Doctrine & Life

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*Note: Past Issues of Doctrine & Life are available here

July-August 2018 

Could the Church Take a Risk? 

Cathleen Kaveney looks at the aftermath of the recent referendum on the right to life of the unborn. She argues that pro-choice thinking and pro-life approaches both, in different ways, dissolve the problem rather than solve it. And she asks: Could the church now facilitate moral conversations that engage people caught in today’s bewildering flux of views on sex, relationships and values? 

Pope Francis and Religion in the Public Square 

Philip McDonagh tells of conversations among fellow-diplomats about whether their Christian faith should influence the advice they give to their governments. He shows how, in the search for perspective, humility and dialogue, they find positive and constructive guidance in the teaching of Pope Francis. 

Knock Re-visited 

John O’Brien sees in the visit of Pope Francis to Knock an opportunitto consider the experience of the small farmers of Knock, 1879, and of the vision they experienced, in the light of the developing Land War, centred on Co. Mayo, and of the various forms of landlordism prevailing today. 

Justice Questions: Health Care 

David Begg examines health system in crisis. He takes account of the legacy of the 1980s, and of the increase in privately funded health care. He recognises also the pressures caused by an ageing population, rising costs, and increasing organisational and technological complexity in the provision of healthcare. 

Conscience and Virtue in the Thought of John Henry Newman 

Nickolas Becker, O.S.B., examines Newman’s writings on conscience, finding in them the insight that ‘as one listens to the voice of conscience and acts on it, it becomes more and more possible to actually enter into conversation with God, with directness and simplicity.’ 

Vocational Discernment in an Inter-cultural World 

Max Weber, S.V.D., sees in the inter-cultural environments arising from migration patterns worldwide a challenge to religious life, both in regard to the discernment of vocations and in regard to the formation of new entrants – a challenge also for older religious who may have had no previous experience of inter-cultural living. 

The Challenge of Translating Values into Practice 

Shana Cohen reviews A Dialogue of Hope: Critical Thinking for Critical Times, edited by Gerry O’Hanlon. 


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