Distinctly Catholic

Roe, Libertarianism, Moralism: Bring Back the Seamless Garment


“When human life is considered ‘cheap’ or easily expendable in one area, eventually nothing is held as sacred and all lives are in jeopardy.” Cardinal Joseph Bernardin spoke those words in the early 1980s as he expounded what he termed a “consistent ethic of life” and what many of us came to know as the “seamless garment” approach to life issues, the idea that the Church should not focus exclusively on abortion, but see that issue in the context of a culture that had begun to cheapen life and, thus, made abortion thinkable.


Fr; Crossin: Steps To Christian Unity


Over at the USCCB blog, Father John Crossin, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat on ecumenical and interreligious affairs, notes seven markers on the road to Christian unity. It is stunning to think how far we have come in what is, in Church terms, such a relatively short period of time! Indeed, we saw visual evidence of this just yesterday as Cardinal Donald Wuerl, in choir cassock, prayed one of the readings at the interfaith prayer service for the inauguration.

+Cupich's Pro-Life Message


When St. Paul got to the Areopagus, he found the monument to the unknown God, with which the Athenians were familiar, and began preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ by referencing that monument. This week, at the annual Respect Life Mass in Spokane, Washington, Bishop Blase Cupich did something similar, linking the vivid, painful and recent memories of the killings in Newtown, Connecticut with the Church's concern for the unborn.

The Israeli Elections


The Israeli elections delivered a surprising, but not an ultimate, rebuke to Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. His Liked Party coalition, which held 42 seats in the outgoing Knesset, fell to 31 seats in the new parliament, but it remains the largest bloc of votes and so it will fall to Netanyahu to form a new government.


National Prayer Service


I am watching the National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral. It is on C-Span right now. Cardinal Wuerl looks great. Steve Schneck is seated in the sanctuary as he will be leading one of the prayers. The service began with the hymn, "Guide Me Thou, O Great Redeemer," and while Americans don't sing at full throttle as the Brits do, it was splendid nonetheless. And the first reading was from one of my favorite passages, Isaiah 55. It's not Westminster Abbey, but it will do.

More Conservative Claptrap


Over at Crisis magazine, there is an article by Nicholas Hahn in which he chastizes the bishops and Father Lombardi at the Vatican press office for daring to support common sense gun control measures. It is clear that Mr. Hahn cares more about the Second Amendment than he does about the Second Vatican Council. He cherry picks a few quotes from pope John Paul II, which were not on point to begin with, and fashions them into a core argument: Bishops, mind your own business and gins are not your business.

The Inauguration: A Review


As American civic liturgies go, nothing trumps an inauguration. Yet, watching the proceedings yesterday, I could not help feel that our civic rituals are somewhat pale in comparison to those of the country against which we rebelled in 1776. Couldn’t we have just paid the tax on the tea and kept Westminster Abbey as a focal point for such rituals? Alas, thank God we had the latest installment of Downton Abbey the night before.


Subscribe to Distinctly Catholic


NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017