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Archive for October 28th 2010

Raymond A. Schroth, S.J., reviews the life of the controversial priest and politician Robert F. Drinan, S.J. When Fr. Drinan ran for Congress in 1970, he was among a dozen priests and religious seeking higher office. By the time Drinan was forced to leave in 1980 by order of Pope John Paul II, that number had dwindled, signaling the end of the era of the priest-politician. In his ten years in office, Drinan helped bring an end to the war in Vietnam and impeach a sitting president. Fr. Schroth discusses his controversial legacy, including his much cited stand on abortion. Fr. Schroth's Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress is published by Fordham University Press.

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America's Book Club discusses Human Chain, the new collection of poems by Seamus Heaney. Angela O'Donnell, a poet and professor of English at Fordham University, analyzes the recurrent themes in the collection, including mortality and the sacramental nature of creation. As in previous volumes, Heaney uses his writing to carry on a conversation with generations past, and here he converses with both his deceased parents and poets such as John Donne. Professor O'Donnell also reads her own poem, "Homage to St. Seamus," which was published in America in March 2010.

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Luke Hansen, S.J., a member of Witness Against Torture, discusses his article in the current issue of America on the Gospel call to love one's enemies and why how that mandate lead to his meeting with former detainees at Guantanamo Bay. For more on the Uighur men who Luke and other members of Witness Against Torture met in Bermuda see this article from the New York Times.

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Tom Price and Nora Collins of Catholic Relief Services provide a report on reconstruction efforts underway in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in January and the work CRS is doing to aid in the country's recovery. Only 4 percent of earthquake rubble has been removed in 10 months, and large number of residents are still living in temporary tent cities. Tom Price also discusses his article for America, "The Other Haiti," which looks as the special challenges facing residents of the country's rural provinces.

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George V. Coyne, S.J., president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, recounts the history of this institution, and explains how the Vatican became involved in the study of the planets and stars. Father Coyne also weighs in on the contemporary debate about the compatibility of science and religion, and makes the case that Stephen Hawking is wrong about the origins of the universe.

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