Susan Jacoby

One evening a few months before my eightieth birthday, I found myself addressing an audience of approximately a hundred men and women on a topic to which I have devoted considerable study during the past decade or so. My subject was the process of aging, and the ways in which current gerontological research is teaching us to deal with it.

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Rarely do the words “unprecedented” and “Catholic bishops” land in the same sentence. But, last week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) laid aside a precedent when they declined to elevate the body’s vice president, Tuscon Bishop Gerald Kicanas, to the presidency. Instead, the bishops selected New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan by a vote of 128-111. This choice set alarm bells ringing.

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