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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from July 2008

a model for us all by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 1, 2008

The Common Ground Initiative has honored Bishop Gerald Kicanas with this year's Cardinal Bernardin Award. The award citation praised Bishop Kicanas as "a champion of dialogue on contentious issues," with a special mention of "his pastoral concern regarding the abuse crisis." Right. Since the...

all very awkward by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 1, 2008

The Washington Times is following up on the story of the teenage foster child who obtained an abortion in Virginia with help from staff at Commonwealth Catholic Charities of Richmond. The Roman Catholic bishop of Richmond was told that a diocesan charity planned to help a teenage foster child...

What Makes a Good Priest? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 2, 2008

What makes a good priest? I’ve found the answer in fine book by Dominican Father Basil Cole entitled The Hidden Enemies of the Priesthood. From the title, you might think the book is about a conspiracy against priests. But that’s only true if you regard the work of the Devil and the temptations of...

Energizing Scripture by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 2, 2008

When I saw the announcement that the 2008 Synod of Bishops will focus on Sacred Scripture, I thought: “Didn’t the Church just issue a major document on that recently?” It turns out that the document I had in mind was issued by the Pontifical Biblical Commission fifteen years ago, in 1993. Does...

run of the mill by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 2, 2008

When burglars broke into the residence of Archbishop John Nienstedt and stole irreplaceable ecclesiastical treasures, police first commented on how well the crime had been planned. The burglars seemed to know just where to go, police observed, and how to break through extra-thick window glass...

guilty/not guilty by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 5, 2008

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer: A federal jury on Thursday acquitted the former chief financial officer of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese of skimming $784,000 from the church through an elaborate kickback scheme. The jury did, however, convict Joseph Smith of lesser charges for failing to...

the limits of Anglican tolerance by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 7, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury exhibits stunning tolerance, the London Times lets us know: Preaching to members of the General Synod at York Minster, he said that, were Jesus present in the debate, he would be with every faction of the Church, including traditionalists. Amazing, isn't it, that...

the future of the Anglican communion by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 7, 2008

(London, July 7, 2014) In a last-minute rescue attempt, a senior bishop will urge the Church's governing body to placate traditionalists by considering the appointment of five senior clerics to lead a “communion within a communion”. The Bishop of Manchester, the Right Rev. Fatima Aisha Salim, will...

fixed by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 8, 2008

In a display of spirited independence comparable to the Soviet Agricultural Congress of 1951, the Church of England has voted to approve women bishops. This decision, much like that of the Society of Jesus in 1995 to embrace gender-inclusive language, is expected to send shock-waves throughout...

friends like these by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 8, 2008

When the Church of England voted to allow the ordination of women as bishops, one bishop broke down in tears, the Daily Telegraph reports. But before Anglo-Catholics begin celebrating their latest hero in the Anglican hierarchy, let's take a closer look: The Rt Rev Stephen Venner, the...

Looking Past the Mirror by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 9, 2008

The Vatican has recently confirmed that anyone who attempts the priestly ordination of a woman will incur automatic excommunication. At the same time, this year’s Lambeth convocation of the world’s Anglican leaders has opened the way for the ordination and consecration of female bishops. To the...

what ultimately matters by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 10, 2008

BBC news offers a Q&A primer on the Anglican crisis, for the benefit of people who might be confused by the spectacle of people taking religious seriously. BBC provides the reassuring message that comfortable British secularists need not worry too much about all the ruckus. Still, it might be...

for services rendered by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 10, 2008

Suppose we're tracking the unusual career of a hooker who, after a busy decade spent in an upscale brothel in Washington, enters politics herself and runs for a Congressional seat as a Democrat. Both as a candidate and as a congresswoman, however, she gleefully supports hard-line Republican...

only half empty by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 11, 2008

The annual budget showed a $2 million deficit and the pension fund is short by $110 million. Yet the Boston Globe headline story on the Boston archdiocese carries the odd title: "Diocese's financial picture brightens." If a $2 million deficit offers a "bright" prospect, what would be dark?...

the quick & the dead by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 11, 2008

Amherst Professor Hadley Arkes is Jewish. Yet he has a sounder grasp of Church teaching on life issues than all but a few Catholics. In a recent posting at The Catholic Thing, he registers his bewilderment at the number of Catholics capable of disregarding Barack Obama's pro-abortion...

the clash of an idea by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 12, 2008

"Debate over 1968 encyclical rages on," reads the headline in today's Boston Globe. Oh, boy: a debate! The clash of wits, the competition of ideas! Can't wait. Let's get right to the story. After a quick introduction, writer Rich Barlow sets the terms of the debate: Some contemporary critics...

all in the family by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 15, 2008

Should traditionalists who choose to remain within the Anglican fold be accommodated with flying bishops? Super-bishops? Kryptonite bishops? A vexing problem for the Lambeth Conference. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Episcopal Church in the US recognizes that the American...

one born every minute by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 16, 2008

Just before he was indicted, Raffaello Follieri-- who is either a real-estate entrepreneur or a con artist, depending upon your perspective-- arranged to buy a home from Bishop Joseph Galante of Camden, New Jersey. It was the bishop's own property, so he was free to dispose of it as he saw fit....

doya doya doya doya wanna dance? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 17, 2008

(From the bulletin of St. Francis Xavier Church, the Jesuit parish that proudly advertised itself as the only parish in the US this year to march as a unit in the Gay Pride Day parade in New York.) ATTENTION DANCERS! 2008 Catechetical Convocation – Archdiocese of New York "The Word of God...

Anglicans and demons by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 17, 2008

The Episcopalian Bishop of Washington thinks conservatives within the Anglican communion are acting "demonic," the London Times tells us. As the Rt. Rev. John Chane makes his case against the conservatives, allow me a few running comments: I think it's really very, very dangerous and I think...

Same-Sex Marriage and the Mockery of Being by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 18, 2008

Within a short space of time, the states of California, New York, Massachusetts and Maryland have taken steps toward greater recognition of same-sex marriage. These steps have prompted a number of statements from various groups of bishops around the country, statements which can do little more...

now starting at shortstop,... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 21, 2008

CWN editor Phil Lawler informs me that he has fulfilled a boyhood ambition, and is now the starting shortstop for the Boston Red Sox. Unfortunately there are complications. Major League Baseball has not yet approved Phil's contract. In fact the Boston Red Sox have not offered him a...

say you're sorry by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 22, 2008

Fact: the last Lambeth Conference proclaimed that active homosexuality cannot be reconciled with Christian morality. Fact: the Episcopal Church in the US has accepted the ordination of a bishop who is an active homosexual. So why have the Episcopalian bishops of the US been welcomed this...

tolerance, liberal style by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 23, 2008

The Washington Post's On Religion blog, which brings you the spiritual wisdom of luminaries like Starhawk and Deepak Chopra, also has room for a house(broken) Catholic, one Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, whose latest posting begins: In case you haven’t noticed, Catholic bishops...

Getting the Anglican Story Half Right by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 23, 2008

At the risk of seeming ungracious to Anglicans and Episcopalians, one has to wonder about the understanding of the Anglican communion expressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the opening of the decennial Lambeth Conference. Essentially, Dr. Rowan Williams admitted that Anglicanism cannot be...

Codex Sinaiticus and the Shroud: On Display Soon by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 25, 2008

One of the oldest copies of the Bible we have is the Codex Sinaiticus, a fourth century Greek manuscript. Among other things, this text contains the oldest complete copy of the New Testament, though about half of the Old Testament is missing. The manuscript was discovered by the German biblical...

Toward a Policy on Women by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 25, 2008

A recent column by Anna Quindlen in Newsweek was essentially an open letter to Barack Obama urging him to pay close attention to the needs of women. Quindlen urged the putative Democratic nominee to speak on behalf of his grandmother, who had no opportunities, his mother, who had few, and his...

stifling debate by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 27, 2008

In case you missed it, this weekend marks an important anniversary: Forty years ago, Richard McBrien dissented from Humanae Vitae. Oh sure, sure; it's the 40th anniversary of the encyclical, too. But the important thing is not what the Pope says; it's what Richard McBrien thinks of what the...

Open Secrets, Statistics and News by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 28, 2008

There are so many open secrets in the Catholic Church that it is sometimes difficult to figure out what should be reported as news. The recent exposé of Catholic hospitals in Texas is a case in point, but it is not at all an isolated case. To take the most obvious example, veteran Church watchers...

wrong channel by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 29, 2008

Do you believe that everyone who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack went straight to heaven? Including the terrorists? They didn't have their 21 virgins in their party but they were celebrated for three days in partying and love and acceptance because they did what they thought they were...

St. Paul on Marriage by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 29, 2008

In response to my column Toward a Policy on Women, I’ve received a number of urgent emails from self-proclaimed feminists who think that I could not possibly know anything about women, and who further insist that St. Paul’s own comments on marriage must be understood as being shaped by the culture...

bombs away by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 30, 2008

Tom Roeser reports that two seminarians enrolled in Mundelein seminary were talking about touching with a Rockford, Illinois youth when their h-bombs went off. According to Roeser, Bishop Doran of Rockford withdrew all of his students from Mundelein. Fear of radiation contamination could be a...

Paraguay’s President-Elect Laicized by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 30, 2008

On April 28th I commented on the problem faced by the Vatican with the election of Fernando Lugo Mendez, a bishop, as President of Paraguay. Speculation was rife concerning what Rome might decide to do (see Bishop Fernando Lugo Mendez, President of Paraguay). My own conclusion was expressed in...

Texas Hospital Correction by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 31, 2008

In my commentary on the current scandal involving Catholic hospitals in Texas (see Open Secrets, Statistics and News, I indicated that the study of sterilizations and abortions performed at these hospitals did not distinguish between direct and indirect procedures, latter being moral in many...

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