Distinctly Catholic

O'Brien to Rome


Archbishop Edwin O'Brien's appointment as Pro-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre took most everyone by surprise. There had been talk that Archbsihop Pietro Sambi, who served as nuncio both in the U.S. where the Order raises much of its funds, and in Jerusalem, where the Order undertakes much of its work, would be named to the post, but that talk ended with Sambi's untimely death. There had earlier been talk that Cardinal Justic Rigali was angling for the post, but the release of a second Grand Jury Report detailing a failure to abide by the Dallas Norms on Rigali's watch scotched that talk. Then, there was talk that Cardinal Franc Rode would get the nod, but his advanced age seemed to preclude that possibility.

Evangelicals & Science


The relationship between faith and reason is one of the fault lines in Western culture. There have always been different schools of theological thinking within the Church to be sure, but the lines became especially fractured after Martin Luther warned his fellow Protestants to “Beware the whore, Reason, for she will go with any man.” In our own day, the fault lines are most frequently found in the “battle” between science and religion and, it appears that the GOP presidential primaries will include at least some attention to these lines.

Prominent RCs Write To Sebelius on Conscience Protections


At noon Friday, a group of prominent Catholics released a letter to Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recommending that she amend the proposed rule on mandated health care coverage to provide for more expansive conscience protections for religious organizations. The letter is signed by some of the same academics who penned a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner in advance of his commencement address at Catholic University in May, calling on him to support policies that reflect Catholic social teaching. The main organizer of both letters is Professor Stephen Schneck, Director of CUA’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies.

Albacete on World Youth Day


Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete is to the New Evangelization what Dean Rusk was to NATO - he was "present at the creation." He has a very interesting post up at Sussidiario about World Youth Day and why the mainstream press just can't get their head around the event itself or the Pope's New Evangelization project more generally. The key graphs read (but you should read the whole thing here):

Some Catholics follow these events in the Catholic media, but they seem to share the secularist view that if they have any lasting impact, it is only at the inspirational or individualist moral level. That they could signal or even provoke a cultural change in many areas of human activity beyond sexual behavior -in the areas, for example, of economic policies, world hunger, labor justice, health care, etc. - is simply not seen.

Once again, we see the tragic effects of the split between faith and knowledge of reality, and thus between knowing and judgment.

Bishop Blaire's powerful Labor Day statement


Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, the head of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has issued a statement for Labor Day that is simply put one of the most forceful statements from the USCCB in a long time. He sets forth a vision for the nation's economic and political life that could scarcely be more at odds with the Ayn Rand-inspired Tea Party social Darwinism that has come to dominate so much of public discourse.

More Thoughts in Boston & the Critics


To be clear, a person who has been sexually abused as a child is allowed to be angry for the rest of their lives. I get that. And, to be clear, groups like SNAP and BishopAccountability.org have undertaken an important task of monitoring the Catholic Church’s compliance with its own public commitments regarding the protection of children and the prosecution of clergy predators. I get that, too. Members of SNAP are to the clergy sex abuse crisis what survivors are to the Holocaust, the people whose memory we must always respect and, more to this point, those whose sense of alarm has a particular moral authority.

Thoughts on Boston archdiocese's decision to name accused priests


Thursday afternoon, the Archdiocese of Boston announced that it has compiled a list of all the archdiocese’s clerics who have been accused of sexually abusing children and is placing it at one, easy to access, location on its website.

A total of 159 clerics are listed at the new website and it includes all clergy who were accused and found guilty by either criminal or ecclesiastical courts, all clergy who were accused and laicized, and all clergy who were accused but subsequently exonerated.

Former Front-Runner Mitt


I was almost beginning to feel sorry for Mitt Romney. He did not have much of a platform for his candidacy to begin with. He can't very well run on his signature accomplishment while Governor of Massachusetts, universal health care with an individual mandate! And, his prowess as a businessman suffers from the fact that he made a lot of his money by exporting jobs overseas. Then, there is that obnoxious clip of him defending abortion rights with a highly personal story about the death of his cousin whom he loved because she had a botched illegal abortion in the early 60's. But, hey, he was a grown-up and the frontrunner.
Not anymore. Fresh from the getting the posse ready to rough up Ben Bernanke, Gov. Rick Perry is now atop the latest Gallup poll.
If Romney thought his front-runner status lent his campaign an aura of inevitability, he was barking up the wrong tree. Ask Hillary Clinton how that inevitability thing works. But, now he is not even the front-runner. Why does he think he can win this thing?


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In This Issue

April 21-May 4, 2017