Sightings Articles

band aid in shape of a cross

evangelical Christians | Catholic Church | Christian Right

Are Vaccine Exemptions Actually Religious?

Large-scale vaccine skepticism is a new phenomenon, but is it a religious phenomenon?...

February 4, 2022

Catholic Church | Republican Party | political partisanship | abortion

Assessing the Catholicity of a President

The political partisanship of the USCCB...

March 15, 2021

Catholic Church | sexual abuse | Catholicism

By the Grace of ... God?

How a recent film raises important questions about Catholic sacramental theology in light of the Church's sex abuse scandal...

February 6, 2020

Catholic Church | sexual abuse | confession

A Firm Purpose of Amendment

A dimension of our public life that is in one respect readily sighted yet in another perhaps too easily slighted is the repetitive nature of certain specific forms of violence and violation that disrupt civic life. Shootings in schools and various pu...

November 19, 2018

Catholic Church | Catholicism | Catholics | higher education | Roman Catholicism

Catholic Identity: A Balancing Act?

Early in my writing career I set out to describe a certain posture or pose, and chose—pretentiously, I admit—to speak of an “equilibristic stance.” The article which included this ungainly phrase was then translated into German, where it appeared, au...

June 24, 2018

Canada | Catholic Church | Max Scheler | Pope Francis | Roman Catholicism

Apologies to Native People

One would expect a headline beginning “A Pope Given to Apologies…” to be followed by a journalistic story which is likely to quicken the interest of readers. Pope Francis has made many headlines over stories which focus on the recipients of such apol...

April 30, 2018

American Latinos | Catholic Church | Catholicism | Catholics

Our Latino Neighbors

Who is my neighbor? That question is asked of Jesus in the Gospels. “Neighbor” can mean someone who lives nearby, and this question about physical proximities and distances gets answered first by demographers. Television in our city, Chicago, once up...

April 23, 2018

Catholic Church | Catholicism | Catholics | Pope Francis | Roman Catholicism | Ross Douthat

Papal Polarities

“Will Pope Francis Cause a Schism in the Catholic Church?” That headline in The New Yorker (April 16) is subheaded: “In his new book, ‘To Change the Church,’ the Times columnist Ross Douthat critiques the Pontiff.” Such an opener requires some backgr...

April 16, 2018

Catholic Church | Catholicism | Catholics | Ireland | Roman Catholicism

Down and Out in Catholic Ireland

I used to teach with or alongside Emmet Larkin, University of Chicago expert on the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, motivated in part to understand Chicago Catholicism, which still numbers a couple hundred thousand people. Larkin wrote much and tut...

March 12, 2018

Catholic Church | Catholicism | Catholics | Pope Francis

The Pope, the Mafia, and the Rest of Us

This past June, the Pope spoke critically of the Mafia, and did so in its heartland region in Italy. He threatened to excommunicate anyone who was part of this international crime syndicate. So here we have the unquestioned leader of the largest reli...

September 18, 2017