Distinctly Catholic

Same-Sex Marriage & Nullification in Alabama


If the dissent registered by Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia is correct, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to pronounce same-sex marriage a constitutional right later this year. The dissent was issued against a majority decision to let stand a lower court order permitting same-sex marriage in Alabama. And, that is where things get interesting.

Catholic Social Ministry Gathering


This weekend, the annual Social Ministry Gathering, sponsored by the USCCB, began here in Washington. From dioceses and parishes across the country, people who work for the Church gather in Washington for a series of plenary talks and small group discussions about various issues they face. Like all such conferences, there are the coffee stands, the pre-plated lunches and dinners served in large hotel ballrooms, the people outside the rooms talking on their cell phones, the recognizing of old friends and making of new ones in the hallways.

National Prayer Breakfast


President Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday, and the reactions to those remarks, illustrate why yesterday’s breakfast should be the last. No one goes for the breakfast – and I like a good breakfast – and no one really goes for the prayer. The event is a weird tribute to civic religion, in which no one believes, and presidents did fine without it for 160 years.

The Tinkerer-in-Chief


President Obama’s new budget proposal epitomizes the central conundrum in evaluating the man and his presidency: A man who is such a gifted politician at election time, who has said repeatedly that he believes “good policy is good politics” seems incapable of putting forth policies that are capable of galvanizing public support. A mish-mash of proposals, all with a huge price tag, and not a single compelling argument for the whole.


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In This Issue

March 24-April 6, 2017