Lifting the Veil on the HHS Mandate And a Query to the Administration UPDATED

Joanne McPortland does all of the heavy lifting for us. All we have to do is put our thinking caps on, and consider the source of the whole twisted enterprise known as the HHS Mandate. Joanne lays it all out clearly and succinctly, and you will want to read it all. Here’s a taste, though, to get you started. [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...]

General Patton’s Thoughts on the Power of Prayer

 

My youngest son has a Living Wax Museum assignment due for his 5th grade class tomorrow. He decided that he would be General George S. Patton, Jr. He’s been working on learning all he can about Patton, but what follows was in none of the books he checked out. I first shared it on the blog back on Jan 20, 2011. What did General Patton think when it came to the subject of prayer? Plenty. So here is the story again, from the archives… [Read more...]

Quote of the Week on the HHS Mandate…

‎”We believe that this mandate is unjust and unlawful – it is bad health policy, and because it entails an element of government coercion against conscience, it creates a religious freedom problem.”

That’s the good word from the USCCB regarding the HHS Mandate. The comments of the bishops “were submitted in response to an HHS Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on preventive services” by Anthony Picarello (see phot0 above), USCCB associate general secretary and general counsel, and Michael Moses, associate general counsel.

The comments outlined six points: [Read more...]

Music for Mondays, the Speed Edition

A Porsche eating Ford fumes at Le Mans, FTW.

Every time you go racing, you put your reputation on the line. —Carroll Shelby

I’m still grieving the loss of Carroll Shelby. What I’ve decided to do with this little music post, is celebrate ‘ol Shel’s life a little bit with music. Some of the music you may not be very familiar with, while others will be songs that you consider old friends. You know, Maurice Sendak died and the whole world seemingly stopped with all manner of thoughtful reflections on Where the Wild Things Are. Carroll Shelby had a bigger impact on your life than you may know or realize, but only the gearheads sung his praises. So this post is sort of an homage to him and What the Wild Things Drive. And endurance racing experience is why your cars’ engine can last, with proper care and maintenance, for over 200,000 + miles. [Read more...]

Carroll Shelby, Requiescat In Pace

 

It has been a week full of passings. We started off by losing Maurice Sendak, and we wind it up by losing Carroll Shelby, a gearhead of epic proportions. That’s him leaning on the legendary G.T. 350 Shelby Mustang, with a Shelby Cobra in the background for good measure. One of my colleagues at work broke the news to me gently today that Carroll had died of pneumonia on Thursday after an extended illness. I said a prayer for his soul immediately upon hearing this news, just like he was family. [Read more...]


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