Distinctly Catholic

More on the Mandate

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My post yesterday on Archbishop William Lori’s letter to Congress earned me quite a few emails. When I got back from the vet – Bernie had an ultrasound yesterday on his shoulder and neck area – my inbox was full with comments. As well, two new posts on the web look at the issue and are worthy of note.

 

Conservatives Pile On B16

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Over at RNS, David Gibson rounds up the voices of conservatives who have been disappointed by Benedict XVI and who now feel free to give vent to their disappointments. I wish they had kept their thoughts to themselves. The fact that Joseph Bottum thinks Benedict's pontificate the worst in 200 years demonstrates only that Mr. Bottum knows next to nothing about Church history and, in this instance, gave in to the editors' desire for a counter-intuitive piece.

What is +Lori Talking About?

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Archbishop William Lori, head of the USCCB’s ad hoc committee on religious liberty, sent a letter to Congress urging support for increased conscience protections. I have no problem with increasing conscience protections. I have not been shy about saying the original iteration of the HHS contraception mandate was wrong and accusing the White House of being deaf to Catholic concerns.

Gehring on New Pope

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John Gehring has a fine essay up at USAToday on what we Catholics should hope for in a new Pope. I especially like his call for a pope committed to a less ostentatious style of dress and demeanor. Much as I love Pope Benedict XVI, some of the costumes have been off-putting to those who, as Gehring notes, "are struggling to pay a mortgage or scratch out enough for tuition at a Catholic school."

The Sequester Cometh

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The sequester looms and the two political parties are far apart on what should be done to avoid it. The Republicans insist that revenue is off the table, having been made to swallow tax hikes at the turn of the year. Democrats insist that entitlements and other key programs are off the table, having agreed to cuts in the last two years. A few brave souls like Paul Krugman say that they should can the entire budget cutting mentality and let the economy get on a sound footing first. Increasingly, it looks like Congress will do nothing and so the sequester will go into effect.

 

College Ball

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This is the best time of year. College basketball is on almost every night. And, this year, the level of competition is stunning. In years past, being ranked #1 always put a target on your back, but this year it seems there are many more teams capable of hitting that target. This past weekend, #2 Duke lost to unranked Maryland. Anytime Duke loses is a good day to be alive. (Sorry Rick!) But, seriously, can anyone remember a season in which so many teams were capable of knocking of ranked teams?

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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

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