Distinctly Catholic

A Speaker Cancellation to Applaud


The Diocese of Worcester has canceled a planned speech by Robert Spencer at an upcoming Catholic Men's Conference. Normally, I do not approve of cancelling speakers slated to address a Catholic audience. I find such efforts counter-productive at best and moralistically reductionist at worst. But, there is really no reason to have a speaker who is just hateful, and Mr. Spencer's characterizations of Islam are hateful, extremely so.

Political Stupidity and Shame


This morning's Washington Post reports that two African-American legislators in Virginia, both Democrats, are considering whether or not to support a GOP-backed redistricting plan that would cram more minority voters into fewer districts, making two districts more likely to elect a minority candidate, but making the eight surrounding districts less friendly to Democrats of any color.

My Favorite Congregational Minister: Rev. Lillian Daniel


I am sure that there are many issues on which the Rev. Lillian Daniel and I would not exactly see eye-to-eye. But hats off to the pastor at the First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Illinois for confronting the "I am spiritual but not religious" approach to the life of faith. Here is a recent interview she did with NPR. (h/t to David Gibson at Commonweal)

Faith & Secularism: It's Not Just for RCs Anymore


This article in yesterday's New York Times about the political forces surrounding the issue of secularization in Israeli politics was fascinating. Turns out it is not only Catholics in the U.S. that are navigating the issue of how religion and political culture intersect and, indeed, in Israel all such issues have an urgency because of that country's need for political unity in the face of its external threats. See any parallels to the U.S.?

Africa Faith & Justice Network Anniversary


The Africa Faith & Justice Network will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion, they are having a big event at the University of Notre Dame at the beginning of March, with Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace giving the keynote. I wrote about this group in the print edition of NCR here.

The Catholic Church & Women


When you see "The Catholic Church" and "Women" in the same headline, you usually expect something to do with reproduction or women's ordination. But, this article at Millennial, looks at the role Catholic schools can play in combating some of the truly demeaning forces that are directed at young women in today's hyper-sexualized, hyper-commercialized, and hyper-commercially sexualized culture.  

MSW v. Sirico: Part II


Yesterday, I set out the core of my economic argument against the proposition that the free market is adequate to care for the poor, an argument that was defended by Father Robert Sirico in our debate Monday night at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Today I turn to the ethical problems with the argument. (I had thought to include the deeper theological problems, but that is best left for tomorrow or this will be an overly long post.)



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In This Issue

  • Special Section [Print Only]: Peace & Justice