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Surprised by Christ

The small surprises and sacrifices of Christmas—the time, resources, and care our loved ones expend in order to place under glowing trees those bright bundles upon which our own names are written—recall the marvel of Christ’s entry into the world in order to sacrifice himself for those he calls by name. This is the unexpected gift that we ought to be surprised by, over and over, every Christmas—indeed, every morning.

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Canon Law Should Be Changed to Make Catholic Bishops Accountable

The Catholic Church in the United States has been rocked by revelations that multiple bishops actively covered up sexual abuse cases. The time has come to take responsibility away from Church tribunals and diocesan bishops, even if that means changing canon law to create mandatory compliance mechanisms like those developed and enforced by for-profit corporations.

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Church and State in a Time of Scandal

In the midst of a Church sex abuse scandal, many serious questions arise about the Church’s relationship to civil authorities. Any question of the state’s role or the freedom of the Church is obviously secondary to the moral urgency of ensuring that children are kept safe. Now is the time for the Church to contend deeply and thoroughly with its sins and to build structures consistent with the call to holiness.

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Intentional Killing Is a Usurpation of God’s Lordship Over Life: A Reply to Edward Feser

Public Discourse is launching two new features: short book notes and long form essays. They'll run occasionally, on Saturdays and Sundays. Today is our first longform essay. Enjoy.

Permission to own slaves and suppress false religions was taught by the Old Testament, never denounced by the New Testament, and accepted in word and deed for very long periods by popes, bishops, and saints. And yet the Church eventually repudiated such permission. So, too, with intentional killing in capital punishment. The fact that death is deserved and proportionate does not license the state or any human being to intend to impose it.

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If the Dalai Lama Ran General Mills

Business leaders are turning to the modern mindfulness movement to make their employees happier and more productive. But what is mindfulness? And do its practices really work if they are motivated by the desire for profit?

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Can There Be a Moderate Feminism?

A genuinely moderate feminism must begin with an acknowledgement of the goodness in human love, human community, and responsibility, not with a radical embrace of independence and self-created identities. It must acknowledge and respect some differences between the sexes and see them as part of human being.

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When Young People Aren’t Having Sex, Something’s Wrong

When something as natural and ordered as erotic love is no longer being pursued, there is something deeply wrong with our society. Kate Julian’s Atlantic article “Why are Young People Having So Little Sex?” presents incontrovertible evidence that the experiment of “free love” without consequences, based solely on pleasure, has failed.