Author: Conor Kelly

The Value of Rest in a Season of Busy

There is a general sense of agreement, or at least a culturally enshrined assumption, that the stretch of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas might just be the busiest time of the year. Much of this, undoubtedly, has to do with the commercialization of Christmas, which is beginning to affect not only Thanksgiving but also Halloween, it seems. Surely the march from Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday is not helping the sense of overwhelming obligation that most people seem to share during this “gap” between the holidays. And yet this gap is not...

Read More

No Seriously, There’s a Synod Going On

In some ways, it is a breath of fresh air to realize that the synod of bishops can gather in Rome without much fanfare. This says something about the ways we are embracing the vision of collegiality that has been a hallmark of Pope Francis’s leadership, for we can say it’s just another day at the office, so to speak. Nevertheless, I still find it striking that the 2018 Synod on Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment is receiving much less attention than the 2014-2015 synods on the Family. I don’t think the shift is entirely illustrative of a new...

Read More

Glimpses of Hope amid Crisis

It’s been nearly a month since the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report was released, and the topic still seems more relevant than ever. This is entirely appropriate. The report and its fresh revelations not only of predatory priests and sexual abuse in horrendous details but also of concerted efforts to cover up the crimes have brought the depths of human sinfulness out into the open in ways that have sparked a true crisis in the Church, just as the Boston Globe reporting did 16 years ago. It is hard to know how to make sense of all of this, and...

Read More

Parenting, Masculinity, and Structures of Sin

I think a lot about parenting. I can’t help it. I’m a parent. Often, my thinking about parenting is colored by my research as a theologian and an ethicist. It’s an occupational hazard of a research agenda that looks for connections between theological ethics and ordinary life. This means that my work on the ethics of free time colors my reflections on the time I have together with my children, while my research on digital distraction has spilled over into my real life in a way that has most of my extended family convinced that I am a luddite....

Read More

Faithful Citizenship and Democratic Institutions: Reflections from the CTSA for Our Political Moment

Earlier this month, the Catholic Theological Society of America, the self-described “principal association of Catholic theologians in North America,” held its annual convention in Indianapolis, IN. I had the opportunity to attend and, as I usually do, found it intellectually stimulating and enriching. The Saturday morning plenary session, especially, stuck with me, in large part because I continue to see its practical relevance confirmed on an almost daily basis. David DeCosse of the University of Santa Clara gave that Saturday morning address, and he framed it as a theologian’s reflection on what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops might want to consider as it plans for the 2020 update of its Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. That document is (re)issued every four years in conjunction with the presidential election. It is designed to offer insights from the Catholic tradition that can guide Catholics as they discern how to vote in their local, state, and federal elections. The thrust of the document in any given election cycle is usually pretty similar to its predecessors, but there are always additions and adjustments that are meant to speak more directly to the matters of the day. DeCosse used his address to explain why the 2020 election might rightly prompt a more substantive review than normal. Overall, I found myself very sympathetic to DeCosse’s points, perhaps in part because I know that...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Recent Tweets