Opinion

Below are the latest opinion pieces from the St. Louis Review. Click on a title or the 'Continue Reading' link to read the whole story.

January 24, 2002

Today we highlight the outstanding work of the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Ours is one of the strongest school systems in the United States, public or private, and this is so for a number of reasons, starting with the rich heritage of faith that has so long characterized this historic archdiocese. The Catholic schools here lead the way in many areas because our parents, teachers and parishioners underst...

January 24, 2002

Roe vs. Wade is 29 years old - older than most who are joining the pro-life movement today. Yet even among those who know that it was a bad decision, how many of us really know what it said? It's appropriate, at this time of year, to review its shaky foundation.

The decision, drafted by Justice Harry Blackmun, began by presenting a dubious historical account of abortion. It was important for the court to establish...

January 17, 2002

This weekend the archdiocese will mark the anniversary of the life-shattering decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, Roe vs. Wade, which with its companion, Doe vs. Bolton, has led to the open-door policy that we Americans have on abortion. In the name of the U.S. Constitution these decisions have enshrined the privacy rights spawned by the court's reasoning in Griswold vs. Connecticut and similar decisions which outlawed state...

January 17, 2002

National holidays are so often appreciated for the time off from work that their origin and purpose is neglected. Whether the nation is celebrating her birthday or remembering her important presidents, the focus is often on the freedom of the day and less so a reflection on why the nation has offered these holidays to us.

This dynamic is true of the national holiday celebrating the life and accomplishment of Dr. Mar...

January 10, 2002

Upon being elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Wilton Gregory said that a serious challenge facing the Catholic Church in America was the poor state of catechetics among the faithful. One pivotal area where this is especially true is in our understanding of the nature of the male priesthood and its centrality to the mission of the Church.

In 1992, Pope John Paul II wrote in his aposto...

January 10, 2002

The encounter with the Divine Word Jesus Christ that we have celebrated this Christmas season is a template for the work of our Catholic newspaper, whose mission includes both informing and forming - helping Catholics to both understand the world and to fulfill their role in it. The goal of the St. Louis Review is to reflect on the events of the world through the eyes of faith and the perspective of Roman Catholic tradition....

January 10, 2002

U. S. News & World Report recently posed the question: "Are Americans undergoing a spiritual revival?" Maybe, the magazine says, because sales of Christian rock and gospel music are increasing significantly and 96 percent of Americans say they believe in God. On the other hand, church membership is declining, and more than half of Americans tell pollsters that religion's influence on society is diminishing. So maybe n...

December 19, 2001

In the pagan world in which our Savior was born, the winter solstice was the background for a great festival, Natale solis invicti (the rebirth of the unconquered sun). Each year people noted that as winter was coming the days grew shorter. It seemed to them that the sun god was waning, but after the shortest day of the year, the days began to lengthen once again.

There was a very early tradition that this was the ap...

December 13, 2001

Today's day of fasting and prayer is a faith-filled and practical way to unite ourselves in solidarity with those who are suffering greatly as this year draws to a close. The Holy Father has explicitly drawn our attention to the thousands of innocent victims of Sept. 11, as well as the many who have been forced to abandon their homes - the refugees of Afghanistan, and those at risk in the continuing conflicts of the Holy Lan...

December 13, 2001

With the outpouring of giving by the American people since our terrorist attack, charitable giving has taken some hard hits with the criticism of not delivering the goods to the victims for whom they were intended. We all understand that in such a massive crisis there is difficulty in determining exactly who the true victims are, since there are always some who will claim need when there is none. However, there does seem to...

December 6, 2001

Bishop Michael J. Sheridan expressed characteristic trust and enthusiasm this week for the challenges of becoming a pastor to God's people in the Diocese of Colorado Springs. He will soon leave his lifelong home to assist Bishop Richard Hanifen, who became the first bishop of Colorado Springs when Pope John Paul II established the diocese in 1984. As coadjutor, Bishop Sheridan is in line to take over the leadership of the yo...

December 6, 2001

Over the past decade many articles in legal, ethical and medical journals have argued for a new concept in health care and in treatment decisions called "medical futility." At least a couple of Catholic health-care systems have involved themselves at the forefront of the implementation of these dubious medical futility policies. Part of the problem lies in the lack of agreement about what "medical futility" actually means....

December 6, 2001

We lament the passing of Rabbi Robert Jacobs last week at 93 years of age. Rabbi Jacobs, a man of compassion and love, lived and worked in St. Louis for nearly 50 years. Through his work at the Washington University Hillel Center and with the Interfaith Partnership, Rabbi Jacobs left an indelible mark on our community.

Rabbi Jacobs was seen around the world reading from the Old Testament book of Isaiah during the histo...

November 29, 2001

In an interview with CNN last week, Dr. Michael West, CEO of Massachusetts' Advanced Cell Technology, (ACT) Inc., tried to allay fears that the researchers were manufacturing human beings: "We're talking about making human cellular life, not a human life." The company announced last week that it had successfully cloned the first human embryo, and although all the cloned "cell masses" died after no more than a few cell divisi...

November 29, 2001

Polls and surveys provide a kind of snapshot of contemporary life. Sometimes they are derided for their superficiality and lack of depth when it comes to analysis of the situation under study. Politicians are scorned for "governing by survey," yet surveys and polls frequently are cited by national and local news media - sometimes becoming the story instead of simply illustrating it.

One such survey is the Le Moyne C...

November 21, 2001

Some of the great saints, including Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier, who had served in the courts of powerful earthly monarchs, were inspired by the concept of serving the almighty king of heaven and earth. In our day the notion of kingship is more difficult to grasp. We tend to think of kings as aloof and far removed from the concerns of everyday men and women. And yet, Our Lord did say he is a King. He declared that alth...

November 21, 2001

Lucille was in her 60s and had cancer. She wasn't in pain, but she worried a lot. Her treatment was expensive, but her greatest worry was that she was beginning to be a burden to her husband. She gradually stopped doing the things she normally liked to do, like experimenting with new recipes and writing long letters to friends on home-made stationery. Lucille didn't realize it, but she was clinically depressed. Instead of loo...

November 15, 2001

We Catholics today don't tend to wear our religion on our sleeves. If asked to tell about ourselves, "I'm a Catholic" would probably not be the first words out of our mouths. Those words would be somewhere in our description, however, because our Catholic beliefs are an integral part of who we are. Those beliefs are an ingrained guide for our thoughts and actions. The results are evident everywhere, even if we don't take...