U.S. Catholic Bishops' statement on the Health Care Bill: "Profoundly flawed"

USCCB Statement on the recently-passed health care legislation (March 23, 2010): For nearly a century, the Catholic bishops of the United States have called for reform of our health care system so that all may have access to the care

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Dark comedy

Compare: Stupak reduced to denouncing his own amendment as anti-life, and Lando Calrissian’s deal with Darth Vader..

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Stupak Deal with Obama, The End of the Pro Life Democrat?

US Catholic Bishops: Executive Order Deal A Non-Starter: We’ve consulted with legal experts on the specific idea of resolving the abortion funding problems in the Senate bill through executive order. We know Members have been looking into this in good

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A Clarification from Father Brian Harrison on the Matter of Torture

Apropos of the ongoing coverage of the ‘torture debate’, particularly between various Catholic bloggers, I’d like to draw attention to the following clarification by Fr. Brian Harrison concerning his earlier remarks on the subject. (HT: Mark Shea).

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Apropos of Last Weeks Torture Post …

Appropos of last week’s torture post, some additional discussions on the web: EWTN and torture Mollie Wilson O’Reilly picks up the story (Commonweal February 19, 2010). Torture, Conscience, and the Tortured Conscience Mike Potemra (NRO‘s “The Corner” February 18, 2010)

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Repent and Believe in the Gospel

… The call to conversion, in fact, uncovers and denounces the easy superficiality that very often characterizes our way of living. To be converted means to change direction along the way of life — not for a slight adjustment, but

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Catholic Advocacy of Torture: A Teaching Moment for the Catholic Bishops?

Writing at Vox Nova, the author known as “Morning’s Minion” has published a post calling for consistency in the application of canon 915 — the denial of Holy Communion to those who “obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin” — in

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Feast Day of Saint Thomas Aquinas

January 28th, is the feast day St. Thomas Aquinas, my chosen saint as a convert. (It was a toss-up between Thomas the philosopher-theologian and Thomas Merton, the not-quite-saintly Trappist — both exercising an influence on my journey to Rome). Here

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"a sad infidelity to America's highest ideals"

[N]o one in the world who prizes liberty and human rights can feel anything but a strong kinship with America. Yours is the one great nation in all of history that was founded on the precept of equal rights and

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Separating the wheat from the chaff in the Great Torture Debate …

There’s a new blog in town — “The Coalition for Clarity” — founded by Red Cardigan (And Sometimes Tea), with inspiration from Mark Shea; you can review their founding principles here. Who could be a part of the Coalition for

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Archbishop Niederauer Instructs Nancy Pelosi on Free Will, Conscience and Moral Choice

A few weeks ago I had posted my thoughts on Nancy Pelosi’s scadalous Newsweek interview, in which she chalked up her disagreements with the Bishops on Catholic moral teaching as a “difference of opinion.” At the time I had expressed

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"I agree with the Church in principle, but …"

Last week I posted a reaction to House Speaker Pelosi’s interview in Newsweek (cross-posted to First Things‘ “First Thoughts”). Perusing the comments, I discovered that the author of No Hidden Magenta — a blog with the daunting task of “bridging

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Bringing New Life to an Old Monastery.

PHOTO: Maj. Jeffrey Whorton, a Roman Catholic chaplain, celebrating Mass at St. Elijah’s Monastery near Mosul in northern Iraq. The United States Army hopes to restore St. Elijah’s Monastery, an ancient site of Christian worship stuck in the middle of

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Nancy Pelosi to Bishops on Abortion: I practically mourn this difference of opinion

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was interviewed in a recent edition of Newsweek, in which she had the opportunity to set the bishops straight on the participation of Catholics in public life. I think you have had some brushes with [church]

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Towards a Proper Appreciation of Liberation Theology, Some Resources from Pope John Paul II

In a recent post to Vox Nova, Michael Iafrate (aka. “The Catholic Anarchist”) offers a welcome reminder concerning Pope Benedict’s admonishment to the Brazilian bishops of “more or less visible consequences, of rebellion, division, dissent, offense, anarchy are still being

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The Claremont Reviews Advent Interview with Fr. James V. Schall

Since 2002 Ken Masugi, a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute and lecturer in Government at Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC, has conducted Advent interviews with James V. Schall, S.J., author of over thirty books on political theory and theology.

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Just in case you wondered …

What rubrics to follow at Mass in case of gunfire? (Fr. John Zuhlsdorf).

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Poll: Which is scarier?

Orrin Hatch’s “Eight Days of Hannukah” John Ashcroft’s “Let the Eagle Soar”. “MC [Karl] Rove”

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The New Jesuit Review

[From the website]: The New Jesuit Review has as its goals the recovery of Jesuit spirituality from its authentic sources and reflection by contemporary Jesuits on its significance for their lives. The writings of St. Ignatius and the First Companions,

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The Debate is about Authority

Witnessing the continued implosion of the Anglicans and the ELCA over matters of Christian morality, I am intrigued by the way present circumstances have inspired renewed consideration of tradition, authority and obedience. As I wrote a few months ago (“On

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Abortion, Capital Punishment and War, One of these things is not like the other

Ed Stoddard of Reuters’ religion blog Faithworld carries a roundup of the skirmish between Congressman Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, has claimed that Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin. In conclusion, Stoddard asks: This leads to

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Happy Thanksgiving!

A roundup from around the web … 1.  Jay Anderson gives us a history lesson on “The First Thanksgiving”: Every gradeschool boy and girl in the U.S. will confidently tell you that their history books say that the very first

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Thank You to Our Men and Women in Service

On this Thanksgiving I’d like to convey my heartfelt thanks to my brother Nathan (currently overseas – prayers requested) and all those in service. I am forever conscious of the sacrifices they make on behalf of our country, including much

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Archbishop Burke's appointment to the Congregation of Bishops

Archbishop Raymond Burke has long been held with disdain (or outright revulsion) by liberal Catholics for his penchant to speak bluntly on various issues — from his cautioning the Democrats that they risk becoming “the party of Death” for their

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Sounds like a plan.

“We should all pray … and often … to/through the intercession of Mother Teresa for the conversion of [Christopher] Hitchens.” — A First Thoughts reader, in response to Hitchens’ latest pathetic diatribe against Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

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Irving Kristol, 1920-2009

And so we lose another giant. A self-identified liberal “mugged by reality”, Irving Kristol, commonly heralded as the godfather of ‘neo’-conservatism, has died. Hillel Italie gives an account of his life for RealClearPolitics.com: A Trotskyist in the 1930s, Kristol would

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I agree with our President!

In the midst of all this recent partisan strife and dissent, there is one truth we can join our President in affirming.

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On the troubles within the ELCA

I attended a Lutheran (ELCA) college, where I majored in theology and philosophy. Much of my junior and senior year, however, were spent engaged in study of Catholic teaching (thanks to the fortunate discovery of Dorothy Day and Cardinal Ratzinger),

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When did Senator Kennedy abandon his commitment to the unborn?

As has been pointed out, Senator Kennedy was pro-life at least until late 1971. Like Jesse Jackson, Al Gore and other prominent figures on the left, his stance changed as “abortion rights” became a major plank on the Democrat Party

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Eschaton Si, Immanent No!

Over at Vox Nova, Henry Karlson offers some thoughtul reflections on eschatology (Part I | Part II | Part III), or rather — those who employ the catch phrase “Don’t immanentize the eschaton!” as a cudgel against those “doing the

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Two Letters.

I know that I have been an imperfect human being, but with the help of my faith I have tried to right my path. I want you to know Your Holiness that in my nearly 50 years of elective office,

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