I’m Just Mild About Francis

Michael Gallagher I’m just mild about Francis: Pope Francis, that is. I’m afraid I can’t get that excited about either the Synod of Bishops, whose first session just ended, or the Pope himself. I don’t deny that gay marriage, admitting divorced Catholics to Communion, and the like are serious issues that warrant discussion and should…

On Religion

W.J. Astore The other day my wife and I were watching Wadjda, a terrific film about a spirited Saudi girl who dreams of buying and riding her very own bicycle.  The film does a great job of highlighting the constraints put on women in traditional Saudi and Islamic culture.  Women are not allowed to drive,…

“When We Americans Have a Problem, We Kill Somebody”

Michael Gallagher.  Introduction by William Astore. The Contrary Perspective is pleased to offer an early look at the first chapter of Mike Gallagher’s new book, provisionally titled The Bishop’s Beggar: A Memoir.  Gallagher tackles the question of how and why the Catholic hierarchy failed to condemn mass murder, specifically the policy of mutual assured destruction…

David versus Goliath in the Middle East

W.J. Astore When I was a kid, I was a big admirer of Israel.  I saw Israel as being surrounded by implacable enemies bent on its destruction.  Israel was the plucky underdog, David against Goliath, with Goliath being Arab countries like Egypt and Syria, having militaries trained and equipped by the Soviet Union, sworn enemy…

Saint John Paul II? Really?

Michael Gallagher Maureen Dowd, in her recent New York Times column (“A Saint, He Ain’t”), was, unfortunately, one of the few commentators on John Paul II’s canonization bold enough to voice a dissent. I, for one, wholly agree with her misgivings.  My only problem is that she should have expressed a few more.  As heinous,…

Did Jesus Have a Wife?

W.J. Astore Did Jesus have a wife? Or, if not a wife, did his mention of “wife” symbolize a greater role for women as disciples? I’ve always wondered about the proudly patriarchal Catholic church and its marginalization of women. WWJD?  Would would Jesus do about a church that is so male-dominated?  So proud of its…