Author Archives: Michelle Gress

Fr. Thomas Berg: Haiti

Of course the seeds of Haiti’s rise from the ashes and transformation into a self-sufficient and prosperous nation lie in much more than western capital. The future lies in the goodness and determination of the Haitian people themselves. On Saturday, the doorbell rang at the rectory. The Haitian father of one of our school children, a distinguished man in his mid forties, stood at the door. He did not come by seeking consolation or assistance; we only found out by asking him that he did in fact have one family member, an aunt, who perished in the quake. This good man stopped by our rectory to offer us his condolences for the loss of Archbishop Miot, and of our other brother priests and seminarians who were killed. It is such nobility and magnanimity of heart that characterizes these good people, and that offers the best grounds for believing there will be a bright new future for Haiti. Continue reading

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Fr. Thomas Berg: What's wrong with us?

For a few years now in this column I have been pondering even deeper philosophical causes of what ails us as a nation….They begin with the profound Cartesian delusion which imbues both our understanding of ourselves and of the nature of democratic life. It depicts the human being as essentially a conscious ‘self’ which uses its own and the bodies of others as means to ends; and it conceives of democracy as a compact between those isolated individuals who agree to limit each other’s pursuit of personal satisfaction as little as possible while affording the maximum gratification to as many as possible. Continue reading

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Fr. Thomas Berg: "Challenging Totalitarianism in 2010"

It was his own experience of totalitarian brutality in Poland that moved [Pope] John Paul to be an outspoken advocate of any impulse for genuine political freedom, because he understood that a genuinely democratic way of ordering public life was the best seedbed for human and Christian flourishing… Continue reading

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Christmas prayer list, by Fr. Thomas Berg

One thing, of course, is what most Americans want—really. Another is what we need. Sometimes the two overlap; other times they don’t. So, for what it’s worth, here is my take on the latter. In past years I have referred to this as my “Christmas wish list,” but that was very imprecise. What follows is my prayer list for Christmas 2009. It’s certainly not comprehensive, but hopefully you’ll agree it’s a good start. Continue reading

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Fr. Thomas Berg: “Fruits of the same tree: embryo-destructive research and the contraceptive mentality”

Contraception, abortion, the in vitro fertilization industry, rapidly growing designer baby technologies, along with our broad acceptance of embryo-destructive research: these are, indeed, all fruits of the same tree. They all stem from the same tragically distorted, dualistic understanding of human personhood in which our bodies — even embryonic bodies — are there for the using, to be manipulated and even destroyed for our utilitarian purposes. Continue reading

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An Abortion Mandate in the Making, by Fr. Thomas Berg

What’s happening to the healthcare bill behind closed doors Last week saw significant progress toward a final version of a healthcare reform bill which could be voted on by Congress as early as the end of October. The path toward … Continue reading

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Some thoughts about public discourse, by Fr. Thomas Berg

Taking a step back from the healthcare debate Readers will forgive me for waxing philosophical for just one column. But let’s take a step back from healthcare reform, unemployment, the economy, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, al Qaeda, Gitmo, water-boarding, gay marriage … Continue reading

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