Distinctly Catholic

Fr. Jenkins at Wesley


Father John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, delivered the graduation speech at the Wesley Theological Seminary's commencement exercises, held this week at Washington Nation Cathedral. Jenkins called on all, but especially the graduates, to root ourselves in the Christian commitment to treat others fairly, be watchful for the danger of hubris and hatred in ourselves, and to always show respect to those with whom we disagree.

Outside, critics burned an effigy....just kidding.

More on Pro-life Dems


I had reached out to former Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper for a comment about the Democrats for Life of America and their petition asking for a "big tent" on abortion in the party's platform. I wrote about this yesterday.

The comment arrived too late for my post yesterday, but it is worth posting on its own. Here is Dahlkemper's comment:

When I was running for Congress, my Democratic primary opponents questioned whether I was a “real” Democrat because of my pro-life stance.

I always refer to myself as a whole life Democrat and have fought for issues that Democrats hold dear including health care reform, a clean environment and educational opportunities for everyone. My whole life position also includes protecting the unborn. That position does not and should not negate my membership in the Democratic Party nor should people ever question my Party Affiliation due to my stance on abortion. There needs to be room for all Democrats in our big tent party so we can fight for the issues we all believe in.

Graduation Wars


The graduation wars have begun. As thousands of students at Catholic colleges and universities prepare to celebrate their graduation and take their degrees, their campuses are embroiled in controversy over who should and should not be permitted to speak at graduation and, in some cases, receive an honorary degree.

Can You Say Llave?


This article at Politico looks at the central role of Hispanic voters in such key swing states as Nevada, Colorado, Florida and Virginia. If Obama wins Florida or any combination of two of the other three, it is difficult to see how he loses the election, unless the economy tanks or some other unforeseen event. Whatever you think of Mitt Romney, and I don't think much, his decision to outflank his opponents to the right on the immigration issue may prove his undoing.

Aux Armes Citoyens!


Yesterday, France elected Francois Hollande as its next president. As I discussed last week, I believe that this is a good thing for France and for the European economy. The incumbent, Nicholas Sarkozy, was far too committed to following German Chancellor Angela Merkel's austerity programs within the Eurozone, and austerity programs never work unless paired with growth policies. Hollande's victory, combined with the still murky results of elections in Greece, should help Europe move away from the policies that were doomed to fail.

DFLA Calls For \"Big Tent\" in Dem Platform


The group Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) has launched a petition drive calling on the Democratic Party to introduce “big tent” language into its platform on the issue of abortion. This is an important, and commendable, effort and I encourage everyone to sign the petition. I wrote about DFLA in a column in the print edition of NCR that you can read by clicking here.

Here is the text of the proposed language:

We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our Party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, like abortion and the death penalty. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues.

+Blaire on Budget & Much Else


My colleague Joshua McElwee has called attention to an interview with Bishop Stephen Blaire over at the other NCR - the National Catholic Register.

A couple of thoughts come to mind. First, you can almost hear Blaire's calm, pastoral voice speaking through the computer page. Rightly, I believe, he does not indulge a jeremiad, he does not compare Cong. Ryan to Hitler or Stalin, his sense of the Church's role in politics and society appropriately careful and even modest. This is the kind of priest I like to go to confession to - calm, pastoral, gentle.


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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017