And So It Starts – Spinning The Hobby Lobby Case


This is a picture of yesterday's San Jose Mercury News, front page, above the fold. The headline: CONTRACEPTIVE BENEFIT TAKES HIT Underneath that it reads: COMPANIES THAT OBJECT CAN NOW AVOID COVERAGE. Well, yes, maybe; but mostly no. Fact #1: The only companies that can avoid coverage are those which family run, have strongly held religious beliefs, and are closely run by the family. Fact #2: Most companies will not even consider cutting contraceptive coverage because offering … [Read more...]

Of Gods And Men


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the situation of Christians in Iraq. It was not good, judging from the email sent by a Dominican who was there. And things look worse now: Last Sunday, for the first time in 1600 years, no mass was celebrated in Mosul. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized Iraq’s second largest city on June 10, causing most Christians in the region to flee in terror, in new kinship with the torment of Christ crucified on the cross. The remnant of Mosul’s … [Read more...]

Action! – Two Quick Thoughts on the Hobby Lobby Decision.


Yesterday's SCOTUS ruling on the Hobby Lobby case was a welcoming gesture not only towards religious freedom, but also freedom of conscience. Lots of people are commenting; so I'll offer a few quick thoughts myself. This decision doesn't mean that we rest and that the battle is over. Here are two considerations: Some states, definitely Washington state, already required businesses to offer contraception coverage before the HHS Mandate. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled clearly that … [Read more...]

When You Want Something Done, Ask A Woman – Archbishop Sample Consecrates Portland Archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart


I'm making my way south to Los Angeles where I'll be teaching an adjunct theology course next month. Last night, we attended a vigil Mass in Brookings, Oregon, the southernmost part of the Archdiocese of Portland. Much, much, much to my surprise, at the end of Mass, the pastor announced that the Archbishop had asked each pastor in the Archdiocese to consecrate his parish and flock to the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima. This is surprising if you know anything about the more recent … [Read more...]

Meditation, Psychotherapy, & Buddhism


The Atlantic Monthly has a provocative article by Tomas Rocha on the dangers of meditation. I wouldn't by any means consider it a definitive article, but it raises a lot of interesting matters. He highlights the research of Dr. Willoughby Britton, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior, who works at the Brown University Medical School and is doing a project to study the adverse effects of meditation, primarily Buddhist influenced meditation. First, there's a fellow who's had … [Read more...]

Day 3 In Rome – I Now Know Where to Sit in the Dining Room to Have a View of the Pope

Lovely sighting while out on a walk, taking a break from my work.

So, I'm catching up with my postings. The rest of my Rome trip was a whirlwind, preparing for the conference and then participating in the conference. But I did jot some notes and take some pictures for each day, which I'll post sequentially over the next few days. My third day in Rome was spent mostly inside, working on my paper.  Not a bad place to work. I was staying at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where Pope Francis also resides. Interestingly, the salon where I was working has... two … [Read more...]