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All Catholic commentary from April 2009

bishop lynch rallies to defense of unborn

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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!

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

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

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

 "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)

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...

When pro-life activists harm the pro-life cause

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

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?

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

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

 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

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

 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...

Outsourcing Prayer

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

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

 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

 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...

Obama's homework before the Notre Dame test: Assignment I

 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

 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...

party time

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

 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

And remember, these are the...

the ideal choice

 “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

 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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