Distinctly Catholic

What Should Obama Say?


Inaugural speeches are among the toughest speeches to write. The nature of the event itself requires that the President seek to transcend partisanship, a nature that was reinforced by the first great inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson’s famous “We are all federalists. We are all Republicans.” Our politics today are as divided as those that faced Jefferson, and so there is always something a little off-key about appeals to non-partisanship, and, unlike Jefferson, such appeals now lack the appearance of novelty.


Kaveny Response Part II


Cathleen Kaveny is writing some of the smartest posts on the HHS mandate to be published so far. Here is her second response to my posting which was, in turn, a response to her first article on the topic at Commonweal. I shall respond to Kaveny's postings when she has completed them but must say that the White House would be in a far different position if they had hired her to explain the mandate a year ago, which is not to say that i am entirely persuaded. But, as I say, I shall wait until she is finished to reply.

Profile of Denis McDonough


President Obama is expected to announce that Denis McDonough will be his new chief of staff. This is one of the top jobs in Washington, and McDonough has been a friend to the Church during his tenure at the national Security Council. His brother is a priest who was Vicar General of the Archdiocese of St. Paul. This profile of McDonough ran in this morning's Washington Post.  

Kaveny Replies


Over at Commonweal, Cathleen Kaveny has replied to my post the other day, which was a reply to her earlier post on religious liberty. She promises more soon, so I shall wait until then to reply. I will say that Kaveny is making the best case for the exemptions the administration presented, better than anything I have heard from the administration.  

Gun Control: Can It Happen?


I have voiced the concern previously that the debate over gun control could crowd out other issues, and that I fear the prospect of meaningful gun control is so low, it seems a questionable political calculation to pursue mediocre gun control if that makes real, substantive progress on other issues less likely. “Seek joy where joy may be found” is one of my most closely held beliefs.



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In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017