Between 1983-1998, the federal government managed a steady year-by-year reduction in the deficit, followed by a balanced budget and then, amazingly enough, a surplus. Yes, Congress and the President can identify and ultimately repair the nation’s most pressing problems. Sure, it took some time, but the trends were clear and sharp observers saw it coming. It was with this in mind that I read Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) "Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise." It is not is a serious proposal to get today's deficits under control.
A letter from Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe on the topic of marriage, divorce and cohabitation was read all Masses this past weekend. It reaffirmed parts of church teaching about marriage and laid down the law for those not following it, namely those who live together without getting married, or those in civil unions, whether married previously or not. He counseled the divorced to seek annulments, but said others should be banned from the sacraments and other parish participation, including serving as godparents.
From the letter:
2. These people may not be commissioned as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, not only because of scandal, but even more because one commits the sin of sacrilege by administering a Sacrament in the state of mortal sin.
From the UK's Guardian newspaper:
The securities and exchange commission disclosed the challenge in a filing ahead of Goldman Sachs' annual meeting next month.
The nuns asked that "shareholders request that the board's compensation committee initiate a review of our company's senior executive compensation policies and make available a summary report of that review by 1 October, 2011 (omitting confidential information and processed at a reasonable cost). We request that the report include:
- An evaluation of whether our senior executive compensation packages (including, but not limited to, options, benefits, perks, loans and retirement agreements) are 'excessive' and should be modified.
The financial disaster that was Detroit Cardinal’s Adam Maida’s dream – the John Paul II Cultural Center – is back on the block. NCR broke the story of the Detroit Archdiocese’s $40 million investment in this white elephant back in 2006.
On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Peter of Verona, also known as St. Peter Martyr.
In The First Disciples of St. Dominic, Fr. Victor F. O'Daniel, O.P., quotes the verses St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in 1263 during his visit to St. Eustorgio's Convent in Milan, where the martyred St. Peter was entombed.
Lowell, Mass. Steward Health Care seeks another Catholic hospital
This Lenten task I assigned myself, a sober look at where we Americans keep our treasure (Mt. 6: 21), turns out to be suitably penitential. I’m hoping you, dear reader, are willing to keep up.
Today’s Government Accountability Office Pentagon boondoggle is the Global Information Grid, something The New York Times itself puts in unattributed quotes as the “‘mother of all networks,’ intended to interconnect all military elements swiftly and securely.”
The thinking that undergirds this grid began in St. Louis in the 1970s when engineers at the Defense Mapping Agency began to map points on the earth ten feet apart, entering into the computer daily temps, altitude, and coded landmarks like trees, buildings, lakes and cornfields. Of course within about 20 years satellite imaging and the GPS overtook surveyors on the ground.
You would think that GPS plus World Wide Web connections would do the trick. And indeed the GAO and the Times -- as well as the soldiers in the field who use these tools -- find them sufficient for a lot of what’s needed.
NCR columnist Jesuit Fr. John Dear will be giving a talk, "The Road to Peace: Practicing Non-violence in a World of Violence and War," today in Lewisburg, Pa. He will be speaking at Bucknell Unviersity at at 7:30 p.m. in Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building.
The talk is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Bucknell's Catholic Campus Ministry. Click here for details.
When I heard about the patriarchal ultimatum (recant your support of women’s ordination or be dismissed) given to Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois I was stunned, but not surprised.
It brought my mind back to the day when my good friend, Bill Callahan, then a Jesuit, was dismissed from his order. Although Bill’s dismissal was wrapped in different language, his advocacy for women’s ordination was a major part of the accusations against him.
Both men provide powerful public witnesses for their beliefs. Roy preached at the 2008 ordination of a woman friend in the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement. Bill was a plenary speaker at the first Women’s Ordination Conference in 1975 and launched Priests for Equality that same year, with women’s ordination as a prominent part of the charter.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Arizona taxpayers do not have the “standing” necessary to challenge the state’s tuition assistance program. Under the program, taxpayers can direct up to $1000 (for couples) of their tax payment to support private schools.
Among the largest beneficiaries of the program are the state’s Catholic schools. While the ruling is narrow, the local effect is that the program should continue well into the future. Meanwhile, church-state separatists are not happy with the decision, written by associate justice Anthony Kennedy with a dissent from the court’s newest member, Elena Kagan.