Long Before the ACA Decision…UPDATED

Image credit: REUTERS/Toby Melville

Legal truths stranger than fiction have existed for some time. Cue example from Bloomberg Financial on news yesterday of  the settlement of “the largest health-care fraud case” in the history of these United States, against GlaxoSmithKline PLC, [Read more...]

The Bishops Remind Us, the ACA Needs Repairs, Not Repeal UPDATED

The Catholic Church is not against the Affordable Care Act, which the Supreme Court just upheld today in a landmark decision that found it constitutional. The Bishops, via the USCCB,  seek for the ACA to be “repaired,” not “scrapped.”

Following enactment of ACA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has not joined in efforts to repeal the law in its entirety, and we do not do so today.The decision of the Supreme Court neither diminishes the moral imperative to ensure decent health care for all, nor eliminates the need to correct the fundamental flaws described above. We therefore continue to urge Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, legislation to fix those flaws. [Read more...]

Because of Catholics Like Vincent Liem of Vietnam (1732-1773)

November is the month that we Catholics remember the dead. There’s the Feast of All Souls, and the Feast of All Saints, celebrated right after Halloween.  Here in the United States, as the Fortnight for Freedom enters its third day, the Archdiocese of St. Louis suggests we remember the martyrs of Vietnam, and St. Andrew Dung Lac. I don’t know much about Andrew, but I found a treasure trove worth of information about the Vietnamese martyrs, especially one named Vincent Liem. [Read more...]

The Beach Boys Sing the Our Father

The boys hiking the Janss Steps at my alma mater (UCLA).

Thomas L. McDonald shares his Saturday Song — “The Lord’s Prayer,” as sung by the Beach Boys. ==> It doesn’t get much better than this. <==

Archbishop Lori’s Op-Ed in the Washington Post

Image credit: CNA

It hit the web edition’s Guest Voices column early this afternoon.

With tweets and text messages, prayers and preaching, Catholics and other Americans will spend the next two weeks (June 21-July 4) launching a religious freedom awareness campaign called the “Fortnight for Freedom.

Concern for religious freedom both here and abroad has been growing for years, and now there are calls for immediate action. Stories of people literally dying for the faith in Iraq and Nigeria can be found in daily newspapers. There, churches are bombed and the blood of martyrs runs freely. [Read more...]

Archbishop Chaput’s Five Points on Religious Freedom UPDATED

Several of the Patheos Catholic Portal bloggers (Elizabeth Scalia, and Deacon Greg Kandra) are in Indianapolis for the Catholic Media Conference. Last night, Archbishop Charles Chaput, my favorite Franciscan, gave an important speech at the conference to set the stage for the kickoff of today’s Fortnight for Freedom call to prayer.

I’ll share a bit of the speech with you below. For the sake of brevity, and for the ease of memorization, I’ve summarized his five main points here. [Read more...]

Did You Hear the NPR Piece Today on the “Fortnight for Freedom?”

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, shown speaking at the state Capitol in Hartford, Conn., in 2009, is the head of the U.S. bishops' Fortnight for Freedom campaign. Photo credit: Jessica Hill/AP

It was actually pretty balanced. A couple of parishioners “for,” a couple “against,” and snippets from Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Lori, and (naturally) the strident comments of Bishop Jenky from Peoria. [Read more...]

A Sonnet on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Heart of Mary, by Sheldon Vanauken (1914-1996).

Dear sister, I was not divine,
The angel left me woman as before,
And when, like flame beneath my heart, I bore
The Son, I was vestal and the shrine.

My arms held Heaven at my breast—not wine
But milk made blood, in which no mothering doubt
Prefigured patterns of the pouring out,
O Lamb! to stain the world incarnadine.

The Magi saw a crown that lay ahead,
But not the bitter glory of the reign;
They called him King and knelt among the kine.
I pondered in my heart what they said,
Yet could not see the bloody cup of pain.
I was but woman—though my God was mine.

Religious Liberty: It’s Not Just a Christian Thing

Pretty soon, the Supreme Court will hand down their verdict on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. This decision, and how it affects the HHS Mandate, has been discussed early, and often, in this space. Something that hasn’t been discussed here much is that other religions have lined up against the mandate as well. Not that you would have seen this reported in the mainstream media outlets. [Read more...]

Goethe Suggests a Blog Post. Who Am I to Say No?

‎One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Good advice, that. I wonder what sort of blogger Goethe would have made? He and I are like minded this morning, because there has been a song playing in my head, I just read something that I want to share with you, and I love fine pictures, even when I stumble often when it comes to speaking reasonable words. [Read more...]


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