catholic priest responded to the ’92 LA riots

    In the spring of 1992, then-Father David O’Connell was comfortable in parish life in south LA. The Irish-born priest had served the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for more than a decade by then, and he was familiar with the conflicts and tensions that existed in the area. But O’Connell... Read more
  • The Pope Who Outlasted a Tyrant

    On November 30, 1799, 34 cardinals from across Europe gathered in a conclave to elect a successor to Pope Pius VI. The papal election, however, was not held in the Sistine Chapel, not in Vatican City, and not even in Rome. Less than two years before, in February 1798, French troops had... Read more
  • Money, power and ‘Humanae Vitae’: the forgotten story

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The controversy over Humanae Vitae, the papal encyclical that reaffirmed Catholic teaching on contraception 50 years ago, cannot be understood apart from the context of a well-funded advocacy network for population control after the Second World War. The network... Read more
  • Nagasaki’s Christian Hero

    Sixty-eight years ago yesterday Paul Takashi Nagai, scientist, professor, convert, and poet, left this world. Born in 1908 and raised in rural Japan in traditional Confucian and Shinto religion, Takashi imbibed the materialist assumptions of his professors while studying to be a... Read more
  • Polish historian questions German researcher’s claims about wartime pope

    A top Polish historian has questioned claims by German researchers that newly opened Vatican archives contain information damning the role played by Pope Pius XII during World War II. “This team has the advantage of having been to these archives, and we must face the truth calmly if some... Read more
  • Diocese to Host Online Lecture on Prisoner-Priest in USSR, Dealing with Isolation

    Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J. wanted to be a missionary in the Soviet Union. He didn't know he'd spend most of the decades he lived inside the country within the walls of a prison, much of the time in complete isolation. But Ciszek found closeness to God in labor camps and prison cells, never knowing... Read more
  • The Saints of Wuhan: Isolation, Suffering, and the Breath of Faith

    Providence often carries us in unexpected directions. When I was in Wuhan, China, some time ago conducting research on the martyr saints of that area, I was certain that almost no one from my native U.S. had ever heard of Wuhan, and I also thought that they never would hear of Wuhan. I was... Read more
  • An Astonishing Miracle of Divine Mercy at Auschwitz

    I have visited Auschwitz only once. It is not a place to which I wish to return any time soon. Although that visit was many years ago, Auschwitz is a place one does not forget. Whether it is the large silent rooms with glass screens, behind which lie the stacked remains of the... Read more
  • Archbishop Coakley to celebrate Mass on 25th anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing

    Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City will celebrate Mass April 17 across the street from a memorial commemorating the 1995 terror attack that killed nearly 170 people. “These were our family members, our friends, co-workers and neighbors. We are grateful for their lives and we will... Read more