Distinctly Catholic

It's Official: Cardinal Burke is Out


In this morning's Bolletino, the announcement makes it official: Cardinal Raymond Burke has been named Patron of the Order of Malta. Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, currently the Vatican's "foreign minister," will replace +Burke as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. The position of Patron of the the Order of Malta is usually given to a retired cardinal, or as a second task to an active cardinal. It has almost no responsibilities.

USCCB Tweet - Really?


The USCCB sent out a tweet linking Pope's Francis' warning about the temptation to want to come down from the Cross to their fight for religious liberty. You can see the tweet here. First, the Holy Father used that warning in an entirely different context. Second, call me overly sensitive, but at a time when Christians are actually being crucified in Iraq, I think invoking the Cross to shore up support for the religious liberty struggle here in the U.S. is offensive. 

W(h)ither Catholic Identity at CUA


Catholic University's School of Business & Economics will be co-hosting a conference next Monday with the Acton Institute. The topic will be the relationship between religious and economic liberty, about which the only interesting question is whether the devotees of Ayn Rand at Acton are trying to jump on the religious liberty bandwagon, or vice-versa. Either way, teaming up with the Acton Institute raises some serious issues about the Catholic identity of the only university in the U.S. owned by the bishops.

Contra Rusty Reno et al.


The latest frontline in the culture wars has come into focus: In the face of decisions by Catholic universities to extend health care benefits to those who have contracted same-sex, civil marriages, some bishops and some commentators are digging trenches, bringing up the mortars, and lobbing shells. The whole thing puts one in mind of the Western Front in World War I.

Brittany Maynard's Suffering


Brittany Maynard’s death is the very stuff of tragedy. A young woman afflicted by an inoperable cancer. A law that offers a “remedy” in the form of physician-assisted suicide. A culture that deludes us into thinking we can, and therefore should, “die on our own terms,” when, obviously, if the terms were ours, we would avoid death altogether. And, the most basic tragedy: a young woman, loved and loving, is no more, the tragedy of death in all its abysmal loneliness.


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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016