War & Religion

A Friendship That Ended the War

ANNALS OF VIETNAM about Senator John Kerry's and Senator John McCain's unlikely friendship and their efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam. On Memorial Day in 1993, Senator John Kerry (Democrat from Massachusetts) and Senator John McCain (Republican from Arizona) visited the Hanoi Hilton (also known as Hoa Lo), a Vietnamese…

October 21, 1996

The Silence

REPORTER AT LARGE about Pope John Paul II and the Vatican's silence over their role in the Holocaust. The article discusses how the doctrine of papal infallibility affects the Catholic Church's reconciliation with its complicitous role in the Holocaust and also how Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), while forging…

April 7, 1997

War Inside the Pentagon

A REPORTER AT LARGE about Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen... He assumed the post in January. Writer met with him in his office, on the third floor of the Pentagon. It is an austere room by any standard except the Pentagon's--a shoebox, with a low, flat ceiling. The…

August 18, 1997

The Saint and the Holocaust

ANNALS OF RELIGION about the canonization of Edith Stein... Stein was a Carmelite nun who was snatched from a monastery in 1942 by the Gestapo... She was born a Jew in 1891 in Breslau, Silesia, which was then under German control but is now part of Poland... Tells about her…

June 7, 1999

House of War

Briefly Noted review of "House of War" (Houghton Mifflin; $30) by James Carroll…

May 29, 2006

Out Loud: Humility From On High

James Carroll and Joan Acocella discuss Pope Francis; Roger Angell talks about his award from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

December 16, 2013

Daniel Berrigan, My Dangerous Friend

I was a twenty-two-year-old seminarian in 1965, struggling to imagine myself in what already seemed the impossible life of the Catholic priest, when I came upon the writing of Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit poet. Berrigan, who died on Saturday at the age of ninety-four, quickly came to embody for me a new ideal. He testified, in his expansive life, to language itself as an opening to transcendence. What was Creation if not the Word of God, and what were human words if not sacraments of God’s real presence? Writing could be an act of worship. The idea defines me still.

May 2, 2016

The True Nature of John McCain's Heroism

In 1968, less than a year after his Navy bomber was shot down, the imprisoned McCain was abruptly offered unconditional release by the North Vietnamese, perhaps because his father had just been named the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific. McCain was still badly crippled from his crash and the poor medical treatment that followed, yet he adhered to the P.O.W. code of honor and refused to be repatriated ahead of American prisoners who had been in captivity longer than he.

July 21, 2017

What Puerto Rico Needs After Hurricane Maria

Not long after the great hurricane cut across Puerto Rico, overwhelming the island with hundred-and-forty-mile-an-hour winds and a summer’s worth of rain in two days, the Times ran an article headlined “What Puerto Rico Needs.” In testimony before a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, the paper reported, the territory’s governor had described the aftermath of the storm with pessimism: “The people were discouraged. They lacked the Anglo-Saxon energy to face a gloomy outlook.” For the half a million Puerto Ricans “prostrated by the hurricane,” another correspondent wrote, “paternalism will be not only not misplaced here, but it is almost necessary.” The island’s residents, especially its poor, had been deprived of their homes, their crops, and their livelihoods. As a headline from late September put it, “Many Peons Are Starving.”

September 26, 2017

The Death of Cardinal Bernard Law and the Legacy of Clergy Sex Abuse

Banished from Boston and protected in Rome, Law became a symbol of the Catholic hierarchy’s failure to reckon with its crimes—a failure that continues today.

December 20, 2017

What the Bible Really Says About Trump’s Zero-Tolerance Immigration Policy

June 21, 2018