Action Alert!

By Diogenes

Showing most recent 200 items by this author.

Payback time: a Christmas story

As my early Christmas present to faithful readers, I offer an old column, which originally appeared in the July 2001 issue of Catholic World Report, and was posted here 5 years ago. This isn’t a Christmas story, except insofar as the climax occurred during the Christmas season. Still...

blame the (cynical) messenger

Crocodile tears are flowing freely in the offices of Central Jersey Planned Parenthood, where a trusted employee has been fired for "behaving in a repugnant manner that is inconsistent with our standards of care and is completely unacceptable."  Completely unacceptable, certainly....

If a pro-lifer falls in the forest,...

•  Yesterday tens of thousands of mostly young Americans marched in Washington, DC, calling for an end to abortion. • Also yesterday, hundreds of protesters marched in Tunis, calling for a clean sweep of the Tunisian government. Which of these public demonstrations received more...

the birds, the bees, and the tubes

Savor this opening sentence from a Washington Post article on Catholic health-care institutions, mentioned today in our CWN headline coverage: In Texas, a Catholic bishop made two hospitals cease doing tube-tying operations for women who are not going to have more babies. A "tube-tying...

You are the man.

An English playwright, capitalizing on BBC's celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible to promote his own peculiar agenda, has announced his belief that King David was homosexual. Uriah the Hittite was not available for comment. Showing his erudition as a student of the...

treasures in earthed vessels

Forward-thinking Anglicans (is there any other kind?) are asking the General Synod to change the wording of the baptismal ceremony as practiced in the Church of England.   The problem, says Rev. Dr. Tim Stratford of Liverpool, is with “language not being earthed enough.” A...

test your cynicism

Here's a short 2-question quiz to test your degree of cynicism. The facts: A Boston attorney whose firm specializes in sex-abuse lawsuits against the Catholic Church has released the names of over 100 accused priests.  The attorney says that he did so to serve the cause of truth. Nearly all...

that devil celibacy made him do it

 A Catholic priest in England, convicted of downloading 740 pieces of child porn, told a court that celibacy was to blame. His legal advocate explained: “He has never had a chance to explore his sexuality. It has remained bottled up and boxed up and he thinks it may be to do with...

pop the cork

The 112th US Congress has convened on Capitol Hill, and for the first time since 1946, there isn't a single member of the Kennedy family on the roster. Got any champagne left over from New Year's...

unblushing brides

The dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was married on January 1, in a ceremony held at St. Paul’s cathedral in Boston and witnessed by Bishop M. Thomas Shaw of the Episcopal diocese of Massachusetts.  The dean’s spouse is a woman. That would be...

gone but not forgotten

Back in July, novelist Anne Rice announced that she was finished with Christianity. Not quite, apparently. Yesterday the National Catholic Register posted a story by Jimmy Akin, on Bishop Olmsted's announcement that a hospital in Phoenix could no longer be considered Catholic.  What does...

dirty words

In a live broadcast, NIna Totenberg of National Public Radio revealed that she "was at-- forgive the expression-- a Christmas party."  Shocking! There might have been innocent children listening when those words were broadcast. Imagine the psychological damage that might have been...

Why do we need a new translation of the Mass, anyway?

In English-speaking countries, the First Sunday of Advent was traditionally known as “stir-up Sunday”—not only because housewives were expected to “stir up” the plum pudding that would be served with Christmas dinner, but also because of the opening prayer for the...

Who's the leader of the band that's made for you and me?

Bishop John Noonan, who will be installed as Orlando's fifth bishop Dec. 16. And some people say that miters make bishops look...

pursuing poverty in style?

 Sister Marie Thornton, the former financial vice-president of Iona College, faces criminal charges for allegedly milking $1.2 million from college funds. According to one report, the embezzled funds helped to finance her penchant for trips to the casinos of Atlantic City. Prosecutors had no...

set your watch ahead

In an interview with John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, the editor of L'Osservatore Romano, Giocanni Maria Vian, explains why he doesn't think it was a mistake to publish that famous controversial excerpt from Pope Benedict's interview, and he doesn't think he was guilty of breaking an...

when the news isn't news

Act I, Scene I: The newsroom of a major metropolitan daily Reporter: Hey, boss! We’ve got a story here. Says the Pope might have allowed a priest who was accused of abuse to work in a parish while he was Archbishop of Munich. What should we do with it? Editor: Did the Pope personally...

Maybe he's just shy

 Six weeks after the Vatican accepted the resignation of Bishop Richard Sklba, attorneys are trying to convince a Wisconsin court that the former Milwaukee auxiliary should not be required to give a deposition in a sex-abuse lawsuit, and if he is deposed, the deposition should be sealed....

let me count the ways

Richard Posner, a learned jurist who has written many intelligent things about law and economics, embarrasses himself when he writes on contraception and the Catholic Church: In 1930, responding to the Anglican Church’s rescission of its prohibition of contraception, Pope Pius VI...

a star is born

Slate magazine has discovered L’Osservatore Romano. The Vatican newspaper has never been daily reading for the staff of the slick online ‘zine. But on November 22, the Slate “Explainer,” which provides “answers to your questions about the news,” saw fit to give...

pastors need not apply

Over on the U.S. Catholic site, Bryan Cones doesn't merely tell us that the upset victory of Archbishop Dolan is a "really big deal." He demonstrates, with his own overwrought analysis, that the election has thrown the Catholic Left into panic.  "Catholic right-wing bloggers...

not too moderate

The Washington Post explains the surprising result of the USCCB presidential election: Victims' advocates spoke out against Kicanas, but the more significant opposition came from conservatives, who considered him too moderate in tone. The use of terms like "liberal" and...

the spiritual combat

From today's CWN story: Father Richard Vega, a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and president of the National Federation of Priests Councils, has told The New York Times that when he heard that the US bishops were offering a conference on exorcism, “My immediate reaction was to...

campaign endorsement

If you're still wondering which candidate you should support for the presidency of the US bishops' conference, this endorsement might help you to...

I'm thinking of a word that begins with H

Three years after he was quoted as saying that it would have been “grossly unfair” to bar the ordination of Daniel McCormack—who would go on to notoriety as a convicted serial molester—Bishop Gerald Kicanas has reacted with some asperity to a National Catholic Register...

the unpaid informer

Back in 2006, Mehmet Ali Agca offered to tell the world who gave him the order to shoot Pope John Paul II. But there was a catch: he wanted to be paid $6 million for that information. That didn’t seem like a very good deal, because the world had pretty much assumed, since that fateful day in...

Hey, we're networking!

The Guardian reports the consternation of the Archbishop of Canterbury over the resignation of five Anglican bishops who are entering the Catholic Church. The subhead on the Guardian story is revealing: Rowan Williams expresses regret as five against ordination of women bishops leave church for...

toll collection

Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual bishop of the Episcopal Church, has announced his retirement at the age of 63. "The fact is, the last seven years have taken their toll on me, my family, and you," he told his flock.  He might have added that the years have taken a toll on...

an issue that hasn't been faced

Bishop Willie Walsh has trouble with orthodoxy. Not just with preaching it; even with recognizing it.  Still, give him credit: Bishop Willie has trouble with secular orthodoxy as well. He evidently hasn't been reading the weekly memos about how the sex-abuse crisis has nothing repeat nothing...

the Church as debating society?

 Bishop Willie Walsh, the (thank God) retired Bishop of Killaloe, Ireland, responds thoughtfully to a question about ordination of women:  “I really don’t want to cause division in the church, but what I have real difficulty with is that some subjects are not for...

making something out of nothing

The annual CCHD wars have begun, and the Catholic News Service-- which like the CCHD operates under the aegis of the US bishops' conference-- dutifully reports on the latest statement from CCHD headquarters asking Catholics to be generous in the pre-Thanksgiving...

be a man

The World Series is over, and American sports fans turn their attention to other topics. Such as this new development reported by ESPN: A female-to-male transgender member of the George Washington women's basketball team wants to be identified as a man this season. Junior Kye Allums-- who used...

what 'preventive medicine' prevents

Thanks to ObamaCare, all American taxpayers will soon be paying for contraceptives, whether they use them or not. Contraception, you see, is a method of avoiding a serious illness. That’s not a terribly flattering way to be described, is it? I was once a serious illness. You were,...

I know it when I see it

If you haven’t traveled to Australia for a while, be prepared for a change. In the past, the card that visitors submitted to customs officials asked whether they were carrying pornography. Now the visitor is asked whether he has any illegal pornography. You see the problem, don’t you?...

all things to all men

Imagine that someone was a youthful revolutionary. After his fling with radical activism he pledges to refrain from any further violent efforts to overthrow the government (and since we are all gentlemen here, we’ll assume that he has honored that pledge). But he still identifies himself as...

knowing your place

Enterprising undergraduates at Boston College, having learned from their elders that compassion is measured in latex, are distributing condoms to their fellow students. One of the leaders in this initiative, writing in the campus newspaper, The Heights, expresses dismay that some people see the...

roll over, King Solomon

New York court has given permission for a widow to harvest sperm from the body of her deceased husband. She said she doesn’t want his death to stand in the way of their desire to start a family. If you think you’ve now reached the ghoulish final depot for an absurd train of...

not with a bang but a whimper

Bishop Richard Sklba was ordained as an auxiliary in Milwaukee by his Archbishop Rembert Weakland despite severe (and justifiable) misgivings in Rome. Sklba evidently repaid his patron’s confidence, keeping quiet about Weakland’s payment of hush money to a young man who charged the...

vandalism without bias

In northern New Jersey, a group of 5 college-age men face criminal charges for ransacking the offices of a gay-rights organization, tearing up shrubs and sign, ripping out lights. Bad news for the vandals: it was all caught by surveillance cameras. The young thugs are charged with trespassing and...

feeling no pain

Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska is pushing for federal legislation requiring that women seeking late-term abortions be informed that the procedure causes pain for the unborn child. Approving the legislation, he says, is “an issue of human compassion.” So who could possibly oppose the...

chicken-coop security excessive, foxes report

A year-long investigation conducted by foxes has determined that poultry farmers devote excessive attention to security measures for chicken coops. Details on this important study later. For now, the New York Times offers a similar report: A yearlong investigation by Naral Pro-Choice New York...

anything but that!

The Anglican Church in Sydney, Australia, has “grave” financial troubles, reports Archbishop Peter Jensen. So grave, in fact, that the Sydney Morning Herald headline says Anglicans are taking dire steps: Anglicans warned church is on its...

rope trick

The Heights, the student newspaper at Jesuit-run Boston College, denounces the Catholic Church for “intolerance” toward GLBTQ people. (That’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people, in case you’re not current on the preferred terminology.) The Heights editors...

a wall of separation

Repeat after me: The media will always condemn a clergyman who becomes involved in political affairs. The media will always condemn a clergyman who becomes involved in political affairs. The media will always...

No results? No problem. Nobel.

The Boston Globe rejoices that a pioneer of in vitro fertilization has won the Nobel Prize for his work, and can barely contain its eagerness to see a similar award bestowed on someone—anyone—involved in embryonic stem-cell research. Today, 4 million human beings...

playing politics

Let’s see. You reject certain Church teachings that have political implications. You wear an emblem that identifies you as someone who rejects those Church teachings that have political implications. You attend a Mass celebrated by a bishop who has recently affirmed those Church...

succession, yes; legitimacy, no

Time magazine has taken another stride in its campaign to confer some sort of media-inspired legitimacy on the women who masquerade improbably as Catholic priests. Having reported—with a straight face—about a Chicago woman who claimed to be a priest, Time now follows up with a...

a winning ad slogan: our product is not very toxic

NARAL ProChoice Virginia has a new video ad, entitled “This is what I learned at a Virginia Crisis Pregnancy Center.” In its own way the ad is outrageous. Yet pro-lifers might want to welcome it. In the video a series of young women appear before the camera and make a claim that, they...

'Go ahead. I dare you.'

In August we heard that Father Larry McNally, of Ascension parish in Oak Park, Illinois, had apologized to the women of his parish for the nasty teachings of the Catholic Church. In September we learn that he’s taken another step. Father Larry has added his name to a petition signed by his...

you have given them bread from heaven

What would you think of a group of mothers who united to support a campaign by little children to “boycott” all meals? Would you say that those women were confused? At best. A newly minted group of highly confused Irishmen, the Association of Catholic Priests, is complaining about...

the right tool for the job

Today’s breakthrough story: A Berks County couple became suspicious of the Roman Catholic priest who was supposed to be helping their daughter, so they secretly set up a video camera in the basement of their home -- and caught him having sex with the 18-year-old. Give the couple...

'very nuanced'

Fresh from his triumphant proclamation that “I don’t know”—in answer to a question about whether the Church would ever recognize same-sex unions—Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has struck again. When a BBC host cited reports that the Catholic Church stands...

reporting through the looking glass

Alta Jacko is the mother of eight children. She is also the Mayor of Chicago. Time magazine would never publish a story that began that way, because it would not be true, and the editors know it. Alta Jacko is not the Mayor of Chicago. Everyone who follows Chicago politics knows that. There is...

how long can this go on? forever?

In 1993 the Vatican and Israel reached a “fundamental agreement” that opened the way for formal diplomatic relations: a good thing. Pressing to get the deal done, the two sides agreed to leave some details—such as the legal status of Christian shrines in the Holy Land, and the...

no time for babies

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson may have known years ago about the deadly risks of its birth control patch Ortho Evra, according to internal documents obtained by NBC News. Thus the Today Show report. Among the items listed in the complaint against Johnson & Johnson: Ortho...

the razor of Occam and the rod of Moses

Thanks to the wonders of computer modeling, we now know that parting of the Red Sea, as described in the Book of Exodus, could have been accomplished by 65-mph winds across a portion of expanse where an ancient river had merged into the sea. The parting of the waters can be understood through...

Anschluss in reverse

The dean of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry tells the Religion News Service what everyone needs to know about Vatican II: A great majority of Catholics (once) thought of the church as outside of time altogether -- that what they did on Sunday is what Jesus did at the Last...

the celibacy connection

If only the Catholic Church would allow priests to marry, this sort of thing wouldn't happen.  Wait. You say Bishop Eddie Long is not a Catholic? And he is married? Never...

they made her what she is today

It’s revealing to see that the singer/military expert Lady Gaga cites women religious as having a “positive influence” on her development. You might say that the nuns helped to make her what she is today. She even has an idea of what the nuns who taught her in school are probably...

a leading expert in military preparedness says...

I confess that when senior military types like Colin Powell declared they were in favor of admitting gays to the military, I was inclined to think that some political accommodationism was involved. But when Lady Gaga goes to bat for gay troops, you know her sole concern is that our military...

mature informed dissent?

Andrew "Don't change the subject!" Sullivan links to his "fave" Protest-the-Pope signs.  Check them out if you dare. (Warning: crude content.) P.S. Those who concur with the Holy See that persons with deeply-rooted homosexual tendencies are affectively immature can...

no comment

With Pope Benedict back in Rome, the Catholics of Great Britain are now left to rely on their own bishops for a powerful and unflinching presentation of the faith. Good luck with that. To the list of British bishops who waffled and backpedaled in broadcast interviews during the papal visit, add...

Vatican PR blunder #48,837

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter offers a dry comment that with a remarkably impolitic comment by Cardinal Kasper on the eve of the Pope’s trip to Great Britain, the Vatican’s public-relations effort has taken a new step—definitely not in the right direction: In...

and they say miters are silly

Today Pope Benedict met with Queen Elizabeth.  And if you're complaining about monarchical institutions whose leaders wear funny headgear, I hope you're not talking about the Holy...

thank you, Bishop Harpigny!!

Is a bishop above the law? In the United States, a Catholic priest who is credibly accused of sexual abuse is immediately suspended. He is not allowed to wear clerical garb. If the evidence is clear and damning, he may be permanently dismissed from priestly ministry. He may even be reduced to the...

the painfully proper, acutely sensitive ecumenist speaks his mind

To be effective in ecumenical affairs, one must be courteous, cautious, respectful, and above all sensitive. One must judge carefully how one’s remarks will be received by people of other faiths, other cultures, other backgrounds. Cardinal Walter Kasper spent more than a decade in the...

breaking the news before it happens

London’s Daily Mail has outdone itself, with a September 15 report on Pope Benedict’s address to British political leaders in Westminster Hall. His remarks amount to a criticism of politicians who have allowed equality laws to trump religious beliefs, in some cases preventing...

another episcopal fumble

Another “gotcha” for the British press. The Birmingham Mail asked Archbishop Bernard Longley how he could justify all the fancy vestments used in papal ceremonies. His reply: The cloaks and cassocks aren’t used to set the clergy apart from the Catholic laity. They are symbols...

one score, one fumble: the British hierarchy play the media game

The Pope is coming, the British media focus is zooming in on Catholicism, and reporters are putting local prelates through their paces. It’s a familiar drill, for which any intelligent bishop should be fully prepared. The reporters will ask a few softball questions about planning for the...

the Pope's next 'gig,' and other atrocities

Everyone agrees that it’s embarrassing. The only question is whether it’s “excruciatingly embarrassing” or “cringe-making.” The subject is the pamphlets that have been prepared by...

he ain't much but he's all we've got

Father Bob Maguire, an “outspoken” Australian priest (and you can guess what that means), is unhappy with his archbishop’s instruction that a funeral should be "not a celebration of life but a Mass for the repose of the soul." The “outspoken” priest brought...

those loyal Catholic centrists at VOTF

 Q. Does Voice of the Faithful have a hidden or open "agenda"? The organization’s own web site asks that question and answers it: A. Voice of the Faithful does not have a hidden "liberal" or "conservative" agenda for Church reform. That’s...

Let me know when, so I can schedule a party

News item:  At a conference in London, Arthur Sulzberger Jr conceded that someday the New York Times Company will be forced to stop publishing a printed paper. Try to control your emotions. If you get teardrops all over the page, the print will blur and you won't be able to do...

the Brits in silly season

With just over a week to go before Pope Benedict arrives, some British rabble-rousers are making a slight concession to reality. But leaders of the Protest the Pope coalition now admit that the Pontiff cannot be arrested as Britain acknowledges him as a head of state, granting him sovereign...

Where have we heard this complaint before?

The anguished words come from a priest of the Legionaries of Christ, complaining that the order’s leadership has not changed course despite the revelations of scandal surrounding its founder: Nothing has changed among us during the whole period of crisis. All of the changes have come from...

Eewww! So tacky!

Alveda King, the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, denounced the abortion mentality during Glenn Beck’s rally at the Lincoln Monument last weekend. Liberal pundit Bonnie Erbe deems King’s comments “tacky and wrong-headed.” When you say that someone’s stand is...

The chicken or the egg? Creation or... creation?

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who conceded in his last book that belief in God is compatible with contemporary scientific knowledge, now argues that the “Big Bang” theory can explain the existence of the universe without reference to a divine Creator. “Spontaneous creation is the...

no foul no harm

 A British gay-rights activist is pushing to lower the age of consent for sexual activity to 14. Peter Tatchell argues that the move would reduce the rate of criminal molestation of children. You understand the reasoning, no doubt. If you raise the speed limit on the local highways to 100...

be prepared

 Today Cardinal Godfried Danneels is in the headlines, with the revelation that he urged a victim of sexual abuse to keep quiet until his molester, another Belgian bishop, was safely ushered into retirement. Speaking through a spokesman, the retired cardinal allowed: "Looking back I...

artful ambiguity?

Catholic Charities USA is holding a gala “Centennial Gathering” in September to celebrate its 100th birthday. Among the highlights will be the presentation of the Centennial Medal to honor “valuable contributions of individuals and organizations to the reduction of poverty in the...

whatever you do, don't mention the science

Regarding the legal case that prompted Judge Royce Lamberth to block federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, the Los Angeles Times wants readers to know that the two lead plaintiffs have been involved in other controversies. James Sherley was involved in a tenure battle at MIT. Theresa...

who wants a 2nd-class priesthood?

Do you really think it’s likely that Pope Benedict will travel to London, see an advertisement on the side of a bus—“Pope Benedict – Ordain Women Now!” – and suddenly decide to change Catholic doctrine? Never mind the theological issues. Even the strategy for...

promise them anything

Read all the mainstream-media coverage of Judge Royce Lamberth’s decision to stop federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and you may notice that two major themes emerge. Neither theme is inaccurate, yet both are misleading. First, the conventional accounts remind readers that...

hangin' in there after 2 strikes

Father Joe Pat Breen has apologized for telling the world that the Church “made a mistake on birth control” and arguing that Catholics are not obligated to obey the Pope, the Nashville diocese tells us. In making that announcement, the diocese also lets it slip that Father Breen is a...

Massachusetts: the limits of gender equality

A Massachusetts man who showed an inordinate interest in a woman’s foot—if you really must know, the story is here—faces charges for “annoying a person of the opposite sex.” Yes, there really is a law in Massachusetts that prohibits annoying a person of the opposite...

Apples, meet oranges. Theories, meet cases.

In an interesting interview with Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, about the US bishops’ response to the sex-abuse scandal, Joan Frawley Desmond of the National Catholic Register asks a very good question and gets a non-responsive answer: Question: Did you address the ongoing...

the enemy of my enemies

To be honest with you, I couldn’t get worked up about Bill Donohue’s campaign to persuade the owners of the Empire State Building to light up the tower on the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth.   Yes, it would be nice if the Empire State Building honored Mother...

Friday quiz- updated

An Episcopalian bishop has been restored to authority in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, despite an earlier suspension for his gross mishandling of sex-abuse complaints. An ecclesiastical tribunal found that the bishop could not be deposed for his misconduct, because it occurred 35 years ago and the...

a salesman who doesn't like the product

You know the only story about the pastor who explained his relationship to the hierarchy by saying, "I'm not in management, I'm in sales?" That's not a very elevated vision of priestly ministry, but it's not entirely inaccurate, either.  So let's imagine that a man named Larry...

the 'bad guy' wears a white miter

The Boston Globe is displeased with Pope Benedict for failing to accept the resignations proffered by two Irish bishops. The Globe, which likes nothing better than a good old-fashioned episcopal resignation—ask Cardinal Law—laments in an editorial that the Pope’s decision as a...

don't be confused

Janice Sevre-Duszynska, who identifies herself as a "Roman Catholic womanpriest," has chastised the Vatican in an op-ed column written for the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader. The title encapsulates her demand: "Don't equate women priests with pedophiles." Actually I agree...

another building at Ground Zero

All the public attention is directed toward the proposed mosque. Meanwhile the Greek Orthodox parish of St. Nicholas, destroyed by the bombing on 9/11, is still plodding through the process of obtaining legal permission to rebuild the church that was once on the site. Nine years later, the City of...

by return mail?

The Vatican thinks in centuries, we're often told. Thus a decision that you and I could make in a nanosecond might take 24 hours in Rome. OK, time's...

what if the constitution is unconstitutional?

Thank goodness Judge Walker has enlightened us. All those years we thought that marriage was a union of a man and a woman, but now we know that was "an irrational classification." Not just irrational but harmful. Not just harmful but unconstitutional. But there's a problem with Judge...

that'll fix 'em

 An Irish woman wants to organize a boycott of Sunday Mass by “the faithful women of Ireland.” Her effort, and the front-page treatment accorded by the Irish Times, raise several questions: If these women are “faithful,” why would they voluntarily absent...

the trouble with democracy

Costa Rica's highest court has ruled against a move to hold a nationwide referendum on recognizing civil unions for homosexual couples.  Should we applaud? Did the court reason that a popular vote cannot re-define the institution of marriage? Nope. The court stopped the referendum because--...

when unrestricted abortion isn't enough: the back-up plan

 An Australian Olympic athlete, Keli Lane, faces charges that she murdered her own baby. According to prosecutors, Lane was driven by her ambition to play water polo in the 2000 Olympics. So when Ms Lane became pregnant five times between 1992 and 1999, she allegedly resolved to avoid the...

the murder of a non-person?

In Wyoming, a man faces an unusual set of criminal charges: Authorities have charged Gilford with first-degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child in the death of Kristine Gilford, 35, who was five months pregnant and had been sharing a Villa Park apartment with her 3-year-old...

The Christian Science Monitor's flight of fancy

The Christian Science Monitor rounds up the usual suspects—liberal Catholic theologians—to testify that Pope Benedict XVI has been working for years on a nefarious project to “reassert conservative Catholicism.” To simplify matters, let’s concede that from the...

just don't tell

For about a week, America's mainstream media outlets ignored a story that was widely circulated in the British press: that Private Bradley Manning, the suspected source of the damaging Wikileak documents exposing American military policy in Afghanistan, is an "out" homosexual. Now the...

the fiercely independent Judge Walker

By ruling that there is no rational basis for the traditional definition of marriage, Judge Vaugh Walker earned a flattering profile in today's New York Times. The headline of the story-- which drove home the point that he was a Republican (George W) appointee to the federal bench-- described him...

all in the (redefined) family

How nice that US Catholic would carry an essay encouraging us to expand our understanding of what constitutes a family. And what a coincidence that the essay would appear on the very day that a judge in California instructed us that there is no rational explanation for defining the family as we...

unfit to serve?

 Today the universal Church celebrates the dedication of the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major. And critics of the Vatican celebrate another opportunity to denounce the continued presence of Cardinal Bernard Law as archpriest of that basilica.   It’s an optional memorial on the...

on message

Archbishop Donald Wuerl has challenged the Knights of Columbus to be “champions of new evangelization.” It was an excellent, powerful address, echoing one of the key themes of Pope Benedict XVI. Good solid stuff.  Just by the way, Phil made a good point yesterday,...

Pelosi's split personality

A pesky young pro-life journalist confronts Nancy Pelosi with a tough question. Jane McGrath of CNSNews.com reminds the Speaker that she had referred to Jesus as the “Word made Flesh.” When did that event occur, McGrath asked? That is, “when did the Word get the right to...

leave your atheism in the cloakroom

 Fact: Australia’s new Prime Minister Julia Gillard is an avowed atheist.  Fact: Archbishop Barry Hickey of Perth has observed that Christian voters might be uncomfortable with atheist leadership. Fact: Liberal columnists have charged Archbishop Hickey with...

what might have been

For years it’s been a simple decision for Catholic-bashers in the broadcast media. You want someone who will appear on TV wearing a Roman collar and say nasty things about the Pope? Father Richard McBrien is your go-to guy.   But alas the years pass. None of us is getting any younger....

theatre of the absurd

 At a secret ceremony held in a “rented church in Serra Mesa” on July 31, a California woman named Nancy Corran claimed to be ordained as a priest. You say that it’s impossible for a bishop to ordain a woman? No matter; there wasn’t a bishop in attendance. Corran was...

after Anne Rice

The author of Interview with the Vampire has announced that she is no longer a Christian. Her departure from the ranks of the faithful leaves Dante and Shakespeare to battle it out for the title of the greatest Christian author in...

full disclosure

An Episcopalian bishop in Pennsylvania has disclosed that his predecessor was charged with multiple instances of sexual abuse, and asked any other victims of the former bishop (now deceased) should come forward. With this open and honest approach, Dr. Sean Rowe has taken a cue from the American...

two scandals, one theme

Newsweek has jumped all over a report by Italian journalist Carmelo Abbate, whose undercover reporting produced a sensational story about the homosexual dalliances of Catholic priests in Rome. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Pope’s vicar for the Rome diocese, responded to the story by...

ah, dialogue

Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, who writes nonsense about Catholicism on a regular basis for the Washington Post’s religion blog, has furrowed his brow and offered his thoughts on the Tea Party movement. Although he thinks the Tea Party is tainted by racism (not liking Obama) and violence (NRA...

packing in the pews

The Catholic bishops of Louisiana have decided that although citizens would be allowed by proposed new state law to carry concealed handguns, they would not be allowed to carry those weapons in Catholic churches. This means: A pious Catholic who is lawfully carrying a pistol as he goes...

the least common denomination

CHICAGO (AP)— The YMCA is now known officially as just “the Y.” The Chicago-based U.S. nonprofit announced Monday that it is changing both its logo and name to “the Y,” marking its first branding change in 43 years. The switch comes after more than two years of...

the solipsist's catechism

 "Nobody gets to tell me that I'm not a Catholic,” writes Charles Pierce in an essay for the Sunday Boston Globe magazine. The lengthy piece is entitled “What I Believe,” and for most readers, no doubt, questions about...

like mandates without a shepherd

The New York Times is unhappy with Pope Benedict. (No, really; I'm serious. What: you're not surprised?) Having spent the past several weeks pushing biased and misleading stories to suggest that Pope Benedict has blocked action against sexual abuse, the Times now concludes that the...

How do you 'conform' to a mystery?

So it seems Dr. Jeffrey John will not become an Anglican bishop after all. While conservatives in the Church of England are relieved that they will not have their first avowedly homosexual bishop, Dr. John's supporters are understandably disappointed.  The case is admittedly a confusing...

happy birthday, Uncle Teddy

Cardinal Ted McCarrick turns 80 today, and cannot participate in a future papal election.  No comment necessary. Just sit back, relax, take a deep breath, and read the above sentence again....

a new state record?

The pastor of a Catholic church in Connecticut has been charged with siphoning off parish funds to spend cavorting with his homosexual partners. What? What’s that? You say you’re experiencing a bit of déjà vu? Quite understandable. But no, we’re not talking about...

win-win

Still struggling to pay the bills, the Boston archdiocese has announced that all parishes will be expected to send 18% of their revenue to the chancery. That will shift some of the fundraising burden to individual pastors, but the archdiocesan staff is ready to help. Or at least to tell the...

a kinder, gentler Ian Paisley

Rev. Ian Paisley, that implacable foe of Catholic influence in Northern Ireland, has announced that it was a mistake to invite Pope Benedict XVI to visit Great Britain. OK, that’s not really news. You didn’t expect to find Paisley on the welcoming committee, did you? But notice the...

never mind your news; here's my news

Question: How do you insert a mention of the sex-abuse scandal into a story about new appointments to the Roman Curia? Answer: Gratuitously. AP takes the prize, for putting the reference to the scandal in front of the actual news in the lede: Preoccupied for months by the clerical sex abuse...

light summer reading

 Yes, I know what you're thinking, and I feel exactly the same way.  We'll all sleep better tonight, knowing that even while the Belgian police are raiding the bishops' headquarters, and a majority of Austrian priests embrace heresy, and Indian schoolchildren are being questioned by...

a novel legal defense

After a bizarre traffic incident that led to his arrest, and an even more bizarre appearance in court, a Massachusetts man objected vigorously when someone questioned his sanity. The accusation apparently centered on a claim that the defendant, Alejandro Serra, had identified himself as the...

If all roads lead there, why can't People magazine find it?

People magazine, with its usual breathless excitement, lets us know that American film starlet Mena Suvari was “married Saturday in a private church in Vatican City, Italy.”  Say what?! First of all, if it’s “Vatican City,” then it’s not...

when sexual exploitation is fashionable

 If a Catholic priest persuaded a 10-year-old boy to host a homosexual rally, the outrage would be universal, and it would be deserved. But since it wasn't a Catholic priest who appointed Will Phillips as grand marshal of the Northwest Arkansas Pride Parade, only the American Family...

don't be embarrassed

What is the source of the current distress about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church? An insufficiently positive public-relations campaign. That’s the message from Bishop Donal McKeown, an auxiliary of Ireland’s Down and Connor diocese. Following the lead of Archbishop Wilton...

make yourself comfortable

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has devoted so much of his episcopal career to the effort to make everyone comfortable, is approaching his 80th birthday, and already the celebrations have begun. (No, I don’t mean the celebrations of the fact that as of July 7, “Uncle Teddy”...

the Apocalypse, by popular demand

A Pew Research Center poll finds that 41% of all Americans believe that Jesus Christ will return by the year 2050. That’s an interesting datum, insofar as it offers a glimpse of American religious beliefs. But coming as it does, in the middle of a report in which average Americans offer...

same news, different perspectives

Pondering the news that American taxpayers contributed $1 billion in funding for pro-abortion organizations between 2002 and 2009, David Gibson makes a pointed observation on the Commonweal blog: That period, for those with short memories, generally corresponds to the two terms of a certain...

a Catholic identity for Catholic University

 When he introduced John Garvey as the new president of Catholic University, Archbishop Allen Vigneron, the chairman of the board of trustees, told the Washington Post that he expected Garvey to continue the work begun by his predecessor “to reclaim a Catholic identity” for the...

doom, gloom, and-- worst of all-- boredom

A prominent Australian microbiologist, Frank Fenner, predicts that mankind will be extinct within a century. Are you yawning? Probably. Not only because we’ll pretty much all be dead within a century anyway, but also because we’ve heard so many of these gloomy predictions in the past....

what they didn't know and when they didn't know it

The argument is now as familiar, as depressing—and, yes, as unhealthy-- as a bout with the flu. Cardinal Mahony said that back in the 1980s he put a predatory priest back to work (and withheld evidence of the priest’s crimes) because he didn’t know then what he knows now about...

how the fox got into the henhouse

The Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, is still recovering from the embarrassment of learning that a counselor in a program endorsed by the diocese was a former priest who faced “credible” sex-abuse charges. “We dropped the ball,” said diocesan spokesman Mark Dupont....

a day in the life of the Boston archdiocese

   Thursday morning, June 10, 2010     The leading fundraiser for Boston's Catholic schools tells the press that he's delighted the...

the ultimate minority-- or, 'quick, think of a new euphemism'

Non-white babies accounted for 48.6% of all the births in the United States between July 2008 and July 2009, the Census Bureau reports. That figure was up 1.8% from the previous year. If the trend continues, this year, for the first time, the majority of American newborns will be from racial...

tick, tock

A California court has ordered the public release of depositions by Cardinal Roger Mahony and other officials of the Los Angeles archdiocese in a notorious sex-abuse cases. Stand by. The grand jury

The Pope speaks 'for the first time'-- yet again

 Addressing the sex abuse crisis for the first time from the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI begged forgiveness on Friday…  That's the opening line of a New York Times report on the Pope's homily during the closing Mass of the Year for Priests. Did your...

HAL the malicious computer goes where ICEL fears to tread

Pope Pius XII did not use a computer word-processing program. We know that with certainty, since the programs weren't available in his lifetime. But if MicroSoft Word had been on the market in 1954, when Pius XII released his encyclical Sacra Viginitas, it would be easier to explain some passages...

cool your jets

Good morning! This is Acme Air Charters. How can I help you? [We cannot hear the other party to the phone call] Oh, yes! I've just been reading the headlines.  ...... Of course, sir. That plane is prepared; we're ready to fly on 15 minutes' notice. You have your own helicopter...

the theology of rising hemlines: a new approach to 'revelation'

The next time some Catholic scholar recommends a fresh consideration of the possibility of ordaining women, think of these words of wisdom from our separated brethren: I am an Episcopal priest in my early 50s who has three tattoos. Two of them are visible when I wear a skirt above my...

none so blind

The challenge for American seminary rectors, the New York Times tells us, is "deciding whether gay applicants should be denied admission under complex recent guidelines from the Vatican that do not explicitly bar all gay candidates but would exclude most of them, even some who are...

a ringing-- well, maybe jingling -- defense of conscience

 At an April panel discussion at Boston College on "conscience clause" exemptions for health-care workers, Father J. Bryan Hehir spoke first. The priest who frames public policy for the Boston archdiocese delivered this message, as reported in Boston College Magazine: If we don't...

either God's mistake or PC culture's

The new Oberammergau Passion Play, with its PC Stamp of Approval, offers what is now a conventional-- indeed predictable-- comment on the Catholic faith: Jesus is OK but the Church is nasty. An actor who plays the lead role gets the picture exactly: You can see from the play that Jesus was...

No sexual abuse? Then it's no story

If Italian authorities deported two young Muslims, saying that they were conspiring to kill the Pope, would you consider that a significant news story? So would I. So did CWN. But most American media outlets ignored the story entirely. Writing on the GetReligion blog, journalist Terry Mattingly...

If only priests could have shotgun weddings!

They are used to secrecy, to hiding their feelings, to waiting in the shadows for their men. But now a group of women who have had intimate relationships with Catholic priests has decided to speak up against celibacy. Give these women credit for consistency: what they say matches what they...

not standing on ceremony

Hats off to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. The man doesn't take offense lightly. When he arrived in Rome for a state visit, a band was playing at the airport welcoming ceremony, and the Bulgarian flag was flying-- upside down. Then he met with Pope Benedict XVI, and Vatican TV carried a...

Brother Knight

So the Knights of Columbus won't go further than the bishops go. If the bishop hasn't excommunicated Senator Mengele, the Knights won't suspend his membership. If the bishops say it's OK, it's OK with the Knights. So if the K of C had been active in England in the 1530s, following the same...

the story we're not covering today...

 ... is a story about disruption of Pentecost Sunday Mass at the cathedral in Chicago. Because there wasn't a disruption. Homosexual activists of the Rainbow Sash organization had threatened to confront Cardinal Francis George during the Mass. Instead, they claimed victory after they...

the non-story of a non-priest

 What's wrong with this story? Janinie [sic] Denomme who was ordained a Catholic priest in April last year has died of cancer. The Archdiocese of Chicago is refusing to allow her to be buried at her Catholic parish. And this one? ...

get away from it all

Why did Pope Benedict travel to Portugal this week? To pray at the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima? To rally the faithful there in the face of rising secularism? To discuss the 3rd secret? Not according to the AP headline writers: Pope's Portugal trip a bid to move beyond scandal  So let's...

comparative headlines

When one influential cardinal openly criticizes another, that's a legitimate headline story. The question is what the headline should say. The facts are not in dispute. The Archbishop of Vienna criticized the cardinal who was the #2 man at the Vatican, the Secretary of State, until Pope Benedict...

sexual abuse before the Great Enlightenment

In January 2002, speaking about sexual abuse in his capacity as president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, then-Bishop Wilton Gregory uttered the memorable words: "We have all been enlightened." In the months that followed, as one diocese after another was shaken by revelations...

no resignation without a question

Two Irish bishops have resigned. The Vatican announcement explained that the two-- Bishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher and Bishop Francis Lagan, an auxiliary in Derry-- had reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. All very simple and straightforward, right? Wrong, in the eyes of the New York Times,...

definitely not the worst

Hans Küng thinks it is "complete nonsense" to classify Pope Benedict XVI as the worst Pontiff in centuries.  Küng, who rarely misses an opportunity to criticize the Pope-- and sometimes manufactures opportunities when none present themselves-- wants it understood that he...

objective news, seen through crystal ball

There's a battle within the Catholic Church in England, with theological liberals and conservatives struggling to claim the mantle of Cardinal John Henry Newman, reports Ruth Gledhill of the London Times. As she explains the conflict, see if you can guess which side Ruth is on: Next week, the...

uncanny coincidence

It's not often that your Uncle Di has occasion to report the news from Park City, Utah. So what are the odds that when a priest there criticizes the Vatican for its handling of the sex-abuse problem, he just happens to be the same Father Bob Bussen who, some months back, was blaming the Vatican...

the grass roots magisterium

When you see a sentence like this one, it's time to tighten your seatbelt, because you're in for a wild ride: No organization has done more to elevate the moral stature of the Catholic Church in the United States than The Boston Globe. Not the Sisters of Charity. Not the Holy Name Society....

gimme a break

"Pope takes break from scandal, visits Turin Shroud," read the AP headline, which was dutifully passed along by dozens of newspapers. The headline conjures up the image of a weary Pontiff pushing himself away from a desk cluttered with dossiers of abusive priests, rushing off to Turin...

home cooking

It's odd that Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York doesn't know where Andrew Cuomo stands on abortion, yet he does know that legislators in Arizona have passed a "mean-spirited bill of doubtful constitutionality that has as its intention the expulsion of the immigrant." We know that...

5 years later: I wish I had been wrong

Exactly five years have passed since I originally posted the comment that is reproduced below. At the time, one reader (Gil125) commented:  Let's wait 5-10 years and see who's right, Weigel or Diogenes. If Benedict XVI proves to take his role as administrator of the Church, or PRIMUS...

literature quiz

It's 2010. The first decade of the 21st century is over.  What is "the decade's one indispensable Catholic book"? Answer here (search down for the...

when

I won't be surprised if it rains tomorrow. Did I just predict rain? No. I said it could rain. By the same token, a leading Vatican official has said that the Pope could issue an apology for sexual abuse during a...

and here's to you, Bishop Robinson

The irrepressible Bishop Geoffrey Robinson suggests a Church council to change teachings on sexuality, explaining that this is the only way to resolve the sex-abuse crisis. Hang on there. The priests who molested children were violating Church teachings. If we change the teachings (leaving aside...

words on paper

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the PR voice of the US bishops' conference, has joined in the criticism of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos for his letter congratulating a French bishop for covering up priestly abuse. Here's her take on the notorious Castrillon missive: His view stood in contrast to that of...

question for today

Why is it so terribly wrong to suggest that there might be a connection between sexual abuse and homosexuality, but perfectly acceptable to say that the sex-abuse crisis shows the need to reconsider clerical celibacy and other aspects of Church teaching regarding sexuality?  Or to put it...

Piltdown Man demands Pope's resignation

  The sign of a truly dedicated propagandist is the willingness to push ahead with an argument even when the facts don't support it. Newspaper readers in the Boston area are blessed with the work of two truly dedicated propagandists. The Boston Globe offers James Carroll, who has, over the...

one born every minute

After scoring some nice publicity by convincing the Vatican to accept the donation of a newly planted forest in Hungary, a flamboyant American entrepreneur has gone out of business. No trees were ever planted, and the Vatican could not fulfill the goal of becoming the world's first carbon-neutral...

the flaw in Anderson's logic

In his lawsuit blaming the Vatican for abuse in Milwaukee, Jeffrey Anderson argues that the Holy See carefully controls every aspect of Catholic life, right down to the parish level. The Vatican, he claims, implicitly approves of everything that is done by a bishop, pastor, or priest.  It...

no litmus tests-- except this one

Asked whether he would consider a Supreme Court candidate who did not support legal abortion, President Obama replied that "I don't have litmus tests around any of these issues." Good. So he might possibly nominate a pro-life jurist? No. Having expressed his distaste for litmus tests,...

Or was it a self-inflicted reprimand?

First Cardinal Bertone made the observation that homosexuality is a major factor in the sex-abuse crisis. Then the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, issued a clarification, emphasizing that Cardinal Bertone was speaking only about the clerical-abuse situation, not making any broader...

the controversialist

The ink was barely dry on the Lifetime Achievement Award that Cardinal George presented to Father Michael Pfleger, when the notorious Chicago priest was at in the news again-- this time, for a Sunday sermon in which he announced that "there should be women priests… women bishops, women...

gathering force-- slowly

In a typically sensationalized account of the sex-abuse scandal, the London Times breathlessly reports that the Pope has spoken of the need for penance "as calls for his removal gather force." What constitutes this mounting pressure for the Pope's resignation? First the Times cites a...

Don't Pass Me By. Don't Make Me Cry. On second thought....

L'Osservatore Romano is prepared to forgive the Beatles for their offenses against Christian morality, in light of their "magical mystery tour creative alchemy." This is exciting news for those who are still living in the early 1970s.  Beatle drummer Ringo Starr, who lives in 2002,...

the same old mistakes

In an op-ed column appearing  in USA Today (along with a contrasting view from our own Phil Lawler), Stephen Prothero of Boston University writes that Pope Benedict should confess his crimes-- whatever they might be. Frustrated by what he sees as mismanagement in Rome,...

oh, NOW I get it!

The Vatican has for the first time made it clear that bishops and other high-ranking clergy should report clerical sex abuse to police. That's the lede in an AP account of the Vatican's public summary of Church guidelines for handling sex-abuse complaints. The message, as delivered by AP, is...

not with the program

 Pope offers condolences to Poland, dodges scandal That's the headline on an AP story about the Holy Father's public statement of condolences for the airplane crash that killed Poland's President Lech Kaczynski. What was noteworthy about the Pope's brief message, AP tells us, is that he...

trade proposal

Maureen Dowd has written another wearisome diatribe against the Church (if you really must read it, look here, and don't blame me; I warned you), comparing the Catholic hierarchy to the Saudi government.  There is a similarity: both systems are all-male. Got that, Maureen. Thanks for the...

priests don't count?

The US Census Bureau computer won't mail a form to a "business address," so priests who list the parish church as their residence aren't receiving forms.  (The Census Bureau regards a parish as a "business." There's a lot they don't know.)  BTW the Census computer...

dancing in the end zone

Simply put, what Rome says no longer matters. Boston Globe editorials have been making that argument for decades. But now the Globe has found a new mouthpiece: an ordinarily intelligent Boston University professor, Andrew Bacevich, who specializes in international relations. It shows: If...

love and hate

Do you remember Father Michael Pfleger? In 2007 the radical Chicago priest issued a public threat to a gun-store owner, saying that: "We're going to find you and snuff you out." That earned him a rebuke from the chancery. In 2008 he was at it again, with some over-the-top mockery of...

thank you, Betty Friedan

Father Timothy Radcliffe, the former worldwide head of the Dominican order, tells us What We Have Learned from the sex-abuse scandal, and explains why we shouldn't blame those who were in authority (you know, like diocesan bishops, or heads of religious orders): It is unjust to project...

Rev. Barbie Doll

The public has a right to know, and Religious News Service provides the facts: With her careers as veterinarian, astronaut and U.S. president behind her, Barbie has at last found her true calling: as a second-career Episcopal priest.  The Rev. Barbie-- complete with appropriate...

You're a murderer. (No offense intended.)

In a "news" story greeting the appointment of the city's coadjutor, Archbishop José Goméz, the Los Angeles Times provides some background on the prelate's membership in Opus Dei:  Opus Dei was founded by Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer in Spain in 1928. Escriva...

The New York Times has apologized for...

      ... April...

Catholics need not apply; funds cheerfully accepted

Remember Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney general and sometime Senate candidate who memorably suggested that Catholics probably shouldn't be working in hospital emergency rooms? Coakley's unsuccessful Senate campaign had the enthusiastic backing of Ralph de la Torre, the head of the...

if she's good enough for the Jesuits...

Christian activists are rightly distressed by President Obama's nomination of Chai Feldblum, a radical lesbian activist, to a seat on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But it will be tough to persuade the US Senate to block the appointment. Right now Feldblum is a professor at...

a cold day in hell

Newsweek's religion editor Lisa Miller doesn't believe in Hell. Why not? Because of the poll numbers. Hell isn't popular these days. Respondeo: Hell has never been terribly popular-- least of all with its residents. President Obama isn't doing well in the popularity polls these days...

hail the bipartisan bishops

The US bishops lobbied long and hard on the health-care reform issue, to no avail. Now it's time for a post-mortem. Conservative Republicans were never with the USCCB, since the bishops were enthusiastically in favor of the overall goals of Obamacare, which conservatives could not...

the usual suspects

Desperate for new witnesses who will join in the calls for the Pope's resignation, the media have rediscovered Hans Küng, who-- having honed his skills through decades of complaints that his old faculty colleague is responsible for all the world's ills-- sure, enough, thinks the Pope should...

So you want to criticize the Pope?

It's the responsibility of a diocesan bishop-- not the Pope-- to discipline priests under his jurisdiction who are guilty of misconduct. It's the responsibility of the Pope, however, to remove and replace bishops who are manifestly unfit to handle their duties. So if you want to criticize the...

understatement

Five years after the Vatican ordered Father Marcial Maciel to withdraw from ministry into "a reserved life of prayer and penitence," one year after the revelations that Maciel had led a double life, the Legionaries of Christ have announced: "We accept that, given the gravity of...

Rembert passes the buck

In July 1996, Archbishop Rembert Weakland wrote to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about a problem that, he said, had "only recently… come to light"-- the charges against Father Lawrence Murphy. Only recently? That was 40 years after the first complaints against...

fire him-- and give him a gold watch

After Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Cloyne's Bishop John Magee, who had thoroughly botched the handling of sex-abuse complaints, Cardinal Sean Brady, the Primate of All Ireland, issued a statement, which is herewith reproduced in its entirety. “I wish to...

getting the help you can't afford

The US bishops spent $104.4 million last year on sex-abuse settlements. You know that already; you saw today's top news headline. But now take another look at the numbers. Of that $104.4 million, a bit more than one-fourth-- $28.7 million-- was for legal fees. For every $2 handed over in damages...

the dice aren't straight either

The official, authorized, expert studies of the sex-abuse crisis in the US have discerned "no clear pattern of homosexual behavior." It's odd, therefore, that the latest statistics continue to show that over 80% of the victims are males. Of course we've been instructed: “

They were pens, I tell you; not pieces of silver!

When he signed the health-care reform bill, President Obama gave commemorative pens-- the traditional gifts for people who were instrumental in securing the passage of legislation-- to 18 members of Congress and of his administration, and just 2 outsiders. They were: Vicki Kennedy, the widow of...

just wondering...

Why would a homosexual couple want to work with a Catholic adoption agency?  This isn't really about equal access, is it? This is about closing down institutions that present a different point of...

the no-vote vote

Just read the Fox News headline, and you know something fishy is happening: Pelosi Plan to Pass Health Care Without Traditional Vote Riles Critics The word that should capture your attention is "traditional." What's a traditional vote? That, we learn, is the kind of vote in which...

devout atheists

If you're in Australia this weekend, and you think you hear the sweet strains of Gospel music, sung by a church choir, stop a minute and listen carefully. It might not be what you think. There's a new sort of revival going on. The BBC reports: More than 2,000 atheists from around the world are...

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