Distinctly Catholic

Anti-Semitic Stupidity


The website The American Catholic is always a little kookie. They have a bizarre post about the Klan and Progressivism that reads like cliff notes of a Glenn Beck special. But, they also have an article about U.S.-Israeli relations that includes this sentence: “Is the ultimate plan of the Israeli braintrust to find a rationale for one big war in order to ethnically cleanse most of the rest of the Palestinians into Jordan/Egypt/Lebanon et al?”
It is, arguably, the most repulsive sentence I have read all year. Suggesting that the Israeli government engages in ethnic cleansing is beyond the pale of kookie, and more than halfway to evil. While we have an obligation to call-out such outrageousness, there is no real arguing with someone who makes such a claim. As Barney Frank, that pro-Israel congressman said, better to argue with your dining room table.

Blast From the Past: Immigrants


I came across this account of an eighteenth century Irish émigré’s voyage to the United States. It seems to me that people who endured such suffering then, as people who endure such suffering today, on account of their desire to come to America, have achieved the citizenship equivalent of what we Catholics call “baptism by desire.” This account is found in Jay Dolan’s The Irish Americans.

“One emigrant, whose voyage took nearly fifteen weeks under a ruthless captain, described some of the horrors of his journey in a letter to his father in Ireland: ‘Hunger and Thirst had now reduced our Crew to the last Extremity, nothing was now to be heard aboard our Ship but the Cries of distressed Children, and of their distressed Mothers, unable to relieve them. Our Ship now was truly a Spectacle of Horror! Never a Day passed without one or two of our Crew put over Board; many kill’d themselves by drinking Salt Water, and their own urine was a common Drink. Yet in the midst of all our Miseries, our Captain shewed not the least Remorse or Pity.’ When the ship finally reached the port of New Castle on the Delaware River, sixty-four of the emigrants and crew members had died.”

Yahoo Watch: The Anchoress


The Anchoress, Elisabeth Scalia, over at First Things is usually thoughtful. Usually wrong, of course, but thoughtfully wrong. But her analysis of the controversy surrounding Shirley Sherrod earns her a spot on today’s Yahoo Watch.

Scalia writes that Sherrod blamed the NACCP for her firing, which is not exactly what Sherrod said. Sherrod noted, correctly, that the focus on her was in response to the NAACP’s resolution calling on the Tea Party to renounce those in its ranks who peddle in racism. She did not “blame” them if by blaming we mean to suggest a moral responsibility. And, there is no comparison between the NAACP resolution and what Andrew Breitbart did. The NAACP asked the Tea Party to denounce those who attend its rallies carrying racist signs, and yes, there are such signs. Mssr. Breitbart, on the other hand, willfully distorted a video to suggest that Ms. Sherrod was saying the exact opposite of what she was saying.

Q & A: Congresswoman Linda Sanchez


This week, we are discussing immigration reform. Today, we hear from Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, D-CA.
The question: What will it take to get immigration reform passed and what are the prospects for passage?
Cong. Sanchez:
In order for immigration reform to get done this year, we need Republicans to stop playing politics with a problem we should have fixed long ago. I’m ready to move forward; the majority of Democrats are ready to move forward; and I believe the majority of Americans are ready to move forward. But the fact is, without bipartisan support, we cannot reform our broken immigration system. The Senate requires 60 votes to pass an immigration reform. With 56 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 42 Republicans, the reality that Republican votes are needed in order for something to happen is a reality that can’t be ignored.

\"Whole Life Heroes\" Makes Its Debut


Democrats for Life of America has a new website that champions “Whole Life Heroes,” those pro-life members of Congress, all Democrats, who supported health care reform after ensuring that the law was amended to ensure that there would be no federal funding of abortion. The site includes fact checks about the bill as well as profiles of these courageous members of Congress.

“Pro life Democrats provided the final votes needed to pass health care reform. These Democrats stood up for pro-life principles during the healthcare debate and delivered needed reforms that protect life at all stages,” said Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life of America in a press release announcing the new website. “Now we are standing up for these Whole Life Heroes as they come under false, politically motivated attacks for defending their values.”

Smelling A Rat: Andrew Breitbart


At this time yesterday, the world did not know of the existence of Ms. Shirley Sherrod, an employee of the Department of Agriculture. Then Andrew Breitbart “caught” Ms. Sherrod on tape discussing an incident from twenty years previously in which she said she thought about not helping a farmer who had come to her in need because he was white. Except, that is not what she was discussing at all.

Can't or Won't


I count myself among those who thought it was very bad for the Vatican to treat the ordination of women in the same document in which it dealt with new norms for punishing those clerics who sexually abuse minors. But, among those who criticize the document, one criticism seems to me misplaced and that is the charge of misogyny.

Blast From the Past: Murray v. Vagnozzi


Last week, I ran a quote from Gerald Fogarty’s invaluable The Vatican and the American Hierarchy from 1870 to 1965, which included quotes from the intervention of Bishop Stephen Levin at the Second Vatican Council. That passage is followed immediately by this account of a struggle between Father John Courtney Murray, S.J. and the Apostolic Delegate to the United States, Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, which shows that there is always a back-drama to the Church’s decision-making, a thing to remember whenever we read a new document from the Holy See.

Yahoo Watch: Ex-Gays


There are few more pernicious groups in America today than those which claim they can “convert” gays and lesbians into “ex-gays.” They promise nothing but lies and human misery. So, it is not simple schadenfreude that makes me relish a story about the leader of one such group being caught doing things that are inappropriate by any standard.

Click "read more" to see the video. (H/T to Right Wing Watch.)


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In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017