Props to PBS, Who Did Discuss the Lawsuit, While the Other Networks Slept

Joanne McPortland tipped me off about this in the combox of the post I wrote about the crickets chirping on the other major networks following the biggest religious lawsuit ever. Kudos to PBS, who I lauded last time for hosting Fr. Robert Barron’s Catholicism series as well. In the clip below, host Gwen Iffel queries Wall Street Journal reporter Janet Adamy about the news that the other networks (honorable mention, though, to CBS News) failed to provide to the public. Give it a look, [Read more…]

With the HHS Mandate, Belloc’s Heresy “The Modern Phase” Has Arrived UPDATED

Image Credit: Ted Schluenderfritz.

A couple of years ago, when I was boring folks with YIMCatholic Book Club posts, we tackled Hilaire Belloc’s The Great Heresies. We started it around the time school was out in the Summer of 2010, beginning with the Introduction. We followed along for six weeks as Belloc made his way through all the big heresies you’ve heard of, but didn’t know diddly squat about. First, we learned the plan of the book, and then we dug into the following heresies in succession: Arianism; Islam; Albegensianism; and Protestantism. And what was the last selection? Funny you should ask. [Read more…]

Because the Catholic Church is Flying Under the Gaydar, and Way Over It Too UPDATED

In fact, she transcends homosexuality in the same manner that she transcends everything, be it politics, economics, justice, health, and every other category you can name that involves the human person. Everyone who is a member of fallen humanity, say “aye!”

The Anchoress, Mark Shea, Marc Barnes, Michael Voris (!), and I all line up on the same side of the room when it comes to the teachings of the Church on homosexuality. Why? Because we believe her teachings. And though I can’t speak for my friends standing on the same side of the room with me, I can speak for myself when I admit that I once did not. The same is true for the Church’s teachings on marriage, divorce, contraception, the death penalty, etc., etc. Like many a (former) Protestant, see, I was my own Pope. The buck stopped here. [Read more…]

Mary Ann Glendon Explains Why The Bishops Are Suing the U.S. Government

Who is Mary Ann Glendon? She’s the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. I love that title, as Learned Hand sounds like someone I’d like to get to know better. Because with a name like that, he’s got to be good. After all, Judge Learned Hand wrote wise opinions such as this,

What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow. P. 190, The Spirit of Liberty (1944).

See what I mean? But back to Professor Glendon. [Read more…]

Cardinal Dolan on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose

Yesterday I lamented the paucity of media coverage regarding the lawsuits filed by 40+ Catholic groups. It appears that the media outlets had some backing and filling to do. CBS again seems to be leading the way, at least in terms of getting the story out to the public and bringing in folks to get to the roots of it.

Here is Timothy Cardinal Dolan speaking with Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning. Charlie Rose and Erica Hill do a great job asking pertinent questions, while His Eminence is in his element explaining the whys and the wherefores of the lawsuit. He also discusses the controversy surrounding Catholic college commencement speakers and such. Have a look (please pardon any attempt to sell you beer and shampoo),

As I mentioned yesterday, birth control pill packages, etc. will always be floating in the background. Read more over at CBS.

Obviously, Cardinal Dolan can’t be everywhere, and on every network at the same time, but he lands on his feet and is a cheerful witness whenever he does.

The Dozen Lawsuits Filed Today Garnered all of 15 Seconds on CBS News. We Shall Overcome.

Calvin and Hobbes are at it again, making great points in less than 10 seconds.

Thinking along these lines then, I can’t remember the last time I actually watched the evening news. Too many ads from pharmaceutical companies and not enough real news as I recall. But tonight, what with the news that 40+ Catholic organizations sued the government by simultaneously filing a dozen lawsuits across the country, I decided to take a look, and realized pretty quickly that I’m never going to get back that half hour of my life.

I didn’t bother with CNN, or Fox, but I informally surveyed what used to be the Big Three, ABC, CBS, and NBC. Of those three networks, only CBS mentioned the story at all. Deep into the program, ’round about the 25 minute mark, Scott Pelley spent 10 to 15 seconds on the story, er blurb. ABC and NBC? Nothing at all. Nada, zilch, zippo.

Checking their websites, NBC has nothing on the story at all. [Read more…]

Comments on the Lawsuit by the President of the University of Notre Dame UPDATED

On the heels of the story that hit the news stands at 11AM, the President of the University of Notre Dame, explains clearly what the lawsuit is about, and just as importantly, what it isn’t about. This hit my inbox from the Washington Examiner,

May 21, 2012

A Message from Father John Jenkins, C.S.C.,

President, University of Notre Dame

Today the University of Notre Dame filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana regarding a recent mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). That mandate requires Notre Dame and similar religious organizations to provide in their insurance plans abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures, which are contrary to Catholic teaching. The decision to file this lawsuit came after much deliberation, discussion and efforts to find a solution acceptable to the various parties.

Let me say very clearly what this lawsuit is not about: it is not about preventing women from having access to contraception, nor even about preventing the Government from providing such services. Many of our faculty, staff and students — both Catholic and non-Catholic — have made conscientious decisions to use contraceptives. As we assert the right to follow our conscience, we respect their right to follow theirs. And we believe that, if the Government wishes to provide such services, means are available that do not compel religious organizations to serve as its agents. We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that the Government not impose its values on the University when those values conflict with our religious teachings. We have engaged in conversations to find a resolution that respects the consciences of all and we will continue to do so. [Read more…]

Catholics to the Courtrooms: OSV, University of Notre Dame, and 43 Dioceses Ramp Up the Legal Fight Against the HHS Mandate

This broke about a half hour ago from the good folks over at Our Sunday Visitor,

At 11 a.m. Eastern time today, 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations — including Our Sunday Visitor and the University of Notre Dame — filed religious liberty lawsuits against the federal government in a dozen different jurisdictions around the country.

At issue are regulations that require Catholic organizations, employers and insurers to provide or facilitate abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception — in violation of their consciences.

Equally troubling is the extreme narrowness of the government’s new test for determining which religious organizations are exempt from this mandate — which would appear to exclude Catholic schools, health care facilities, charities and others like Our Sunday Visitor. [Read more…]

My BlogFather Is Hiking the Camino. Let’s All Follow Along!

 

That guy with the beard above is Webster Bull, a pilgrim along the Way of St. James, also known as El Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Webster is the founder of this blog, as long time readers will recall. With him in the photograph is his daughter Marian. They up and decided to take a few months off and hit the trail blazed by countless pilgrims since olden times, and Martin Sheen since the film “The Way” opened in theaters last year.

Below is a recap of Day One of their trek from Webster’s blog Witness. They have seven days, and about 170 kilometers (or so), under their feet so far. Webster is writing about the trek (and Marian is too), and for those of you thinking about walking the Camino, consider these two as your own personal reconnaissance team. Follow along with them for the next few weeks as they wind their way over the landscape (geographical, as well as spiritual) of their own personal Caminos, as they make their way to where St. James is buried.

They are doing all the hard work for us. All we have to do is read. On that note, I’ll turn it over to Webster…

St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles: Short Takes from Day 1

The good news is that Marian and I successfully completed the first stage of the so-called Camino Francés today, starting in St. Jean Pied de Port, France, at 7:30 this morning and ending late this afternoon in Roncesvalles, Spain, after crossing the Pyrenees. The bad news is, we do it again tomorrow.

I have walked 20 miles before, but on the flat with no pack on my back. Today, we walked over 20 miles, climbed 4,000 net feet, descended 2,000 net feet — all the while carrying 10-kilo backpacks. Before the 9-euro pilgrim supper across the street, I wandered around the halls of the new, state-of-the-art pilgrim refuge here (opened since the filming of “The Way,” which showed Martin Sheen’s character staying in a dismal barracks-like place during his first night on the Camino) like a zombie with blisters. [Read more…]

What the Most Interesting Man In the World Says…

Amen. That is all (H/T Southern Fried Catholicism).