Woman who helped develop NFP dies

Details, from CNS:  Dr. Evelyn Billings, who with her husband, John, pioneered research that led them to develop a form of natural family planning supported by the Catholic church, died Saturday after a short illness. She was 95. The Australian pediatrician joined her physician-husband’s team in 1965 as he was researching a more reliable method [Read More...]

The executioner who became a death penalty opponent

This makes for a striking counterpoint to the recent essay by Fr. George Rutler, defending capital punishment. It comes from Sunday’s Washington Post, and tells how a man who spent decades personally administering the death penalty came to oppose it: Jerry Givens executed 62 people. His routine and conviction never wavered. He’d shave the person’s [Read More...]

“The President has been a proponent of an expediency that is shameful and criminal in the eyes of God…”

My own bishop, Nicholas DiMarzio, took note of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in a recent newspaper column, and he pulled no punches:  On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This Executive Order freed the slaves in the 10 states that were in rebellion. It was not until 1865, with [Read More...]

In favor of the death penalty: “Hanging concentrates the mind”

That, at least, is one of the sentiments expressed here by Fr. George Rutler in Crisis Magazine:  The grandson of St. Elizabeth Anne Seton,  Archbishop Robert Seton, long-lived but less loved, wrote that during the course of a holiday in France as a boy, the ceremonious spectacle of a man being beheaded inspired him greatly [Read More...]

Despite pleas from bishops, Jindal won’t halt planned Ash Wednesday execution

Details:  More attempts to stop the Feb. 13 execution of convicted child killer Christopher Sepulvado failed to make headway Tuesday. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office said he has rejected a request from the Louisiana’s Catholic bishops to stop the lethal injection. And the Louisiana Board of Pardons has denied Sepulvado’s clemency petition without a hearing. Sepulvado, [Read More...]

Catholic hospital: it is “morally wrong” to argue fetus is not a person

You may remember this story from last month.  Now, the hospital is changing its tune:  A Catholic hospital group said on Monday it was “morally wrong” to contradict its church’s teachings on the beginning of life when it argued fetuses are not people to defend itself against a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado. Catholic Health Initiatives said it will instead [Read More...]

Where have all the children gone?

Most of us know the answer. The Chicago Tribune puts its finger on a trend with significant implications: Demographers have long known that the baby boom of the 1950s was giving way to a baby bust nationwide. Now Illinois and the Chicago area are providing a vivid example of the trend: According to data from [Read More...]

Great moments in journalism: the New York Times just gives up and lets a PR firm run things

A one-time giant in journalism gets caught with its pants down.  It’s not pretty. From Get Religion’s Mollie Hemingway, who did a little digging into a prominent sidebar the Times ran on the March for Life.  The sidebar focused on a letter sent by 60 presumably prominent Catholics, “saying that if marchers and politicians truly [Read More...]

“It was pretty common for a woman to be lying on the abortion table while holding a rosary…”

Tim Drake has a very good interview with Abby Johnson posted at the National Catholic Register.  Johnson, you’ll recall, was a director at Planned Parenthood who finally quit in 2009. Last year, she and her husband joined the Catholic Church and started an apostolate for abortion workers called And Then There Were None.  At one [Read More...]

Catholic hospital facing suit argues fetus is not a person

With friends like these… Sigh. Details, from the Colorado Independent:  Lori Stodghill was 31-years old, seven-months pregnant with twin boys and feeling sick when she arrived at St. Thomas More hospital in Cañon City on New Year’s Day 2006. She was vomiting and short of breath and she passed out as she was being wheeled [Read More...]