Distinctly Catholic

NoLa Priest On Ryan's Budget


Father Michael Jacques calls the recently passed GOP House budget "shameful" in this essay at a New Orleans alternative paper, the Lens. I had expressed the hope that Congressman Paul Ryan's stated desire to enflesh more Aquinas than Rand would begin to show up in his numbers but as Fr. Jacques points out, we are still getting an essentially Randian view of government's obligations to the poor which is to view them with contempt. 

"The Cult of the Self"


Here is a provocative essay by Michael Stafford in which he analyzes the "cult of the self" and the ways it can be confronted by Christian faith. He makes many interesting points, and I admire his trenchant writing style. I would only say that when we attack modernity, as attack it we must, we are more persuasive and convincing when we recognize the many wonderful things modernity has accomplished as well as pointing out its ugly side. Advances in modern medicine deserve a shout out.

"See, I am doing something new!"


The Catholic world continues to be intrigued by the person of Pope Francis. At this early stage, everyone is trying to interpret the small decisions he has made and discern greater significance in them. Already, some are voicing the fear that this breath of fresh Argentine air known as Pope Francis may limit his capacity for change to mere symbols, as if a symbol can ever be “mere” to a Catholic.


Dems for Life File Amicus Brief


Democrats for Life of America has filed an amicus brief in two cases relating to the HHS mandate and, specifically, the inclusion of abortifacient drugs on the list of those preventive services that must be covered. I am agnostic on whether these drugs are truly abortifacients, having read articles on both sides of the issue that made sense to my biology-challenged brain.

SSM at the Supreme Court: Part II


Yesterday, I issued the plea that both sides in the debate about same sex marriage be respectful of the good intentions of each other, and resist the urge to hurl the epithets like “bigot” or “civilizational threat.” Of course, the discussion in front of the Supreme Court today will not be a political discussion but a legal one. So, let us look at the role of the law in adjudicating this issue.


Silk on Rogers


Last Friday, I participated in the "on-the-record" conference call with Melissa Rogers, the new head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Like my colleague, Mark Silk who blogged about the call here, I was disappointed that Rogers was kept on such a short leash by the White House Communications team. In the end, however, what matters is that Rogers is allowed to speak up at policy-making decisions within the White House, not what she can say to a gaggle of reporters.


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In This Issue

June 16-29, 2017