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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from January 2006

Outstanding "Year in Review" analysis by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jan 2, 2006

If you have the patience to read just one more of those year-end retrospective pieces about the main developments within the Church and the prospects for 2006, the one not to miss is this fine piece done by frequent Catholic World Report contributor and old friend Kieron Wood, for Dublin's Sunday...

resistance is futile: toward a welcoming ecclesial community by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 2, 2006

One lump or two? It's TEA-time for intractables. The Church of England, unable to convince conservatives to admit defeat and embrace the future, has prepared yet another tranquilizer dart filled with several harmless-sounding new acronyms, designed to numb remaining opposition to BBC-3 and the...

with a whimper by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 3, 2006

Mark Steyn summarizes his take on First World demography in an article in The New Criterion: Scroll way down to the bottom of the Hot One Hundred top breeders and you'll eventually find the United States, hovering just at replacement rate with 2.07 births per woman. Ireland is 1.87, New...

shrinking violets by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 3, 2006

Psychologists frequently come in for unfriendly comment by the gang here at Off The Record. It would be mistaken to read this as unfocused Lollardy or a general contempt for the discipline of psychology. One of the OTR bloggers, Dr. Cross, is himself a psychologist (and a pitiless critic of...

the fun side of feticide by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 3, 2006

Passing one's days in the company of abortion droogs, as you might expect, broadens the intellect as much as it sharpens the wit. Witness the following from the NOW website, in which president Kim Gandy vindicates the sisterhood against unjust and envious accusations of stolidity: One...

WMD by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 4, 2006

Since the French riots by Muslim youth last fall, several articles have been published that point to the problem of European demographics--a problem that will not be long in waiting in the United States too. In theory, the issue is uncomplicated: western societies as a group are becoming...

the seminary visitation: John Allen's mid-term report by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 4, 2006

Reporting that almost a third of the 229 seminaries and formation programs have undergone their apostolic visitation, the NCR's John Allen gives an account of the process so far. Ominously, the buzz-word is "cordial." [M]ost bishops who have led visitation teams say they see the process as a...

accountability are us by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 4, 2006

An informative posting by Ed Peters concerning the Portland parish property ruling: Federal bankruptcy judge Elizabeth Perris has ruled that parish property within the Archdiocese of Portland OR is subject to seizure if needed to satisfy the liability obligations (chiefly, ones arising from...

coulda been a contenda by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 4, 2006

Remember Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, the decayed spinster with her cob-webbed bridal chamber perpetually decorated for the wedding that never took place? The NCR, fresh out of Haldol, apparently, lets Robert Blair Kaiser indulge some Havishamian fantasy for its (macabre) gratification....

Do you feel safer now? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 5, 2006

The Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, proudly announces that it has been found to be in "full compliance" with the Dallas Charter. "The ongoing efforts in parishes, schools and religious education programs to ensure that the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is fully...

vacancy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 5, 2006

Highlighting the dash in the "Dash-2" status, Cleveland Bishop Anthony Pilla, 73, has requested early retirement from his bishopric (via Amy). Cleveland's Catholic Diocese Bishop Anthony Pilla has written a letter to the Vatican asking to be replaced, News Channel 5 reported.Pilla, 73, will...

by any other name by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 5, 2006

The Chicago Tribune wrestles with the diction of reality. Kane County officials are considering criminal charges against a 24-year-old Wayne man today after a head-on crash near South Elgin resulted in the deaths of three people, including a woman and her nearly full-term...

Weigel on the form at the heart of the re-form by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 6, 2006

George Weigel makes some good points concerning the Doomsday Doc: "Historically, we must remember that every great period of reform in Catholic history has included a reform of the priesthood and the consecrated life. Theologically, we must understand that there can be no 'reform' of any facet...

a long way, baby by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 6, 2006

The American Medical Association has released a statement saying the abortionists "should be made the outcasts of society." The AMA suggested: Resolved, That we repudiate and denounce the conduct of abortionists, and that we hold no intercourse with them professionally or otherwise and that...

St. John of the Cross on Fine Wine by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jan 6, 2006

Our celebration of the Christmas season has cut seriously into my work time, so instead of writing a column this week, let me simply offer the reflections of St. John of the Cross on good wine. These reflections come from his commentary on line four of Stanza 25 of The Spiritual Canticle where he...

Canada: trahison des clercs by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 6, 2006

Diocese of Thunder Bay (Ontario) priest, tendentious amateur church historian, and gay rights advocate Fr. Scot Gale has an announcement to make: Gale, 47, resigned last month after revealing he is gay, and that he is no longer able to commit to being celibate. ..."It has become increasingly...

keeping the missing link lost by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 7, 2006

A new study indicates a link between abortion and subsequent mental illness. Don't be shocked, but America's brave and independent peer-reviewed scientific journals "declined" to publish the findings: DAVID FERGUSSON: The whole topic has been remarkably under-researched, in terms of whether…...

Bishop of Los Angeles Resigns by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 7, 2006

Los Angeles, Chile. Still, the words carry a certain thrill of their...

Their Finest Hour by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 8, 2006

Bigotry being a distemper specific to orthodox Christians, gay and lesbian Anglicans in Nigeria are victims of injustice, right? Right? Well, dammit, they oughta be. The Church of England News reports, diffidently, on a supremely amusing variation of the Nigerian E-Mail Solicitation Scam. In...

religion "a form of child abuse" by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 8, 2006

Richard Dawkins, who acts in the cause of biology the role that Pat Robertson does for patristics, takes his case to the tube: Controversial scientist Richard Dawkins will assert tomorrow evening that religion is a "virus" that amounts to child abuse. The new two-part series, to be shown on...

in articulo mortis by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 8, 2006

Flipping through the latest edition (4th, 1999) of the Handbook of Indulgences, I came across the Twelfth Grant, concerning the indulgence to be gained at the point of death: A priest who administers the sacraments in circumstances where death is imminent should not fail to impart the Apostolic...

The Plaintiff's Attorney and the Sundance Kid by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 8, 2006

The "play now, pay later" legal maneuverings of Cardinal Mahony continue. The LA Times reports on the latest episode: The Times reported Friday that Mahony and lawyers for 45 alleged victims of abuse, after three years of desultory negotiations, are moving toward a settlement that would pay an...

the victims of feminism: baby girls by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 9, 2006

Every year, an estimated 500,000 baby girls are killed by parents who would prefer a male child. The killing is done while the girls are still in the mothers' wombs. So it's done with the wholehearted support of people who say they support the rights of women. Well, some women....

hopeful by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 9, 2006

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith gave a deposition yesteday in San Francisco. A high-ranking Vatican official was deposed for seven hours Monday when lawyers questioned him on how the Portland diocese handled priest sex abuse allegations during his tenure...

science and the progress of malice by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 10, 2006

Dr. Leon Kass, the professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago who has recently stepped down as chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, was asked by Bret Stephens his views on Hwang Woo Suk, the South Korean scientist who admitted to faking his cloning-experiment results. Kass...

'twas ever thus by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 10, 2006

There is nothing new under the sun. Reading, with sympathy, Rich Leonardi's lament that various correspondents have informed him that the Chair of Peter has been vacant since 1965 and that the true pope is named Michael, I was put in mind of a letter written to Francis Borgia by Juan de...

auto-amputation & anglicans by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 10, 2006

Ironic. If an Episcopalian persists in believing what his grandfather, or father, or junior high religion teacher believed about biblical inerrancy and the teleology of the lower intestine, it's he who's squeezed to the margins and must re-brand himself, while the doctrinal innovators inherit the...

royaled waters by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 11, 2006

Writing in the NCR, Robert Royal of the Faith & Reason Institute puts the Levitical cat amongst the progressive pigeons. I see that when Elton John and his longtime male companion formed a "civil union" in England a few weeks ago, the pop singer took the opportunity to let fly at the Catholic...

just pay the man by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 11, 2006

Gay-friendly Bishop Gumbleton thinks legislators should lift the statute of limitations, making it easier for sex-abuse victims to sue and collect financial damages from their local dioceses. "It could cost the church some money, but it also could bring a great deal of healing to a lot of...

feminism's lethal victory by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 11, 2006

Mark Steyn has a mordant essay explaining how feminism, by succeeding too well, has made itself prey to the very dangers it promised to eliminate. Every December 6, our own unmanned Dominion lowers its flags to half-mast and tries to saddle Canadian manhood in general with the blame for the...

fatherhood by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 11, 2006

A Canadian Discalced Carmelite named Jason Martin had an affair with an old girlfriend, fathered a child, and, if the Chicago Tribune's account is accurate, was transferred to Chicago, "where he now recruits candidates in the Midwest." The mother of Martin's son summed up the situation aptly:...

Samuel, Samuel! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 11, 2006

In the current First Things (not yet available on-line) Fr. Richard Neuhaus takes on the needlessly, perversely clumsy Bible translation that serves as the base for our Lectionary, the Revised New American Bible (RNAB). Massgoers often cringe in anticipation as the lector climbs onto the podium,...

progressives have a point by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 12, 2006

Msgr. Ronald Knox, "On the Development of Doctrine," from his collection of addresses The Hidden Stream (1953). It doesn't do to say that heresy produces the development of doctrine, because that annoys the theologians. But it is true that as a matter of history the development of doctrine...

do your homework, professor by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 12, 2006

Marci Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University, writes commentary on constitutional issues-- particularly church-state issues-- for the FindLaw web site. Often her insights are quite interesting. Then, every once in a while,... Let's just remember that everybody is human. In her analysis...

even Hester Prynne would need one by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 12, 2006

In Bogota, a city councillor proposes to make it mandatory for every adult to carry a condom at all times. By carrying a condom, the civic-minded Colombian would acknowledge that sexual intercourse is something that could happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time; so it's only prudent to be...

don't blame me by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 12, 2006

How should an archbishop respond, when an auxiliary bishop says that he was a victim of sexual abuse? Detroit's Cardinal Adam Maida said: "The Detroit archdiocese was never made aware of this." This isn't a fragmentary sentence, wrenched out of context by a secular newspaper reporter; it's...

blasphemous-- but mostly just dumb by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 13, 2006

Those laff-riot folks at Planned Parenthood have done it again. The Connecticut office is selling keychains with various oh-so-clever designs. One of them shows the famous detail from Michelangelo's depiction of the Creation of Man, from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, in which God's finger...

moving molesters: a thwing and a myth by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 13, 2006

The Los Angeles Archdiocesan Tidings posts an unsigned article on the abuse scandal that's a masterpiece of disinformation through misdirection. Take a look at this: The belief that bishops moved child abusers from parish to parish, allowing them to abuse over and over, may well be one of the...

loss and gain by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 14, 2006

Jody Bottum has an interesting essay in the current Weekly Standard discussing, in the aftermath of the Alito confirmation hearings, the paradox of Catholic politics in the U.S. At the moment the sacral stature of its clergy deflated like a punctured beach toy, the Catholic "ability to take a...

open wounds by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 14, 2006

Multiple molester Fr. Paul LeBrun, C.S.C., was sentenced to 111 years in prison yesterday. His lawyer tendered the standard plea for mitigation used when members of the "helping professions" go wrong. Ken Huls, LeBrun's attorney, said the priest "helped hundreds of thousands of people,"...

Alito escapes by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 15, 2006

Mark Steyn on how the Dems fluffed the Alito Inquisition: Even smear tactics require a certain plausibility. When you damn someone as a big scary mega-troubling racist misogynist homophobe and he seems to any rational observer perfectly non-scary and non-troubling, eventually you make yourself...

choice savers by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 16, 2006

Leave it to the New York Times to find "abortion foes" more indignant at pro-lifers than abortionists: LOUISVILLE, Ky. The eight women sat in a semicircle facing a wooden cross, reflecting on the abortions they said they had never gotten over. Though they now opposed abortion, they criticized...

finally -- the suspense is over by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 16, 2006

The Church of England's bishops put their differences over women bishops behind them this week in an attempt to continue moving the issue forward. You can exhale...

The European Union: United We Fall by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jan 16, 2006

The European Union continues to challenge the sovereignty of its "independent" members by attempting to impose a secularist ideology which can only result in the death of Europe. The latest incident is the EU's demand that Spain eliminate its sales tax exemption for the Catholic Church within 60...

unoriginal errors by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 17, 2006

When pro-life activists in Boston picketed a fundraiser at which Catholic Charities honored pro-abortion Mayor Tom Menino, Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara was scornful of the "zealots" involved. She said: These folks do not just miss the Latin Mass; they miss Cardinal Bernard Law. Do they...

home away from home by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 17, 2006

A tour of the pro-abort websites shows that they're still putting the defibrillator paddles to the corpse of the anti-Alito campaign. NOW is calling for agitators to take to the streets of Washington and seethe in front of the news cameras. Their housing request form for out-of-town...

a slip of the soul by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 18, 2006

If the term "legitimate medical purpose" has any meaning, it surely excludes the prescription of drugs to produce death. That's Justice Antonin Scalia, in his dissenting opinion on the Supreme Court decision upholding Oregon's Assisted Suicide Act. Scalia is arguing that what makes a...

and for $6 million, maybe he'd shut up by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 18, 2006

If you believe everything that you read, then you shouldn't be surprised to hear that Mehmet Ali Agca, freshly released from a Turkish prison, has offered: to reveal who told him to kill Pope John Paul, in exchange for $5 million to play himself in a movie, for a fee of...

following her arrival she became unresponsive by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 18, 2006

Operation Rescue points us to the grim story of Christin Gilbert. Gilbert was a 19-year-old with Down Syndrome who had become pregnant as the result of sexual assault. In January of last year Christin's family took her to the Women's Health Care Services clinic in Wichita, Kansas, operated by...

contempt of court? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 19, 2006

On Tuesday that Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts approved the removal of life-support systems from 11-year-old Haleigh Poutre, since the girl was, the court found, already "brain dead." On Wednesday, Haleigh began breathing on her own. Dead people don't breathe. But "brain dead"...

in a different voice by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 19, 2006

Valentine's Day is less than a month away, and that means we're in for the spectacle of Catholic college presidents buckling in submission to the annual Vagina Monologues putsch -- debasing themselves, and the Faith, by cringe-making excuses for their passivity and moral gutlessness. Well,...

just the facts, ma'am by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 19, 2006

Our friends at the Cardinal Newman Society have asked academic officials at Notre Dame to investigate the possibility that the well known theology professor (and general nuisance) Richard McBrien committed plagiarism in a recent column which, as Uncle Di already observed, bore a distinct...

Changing our Fund-Raising Methods by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jan 19, 2006

During the course of 2005, I mentioned several times that I hoped to find low-stress ways to increase revenue. Among other things, this led to the development of our RC line of merchandise. But now we’ve launched a much more serious fund-raising effort. What’s changed? First, our costs have...

we're on a learning curve here by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 20, 2006

L.A. Catholic notes that former L.A. priest and child molester Michael Baker was arrested yesterday at Los Angeles International Airport on charges of Creation Spirituality with a minor. Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for Mahony, said Thursday that the archbishop did the best he could with...

The EU Strikes Again by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jan 20, 2006

Not to beat a dead horse, but news of the ideological totalitarianism of the European Union appears now almost daily. On January 19th, the EU’s Justice Minister threatened sanctions and eventual expulsion of member states which refuse to approve gay marriage. Apparently Latvia, Lithuania,...

gay and faithful? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 20, 2006

Psychiatrist Joseph Nicolosi maintains the phrase "gay Catholic," like "pro-abortion Catholic," is a contradiction in terms. This has nothing to with a man's behaviors, and everything to do with his convictions. Whereas a person's homosexual proclivities may be unsought and...

secondary to organ procurement by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 20, 2006

The body is that of a well-developed, well-nourished adult white female who weighs 152 pounds, is 57 1/2 inches in height, and appears compatible with the reported age of 19 years. The unembalmed body is cool to the touch. Rigor mortis is fully fixed in the extremities and the jaw. Fixed purple...

Benedict's Defining Test by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 21, 2006

Fr. Richard Neuhaus has a must-read article in the current First Things titled "The Truce of 2005?" that makes a compelling argument that the Vatican's Instruction on homosexual seminarians will bring onto the pontificate of Benedict XVI what Humanae vitae forced onto that of Paul VI: a defining...

a scary, scary place by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 21, 2006

Brent Bozell's Media Research Center posts the Notable Quotes of 2005, in which collector's items of media pieties are displayed for our gratification. You'll appreciate this gem from the Katrinafest: "Do I need to be concerned that I'm going to go live with a church family, are they going to...

toward tinier homicides by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 22, 2006

Moral gibberish from William Saletan, writing in today's New York Times: Roe is 33 years old today. It freed us from ham-fisted criminal laws that pretended to solve the abortion problem. "... ham-fisted criminal laws that pretended to solve the abortion problem." Note the gratuitous...

your collection plate dollars at work by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 22, 2006

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development claims to have provided more than $280 million in grants, over the 35 years of its existence, to sponsor projects such as Poverty Awareness Month. It recently announced the results of its Poverty Pulse survey: WASHINGTON (January 19, 2006) Nearly...

a particularly annoying blob of atoms by Leila in "Off the Record" - Jan 22, 2006

In today’s New York Times Magazine interview, Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University Daniel C. Dennett offers his thoughts, such as they are, on God and belief. It seems he has writing a book called Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. First off, he strikes me as just...

brokeback montanism by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 23, 2006

If you own elbow-length rubber gloves, a copy of Tanquerey's Theologia Moralis, and a surgical mask, you may wish to read Fr. Richard Leonard's review of Mary Poppins for Jesuits. On the other hand, you may...

the government comes to the bedroom by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 24, 2006

Who could have predicted that when the liberals' nightmare came true, and government agents began spying on the bedroom activities of private citizens, it would be to enforce a pro-homosexual policy? The enlightened domestic-partnership policy at the University of Florida presents poor Uncle Di...

My Neighborhood is the Church? by Peter Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jan 24, 2006

My neighborhood is not very young, but it isn’t that old either. I can remember when it was built, about fifteen years ago. I recall thinking at the time that the builder had yeoman’s work before him. The neighborhood is built on a hill that, pre-development, was threaded throughout...

Commonweal on the state of the question by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 25, 2006

These are real tough days to be a Vatican III Catholic. Conventional ammunition is in such short supply that the editors of Commonweal, baffled in their attempt to find a substantive and intelligible reason to denounce the Sam Alito Supreme Court nomination, were forced to shame his supporters...

the english encyclical's bible by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 25, 2006

Last week, Sandro Magister mentioned the Holy See's dissatisfaction with its translators, and blamed the delay in publication of certain documents on the same problem. The very first sentence of the Pope's encyclical raises an interesting question: where do the Scripture quotations come...

fair's fair by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 25, 2006

NOW's Kim Gandy goes borking for dollars: With Alito on the Court in the critical seat of the moderate Justice O'Connor, women could lose the right to make their own reproductive decisions in a safe, non-coerced, and private way. Gays and lesbians could lose the critical right to privacy that...

a message even a bishop could understand by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 26, 2006

Forget the Dallas Charter. What I want to know is: Why hasn't this happened more...

language arts by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 26, 2006

Which influential executive in Massachusetts issued these statements to explain how his organization had resolved an internal dispute? We have implemented new mechanisms which enhance internal communication and which streamline external communication. Over this period, walls have crumbled,...

poor record keeping by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 26, 2006

37-year-old Chicago archdiocesan priest Fr. Dan McCormack has been accused of unnatural vice with boys between the ages of 9 and 12. It appears this particular weakness had surfaced in the past. A Chicago Sun-Times story recounts the dealings a religious sister who taught in a parish elementary...

Goodbye to Gumbleton by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 26, 2006

Well, it happened 37 years late, but the Holy See finally appears to have pulled the plug on Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. This from an open letter released yesterday: On Thursday of this past week, Pope Benedict XVI accepted my resignation from the office of auxiliary bishop to Cardinal Maida. In...

kind hearts by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 26, 2006

Ann Coulter's current column on the Democratic Party's electoral woes is titled "Abortion Stops a Bleeding Heart." That got me wondering how many people, even those who use the term of themselves, realize that the "bleeding heart" part of "bleeding heart liberals" is a reference to the Sacred...

jesting pilate by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 27, 2006

John Leo sees in the Frey Fraud the symptom of a larger tendency to dissolve truth in the solvent of feelings: The many hoaxes on colleges campuses, mostly involving untrue reports of rapes and racial attacks, often turn out to be teaching instruments of a sort, conscious lies intended to reveal...

anonymous Catholics by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jan 27, 2006

The Economist has an interesting take (subscription required) on the Alito nomination to the Supreme Court. Noting the "remarkable historical turnaround" that has produced a Catholic majority on the High Court, The Economist attributes it partly to electoral politics-- the Republic discovery of...

two steps forward by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 27, 2006

They've taken plenty of flak in OTR, all of it well-deserved, so when the Jesuits get it right for a change they should be congratulated. Jesuit high school and university pro-life groups made a good showing at the March For Life, and even got a welcome in Washington. "God is calling you...

How's that again? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 27, 2006

John Allen reports on a news conference accompanying the release of the new encyclical: Archbishop William Levada, the pope's successor as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, admitted he was "a little bit surprised" that Benedict chose to submit his text to Vatican...

oh, boy: confusion! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 27, 2006

An America magazine editorial observes a "notably wide variety of interpretations" of the Doomsday Document, and, having identified the general confusion, adds to it. When the Vatican says that gay men should not be admitted to seminaries, does that mean that gay men should not be admitted to...

dialogue by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 27, 2006

Here's a 40-second video clip giving an impressionistic view-from-the-stroller of the pro-life march in San Francisco. Tip to Kathy...

test your CWN knowledge by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jan 27, 2006

This evening I was looking over a list of CWN subscribers, and I was struck by the broad geographical distribution. Would you care to guess which of these countries has the smallest number of current CWN subscribers? Mauritius Myanmar Nepal Oman Papua New Guinea Qatar The correct answer...

Saint Thurgood? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 27, 2006

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington is proposing that the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall be made a saint. Marshall was part of the court majority in the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling, having successfully convinced Justice Harry Blackmun (the author of the decision) to expand the...

There. Is. No. Connection. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 28, 2006

In earlier interviews with news media, Chicago's versatile Fr. Dan McCormack was too modest to mention his past accomplishments as a utility infielder. The Rev. Daniel McCormack was arrested last week and charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of two young boys, and a third later made...

the cardinal corrected by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 30, 2006

A 17th century spiritual writer falls into the hands of the Language Gelding Gang, blades at the ready. The result isn't pretty. Jesus Christ is God's gift to humankind and humankind's gift to God. He is God's gift to humankind; he puts himself into the hands of human beings through the...

gifted by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 30, 2006

St. Petersburg Bishop Robert N. Lynch instructs the faithful on his favorite topic, Bishop Robert N. Lynch. I have deliberately refrained from reciting a litany of accomplishments of this past decade. Some day, maybe someone will look at what has been accomplished and judge it "good." A lot...

a cloture walk with thee by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 31, 2006

The Left understands -- and, in moments of candor, admits -- that the attempt to block Alito's nomination was a "Filibuster for Choice." Yesterday's cloture vote was, in effect, a gauge of the senators' willingness to defend abortion. The roll call provides an instructive footnote to

Of Reality and Parlor Tricks by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jan 31, 2006

On rare occasions visitors to CatholicCulture.org have asserted that our Highlights and News & Notes commentaries detract substantially from the quality of the web site. Our materials on the Liturgical Year, they say, are very nice, but whenever our staff writers express opinions we go terribly...

our bishops' conference is deeply disappointed ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jan 31, 2006

USCCB President Bishop William Skylstad gives Congress a scolding about its budget: In December, as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I wrote to you expressing serious concerns about provisions in the budget reconciliation bill. The proposed changes in Medicaid,...

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