Distinctly Catholic

Libertarianism Going Mainstream?


James Hohmann, at Politico, makes the case that libertarianism is going mainstream. This is the scariest development in contemporary American politics and members of both political parties need to be on the alert, especially Catholics. You may find yourself agreeing with this or that policy, but the problem with libertarianism is at the root: When they say "human person," they understand that differently from the way orthodox Christians do.

Yucky Jobs' Report


Anyone who thought the economy had nothing but smooth sailing ahead got a wake-up call this morning when the Department of Labor reported that the U.S. economy added only 88,000 new jobs last month. No doubt the sequestration at the beginning of March had something to do with this, not only because government hiring is essentially frozen but because the uncertainty surrounding the sequester has re-introduced a measure of fear in the private sector as well.

Back to the HHS Mandate


The other day a friend reminded me that the filing deadline for official comments on the HHS contraception mandate rule was fast approaching. In all the excitement of the conclave and the election of Pope Francis, I had almost forgotten about the HHS mandate. Almost. Returning to the subject is not easy. Suddenly, it seems like small potatoes compared to the apostolic zeal we have witnessed in the person of Francis.


Tea Party v. Viable GOP Future


NBC Latino has an op-ed by my friend Juhem Navarro-Rivera, who works with the Public Religion Research Institute. Navarro-Rivera explains the results of a recent PRRI survey on attitudes towards immigration reform and reaches the conclusion that the leadership of the GOP may need to make a choice: Bend to the anti-immigrant wishes of the Tea Party or craft a viable future for the GOP on the national stage. They can't do both.  

Dominicans in NYTimes


In the New York Times, an article about the growth of the Dominican Order, especially in Ireland, at a time when vocations to religious life have plummeted in the Emerald Isle. I think the emphasis the new recruits place on living in community is vital, and that diocesan bishops need to think of ways to permit their clergy to live in at least small communities, although I know other priests who would recoil at the prospect.

Reform & Pope Francis: Part II


Yesterday, I began a discussion about Pope Francis and the evident mandate he received from the cardinal-electors to reform the Church. The Church is not a business, and so the most important reforms will be those of the heart, and such reforms are never easy to achieve, at least not through a management program. More on that at the end. But, let us look at what can be done to manage the curia more effectively and, especially, the relationship of the curia with the universal Church.



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In This Issue

March 10-23, 2017