Distinctly Catholic

Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete


Last night, I was in New York City to speak at an event sponsored by the Crossroads Cultural Center at New York University. The topic was the Holy Father’s address to the Bundestag, a text well worth considering. But, for me, as for the audience, the highlight of the evening was my fellow panelist, Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete.

Voter ID Aim Exposed


State Rep. Mike Turzai of Pennsylvania told a Republican group this past weekend that the purpose of the state's new Voter ID law was all about handing the election to Gov. Romney. I have written about this before. Pennsylvania and most other states have no, repeat no, problem of voter fraud. But, the GOP has enacted these laws that will make it more difficult for poor people to vote, especially those in urban areas who have never had a car, in many states. It is an outrage. Again, I call on my conservative friends to speak out against this. Here is the video from Hardball:

Barron on Congar on the Council


I know Father Robert Barron leaves some people cold. I prefer his writing to his TV documentary. But, this essay he posted yesterday is, I think, very important, especially the end where he talks about the reasons for founding the journal Communio. It ties in, I think, with my post below about Abp DiNoia's appointment to the Ecclesia Dei Commission, and it is well worth the read.

UVA Prez is Back


By a unanimous decision, the Board of Visitors voted to re-instate UVA President Teresa Sullivan yesterday. Clearly, it is in the best interests of the university for everyone to figure out how to bury the hatchet, but I hope, too, that the underlying issue of what is required of a university in our day will not be lost. Sullivan now has an obligation to use her new found fame to address this issue thoughtfully, and not only on the campus in Charlottesville. The thought that a board would think about eliminating classics is simply horrific and we need to ask how we got to such a situation.

Why Ecclesia Dei Appt is Important


Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P. was named Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” yesterday by Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop DiNoia served with then-Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for several years, then with Cardinal William Levada, before being named Secretary for the Congregation for Divine Worship in 2009 when he was also ordained titular Archbishop of Oregon City.

The Ecclesia Dei Commission was established by Pope John Paul II in 1988 to cultivate “full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals until now linked in various ways to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Lefebvre.” As well, the commission aimed to promote the pastoral care of those Catholics who felt an attachment to the Tridentine Rites of the Church.

+DiNoia to Ecclesia Dei


CNS has the news story on the appointment of Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P., to the Commission Ecclesia Dei that oversees the discussions with the Lefebvrists. I will post on the significance of this very intriguing appointment tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, here is a video clip of Archbishop DiNoia's comments at the end of the Mass at which he was ordained an archbishop. It gives some sense of the fact, an undeniable fact, that DiNoia brings not only his extensive learning to this post, but a deeply ecclesial spirituality:

Scalia Scatenato


In the "Morning Briefing," NCR's editor, Dennis Coday, called attention to an article about Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent in the Arizona case yesterday. It was stunning, even by Scalia's over-the-top standards. It was especially strange to see Scalia comment on President Obama's recent decision to give temporary work permits to undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children. I do think the President's decision reaises constitutional questions, but those questions were most certainly not before the Court yesterday. If Scalia wants to write a blog, he should do so, but he should leave such commentary out of an official document of the Court like a dissent. Perhaps it was payback for Obama's comments about Citizens United during his State of the Union speech two years ago. Vendetta is an Italian word after all. So, it "scatenato" or unhinged, and Scalia's dissent yesterday seems to exemplify it.

The Scandal at UVA


I am angry at myself for missing the scandal at the University of Virginia. In Connecticut for two weeks, excuse me, for a fortnight, to visit my Dad, I did not check in regularly with the Washington Post online, and I abstained from any of the cable news programs I normally watch. Sadly, the UVA scandal did not break through in Connecticut’s local papers. That makes me angry too. This is a national story with very important issues and its resolution will likely point higher education down one of two paths, only one of which is worthy and respectable.


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In This Issue

March 24-April 6, 2017