Recently the Shroud of Turin went on display for the first time in many years. Over two million pilgrims came to view and venerate the mysterious image imprinted there—among them the Holy Father himself. The Shroud reveals the power of an image. Like all Christian art, it shows us that he who created us in his image knows we need images to understand the reality they reflect.
What is happiness? That is the question raised by a fifth-century Roman philosopher named Boethius. He pondered the answer in prison, facing execution. Though his Consolation seems absent of Christian doctrine, in Boethius’ dialogue with Philosophy, we see that man’s final end is the good that has but one source: God.
Can converts and apologists be formed within prison walls? Lots of convicts "find Jesus"—for a while, say skeptics. But those who labor behind bars to help fellow inmates recognize Christ’s true Church and join it often tell a different tale.
In Evangelium Vitae John Paul II declared the need for capital punishment to be "rare, if not practically nonexistent." His statement created controversy in some quarters while strengthening conviction in others. But did it represent a shift in doctrine?
The latest abuse scandals struck the Church like a tsunami, leaving many of the faithful reeling from renewed accusations of cover-up and neglect. But the scandals offer an occasion to reflect on what is wrong—and in some cases right—in the Church and in the surrounding culture. Does this signal the return of Church discipline?
"We call this young man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world."
~ Albertus Magnus, the most learned professor of the period, in wonder at the brilliant defense of a difficult thesis by young Thomas Aquinas, whose humility and reserve had been misinterpreted as signs of dullness.