Congressman: IRS Asked Pro-Life Group About “Content of Prayers”

Details:  During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing today, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., grilled outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller about the IRS targeting a pro-life group in Iowa. “Their question, specifically asked from the IRS to the Coalition for Life of Iowa: ‘Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers,’” Schock [Read More...]

Attorneys General urge HHS exemption for businesses

Hot on the heels of this item, about a deacon who won his case against the HHS mandate, comes this story from the Christian Post: A coalition of 13 attorneys general issued a collaborative letter to the Obama administration, urging it to provide exemptions to privately owned businesses under its Department of Health and Human [Read More...]

North Carolina may declare an official state religion under new bill

Details:  Republican North Carolina state legislators have proposed allowing an official state religion in a measure that would declare the state exempt from the Constitution and court rulings. The bill, filed Monday by two GOP lawmakers from Rowan County and backed by nine other Republicans, says each state “is sovereign” and courts cannot block a state “from making [Read More...]

Biden attends Cardinal Dolan’s Palm Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s

And before anyone asks: yes, he evidently did receive communion. Details: Vice President Joe Biden attended mass and received communion on Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York where the mass was celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. At a time when the administration is being sued by Dolan and the Catholic Bishop’s Conference over the Obama [Read More...]

Obama visits Bethlehem

From CNS:  U.S. President Barack Obama, visiting the West Bank city of Bethlehem, stopped twice to light candles for his family and himself: first at the Church of Nativity grotto, where Christian tradition holds that Jesus was born, then at the adjacent Catholic Church of St. Catherine. On the last leg of his four-day visit [Read More...]

Would the US State Department consider “monitoring” the election of a pope?

Check out this snippet from last Friday’s daily briefing with reporters. The briefer is Victoria Nuland. I think they were kidding.  But these days, it’s hard to tell. QUESTION: Vatican. MS. NULAND: What about the Vatican? QUESTION: Well, do you regard it as a free and fair exercise in electing a leader of a country? MS. NULAND: We did [Read More...]

Obama on possibility of an American pope: “Bishops in U.S. don’t seem to be taking orders from me”

He spoke with ABC News this morning and in a wide-ranging interview touched on the subject of the papal conclave: As cardinals gather at the Vatican to elect a new pope, President Barack Obama said he believes U.S. politics wouldn’t stand in the way of an American pope doing his job. “It seems to me [Read More...]

Sister act: nun charged with voter fraud

It happened during the presidential election last fall: An Ohio nun was charged with voter fraud for casting an absentee ballot in the 2012 presidential election that belonging to a fellow sister who had died, authorities have said. Sister Marguerite Kloos, 54, allegedly voted both under her own name and under the name of Sister [Read More...]

The Donilon brothers: one’s boss is the President, the other’s may be the next pope

Here’s something you don’t hear about every day. From the Washington Post:  Shortly after arriving in Rome with his boss, dark horse papal contender Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Terrence Donilon received an e-mail. It was from his brother Tom, the national security adviser to President Obama. “How’s it going?” the top White House official asked. The answer is: [Read More...]

How is Catholicism like politics?

E.J. Dionne has some interesting answers in the Washington Post today, and draws insight from Fr. Timothy Radcliffe: The conflict goes back to competing reactions to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council inaugurated in the 1960s by Pope John XXIII. The relevant camps — Radcliffe describes them in his 2005 book, “What Is the [Read More...]