We don’t need no stinking Bishops! – UPDATE

I guess this is like "smart" diplomacy, right? If you need to affirm your special relationship with the United Kingdom you ship back the bust of Winston Churchill, and if you are having trouble with Catholic bishops, you go talk to...anybody but Catholic bishops.HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the Obama administration plans to issue a rule "in the near future" on its compromise plan on contraception coverage and is meeting with insurers, clergy and health leaders to get feedback on how … [Read more...]

All Your Conscience Are Belong to Us


My First Things column from today:Through its mouthpieces, the administration has already begun to argue that “an institution does not have a conscience.” This is utter nonsense. The missions of the church are predicated on conscience, and conscience and mission feed and build upon one another. Conscience is what sent Catholic religious women to drag Civil War soldiers off the battlefields and into their hospitals, regardless of uniform; it is what put Catholic charities and hospitals and sch … [Read more...]

Obama vs First Amendment Liberties – UPDATES

From Charles Kadlec at Forbes, the must read of the day!Before our very eyes, President Obama is on the verge of establishing the principle that the right to religious freedom comes not from our Creator, but from those who rule us. A government endowed right granted to women now trumps our unalienable right to act in accordance with our religious beliefs and conscience. Not only does this overturn the First Amendment, it also tramples the nation’s founding principles as announced in the D … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict: Faith and the Future

faith future

In 2009 Ignatius press released this prophetic little volume, written by our pope over 1969-1970 -- while the world was in the first throes of the social revolution. I thought I'd share a few of Joseph Ratzinger's prescient thoughts. They seem timely:"The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many … [Read more...]

To Defend HHS Mandate: Look at Anything but Constitution


The vacationing Deacon Greg Kandra has still managed, between spending time with Mickey and Minnie to post this interesting piece by Dave Gibson, who has written an informative article about what I called my First Things piece, yesterday, the "nuances between direct and indirect co-operation with evil".Gibson does his usual brilliant job in expanding on it, but he does so from a place accepting that President Obama's recent "accommodation" did actually accommodate the churches. Completely … [Read more...]

The Stranding of the Catholic Left – UPDATES


Literally bleary with fever last night, boxing metaphors came tumbling out of my brain and into my column over at First Things:To that end, the White House seemed to have conferred not with the concerned Bishops but with members of the “Catholic Left” whose criticism of his original plans had had a weighty effect on others, and whose progressive credentials made their alliance vital to retain; he effectively went to Sr. Carol Keehan, President of the Catholic Health Association, and E.J. Dio … [Read more...]

Obama’s HHS: Bring on the Penal Laws! – UPDATES!


Sure and it begins to feel like Grandad's auld sod, what with the elites getting comfortable with the notion of telling us what we can and cannot do, what business we may or may not conduct, what materials we can or cannot own...because we're Catholics.Over at NPR's Bench Memos Ryan T. Anderson ponders illegalities in the making:Here’s an aspect of the HHS preventive-services mandate and the “compromise” announced on Friday that has gone unnoticed: It will soon be impossible, because it w … [Read more...]

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...]

Obama “Accommodation” Reactions

This morning I wrote what I had anticipated in the Obama "accommodation" and the reaction.I expect President Obama will come out and say something that sounds wonderful and conciliatory and that seems reasonable to people who are eager to reconcile with the president and give themselves permission to vote for him again in November. I also expect that beyond the words, what the President offers will be too little — the government miserly granting to us pieces of freedom we are utterly e … [Read more...]

WH “Accommodation” Trustworthy? UPDATED

UPDATE::: Read Bishops first and second responses:::From Jake Tapper at ABC News, Obama to Announce Contraception Rule ‘Accommodation’ for Religious Organizations:With the White House under fire for its new rule requiring employers including religious organizations to offer health insurance that fully covers birth control coverage, at 12:15 p.m. ET, President Obama will announce an attempt to accommodate these religious groups.The move, based on state models, will almost certainly not … [Read more...]