Bishops to ‘Bam: “Nice first step…” -UPDATED

dolan cardinal designate

Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia has it:BISHOPS STUDYING INITIAL WHITE HOUSE MOVEMENT ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY*New opportunity to dialogue with executive branch, obtain details :::*Too soon to tell whether and how much improvement on core concerns:::*Commitment to religious liberty for all means legislation still necessary:::The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sees initial opportunities in preserving the principle of religious freedom after President … [Read more...]

Church Life: A Journal for the New Evangelization


Hot off the cyber-presses!Notre Dame University's Institute for Catholic Living today launches a new online journal: Church Life; A Journal for the New EvangelizationThere are a whole bunch of interesting writers in there, including Cardinal-designate Archbishop Timothy Dolan (writing on "The Dignity of the Human Person", page 39), Fr. Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, (page 6) and, (page 42). Yes, my head spins at the company I keep, sometimes!My piece is about Catholics online -- … [Read more...]

Obama, Alinksy and the Bishops?

Well, I must admit, given how CNN has gone out of its way to pretend there is no such thing as a connection between President Obama and the teachings/trainings of Saul Alinksy, I was surprised to see the Obama-Alinsky connection being made in a Catholic UK paper.Discussing the HHS's decision to compel church-related employers to cover sterilization, artificial contraception and abortifacients in their employee's insurance plans, William Oddie writes:So, American Catholics, you now know, … [Read more...]

Why not a Religious Vocation “Mission”?

mother mary clare

Over at Word on Fire Ministries, Rozann Carter notes a Mormon celebrity putting his career on hold to make a two-year "mission" and wonders why Catholics don't have a similar mechanism in place to encourage religious vocations:I don’t agree with the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Nor am I advocating that charity, service, and evangelism should be mandated, like some sort of religious draft. But, there is something here, something in the Mormon faith, that speaks … [Read more...]

Fulfilling God’s Longings for Us


We don't often picture God has having a longing for our sake; the image is too startling and goes against the idea of God's omnipotence. Most people would reject an image of God, like a parent watching from a distance, hoping we'll make the right decisions, the best decisions -- grounded in his realities -- so he can be more fully involved with our lives. We think, "God can do anything; if he wants something for me, he'll make it happen."But as we see throughout scripture, and particularly … [Read more...]

On Clergy, NYFD, Bloomberg Not Budging

A couple of weeks ago, I noted that Mayor Mike Bloomberg was inviting neither clergy nor First Responders to the 9/11 Memorial service in NYC.I thought public outcry might move the mule, but without any push from mainstream media, he is comfortably sticking to his guns. No clergy, no prayer, and there's no room for the First Responders, either. Only a few will be there, by special invitation.Making the point that the first recorded death at the WTC was Franciscan Father Mychal Judge, and … [Read more...]

Cuomo's no Thomas More; Dowd's Still Dowd

I really want to stop writing about her but Maureen Dowd's extended adolescence just attracts my morbid curiosity, and next thing I know, I have an urge to fisk. Writing on NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, she's just so irresistibly herself:“It’s troubling for me as a Catholic to be at odds with the church,” he began, before dissolving into a wry laugh. “Having said that, it seems that my entire political life, the tension with the church has come up again and again.”Yes, that's some laughing matte … [Read more...]

Archbishop Dolan on CBS

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who shared with moving honesty the story of his encounter with an angry Catholic here will be featured tomorrow night on 60 minutes.Even though 60 minutes starts the same time as In the Arena (the real one, not Spitzer's) that's one episode I will be sure to watch.Asked if he feared the impact of the scandal would go on forever, Dolan replies, "In some ways, I don't want it to be over, because...this was such a crisis in the Catholic Church that in a way, we don't … [Read more...]

Pope, Condom, TSA & Crucifix – UPDATED

With a title like that, what else could I be talking about but my Tuesday column:I had been driven to the crucifix because I had become overwhelmed with the media/internet cacophony that had followed L’Osservatore Romano’s weekend revelation of Pope Benedict XVI’s thoughts on the use of condoms in certain situations, and by the uproar over newly put-in-place TSA regulations on pre-flight searches and pat-downs.In both cases, reactions were swift, and they varied according to agendas but fe … [Read more...]

Dolan New USCCB Prez – UPDATED

For American Catholics who pay attention, today's big news is the surprise election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.Dolan counts himself among the surprised (Photo: CNS/Nancy Wiechec)Personally, I think this is a terrific selection. Dolan is a very pastoral, humble and joyful presence. He is faithful, but for the most part he does not come down like a hammer (his parlays with the NY Times notwithstanding).Our bishops are … [Read more...]