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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from April 2009

bishop lynch rallies to defense of unborn by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 1, 2009

April fool! The man who put the palm in Bay Palms opines of President Obama's "battle for an expansion of abortion rights" that "early 'markers' are not encouraging in this regard but hope needs to spring eternal." Ms. Terri Schiavo was unavailable for...

can't get no respect by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 1, 2009

Let me hear you say it: Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. The darling bit of cheerleading above comes from a sermon delivered by the Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, newly...

the Daschle-Sebelius problem by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 1, 2009

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama's latest choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, has admitted to "unintentional errors" on her tax returns and agreed to pay $7,000 in back taxes and penalties. "Unintentional" errors, huh? Funny, that's the same kind...

On Discipline, Again by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Apr 3, 2009

From time to time I’ve considered the question of ecclesiastical discipline (or the lack thereof). Several recent occurrences have drawn my attention once again to this issue. Of course, I am in the position of a zealous subordinate (and a zealous lay subordinate, at that). Typically subordinates...

delighted -- or, please pass the forceps by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 3, 2009

You know you've made it when the folks you want to impress are delighted with your promotion. The Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, newly appointed president and dean of the Episcopal Divinity School (Cambridge, MA), earns the gushing congratulation of the National Abortion Rights Action...

story time by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 5, 2009

The administration at my boy's school is just appalling. Yesterday he came home with a notice that he'd been suspended for three days. I said, "Bryan, what did you do to get suspended?" He said, "Nothing." I said, "Well what reason did the principal give you?" He...

What? Holy Week already? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Apr 7, 2009

When Holy Week arrives, I always have the same feeling. "Wait, wait!" I want to say. "I'm not ready yet." Maybe all Catholics have the same experience. Just after Ash Wednesday, it seems to me that Lent stretches out into the future forever. I live a comfortable life, and when...

Oh Blessed Chocolate! by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 7, 2009

With Easter on its way, you’d think I’d be willing to sing the virtues of chocolate. But along comes a column in Time magazine to spoil the fun by reporting on “intentional chocolate” and other mind-over-matter foods. Here’s what the hype is all about. Jim Walsh...

marriage for all by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 8, 2009

In every nation, in every epoch, homosexuals have been free to marry. In every nation, in every epoch, homosexuals been free to marry other homosexuals. Homosexuals have been prohibited, exactly as heterosexuals have been prohibited, from marrying persons of the same sex. There was no question...

the church of the shape to come by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 9, 2009

On the occasion of its centenary, the Jesuit magazine America has reprinted the Editorial Announcement that accompanied its maiden issue of April 17, 1909. An excerpt: The object, therefore, of this Review is to meet the needs here described and to supply in one central publication a record of...

Catholics need not apply by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 9, 2009

 "Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions." Read that passage again now, carefully. Do you see the word...

An Easter Gift: Gerard Manley Hopkins (1884 - 1889) by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Apr 9, 2009

Gerard Manley Hopkins was one of the greatest English poets, one of the greatest religious poets, and indeed one of the greatest Catholic poets. Hopkins was born into the Anglican Church in 1844, but by the early 1860’s he was becoming increasingly interested in Catholicism. In 1864, Hopkins read...

Why Be Catholic? 4: Resurrection by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 14, 2009

Though I take it up as the fourth in this series, surely the Resurrection of Jesus Christ provides the first and most obvious reason to be both a Christian and a Catholic, for it is Christ’s Resurrection which bears ultimate witness to the truth of the relationship between man and God which...

When pro-life activists harm the pro-life cause by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Apr 14, 2009

Unchastened by his participation in a spectacle that drew him a public rebuke from Archbishop Raymond Burke, pro-life activist Randall Terry is now picking a fight with Bishop John D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana. There's something very seriously wrong with Terry's choice of targets....

Benedict the Assassin by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 15, 2009

PELL RIDES PAPAL BANDWAGON OF DEATH claims the Sydney Morning Herald's David Marr, registering his displeasure with the Cardinal's endorsement of Catholic teaching. "That's one hell of an Easter message," he adds, in a sniff. It would appear that Marr's paschal theology owes more to...

St. Paul on Catholics Who Politically Promote Abortion? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 16, 2009

About five minutes after I completed my column “God and Mammon” concerning the falsity of Catholic arguments in favor of abortion, I came across in my daily spiritual reading the following passage from St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy (3:1-7): But understand this, that in the...

God and Mammon: Catholic Support for Abortion by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Apr 16, 2009

Recently I exchanged emails with a correspondent who argued that a Catholic political stance in favor of abortion is morally acceptable because the evil of abortion is something that we know only from Faith, and not something that all men can know as demonstrably true. When I suggested in reply...

communications strategy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 16, 2009

 Questioned about a lecture that President Obama delivered at Georgetown University this week, Father Tom Reese can scarcely contain his enthusiasm. "The audience wanted to cheer and cheer," he told the Washington Times. It was a "very professorial address" by the...

Lost Opportunities by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Apr 21, 2009

This week I’m in Virginia, visiting family and friends, enjoying my own bit of Eastertide relaxation. In a friend’s cabin on the shore of the Shenandoah River, I’ve been renewing an old acquaintance with the histories of the Civil War-- in which so many memorable battles were...

today's hot rumor by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Apr 21, 2009

 Today we received a report from a reliable source, and although we haven't been able to confirm the report, it's so important that I want to pass it along. The report is: Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, is in Washington today for an unannounced meeting at the White...

The Pro-Life Counter-Offensive by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 23, 2009

Phil Lawler’s blog entry yesterday (see Lost Opportunities) struck a chord, but it was a dissonant chord, and I’d like to take advantage of it to start a larger conversation. Of course I’d rather take advantage of it to start a pro-life counter-offensive, rather than earn...

Not for Want of Effort by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 24, 2009

I promised to offer some ideas on how the pro-life community could more effectively harness its resources, and I’ll do this in a series of blog entries. I am happy to write up not only my own ideas but any noteworthy thoughts readers may send in. Phil Lawler has mentioned he has key...

Outsourcing Prayer by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Apr 24, 2009

We had a humorous discussion at a Trinity Consulting management meeting yesterday. I had asked everyone to remember, as they worked, to pray for the clients whose projects occupied their time. This led someone to remember that Trinity also makes donations each month to various groups of cloistered...

Spies, Traitors, and Informers by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Apr 24, 2009

Knowing that I cannot resist the lure of a good argument, Jeff Mirus has challenged me to provide some support for my claim that the American pro-life movement has suffered from too many Lost Opportunities. I’m happy to oblige. But first let me clarify just a few important points. In...

when bad science is good enough by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Apr 27, 2009

 Today's story about the Pregnant Woman Support Act reminds me of the time when Leila realized she was pregnant with our 4th child. I'd just started a new job, and we'd moved to a new home in a new state. (For a while Leila had thought that the stress of the move, combined with the care of...

recycled medal by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 27, 2009

 Are you free May 17? Not easily embarrassed? Interesting in receiving an award from a major Catholic university?  If you meet these qualifications, send your resume and a photo portrait to Father Jenkins at Notre Dame. And hurry. He's searching feverishly for someone to accept the...

As the Bishops Go . . . by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 27, 2009

Among the many reasons the pro-life movement has not been as effective as it needs to become, I assign first importance to the widespread confusion in the leadership of the Catholic Church in America. This confusion among the hierarchy, religious orders and universities has vastly reduced the...

Obama's homework before the Notre Dame test: Assignment I by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 27, 2009

 In a public statement released after Mary Ann Glendon declined the Laetare Medal, the White House suggested that President Obama was disappointed because "the spirit of debate and healthy disagreement on important issues is part of what he loves about this country." Did Obama...

Obama's homework before the Notre Dame test: Assignment II by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 27, 2009

 Imagine an American Secretary of State one morning praying at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall and the next evening accepting a eugenics award named for Dr. Josef Mengele. A provocative image? Certainly. But an exaggeration? Not really. With that eye-catching introduction, Joseph Duggan begins...

The Pro-Life Movement: Reader Recommendations by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 28, 2009

I’ve received nearly a hundred messages from those who are following our ongoing discussion of how to make the pro-life movement more effective. It is time to survey the preliminary results and set the stage for a deeper exploration of some of these ideas. I should say at the outset that a...

party time by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 29, 2009

Catholic Charities USA is hosting a reception on Capitol Hill next week, to jolly up Congressmen and their staff aides. When Washington groups throw parties of this sort, they often ask friendly lawmakers to sponsor the event, so that they can use rooms in the Congressional office buildings. And...

Promises Must Be Kept by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Apr 29, 2009

 Jeff Mirus has already commented on the absolutely critical role that Catholic bishops play in the American pro-life movement, and since his thoughts on that issue closely match mine, let me jump forward to the next topic I was planning to raise on this string: the importance of forcing...

womenpriests: the video by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 30, 2009

And remember, these are the...

the ideal choice by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 30, 2009

 “In thinking about who could bring a compelling voice, a passion for dialogue, great intellectual stature, and a deep commitment to Catholic values to the speaking role of the Laetare Medalist," says Father John Jenkins, "it quickly became clear that an ideal choice is Judge...

Freudian slip by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Apr 30, 2009

 In its transcription of the presidential press conference of April 29, RealClear Politics has President Obama making this statement in the context of a discussion on abortion: The other thing that I said consistently during the campaign is I would like to reduce the number of unwanted...

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