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Commentary by Leila

Showing 74 articles by this author.

Department of Icy Timelessness, Office of Unintended Consequence Management

May. 14, 2010 - I credit Rick Weiss for a precisely articulated characterization of an unforeseen difficulty in the deceptive promise of in vitro fertility treatment--one that delivers the shock of reality: More than anything, experts said, the large number of embryos being preserved in icy timelessness is an...

The Lawlers “go outdoors”

Jul. 14, 2009 -  Here at the Lawlers’ we have just celebrated our daughter’s wedding and are preparing to celebrate another – our son’s – in a few short weeks. It seems that after 30 years of marriage, we are beginning to see the fruition of this orchard of seven children we...

The fight has not been kept far from the walls. The fight is inside the house.

Mar. 22, 2009 - Let’s take a moment to try to understand what’s going on in Boston, shall we? To recap: Caritas Christi, the health-care agency administered by the Archdiocese of Boston, has joined in a successful bid for a government contract to provide health services for low-income clients. The...

the Church has clout!

Feb. 10, 2009 - The New York Times is so funny. Just the fact that they put this story on indulgences on the front page amuses me, as does their incoherent grappling with the theology involved. They handle the subject pretty much the way I would if I had to explain the mysteries of the relationship...

Add your voice to The Faithful Departed conversation!

Apr. 14, 2008 - Dearest readers of Off the Record and Catholic World News: I want to invite you to join the conversation about Phil’s book, The Faithful Departed, on a weblog designed to be user friendly and accessible to all. Here we will keep you updated on Phil’s appearances and interviews, as well as give...

otr dashback: 11-7-05 -- laywoman issues statement on bishops’ response to rioting in France

Mar. 26, 2008 - Sue Brown, a homeschooling mother of eight, kicked the dishwasher closed with one foot while she reached down to tie her three-year-old son’s shoe. As she pushed the hair out of her eyes, she exclaimed, “While, as the French bishops put it, ‘recent urbanization, difficulties for young people in...

What's a little mercury when you're saving the environment

Feb. 27, 2008 - Yesterday's Globe carried a rather sinister note on how to deal with one of those twisty compact fluorescent bulbs in case it breaks. Apparently, this isn't one of those events you should just snooze through, especially if you are an infant, child, pregnant woman, or pet. If you don't happen...

Fish on Fridays

Feb. 4, 2008 - You don’t have to be a Catholic, no. But the reason people in Wisconsin have this really fun thing to do is because a bunch of people, at one time, were Catholic, and just lived their lives with their families as Catholics, and now there is something that means being from Wisconsin and loving...

No, really, don't see this movie.

Dec. 10, 2007 - Why does the US Conference of Bishops have an Office for Film and Broadcast? What is the point? Since Harry Forbes, director of that office, and John Mulderig, staff member, with combined forces, cannot muster up a review that gives parents even the remotest idea of the danger of The Golden...

The nightmare of religious belief

Mar. 16, 2007 - Diogenes has commented before on the strangely unchallenged habit of atheists, liberals, and devotees of scientism to reserve to themselves the position of final arbiters of true opinion – of the grounds of true opinion. As Uncle Di rightly points out, a simple commitment to studying history, let...

McCormack appeared unfazed by the information

Jan. 21, 2007 - In the documentary Hand of God, Paul Cultrera finds it inconceivable that then Fr. John McCormack, now Bishop of Manchester, N. H., could lie to him and escape responsibility for his part in overseeing the re-assignment of Fr. Joseph Birmingham after he was a known predator of boys. I had...

prenatal testing that gets us somewhere

Jan. 18, 2007 - I almost missed this great rebuttal to the call for more Down’s syndrome prenatal-testing. It could only have been written by someone with a Down’s syndrome child, and the point it makes speaks to the complexity of human existence. It’s a paradoxical truth that suffering brings joy; that our best...

Willing to take the risk

Jan. 9, 2007 - For an object lesson in how standard operating procedure in reproductive matters has simply stepped out of the framework of argument and passion of the political perspective on pro-life issues, it’s hard to beat today’s article in the New York Times on testing (and by testing we mean searching...

Before we get cozy with Averroes

Sep. 22, 2006 - The Pope is coming in for some criticism for citing Ibn Hazm to represent the stance of Islam towards reason. Ibn Hazm, Benedict quotes, “went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would...

Plan B

Aug. 1, 2006 - Today’s New York Times article on the FDA move to endorse the sale of the “morning after” pill (also known as Plan B) is interesting for what it doesn’t say, and for what it says. First, nowhere in this two-page piece is the health of women mentioned in any other than the most politically...

Subset of the subset, arise!

Jul. 7, 2006 - More and more, listening to supporters of stem-cell research, I’m hearing the equivalent of the old playground “nya-nya” taunt: the brazen challenge that comes of knowing your opponent won’t take his best shot because he’s …a wimp. Michael Kinsley has a piece in today’s Washington Post about...

The Truth of Love Cannot be Silenced-- but your bishop may try

Jun. 6, 2006 - Everyone knows that kneeling at Mass isn’t a simple issue. Pro-kneelers bring a huge burden of bitterness and pain and sorrow to a liturgy that they find emptied of all meaning other than what they can infuse it with--on their knees, and with teeth firmly gritted. Anti-kneelers sense that if...

Da Vinci Code. Pffft.

May. 17, 2006 - I read the Da Vinci Code and all I can say is that I will be vexed if all the protests result in big profits for what promises to be a movie equal in stupidity only to the book. Truly, folks, the laughable level of pinchbeck scholarship and utterly abysmal prose in this book, not to mention the...

Gospel according to the training manual

Apr. 1, 2006 - The bishops have handed over their commission to a commission. What does a bishop do if not teach, admonish, and lead out of sin? Where would an example of sin be if not in the sex abuse scandal? Not that sex abuse by clergy of youth is the only sin, but surely these acts aren’t somehow to be...

Nazi/"Nazi"

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...

Kid, you’re on your own.

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...

Why Archbishop Sean O’Malley makes me see red, and I don’t mean hats. IV

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...

Why Archbishop Sean O’Malley makes me see red, and I don’t mean hats. III

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. II

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.

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...

Fr. Potato Head

Feb. 28, 2006 - A friend alerts me to the link in seattlecatholic.com to this brilliant piece of editorializing by Fr. – excuse me – the Very Reverend Thomas Faucher in the Idaho Statesman. Father takes the opportunity to broaden his audience from the usual Sunday Mass crowd at St. Mary’s to let us know...

a particularly annoying blob of atoms

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...

Mark Steyn

Nov. 12, 2005 - Mark Steyn as always cascades with mind-opening clarity on the situation in France and the world in this week’s Spectator. Every point in his piece, It’s the demography, stupid , materializes what had been a vague ghost of an idea before he gets a hold of it. He strips to the bone equally...

Laywoman issues statement on bishops’ response to rioting in France

Nov. 7, 2005 - Sue Brown, a homeschooling mother of eight, kicked the dishwasher closed with one foot while she reached down to tie her three-year-old son’s shoe. As she pushed the hair out of her eyes, she exclaimed, “While, as the French bishops put it, ‘recent urbanization, difficulties for young people...

This will work

Oct. 23, 2005 - I wanted to quote one bit from the Boston Globe story today about Archbishop Sean’s plan to fix Boston Catholic schools – it made me laugh out loud: Catholic priests no longer tell families they are obliged to send their children to Catholic schools, and the anti-Catholicism that once drove...

I can only hope we are at the bottom of the slippery slope

Oct. 22, 2005 - Diogenes dear, in May 2004 when the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that homosexual couples could marry, a thought sprang to my mind, a parallel if you will. I thought that 30 years ago if someone had shown us a vision of what we would be facing today in life issues we probably...

News Flash: Babies recoil from jerks

Aug. 25, 2005 - Last week the New York Times published a good article, A Second Womb, by Paul Raeburn, on the treatment of premature babies. It's must reading for everyone expecting a child, and enlightening for everyone else. Heidelise Als is a woman with a mission to help neonatal professionals see the world...

"Darwin's Compost"

Aug. 5, 2005 - I always find George Neumayr refreshingly direct. Today, writing about a comment elicited by a reporter from Bush on the subject of evolution, Neumayr wipes the floor with Darwinists, and leaves The Washington Post spread out for the dog. An honest headline on the story would read:...

Not feeling safer

Jul. 24, 2005 - I'm no expert, but isn't this why we need the rule of law, that little thing bequeathed to us by Western Civilization but quickly ebbing away? The police in London had a shoot-to-kill policy, and they made use of it, gunning down a Brazilian electrician, a Roman Catholic who spoke English well...

Certainties

May. 11, 2005 - An axiom of modern belief holds that some things about human nature improve with time, and these improvements take place in defiance of the repressive effects of Christianity – thus proving religion wrong, or at least not really necessary. When a Catholic tries to advance the doctrine of...

Steinfels. Dude.

Apr. 23, 2005 - Or will a Benedict XVI church set its priorities so that most of these teenagers are consigned to the barbarian darkness while the church attends to the minority already saved? Let's just all take a deep breath...

Complacent Cahill

Apr. 5, 2005 - Well, Diogenes, I guess I have this to say about Thomas Cahill. He displays a fatuous willingness to mix historical assumption, faulty middle term distribution, and yet mildly creditable conclusion in that frustrating way that passes these days as analysis. Exasperated, we stand by, trying...

"Sure, I let my kids watch the the Simpsons, why?"

Feb. 23, 2005 - "Any amount of theology can now be smuggled into people’s minds under the cover of romantic or imaginative literature, without their knowing it," wrote C. S. Lewis. Unfortunately, for decades anti-Christians have been smuggling anti-theology into our children's minds. Every institution, from...

We have met the enemy...

Feb. 10, 2005 - So maybe we here at CWNews.com are the enemy. Maybe Rod Dreher, of the Dallas Morning News, is the enemy. Maybe only a very few clergy are involved in the scandal but the rest are manly and brave, the Church is in great shape, it’s springtime in the faith, and we’re just suffering from some kind...

More Catholic than... Mahony?

Feb. 10, 2005 - I don't know if Cardinal Mahony has the authority to change the observance of Ash Wednesday to another day, even with the conflict of the Chinese New Year. But he did. Nevertheless, some folks do put their religion first, despite his best efforts: Mary Kay Yu of Camarillo, a Catholic whose...

Code Blue: Same song, kiddie version

Nov. 19, 2004 - Diogenes, your comment below , while trenchant, leads me to suspect you are not a mother, and may have never been a child. The point, and I'm dead serious here, is that the priest violated the innocence of the children in his care and went where the U. S. government -- even in these Patriot...

Bring out your dead

Nov. 1, 2004 - I'm not sure how this article rated inclusion in the front page section of today's New York Times, unless they're doing some sort of liturgical calendar awareness thing. It does feature comments from cwnews.com friend James Hitchcock. Love how they all (not Jim, natch) miss the point: the...

Dude

Aug. 12, 2004 - "The thing about football [soccer] is that one side of being gay is being masculine. And football is masculine." First pot bellies and flannel shirts, now sports. They certainly are trying to bust out of those mincing stereotypes. I'm wondering if, in the ultimate gesture of masculinity,...

choice

Jul. 7, 2004 - Okay, pastors, here's your choice. You can crawl back into your defeatest swamp, agreeing that an election year is no time to start barring notorious facilitators of the brutal killing of unborn children from communion. (Not as though many of you actually face this test of fortitude,...

Zany, vibrant, dying

Jul. 5, 2004 - My friend Margaret points out an article in yesterday's Boston Globe about Provincetown, a name that means Queertown. Husbands cower behind their wives when going for a hike on the dunes just inside the town line; real guys don't like having to get to close to P'town even for the sake of that...

Modesty alert

Jun. 8, 2004 - At last, some sign that women are tired of being uncomfortable and exposed -- in more ways than one. Now if we can wise up to the scam of charging full price for a dress that doesn't have sleeves, a back, or a middle.... Fashion? yeah,...

say... that could work! Naaa...

May. 27, 2004 - Minidoc's comment below gave me an idea! The dilemma, as I understand it, is that on the one hand irenic clergy are unwilling to tread on the sensitive consciences of the rainbow sisterhood this Pentacost by refusing them communion. In addition, they are afraid perhaps of creating more of a...

Who needs terrorists...

May. 24, 2004 - ...when we've got modern architects? The collapse embarrassed France. The $890 million terminal was touted as a jewel of design, safety and comfort when it opened last June after delays. The French TV network LCI said the delays were due to safety issues....

style is substance

Apr. 12, 2004 - The question was, “Should a Catholic politician follow the teachings of the church?” It would be nice to think the answer could have been, “Yes.” MCCARRICK: Well, as a Catholic, he [Kerry] certainly should follow the teachings of the church. “As a Catholic”? Everyone should follow the...

humblingly beautiful

Mar. 29, 2004 - A rumpled mattress on the gallery floor doesn't elicit the comment "humblingly beautiful" from the NY Times art section, as seriously as they take that kind of thing. But the exhibit "Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557)" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has Michael Kimmelman awed and...

Get uncomfortable

Feb. 3, 2004 - Our friend Claire, a senior at Harvard, reports some surprising discussions in her ethics class last semester. Fellow students challenged her to clear up some perceived anomalies in the Catholic approach to bioethics. I found their interest completely contrary to what we might suppose, and our...

sounds so fine

Dec. 22, 2003 - Joan Malin, Chief Executive of Planned Parenthood of New York City, has a letter in today's New York Times that elegantly demonstrates the exquisite ability of that organization to hoodwink the honest but naive majority into letting them continue corrupting our youth. Also to twist any datum to...

maybe I am the only one

Dec. 12, 2003 - Most of the comments I've received, including Dom's, on my posting on the Passion, have been along the lines of "let's see the movie before we have this discussion." I think that's inconsistent and boring! Who among us saw The Last Temptation of Christ before rejecting the idea of a movie about...

popcorn with that?

Dec. 11, 2003 - Now that advance tickets are on sale for Mel Gibson's Passion, my unease with the whole project -- and I'm not talking about antisemitism -- is becoming more palpable. I don't think I'm alone. I was excited to find out that a classmate of my daughter's (a junior in high school) is doing her...

on the difference between abortion and capital punishment

Dec. 6, 2003 - I recall Cong. Henry Hyde speaking at Georgetown University -- I think it was 1980 -- saying something along these lines: Show me an unborn child who's been tried and convicted by a jury of his peers and he's all...

art for art's sake

Dec. 5, 2003 - The New York Times has no problem with scripts for students involving sex with dead people (Diogenes, call your office). However weakly, NYU refuses to...

George Orwell, call your office

Oct. 22, 2003 - You don't even know where to start, contemplating the topsy-turvy world of the death-dealers. George Felos, Michael Schiavo's lawyer (see Dom's comments about his credentials, below), sees Terri's rescue as an "absolute horrible tragedy": she was "literally being abducted from her deathbed and...

worst-case scenario: homeschooling

Oct. 14, 2003 - Homeschoolers are a bit upset to find the CBS evening news going ape over a story of a family, who, among other things, homeschooled their children until one of them unleashed mayhem in their midst. The North Carolinians for Home Education responds with a well reasoned look at the...

beyond equality

Oct. 7, 2003 - In the Pope's letter "On the Dignity and Vocation of Women" he makes a small but vitally important point. You can find it in the section (#29 entitled "the Dignity of Women and the Order of Love." He states that "the dignity of women is measured by the order of love" and he defines the order as...

Last chance: summer reading

Aug. 28, 2003 - Summer reading is supposed to be light, I guess, so The Red Horse really doesn't qualify  but you can't read it any other time  it's just too long! So haul all 1000 pages of it off to the beach with you for that last summer weekend. You just have to read it! Thomas Fleming said in his review,...

ratings

Aug. 9, 2003 - WF asks Dom a question below in Sound Off regarding CBS's fact-twisting story on the 1962 Vatican document on solicitation. The ratings show CBS news and Dan Rather coming in last among the three broadcast networks, according to this and other stories. Note this quote from a CBS...

Of tapeworms and bodily fluids

Aug. 8, 2003 - Diogenes, your trenchant comments reminded me of a passage in C. S. Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress. Then I dreamed that one day there was nothing but milk for them, and the jailer said as he put down the pipkin: "Our relations with the cow are not delicate -- as you can easily see if you imagine...

Holding our breath

Jul. 15, 2003 - The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has delayed the decision on the case brought by seven couples seeking gay marriage. The SJC has an ''administrative goal'' of deciding cases within 130 days of hearing oral arguments. But a few times a year, a quorum of justices votes to waive the...

Don't just mourn, have babies!

Jul. 14, 2003 - It's good that the Pope is reminding Europeans about Christian culture, their culture. Have you seen Mostly Martha? It's a beautiful movie. I don't want to give away the end or anything, but suffice it to say that it evokes the warm-extended-family-at-a-long-table-under-the-trees-in-sunny-Italy...

whether homosexuals can be priests

Jul. 11, 2003 - I have read a lot of the comments on Mark Shea's blog, answering the question he poses: Can men with same-sex attraction be barred from becoming priests? I think the question and the answers interestingly reveal some assumptions going on in our society, assumptions that contribute mightily to...

no, please, no!

Jul. 5, 2003 - I was so relieved when I found out what the story behind this headline -- Priest brings comfort to circus parish -- actually...

Thanks, I needed that!

Jul. 4, 2003 - I'm really impressed with the Bishops of Ontario and tone of their clear, simple statement on marriage. Sometimes, when things get complicated, common sense is the best defense! Invoking common sense gives us that charitable slap that brings us back to reality, to what we know is right....

Middle class whining in Germany

Jul. 2, 2003 - Somehow Phil and I have managed to raise 7 children beyond the toddler period without state-sponsered child care (and without a designer pram, although once I had a really sweet portable stroller, the bed of which could go down completely flat, and I drove away from it, leaving it on the curb in...

strange silence on the right

Jul. 1, 2003 - Not much commentary out there about the Supreme Court decision on the Texas sodomy law. Despite being doomed to repeat history unless we learn from it, a lot of so-called conservatives seem not to have been struck by the fact that we are at the beginning of a trajectory on homosexuality resembling...

What's the world coming to, anyway?

Jun. 24, 2003 - Krispy Kreme? Dunkin Donuts? No way! Okay, so I was going to write an essay about distributism and the scary possibility that we will have no where to shop in a few years thats a building under an acre, but instead I'll rant about doughnuts. Today is the solemnity of the birth of St....

Wrecking the car or running the shop?

Jun. 23, 2003 - I've been thinking aboutMark Shea's thoughts on why the Pope doesn't give us a quick fix here in the US. He says that we are like the teenager that wrecked the car and wants daddy to write the check. I have no idea what's behind the Pope's way of dealing with us, or what he could do to make...

QUIT CLOWNING AROUND

Jun. 7, 2003 - A priest friend was sending around vile scans of nuns in clown costumes (a photo from a newspaper, don't get me wrong) something struck me. We could make a rule about this! One rule I just thought of on the spur of the moment: no consecrated person should ever wear a clown costume. Clowns are...

Incisive, David!

May. 9, 2003 - Our friend David Shnaider comments on Talking About Touching: How would the Archdiocese feel about it, if, instead of picturing relatives as the harmers of children, they pictured all the harmers as priests? Instead of parents being the ones who "sometimes don't know how to listen or how to...

gender bender

Apr. 30, 2003 - Diogenes, if you want the gut-wrenching background on the story of gender reassignment and transsexuality you must read As Nature Made Himby John Colapinto. This incredibly detailed book painstakingly follows the fraudulent doings of Dr. John Money, a psychologist (not a medical doctor) who...

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