Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from March 2006

the twilight of the phobo-philes by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2006

In multicultural Britain, writes Mark Steyn, "if a Muslim says that Islam is opposed to homosexuality, he can be investigated for homophobia; but if a gay says that Islam is opposed to homosexuality, he can be investigated for Islamophobia." Ironically, since neither group can afford to tell the...

courting the GOP pro-life vote by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2006

The South Dakota legislature passed a bill virtually banning abortion, and a couple of leading Republicans had interesting reactions. President Bush, who has received tremendous support from the pro-life movement, criticized the bill, saying that he would want exceptions to allow abortion in...

Episcopal Reform and the Rights of the Laity by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 1, 2006

In the wake of our recent reflections on reform of the episcopacy, some readers have asked how a layman’s efforts to reprove, correct or resist a bishop can fit into the Catholic obligation to be faithful to the Magisterium and obedient to those in ecclesiastical authority. That’s a...

"the very essence of our christian mission" by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2006

Let's see. Four months ago, it was captious of us to object to Boston's Catholic Charities' placing thirteen orphans in gay households because, after all, they were only "a tiny fraction of the 720 placed" in the relevant period. That was then. Now it appears gay adoptions are at the core of...

the usual suspects by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2006

Questioned about the 19 priests from Quebec who published a letter attacking the Church's teaching on homosexuality, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter wonders why it's a big deal: These 19 signatories are the usual suspects. There is no name on that list that would just shock you....

liberals at prayer by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2006

Divided Uniting Church Battling Against Extinction The headline says it...

why lie? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2006

In the wake of the 19 Quebec priests’ blatant misrepresentation of the Church’s recent statement on the ordination of homosexuals (contained in the priests' public attack on the same teaching), I got to wondering: Why do they lie? Obviously these priests don’t lie in order to spare our...

known by his friends by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2006

The lead editorial in today's New York Times heaps praise on Cardinal Roger Mahony for his: stern condemnation of legal abortion stalwart defense of traditional marriage implacable opposition to euthanasia adamant resistance to embryo research sweeping call for reform of immigration...

Is the Edsel a paradox? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2006

Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin spoke on February 18 to Pobal, an Irish group committed to building "a humble, listening Church" in the spirit of Vatican II (if you get the general idea). The archbishop-- who would learn just a few days later that he was to continue being known as "archbishop"...

denials of dignity by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2006

How is a rough body search at an airport security gate like a panel discussion at a Catholic college? Peggy Noonan can...

mentioning the Unmentionable by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 4, 2006

Oh boy, is Tony Blair in trouble. The British prime minister told a TV interviewer that God would be the ultimate judge of the decision to go to war in Iraq. Notice that he did not say that God told him to go to war. He did not claim that God supported the war. He said that God would judge the...

Brokeback Lent by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 5, 2006

For those who ask, "What can we do to help sabotage the Teaching Church while continuing in full communion?" Boston's Jesuit Urban Center always has some ready advice. Last week's Ash Wednesday Homily is a fine illustration of Inverted Ignatianism in action. The technique is simple. The...

all this shall be thine ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 5, 2006

... if thou wilt but bow down and worship...

follow the rules by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 5, 2006

The Boston Globe smells blood in the water. Again. Each day brings a new headline story about the Massachusetts bishops' unwillingness to allow Catholic Charities to continue arranging adoptions by same-sex couples. (See the item immediately below.) Today the news stories-- themselves heavily...

the unforgivable sin by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 6, 2006

A pastor in California has told a group of recalcitrant parishioners that because they have defied Church authority, they are guilty of "rebellion, grave disobedience and mortal sin, separating oneself from the Church." They are now "invited" (whatever that means) to leave the parish and the...

Saletan on Roe by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 7, 2006

Vexed, like many pro-aborts, by the way its flaws have made the Roe v Wade decision unworkable, Willam Saletan does some nail-biting for the benefit of the Washington Post. Politically, legally and technologically the 33-year-old court decision is increasingly obsolete as a framework for...

"as if she was a trendy pet dog ..." by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 7, 2006

Psychologist Gerard van den Aardweg offers a professional close-up perspective on counterfeit families. The emotional ties of persons with a homosexual complex to their parents remain as they were in childhood and adolescence: dependence on the mother, aversion, contempt, fear or indifference...

this date in history by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 7, 2006

For those who are curious (like myself), here are a few CWN headlines from this date in past years: Last year: Pope John Paul II made a brief appearance at the window of his room in the Gemelli hospital, and Vatican officials disclosed that the Pope was hoping to return to the Vatican in time...

a balanced perspective on the Phoenix autism controversy by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 7, 2006

In his excellent blog devoted to matters of canon law, Ed Peters offers some useful thoughts on the unhappy situation in Phoenix, where Bishop Olmstead has found it necessary to rule that an autistic boy cannot receive Communion unless or until some way is found to overcome his physical inability...

Polling America on Evolution by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 8, 2006

A recent news report reveals that the Discovery Institute commissioned a poll by Zogby International to determine the views of Americans on the teaching of evolution in public schools. Given the relentless efforts by both the educational and scientific establishments over the past two generations...

In the Churchlet of the Self by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2006

Remember Father Bozek, the peripatetic Pole who skipped out to Saint Schism's in order to recalibrate his ecclesiology? Well now he's billing and cooing over the St. Louis-area Church of Sts. Clare and Francis, another "independent Catholic community": "I wish Sts. Clare and Francis all the...

Warren on women by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2006

David Warren raises the question of how many man really prefer slatterns, according to the image offered for our admiration by the secular culture: Am I perhaps a little odd in finding modestly-dressed women attractive? It is hard to tell how odd, for men seldom discuss such things among...

enlightenment by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2006

Kevin Miller at HMS brings this gem to our attention: "I feel like I could have a more knowledgeable discussion about the book of Leviticus and Sodom and Gomorrah now," said Nicolet Berkman, a freshman in the College of Business Administration. Uh oh. Without reading further, if you have an...

shills by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2006

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice exists in order to provide journalists and politicians with a sock puppet they can use to counter religious pro-life voices when expedient. Here's its take on Scheidler vs. NOW: In its 8-0 ruling against NOW, the Supreme Court did not recognize...

time for an intervention by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2006

Congressman Jim McGovern is a Massachusetts Democrat who, like every other Catholic in the state's delegation, signed the recent "Statement of Principles" in which Catholic lawmakers explained why they couldn't follow certain unpopular Church teachings. In a chat with the Worcester Telegram...

"How come we don't get no respect?" by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 10, 2006

Following up the post below on do-it-yourself catholicisms, a glance at the National Catholic Reporter's classifieds produces three specimens of ecclesiastical slurpsmanship on offer (with Absolutely No Obligation): DIOCESE OF CALIFORNIA -- American Catholic Church. Valid orders and apostolic...

ends & means by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 10, 2006

George Weigel on lay discontent, and its discontents: The Long Lent of 2002 has left a residue of deep, and in some cases, smoldering, lay discontent with the Church's episcopal leadership. Catholics have understood that a scandal of clerical sexual misconduct became a crisis of enormous (and,...

bad confusion or bad conscience? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 13, 2006

Abortion is murder. Abortion is a woman's right. Roe v. Wade is a horrible decision. Roe v. Wade must be upheld. Restrictions on abortion are necessary. But there shouldn't be any restrictions. Who holds these mixed-up views? The American public, according to the latest survey information--...

Happy birthday... by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 13, 2006

... to Bishop Antoine Nguyen Van Thien, the retired Bishop of Vinh Long, Vietnam. Today the world's oldest living bishop turned...

on the front lines of the gender wars by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 13, 2006

Having allowed same-sex couples to enter legal marriages, and adopt children, the brave new government of Spain has taken another step, the London Telegraph reports. Birth certificates will no longer specify a "mother" and "father," since those terms presuppose distinctions which can no longer be...

uncertain trumpet by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 13, 2006

The US bishops' conference has issued a response to the "Statement of Principles" in which 55 Catholic Democrats from the US House of Representatives announced that their votes would not be guided by Church teachings on subjects like abortion and same-sex unions. In their response the bishops...

I Know, and So Do You by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 13, 2006

I had one of those intuitive moments on my last evening walk. It was one of the first warm nights of an early Spring, and although turbulent weather was threatening, the sky was still clear, and the moon full. No leaves yet, so the view was perfect. Shining through a few light clouds and between...

The Liberal Baby Bust by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2006

Phillip Longman restates the obvious, along with some statistical gusseting: the future belongs to the fertile, and that's sobering news for the Left. It's a pattern found throughout the world, and it augurs a far more conservative future -- one in which patriarchy and other traditional values...

groovy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2006

From Bishop Gumbleton's Ash Wednesday homily: You know I'm sure most of us grew up thinking of Lent as a very somber time, probably kind of a negative thing, giving up things you like. That statement might be true if Gumbleton's congregation had a mean age of 75 or higher. Think about it....

defenders of the faith by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2006

In an op-ed in today's Globe, Boston College's theology department rallies to the defense of Catholic teaching with a well-reasoned demolition of the Human Rights Campaign's attack on the Church's adoption policy: In psychology, "projection" occurs when someone attributes to others his own...

the McCarrick file by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2006

Remember the campaign season of 2004? Sure you do; it wasn't that long ago. Remember the debate about whether a pro-abortion politician (like Kerry) should receive Communion? Remember how a committee of bishops, chaired by Cardinal McCarrick, was preparing a document on that subject? But we...

counterpoint by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2006

The Cardinal Newman Society has been sparring with Fr. Richard McBrien recently over McBrien's literary borrowings. The editors of the National Catholic Reporter, unsurprisingly, were quick to draw conclusions about McBrien's opponents from his acquittal. Below is a spunky letter in reply, from...

weary of the green? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2006

For St. Patrick's Day, the great saint's own successor, Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh, has issued a statement. What a great opportunity to rally the Irish people to the faith. Can't you just hear the skirling of the bagpipes as the archbishop reaches his peroration: Next week, Intercultural...

putting them straight by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2006

In Evelyn Waugh's Helena, we hear the Emperor Constantine's wife Fausta prattling ecclesiastical gossip to her mother-in-law: "... I mean, we must have Progress. Homoiousion is definitely dated. Everyone who really counts is for homoousion -- or is it the other way around? If Eusebius were...

peasant uprising? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2006

Ever walked into one of those churches that looked Gothic on the outside but inside appeared to be arranged for a contemporary dance-theater troupe? Vosko'd. And, should you happen to be unenthusiastic about the changes, keep in mind that it's Doctor Richard Vosko to you, pal. He's a genius....

smacked? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2006

Fat Nino, the guy who empties the night-shift trash cans at the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told his Uncle Di that the rumor is rife that Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, former head of the Legionaries of Christ, got clobbered in the latest round of the Holy See's...

dem bones by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2006

George Weigel sees through the smoke put out by the Democratic destroyer squadron: Thirty-three of the 55 signatories of the DeLauro statement (including Rep. DeLauro) voted to support the legality of partial-birth abortion. Forty-one of the signatories (again including Rep. DeLauro) voted...

de form follows dysfunction by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2006

In the rest of the world, it's still a Friday in Lent, and for our mortification Gerald Augustinus posts a flattering shot of the Catholic Rektorat Church near Vienna. Makes your thoughts soar heavenward, doesn't it? The sort of place that effortlessly conduces to adoration. I'm sure...

Demographics trump dissent by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2006

To those of us who have long been interested in population studies, it was clear at least as early as 1990 that there was going to be serious trouble for those countries lining the northern Mediterranean rim as reproduction rates continued to drop, the average age of the population continued to...

a PR blitz for Judas by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2006

Easter is coming. How can you tell? Sure, there's the liturgical calendar, and the rumbling in your stomach after days of Lenten fasting. But there are also those reliable harbingers of the season: the crackpot theories debunking traditional Christian belief. This year, even before the...

millstoned by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 18, 2006

The Tablet notes that "during the past three years over 100,000 people have stopped going to Mass in England and Wales alone," and is running a series called "Once a Catholic," profiling some of the new apostates and examining their reasons for apostasy. Sad reading. What Maggie perceived as...

vexation without representation by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2006

The Toronto Globe & Mail shakes the pom-poms for tactical gallicism: A Canadian Roman Catholic body representing 22,000 priests, nuns and religious brothers has labelled the Vatican and the Canadian church outmoded on issues such as contraception, homosexuality and divorce, and locked more...

an ever-widening rift by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2006

Massachusetts, one of the most Catholic states in the country ... weeeeERP! Right from the git-go the load alarm on the Totenberg Detector goes off. When a journalist pretends to view Massachusetts as a "Catholic" state, you know you're in for a Vatican's-waning-influence story....

altar girls, anyone? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2006

Heedless of Church teaching that women can't be ordained, liberals continue to instruct us that if women could be priests, the clergy shortage would be solved immediately. Really? Let's learn from our Episcopalian neighbors in America. According Alan F. Blanchard, in Clergy Wellness and the...

Why Archbishop Sean O’Malley makes me see red, and I don’t mean hats. by Leila in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2006

At the end of a long interview with the Boston Globe, Archbishop Sean O’Malley says, 'One of the greatest tragedies of the sexual abuse crisis is that it undermines our capacity to teach the hard points of the Gospel.” The grammatical structure of this statement hides the ambiguity of its...

Why Archbishop Sean O’Malley makes me see red, and I don’t mean hats. II by Leila in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2006

As if to prove my point that he really doesn’t have a clue about his responsibility in this matter of hard teachings, Archbishop Sean goes on to answer the question of whether he personally agrees with the teaching of the Church on homosexual adoption thus: 'This is a very clear teaching. And...

Why Archbishop Sean O’Malley makes me see red, and I don’t mean hats. III by Leila in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2006

As dear Diogenes has said often enough, we are waiting for a bishop to deal with an aspect of the sexual abuse crisis before it’s brought up in the media. And it was your newspaper that pointed out the anomaly to us [that for twenty years we’ve placing children in same-sex households], and we...

Why Archbishop Sean O’Malley makes me see red, and I don’t mean hats. IV by Leila in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2006

I wish the reporter had asked Archbishop Sean about Talking About Touching, a sex education program mandated for the Archdiocese (perhaps now under a different name -- it's devilishly hard to find out anything about it), which in itself constitutes a form of sexual abuse of children. I can see why...

the envelope, please ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 20, 2006

The former vice-chancellor of the Archdiocese of Boston, Msgr. Frederick J. Ryan, was defrocked by the Holy See last week, judged guilty of having repeatedly molested male high school students. His departure marks something of a milestone in the clergy abuse crisis, as Ryan is the first Elmo...

Altered Algorithms for Choice by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 20, 2006

Amazon.com found itself in big trouble with abortion advocates, because when visitors logged on an searched under "abortion," the web site queried whether they might be interested in "adoption." "I thought it was offensive," said the Rev. James Lewis [a spokesman for the Religious Coalition...

gathered for spiritual change by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 20, 2006

Rich Leonardi calls our attention to a notice on the website of Cincinnati's Sisters of Charity -- not to be confused with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity -- announcing March 25th as the World Day of Prayer for Women's Ordination. Can't help but think there's a problem here...

the comforts of home by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2006

In the course of an interview, Barb Nicolosi ponders what meaning comedy, tragedy, and melodrama might have for a child growing-up in a very contemporary social setting. I was at a real live freak show not long ago with a woman who is a studio writer. Her daughter was playing in a soccer...

the undead by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2006

Remember the notoriously space-starved double-bunkers of Shohola, Pennsylvania -- the gang who gave "thank you for sharing" a whole new meaning? Having been tardily put to death in the Diocese of Scranton, they've re-emerged in sunny Paraguay. A suppressed society of Roman Catholic priests has...

adoption and the price of progress by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2006

At the Touchstone blog, Anthony Esolen examines the gay adoption imposture currently unfolding in Massachusetts. He argues that it is not an ordinary conflict between church protocol and municipal regulations, but that the collision was engineered -- with malice aforethought -- precisely in order...

most likely to succeed by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2006

The photo shows Cherie Blair, wife of British PM Tony Blair, offering a journalist a prophylactic at a Planned Parenthood Latex Fest some months ago. If anyone as ditzy as she could be called "staunch," Blair is a staunch advocate of state-administered population control -- and besides, she...

Kid, you’re on your own. by Leila in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2006

”And we still have a long way to go, but certainly the thousands and thousands of CORI checks and sex abuse training of our volunteers, and the training of the children has been a monumental task, carrying this out at the same time that our resources have been so limited.” Archbishop Sean...

The Value of Leisure by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 21, 2006

Since conceiving our Catholic Leisure Project, I’ve been doing a great deal of thinking about the meaning of leisure. How can I explain this to a culture almost wholly caught up in work? Especially in America, we tend to equate leisure with idleness. In contrast, the classical world thought of...

Finally -- NYT editorial distortion laid bare! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 22, 2006

The New York Times is biased on the abortion front. OK, you already knew that. What you probably didn't know is that the Times' op-eds are biased against the pro-abortion position. If that sounds unlikely, Garance Franke-Ruta of The American Prospect will put you right. Ms. Franke-Ruta has...

family feud by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 22, 2006

When he was first posted to San Francisco, Archbishop George Niederauer must have been grateful to his predecessor, Archbishop Levada, for arranging the appointment. Now he might be having second thoughts. Archbishop Levada-- in a few days it will be Cardinal Levada-- is now safely ensconced in...

We Won't Get Fooled Again by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 23, 2006

C.S. Lewis's relatively unknown book The Pilgrim's Regress allegorically recounts a young man's journey through the intellectual terrain of the 1920s (a landscape that, with respect to its spiritual hazards at least, has changed remarkably little in 80 years). In the course of his trip "Through...

What's wrong with this picture? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 24, 2006

The headline: Book of miracles shows late pope’s human side, author says. Look: We're all humans. Most of us don't perform miracles. And-- here's a bit of good news, if you're already feeling the strain of meeting public expectations-- you don't need to perform miracles to prove that you're...

Through the Looking Glass: a new fragment by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 25, 2006

From a early draft ms of Chapter IV, recently found among Dodgson's papers at Christ Church, Oxford. Readers are reminded that state-mandated Vulnerable Minor Protection Programs were in their infancy in the 1870s. Tenniel's illustrations, of course, belong to the edition of 1872. So much...

coincidentally by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 27, 2006

Just keep repeating to yourself: "There is no connection ..." "There is no connection ..." "There is no connection ..." "There is no connection between a gay lifestyle and sexual abuse." If you say it often enough you might come to believe it. Well, it worked for Wilton...

counting on the cardinals by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 27, 2006

The Boston Globe's Michael Paulson reports on the newly increased level of co-responsibility with which Pope Benedict wishes to invest his cardinals: On Friday, Benedict repeatedly used the phrase, "I am counting on you," as he bestowed red hats on the 15 men he had chosen as his first crop of...

Nazi/"Nazi" by Leila in "Off the Record" - Mar 27, 2006

Good analysis by Wesley J. Smith In today’s Weekly Standard of the expansion of infant euthanasia in the Netherlands. People call each other Nazis all the time. As Smith points out, those so accused can rightly reply that they are not Nazis. The argument doesn’t advance much. The thing...

busted by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 28, 2006

The badge pictured above belongs to the Intelligence Corps of the Royal Army. Sardonic observers claim it's meant to represent "a pansy resting on its laurels." I've no reason to think the IC deserves the gibe, but recent history has shown that, were it sewn on a sport-shirt as a shoulder...

united we stand corrected by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 29, 2006

St. Paul, Minnesota, removed an Easter display from City Hall in response to a complaint filed by the city's human rights director Tyrone Terrill. The WSJ's James Taranto comments: Well, this certainly makes sense. After all, everyone knows the Easter Bunny is a Christian symbol, which has no...

diversity, directed by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 29, 2006

BTL Photo and caption: L to R: Victor Walker, Jeffrey Barnes, Christine Witkowski, Fine By Me, Inc. Executive Director Lucas Schaefer, and Jeffrey Montoya show off their gay-affirming t-shirts. How likely would it be for Jeff Montoya, a Milwaukee Catholic layman, to be: a) A parish youth...

faking it by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 31, 2006

The New York Observer's E.J. Kessler likes Hillary's chances of taking back the "values voters" from the Republicans. Strategists have been saying for some time that Mrs. Clinton will use her re-election campaign in the heavily Catholic areas of upstate New York as a laboratory for her expected...

almost ceased by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 31, 2006

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles' Tidings has published the 19th in its series of abuse-related stories "compiled and edited by an advisory group to the Media Relations Office": While the press sometimes gives the impression that the bishops adopted a zero tolerance policy because of the...

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Liberal visions of Catholicism: Kickstarter and the world's largest NGO 16 hours ago
The Blessed Book of Beasts August 30
Weekend reading August 29
Frustrating the Moral Law August 29
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam August 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8