Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Digest of Today's Posts (30 April 2008)

  • More Cool Stuff for Anglophiles

  • "What Moves Catholic Democrats?"

  • London: Plans Unveiled for Memorial to Pre-Reformation Shrines [UPDATED]

  • Reminder: Start Novena to the Holy Spirit this Friday

  • In the May 4-10 Issue of National Catholic Register

    (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (29 April 2008))
  • Labels:

    More Cool Stuff for Anglophiles

    (Hat tip: Mark Shea)

    And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time

    And did those feet in ancient time
    Walk upon England's mountains green?
    And was the holy Lamb of God
    On England's pleasant pastures seen?

    And did the Countenance Divine
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here
    Among these dark satanic mills?

    Bring me my bow of burning gold!
    Bring me my arrows of desire!
    Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
    Bring me my chariot of fire!

    I will not cease from mental fight,
    Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
    Till we have built Jerusalem
    In England's green and pleasant land.

    ~ William Blake, 1804

    The preface to Milton,
    as it appeared in Blake's own illuminated version

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    "What Moves Catholic Democrats?"

    Margaret Cabaniss asks at InsideCatholic.

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    London: Plans Unveiled for Memorial to Pre-Reformation Shrines [UPDATED]

    (Hat tip: Jeffrey at The Roving Medievalist and Fr. Ray Blake)

    Final plans have been unveiled for the memorial to the pre-Reformation English shrines that I first blogged about here:
    Plans for a memorial to the medieval shrines destroyed during the Reformation, were unveiled yesterday at Charterhouse.

    The sculpture by Paul Day, commissioned by the Art and Reconciliation Trust, (ART) will be placed close to the site of Chelsea Manor, once home of St Thomas More and his family. After More was executed for his faith in 1535, his house was given to the Lord Chamberlain, Sir William Sandys. In 1538 Sir Thomas Cromwell moved there in order to avoid the plague that was raging in central London. Cromwell was masterminding the dissolution of the monasteries and destruction of monastic churches and shrines at that time. In order to make sure that all the looted statues were destroyed, Cromwell ordered that they should all be brought to Chelsea Manor and burnt in a huge bonfire that he could personally witness. Among the statues lost was Our Lady of Walsingham, a shrine which ranked fourth after Rome. Jerusalem and Compostella, the Black Madonna of Willesden and Our Lady of Grace of Ipswich.

    The unveiling of the memorial is due to take place on 13 October 2009, the feast of Edward the Confessor. This will be preceded by an ecumenical service in Westminster Cathedral.

    For more information, or to make a donation, visit:


    My Comments:
    The full artwork for the memorial (above), along with some very interesting details about the project, can also be viewed in the downloadable Arts and Reconciliation brochure (pdf).

    It seems the final plans for the monument have changed somewhat from the original rendering (below), but the basic concept is still there.

    Unfortunately, the Walsingham aspect and medieval iconography seem to have been de-emphasized in favor of
    "simplifying the overall form of the sculpture thus emphasising the universal nature of its theme through the use of a recognisable contemporary setting".
    My own opinion is that the changes to the artwork deprive the memorial of its historical context and make it more of a multi-cultural statement on religious persecution in general. The Art and Reconciliation brochure concedes as much:
    It is this design that ART proposes to reproduce in twelve countries where similar persecution has taken place.
    I personally think it unfortunate that they didn't stick with the original plans, and that the memorial won't even be unique to either England or to the English Reformation.

    Nevertheless, it's still a beautiful monument, and the mere fact that this memorial is getting done is itself a near miracle and quite wonderful news.

    Joanna Bogle was there for yesterday's launch of the project.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    A Memorial in Chelsea to the Marian Shrines Destroyed in the English Reformation

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    Reminder: Start Novena to the Holy Spirit this Friday

    Details here. I'll post a reminder every day this week.

    Cathedral of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary
    Toledo, Ohio
    Photographer: Joette Rozanski

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    In the May 4-10 Issue of National Catholic Register

  • How Nondiscrimination Becomes Discrimination

  • ... A recent state statute proposed in Colorado strikes directly at the heart of the free exercise of religion. The statute, called House Bill (HB) 1080, would prohibit “discrimination” in employment in institutions that receive government funding, and explicitly includes religious charities that receive government funds.

    That means that the state may now require Catholic institutions to cease preferring hiring Catholics for roles concerning its mission, or any other function.

    The Colorado statute is only one of numerous similar laws being considered across the nation, and they follow closely on the heels of other laws passed in states such as California and New York under the guise of “equality.”

    It is hard to underestimate the threat these laws pose to religious freedom. They not only silence unique voices religious institutions bring to public debate, but they also impermissibly interfere in the internal workings and governance of religious communities. These laws privilege one value — “nondiscrimination” — over religious freedom.

    But in this context, nondiscrimination loses much of its value because it ultimately will mean whatever shifting coalitions of legislators want it to mean. Further, these laws deprive religious institutions of the clear constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. They in effect discriminate against religion.


  • Hook, Line and Sinker - Clinton’s Catholic College Pep Rallies

  • ... Likewise, Clinton got a nice boost: an invitation from Mercyhurst College, a Catholic college in Erie.

    Such gestures are troubling for the pro-life cause. They are symptomatic of what is happening all over the country, as pro-life Catholics like former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn (a Clinton endorser) and Doug Kmiec (an Obama endorser) — to name only two — line up to throw their support behind these candidates, and as Catholic colleges host their political rallies. Here, I would like to focus on the college situation — namely, Mercyhurst — a real problem that continues to persist.

    The controversy began when Mercyhurst sent invitations to all the presidential candidates to speak at the school, with Clinton quickly responding and accepting for April 1.

    Just as quickly, moral equivalency reared its head as campus proponents began justifying Clinton’s appearance.

    Mercyhurst’s president said that the college looked forward “to engaging in conversations about the most authentic way for Mercyhurst to meet both its religious and its educational obligations.” The college’s vice president of student life stressed the need to “go beyond single-issue politics” — an ostensible plea to not obsess over Clinton’s views on abortion.

    In that spirit, a sophomore English major, quoted in the Erie Times, proclaimed that “the top three issues [in this election] are economics, international policy and the environment.”


  • U.S. Ambassador Glendon: ‘My Role Is to Find Common Ground’

  • ... Glendon spoke recently in Rome with Register correspondent Edward Pentin.

    How do you deal with the tension between the Church’s teaching and approach to certain global issues and those of the U.S. government?

    What strikes me most of all is the close correspondence between the values and ideals that can be summed up in a very simple phrase to which both are committed: the protection and promotion of human dignity, human rights, especially and not exclusively, religious freedom.

    So I see my task as an ambassador as primarily building on and reinforcing an already solid partnership in pursuit of those goals. But where there are differences, my role is to try to find common ground, to build on that common ground and, where differences exist, to explain the position of the United States as best I can, and to explain the reasons for it as best I can.

    [More - Subscription Only]

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    Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (29 April 2008)

  • "Economics As Science: A Catholic Defense of the Free Market"

  • Deal Hudson Asks: "Will Archbishop Wuerl Follow Cardinal Egan?"

  • Things the 15-Year-Old Girls I Grew Up With WEREN'T Doing ...

  • Reminder: Start Novena to the Holy Spirit this Friday

  • National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (28 April 2008))


    "Economics As Science: A Catholic Defense of the Free Market"

    Thomas E. Woods, Jr., senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and author of the book The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy, has an interesting article on economics and Catholic social teaching at InsideCatholic.

    Here's an excerpt:
    ... The point is that the cause-and-effect relationships that constitute the theoretical edifice of economics are not a matter of faith and morals. They do not fall within the range of subjects on which a Catholic prelate is endowed with special insight or authority. Catholic laity cannot head up petition drives against them. They are simply facts of life. Facts cannot be protested, defied, or lectured to; they can only be learned and acted upon. There is no use in shaking our fists at the fact that price controls lead to shortages. All we can do is understand the phenomenon, and be sure to bear it and other economic truths in mind if we want to make statements about the economy that are rational and useful.

    ... Suppose an ecclesiastical document should recommend a particular economic policy as being morally necessary, because its drafters believe it will make the poor better off. Suppose further that they consider it so obvious that this policy will improve the lot of the poor that they do not consider the possibility that it could have any other effect, that there could be any good economic reason for opposing it, or even simply that a trade-off exists between the good outcome they hope for by the policy and unfortunate, unintended side effects of that policy. And now suppose that the policy will in fact not only not improve the position of the poor, but may also make it even worse. What are economically astute members of the faithful to do? Are they forbidden to observe that no one can make reality otherwise than it is, or make A cause B if in the nature of things A inhibits B?

    Vainly barking commands at the economy cannot make reality otherwise than it is. We may as well harangue the law of gravity for dashing our hopes of soaring through the air. All people of good will would be delighted if suddenly, for the first time in world history, everyone earned a wage we considered comfortable. But if the human will alone could make everyone prosperous, then what Bangladesh lacks is not capital and secure property rights but enough protests and vigils. In what other field do Catholics feel justified in making solemn pronouncements without knowing the first thing about the subject at hand?

    [Read the whole thing]

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    Deal Hudson Asks: "Will Archbishop Wuerl Follow Cardinal Egan?"

    Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
    Last night Zoe posted the news that Cardinal Egan publicly admonished Rudy Giuliani for taking communion during the Pope's visit to New York. Egan explained that he had an understanding with the former mayor that he would not present himself for the Eucharist.

    At the papal Mass at National's Stadium, communion was received by Sen. Pelosi, Sen. Kerry, Sen. Dodd, and Sen. Kennedy. Bob Novak reported they were given communion by the papal nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, though the photographs posted on show that Sen. Kerry received communion from a dark-haired priest, obviously not Sambi. The gray-haired priest giving communion to Sen. Dodd could be Sambi, but it's hard to tell.

    Question: What will Archbishop Wuerl of Washington, DC do now that Cardinal Egan has spoken out on the issue?

    I predict he will not follow Egan's example. If Sambi gave communion to the pro-abortion Catholic senators then Wuerl's hand are tied.
    My Comments:
    I, too, believe it doubtful that Archbishop Wuerl will address this matter in the same way that Cardinal Egan has done because, as Discalced Yooper points out, the situations aren't congruous.

    Nevertheless, I can envision a steady drumbeat from some to try to force the hand of Archbishop Wuerl by pointing to the example of Cardinal Egan and Giuliani. Such efforts aren't likely to be successful or particularly productive.

    Still, recall that this issue has been prominent since the moment Archbishop Wuerl came to D.C. (actually, before he even got there), and is likely to continue to be so.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    CBS: Cardinal Egan "Rips" Giuliani For Taking Communion [UPDATED]

    Novak Criticizes Cardinals for "Disobedience" in Giving Pro-Abort Catholics "a Pass" During Papal Visit

    "Wafer Wars, Wedge Issues and the Pope’s Visit" [UPDATED]

    Twice-Divorced, Pro-Abort Rudy Giuliani Receives Communion at Papal Mass

    Pro-Abort Catholic Politicians to Receive Communion at Papal Mass [UPDATED]

    Archbishop Burke Preaches Tough Communion Rule

    More on Archbishop Burke's Article on Canon 915 (Regarding Communion and Pro-Abort Politicos)

    Archbishop Burke on Bad Catholics in Political Life

    Archbishop Wuerl's Stand on Lawmakers Who Back Abortion Angers Some Conservative Catholics

    Abortion and the New Archbishop - A Shot Across the Bow

    Wuerl to be Installed Today - Mass in Washington, D.C., Will Mark His Debut as Archbishop

    McCarrick's Successor Seen as Loyal, Diplomatic, "a Vote for Continuity"; Not Denying Communion has "Served Us Well" (15 links)

    Pope Names Wuerl New Archbishop of Washington, DC

    Bishop Wuerl's Name Surfaces for D.C.

    The Final Word on Pro-Abort Pols and Communion?

    Bishop Wuerl: Bishops Should Consult One Another Before Speaking On National Issues Like Kerry And Communion

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    Things the 15-Year-Old Girls I Grew Up With WEREN'T Doing ...

    ... Becoming forced breeders in the harems of dirty old men in cults...

    ... Being pimped out by their mothers and brothers to more than 1200 men...

    ... Having professional singing careers and at the same time having affairs with married Major League Baseball superstars twice their age...

    ... Having professional singing careers and posing semi-nude for international publications.

    All in all, I'd say yesterday's news was a pretty dismal hodge-podge for 15-year-old girls across America. And in each case, the parents are to blame. Their neglect and/or outright abuse of their children give the vocation of parenthood a big black eye.

    Tony, posting at Catholic Dads and Catholic Pillow Fight, has similar ideas:
    Billy Ray Cyrus Ought To Be Hoss Whipped...

    ...For allowing his daughter to pose topless for Vanity Fair magazine. Well, let's be fair. You couldn't see any "naughty bits", but as Mike Church said on his raidio show, "they 'bedroomed her up'".

    Her father was with her on the shoot, and could be seen in some of the photos. What was he thinking? What dad in his right mind would allow his 15 year old daughter to be publicly sexualized in this way?


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    Reminder: Start Novena to the Holy Spirit this Friday

    Details here. I'll post a reminder every day this week.

    Cathedral of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary
    Toledo, Ohio
    Photographer: Joette Rozanski

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    National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day

    (Hat tip: Soccer Mom)

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    Monday, April 28, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (28 April 2008)

  • Bill Richardson Delivers Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Endorsment to Obama

  • Norwalk in the News: State Rep Resigns Over Nude Photos [UPDATED]

  • Reminder: Start Novena to the Holy Spirit this Friday

  • CBS: Cardinal Egan "Rips" Giuliani For Taking Communion [UPDATED]

  • Novak Criticizes Cardinals for "Disobedience" in Giving Pro-Abort Catholics "a Pass" During Papal Visit

  • Chesterton's Ghost Appears, Suggests Fans Find "Other Interests"

  • (Digest of Weekend's Posts (27 April 2008))


    Bill Richardson Delivers Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Endorsment to Obama

    Ed Morrisey reports at Hot Air:
    ... In this clip, Richardson works his magic on several topics. He keeps emphasizing that Barack Obama is “bringing people together”, a “fresh voice”, and “change” — but he can’t offer any specifics about any of those qualities. But when he talks about Obama’s foreign policy, Richardson really hits bottom:
    “We’re going to need to see who is going to be the strongest candidate against Senator McCain. And I believe that is Senator Obama with his emphasis on change and bringing people together, a fresh voice internationally, somebody that is able, in my bring…. at least I just got back from Latin America, from Venezuela, where he has enormous support, where people really want to see a change in American foreign policy and they see Obama as that agent of change.“ (emphasis in original)
    Yes, you read that correctly. Richardson went to Venezuela to work on gaining the release of American hostages taken by FARC, the Colombian terrorists who have received material support from Venezuelan wannabe dictator Hugo Chavez. When Richardson speaks about Venezuelans who want to see a change in American foreign policy, one has to remember that the only Venezuelans Richardson meets are Chavez and his regime’s diplomats. Richardson certainly isn’t meeting with Venezuelan dissidents while trying to wheedle Chavez into getting his terrorist supporters to release the three Americans.

    In other words, Richardson just delivered the Hugo Chavez endorsement...


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    So What Am I Supposed to Call that Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chavez Now?

    Sympathizers of Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Attack Venezuelan Cardinal

    Venezuelans Say "NO" to CLCB™

    CLCB's™ Vice President Takes on Catholic Bishops in Venezuela (4 articles)

    Venezuelan Religious Orders Oppose CLCB™ on Constitutional Changes

    CLCB™ Equates Himself With Jesus

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard's™ New Fellow Travelers

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ "Ashamed" of "Morally Unacceptable" Catholic Bishops

    Monument to Che Guevara, Erected by Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez, Destroyed

    HUGO’S EGO - Chávez Steps Up His Attacks on Venezuela’s Catholics

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Makes Himself "President for Life"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Replaces Statue of Virgin Mary with Bust of Che Guevara

    What I Got at the Revolution

    Hollywood's Love Affair with Commie Thug Dicatators Continues

    Venezuelan Cardinal Tells Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™: "Your Way Has Been Tried and Found Wanting"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ to "Build Heaven Here on Earth"

    Going Off On Citgo

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Pounds Shoe on Podium at U.N.

    Venezuela's [Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™] Chávez Urges Pope to be More Careful With His Words

    Venezuela, Syria Join Forces Against "American Imperialism"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez Says Israel's Action in Lebanon "Worse" Than Hitler

    Israel's Critics Hail Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez

    Pro-US Candidate Wins Landslide in Colombia

    Saint Hugo - the Religious Left Begins its Embrace of [Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™] Hugo Chávez

    Pope Tells Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ to Get With the Program

    Robertson's Remarks On Chavez Shock Baptists

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    Norwalk in the News: State Rep Resigns Over Nude Photos [UPDATED]

    I couldn't let this big news story from last week - which originated right here in Norwalk - pass without making note of it:
    Rep. Matthew Barrett, whose computer displayed an image of a topless woman during a presentation to a Norwalk High School social studies class, has resigned.

    The image was projected after Barrett, a Democrat
    [ED.: Hey, what do you know? Mentioned his party affiliation in the 2nd paragraph rather than burying it deeper into the story as usually happens when the offender is a Democrat. Of course, had he been a Republican, it would have been the first word of the first paragraph.] from Amherst, inserted a data memory stick into the computer for an Oct. 2 lecture on how a bill becomes a law. He was speaking to a U.S. government class of about 20 seniors at NHS. [ED.: Thank God this wasn't at Norwalk Catholic School.]

    Barrett first said he didn’t know how the image had become intermingled with his graphics presentation. After it appeared on the screen, the state lawmaker immediately shut down the computer and finished the presentation using paper handouts.

    A later review by the Norwalk police, with help from the state Highway Patrol, found one of Barrett’s four children had downloaded the image.
    [ED.: Yeah, right, let's blame the kid.] Ohio House Democratic leader Joyce Beatty said Barrett acknowledged not being truthful about the matter and she immediately demanded his resignation Thursday.

    House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, told the Columbus Dispatch she was “shocked and appalled because we had all embraced him because the issue involved his son.”

    "I have no tolerance for someone not being truthful about that incident. He acknowledged that he knew who the women were in those photos
    [ED.: Yeah, sure, it was the kid.], and he had not been forthright with us or the voters."

    The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported in today’s editions a lawmaker was told there were nude photos of two women from Barrett’s district on the memory stick used during the presentation.

    The pictures were of women he knows from back in his district,” said the House member, whom the newspaper did not identify.
    [ED.: Like I said, yeah, let's blame the kid. Right.]

    (emphasis and editorial commentary added)

    My Comments:
    Ohio Republicans aren't smart enough to know how to turn this incident into a "Mark Foley moment" for the Ohio Democrat Party. And at least the Democrat House Minority Leader had the decency to ask for this guy's resignation, which, as we all know, doesn't generally happen when the perpetrator is a Democrat and the scandal is "all about sex".

    Meanwhile, Barrett has received a major award: "Girlieman of the Week".

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    Reminder: Start Novena to the Holy Spirit this Friday

    Details here. I'll post a reminder every day this week.

    Cathedral of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary
    Toledo, Ohio
    Photographer: Joette Rozanski

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    CBS: Cardinal Egan "Rips" Giuliani For Taking Communion [UPDATED]

    N.Y. Cardinal says former Mayor broke "understanding" for receiving Eucharist during Pope's visit:
    NEW YORK (CBS) ― New York Cardinal Edward Egan is lashing out at Rudy Giuliani for taking Holy Communion during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the city because the former mayor supports abortion rights.

    In a statement released to the media, Egan said:

    "The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God. Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind. Thus it was that I had an understanding with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, when I became Archbishop of New York and he was serving as Mayor of New York, that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion. I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding."

    It's not yet known when Egan plans to meet with Giuliani to discuss his apparent misunderstanding.

    CBS 2 has attempted to contact Giuliani's office for a response, but calls were not immediately returned.
    My Comments:
    I state merely as an observation (NOT a criticism) that I doubt we'll be hearing any "ripping" of Pelosi, Kerry, et al. from Archbishop Wuerl.

    Then again, I would hardly characterize Cardinal Egan's press release as "ripping" Rudy Giuliani.

    I have a few questions:

    Does anyone think Cardinal Egan's rebuke will create a media firestorm in D.C. over the next few days with the intended effect of pushing Archbishop Wuerl to follow Egan's lead with respect to Pelosi, Kerry, and Dodd?

    Doesn't Egan's response to Rudy sorta put pressure on Wuerl to respond in some way?

    Does anyone really believe Wuerl will follow suit?

    Why or why not?

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Novak Criticizes Cardinals for "Disobedience" in Giving Pro-Abort Catholics "a Pass" During Papal Visit

    "Wafer Wars, Wedge Issues and the Pope’s Visit" [UPDATED]

    Twice-Divorced, Pro-Abort Rudy Giuliani Receives Communion at Papal Mass

    Pro-Abort Catholic Politicians to Receive Communion at Papal Mass [UPDATED]

    "Friend" of Rudy and Hillary! to Retire in April - Speculation on Replacement

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    Novak Criticizes Cardinals for "Disobedience" in Giving Pro-Abort Catholics "a Pass" During Papal Visit

    Columnist Robert Novak, a Catholic, writes in today's Washington Post:
    In the aftermath of the U.S. visit by Pope Benedict XVI, traditional Catholics are asking a troublesome question: Did pro-choice politicians receiving Communion at the papal Masses indicate the pope had softened on the abortion question? The answer is no. On the contrary, it reflected disobedience to Benedict by the archbishops of New York and Washington.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. John Kerry, Christopher Dodd and Edward M. Kennedy received Communion at Nationals Park in Washington, as did former mayor Rudolph Giuliani at Yankee Stadium in New York. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington and Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York, invited them. Given choice seats, they took Communion as a matter of course.

    Vatican sources say the pope has not retreated from his long-held position that pro-choice politicians should be deprived of Communion, but the decisions in Washington and New York were not his. The effect was to dull the pope's messages of faith, obligation and compassion. In his Yankee Stadium homily, he talked of "authority" and "obedience" -- acknowledging that "these are not easy words to speak nowadays." They surely are not for four former presidential candidates and two princes of the church, representing Catholics who defy their faith's doctrine on abortion.

    Benedict's position was unequivocal when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Asked in 2004 whether Kerry, as the Democratic presidential nominee, should be allowed to take Communion, he replied, "The minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it."

    Ratzinger's demeanor necessarily has changed with his elevation from doctrinal enforcer to global pastor, but he has not altered his position. When the pope arrived in Brazil a year ago, he declared: "The killing of an innocent human child is incompatible with going into Communion in the body of Christ."

    While I might not agree that the politicians at issue should have been invited to the Papal Masses or that they should have received Communion while attending, I think Novak goes too far in accusing the Cardinals who invited them of outright "disobedience".

    Michael Sean Winters responds to Novak's column at the America Magazine blog:
    Robert Novak, famous for publishing the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame [ED.: Relevance? Or does ad hominem pass for intelligent dialogue at America these days? Besides, Novak was "famous" long before Richard Armitrage - State Department hero of lefties everywhere - outed Plame to him.], has decided to use his morning column to pose as the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He notes that several pro-choice politicians received communion at the papal Masses in Washington and New York but assures us that this shows no softening of Benedict's presumed hard-line stance. Novak instead says the culprit is the "disobedience to Benedict by the archbishops of New York and Washington."

    Really? Who told him this? I watched Benedict and Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl chatting in the popemobile after the papal Mass here, and I did not notice any frigidness or hostility. But, Novak knows better. He not only knows the pope's mind, he claims to know the motives of Archbishop Wuerl whom he recklessly charges with being afraid of clashing with the movers and shakers of D.C.'s political class. Wuerl even shook hands with Senators Kerry and Kennedy at his installation Mass in 2006. Horror! Shaking hands!

    Novak also rehashes the canard that then-Cardinal Ratzinger made his opposition to giving communion to certain politicians crystal clear in a memo to Washington's former archbishop, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, in 2004. (Conservatives have long used McCarrick as a whipping boy on this and other issues. He was an outstanding archbishop.) Parts of that memo were leaked to the press and certainly did suggest that pro-abortion politicians should absent themselves from taking Communion. But, the memo was more nuanced than Novak suggests, it was never an authoritative theological statement on the issue, and if Cardinal McCarrick had so thoroughly ignored its reasoning, as Novak suggests, there would have been repercussions. There were none.
    [ED.: Seriously? Is that how it works? Never mind that His Eminence was on the verge of retirement anyway. And, so, we see the mind of the "progressive" Catholic at work: if we here in AmChurch do something we really oughtn't do, but there are no "repercussions" from Rome, then that should be read as tacit approval of our actions.]

    I am tired of conservative laymen denouncing our bishops when they fail to follow the talking points from the Republican National Committee... [ED.: I'll agree that Catholic laymen shouldn't be denouncing our Bishops as "disobedient". But does Winters truly believe that those of us who are concerned by the scandal given when pro-abort politicians take Communion are merely parroting GOP "talking points"? And, if so, why did Novak spend an entire paragraph noting how "even more remarkable" it was that Republican Rudy Giuliani had received Communion during the Papal Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral at Cardinal Egan's invitation? Is the RNC really that concerned about fellow-Republican Rudy receiving Communion? Is there some GOP "talking point" about denouncing Cardinal Egan for inviting Republican Giuliani to the Papal Mass that Novak was adhering to when writing his Op/Ed? And, for that matter, are Archbishop Burke et al on the GOP payroll and/or following a set of RNC "talking points"?]

    Tito also offers his take on the controversy at Custos Fidei.

    I note that the title of my post is somewhat off in its reference to "Cardinals" - Archbishop Wuerl is not, yet, a Cardinal. Nevertheless, Novak also uses his column to criticize the former Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal McCarrick, in addition to Cardinal Egan and Archbishop Wuerl, so the title is at least sorta accurate.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    "Wafer Wars, Wedge Issues and the Pope’s Visit" [UPDATED]

    Twice-Divorced, Pro-Abort Rudy Giuliani Receives Communion at Papal Mass

    Pro-Abort Catholic Politicians to Receive Communion at Papal Mass [UPDATED]

    Archbishop Burke Preaches Tough Communion Rule

    More on Archbishop Burke's Article on Canon 915 (Regarding Communion and Pro-Abort Politicos)

    Archbishop Burke on Bad Catholics in Political Life

    Archbishop Wuerl's Stand on Lawmakers Who Back Abortion Angers Some Conservative Catholics

    Abortion and the New Archbishop - A Shot Across the Bow

    Wuerl to be Installed Today - Mass in Washington, D.C., Will Mark His Debut as Archbishop

    McCarrick's Successor Seen as Loyal, Diplomatic, "a Vote for Continuity"; Not Denying Communion has "Served Us Well" (15 links)

    Pope Names Wuerl New Archbishop of Washington, DC

    Bishop Wuerl's Name Surfaces for D.C.

    The Final Word on Pro-Abort Pols and Communion?

    Bishop Wuerl: Bishops Should Consult One Another Before Speaking On National Issues Like Kerry And Communion

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    Chesterton's Ghost Appears, Suggests Fans Find "Other Interests"

    Maureen Martin's latest at InsideCatholic:
    ... "He is really tired of reading Chestertonian platitudes and proverbs," said Griffin. "He is tired of fans dressing like him, imitating him, talking about how brilliant he is. He said the last straw was when someone named his dog after him."

    "He told me that 'it's one thing to inspire people like Michael Collins, Ghandi, C. S. Lewis, and Martin Luther King, but quite another to inspire a generation of Catholics under 50 to be plain annoying.'"

    Of Collins et al., Chesterton told Griffin, "They were inspired and they did something. I'd prefer you not be inspired and do anything."

    Chesterton joked that while his friends Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton led lives that convinced people to help the poor and commune with God, that he, Flannery O'Connor, and Walker Percy were quickly becoming the patron saints of people "who just read all the time."


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    Sunday, April 27, 2008

    Digest of Weekend's Posts (27 April 2008)

    Sunday, 27 April
  • Diocese of Toledo Makes Novena Booklet Available: "Novena to the Holy Spirit - Pentecost in Our Time"

    Saturday, 26 April
  • Obama Delegate Admits the Obvious: "Bitter" Was Indeed a Big Deal

  • Republican Party Leader: John McCain's Campaign Will Seek Pro-Life Voters

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (25 April 2008))


    Diocese of Toledo Makes Novena Booklet Available: "Novena to the Holy Spirit - Pentecost in Our Time"

    Cathedral of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary
    Toledo, Ohio
    Photographer: Joette Rozanski

    As Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair announced in his monthly column in the April issue of The Catholic Chronicle, the Diocese of Toledo has made available some wonderful novena booklets in preparation for Pentecost: "Novena to the Holy Spirit - Pentecost in Our Time". (Click here to download a PDF of the full Novena Booklet.)

    The first day of the novena this year is this coming Friday, 2 May.

    The following information on the Novena to the Holy Spirit appears in the booklet's Introduction:

    The Novena to the Holy Spirit is the prototype of all novenas (nine days of prayer) because, in a sense, it was instituted by Christ himself when he sent his apostles back to Jerusalem to await in prayer the coming of the Holy Spirit. The nine days span the time between Ascension Thursday (celebrated on Sunday in the United States) and Pentecost Sunday.

    The ... novena is based on traditional prayers, and is centered on the gifts associated with the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord). These form a supernatural framework through which the Holy Spirit moves us from within, by conforming us to the very mode of his own action. Also reflected in the novena are the so-called “fruits” or perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as a pledge of eternal glory. These are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity. Both the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit are ordered to the mission we have as baptized Christians to live and proclaim our new life in Christ.
    The novena booklet, which has been distributed to parishes throughout the Toledo Diocese, is made possible through funds from the diocese's Annual Catholic Appeal. Encouraging the prayer and devotion of his flock is such a worthy way for Bishop Blair to make use of those funds. I hope that those of you in the Diocese of Toledo will prayerfully consider making a gift to the 2008 Annual Catholic Appeal so that the diocese can continue this and many other worthwhile programs that further the Gospel message of Christ.

    And whether you're in the Toledo Diocese or not, I hope that you will print the novena from the PDF file linked above, and that you will join the Anderson family as we pray for the Divine blessings and gifts of the Holy Spirit in the days leading up to Pentecost.

    Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Come Holy Spirit!

    Para una versión española, empuje aquí.

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    Saturday, April 26, 2008

    Obama Delegate Admits the Obvious: "Bitter" Was Indeed a Big Deal

    Jim Geraghty reports at National Review on this post-Pennsylvania assessment by an Obama delegate:
    ... If someone in SF asks you about those "strange rural people in PA"...don't indulge their liberal, latte drinking bull [poop]...Just tell them if they want to understand rural and ethnic PA that they should get in the Prius's and drive down to Bakersfield or any of the other mid state towns in California where there are people who actually lead ordinary lives and care about God and own guns....


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    On Disliking Obama for the Right Reasons

    What Obama Really Meant Was "They're Nuts"

    The Pope's "Bitter" Harvest

    Obama Disses Blue Collar Voters Again: Says They "Cling to Guns or Religion" Because They Are "Bitter" [UPDATED]

    Obama's Problems in Pennsylvania Mirror His Problems in Ohio

    Obama Attributes Support for Reagan by Blue Collar "Reagan Democrats" to "Anger Over Welfare and Affirmative Action" [UPDATED]

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    Republican Party Leader: John McCain's Campaign Will Seek Pro-Life Voters

    Washington, DC ( -- A Republican Party leader says John McCain's presidential campaign will "aggressively" reach out to pro-life voters this year. With a stark contrast between McCain's pro-life views on abortion and the ardently pro-abortion views of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton it could be a key focus this election.

    Republican National Committee Deputy Chair Frank Donatelli spoke with CBN News about the outreach the McCain campaign plans.

    “All I can say is that it will be aggressive," he said. “We are going to have a very aggressive program to reach out to religious voters whether they are Evangelical, Protestant, Catholic or whatever."

    "Senator McCain’s aides at all levels will be talking to pro-family groups. Senator McCain himself will engage with pro-family groups," Donatelli added.

    The GOP official said the Democratic Party has already talked about reaching out to pro-life voters, especially Catholics, but he said the party will have a hard time attracting pro-life voters because of it's staunchly pro-abortion views and those of its eventual nominee.

    "The problem with the DNC outreach is the party that embraces abortion on demand ... I would think would have a great deal of difficulty reaching pro-family voters," he said.

    My Comments:
    I'd feel much more assured by this if:
    1. We were hearing it directly from John McCain rather than some GOP bureaucrat; and

    2. McCain's actual record reflected even a modest proclivity on his part to "aggressively" reach out to such voters.

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    Friday, April 25, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (25 April 2008)

  • On Disliking Obama for the Right Reasons

  • Joanna Bogle on "The Island of Saints"

  • Obama, Wright, and the Dictatorship of Relativism

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (24 April 2008))


    On Disliking Obama for the Right Reasons

    Writing at Creative Minority Report, Matthew Archbold thinks middle America's response to Obama reflects well on our country:
    ... But now just 50 years later there is an African American running for President and many many people I know are rejecting him, not because he's black. But because he's a snob. He's an ivy league elitist who looks down on regular folks who "cling to their guns and their religion."

    And many Americans don't like him not because he's for civil rights but because on the great civil rights struggle of our time for the unborn, Obama is on the wrong side.

    If you ask me America should get points for that. This is something the media will never point out but I think it shows real advancement towards a color blind society. Kudos to America. We dislike Obama for the right reasons.


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    Joanna Bogle on "The Island of Saints"

    Joanna Bogle writes at InsideCatholic:
    ... But for Catholics, this hall means much more. Here, our heroic martyrs spoke in defense of our Faith and heard the sentence announced of their deaths by the most hideous form of torture -- to be hanged, drawn, and quartered after being dragged through the streets of London. Here, the great drama of English religious history was played out, word by word.

    A plaque on the floor marks where Sir Thomas More, chancellor of England, stood at his trial in 1535. Anyone who has seen the film A Man for All Seasons will know the scene. All that has substantially changed since More's trial is the great stained glass window at the rear. Erected after 1918, it carries the coats of arms of sons of members of the House of Lords who fell in the First World War. On a bright day, light filtering through the glowing colors throws bright gleams.

    As chancellor, More was given the privilege of an execution on Tower Hill -- the swiftness of a headsman's axe rather than the horror of the butcher's knife and the cauldron at Tyburn gallows. Not so St. Edmund Campion, whose name no plaque commemorates. He was a Jesuit, deemed a traitor because he had gone abroad to train as a priest, and returned to reconcile Christians in England with the universal Catholic Church under the successor of St. Peter. He was tried here, with fellow Jesuits St. Alexander Briant and St. Ralph Sherwin. When sentence was pronounced, Campion, who had been very severely tortured, could not raise his hand, as the law demanded, to acknowledge it. Ralph Sherwin took his mutilated hand, kissed it, and held it aloft for him.

    All three of these heroic priests suffered at Tyburn. They leave their legacy behind. It was while working at Westminster that I first read Evelyn Waugh's biography of Campion -- and found it so gripping that I could not stop reading it, holding it on my lap beneath the desk. Later, I memorized the words of his glorious declaration at his trial: "In condemning us, you condemn all your own ancestors . . . all that was once the glory of England -- the island of saints and the brightest jewel in the crown of St. Peter." He spoke of the Catholic Faith that Englishmen had held and cherished for centuries, the Faith centered on a Church founded and established by Christ and not by any worldly king, the Faith that rested on Peter and his successors.

    [Read the whole thing]

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    Obama, Wright, and the Dictatorship of Relativism

    (Hat tip: Feddie)

    Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing at The Corner on National Review Online, notes Pastor Jeremiah Wright's view on the relative "truths" of the pastor and the politician:
    From Bill Moyers's interview with Wright:
    It went down very simply. He's a politician, I'm a pastor. We speak to two different audiences. And he says what he has to say as a politician. I say what I have to say as a pastor. But they're two different worlds. I do what I do. He does what politicians do. So that what happened in Philadelphia where he had to respond to the sound bytes, he responded as a politician.
    Lopez then contrasts that statement with what was said at the White House ceremony welcoming Pope Benedict last week:
    Funny how Bush and Pope Benedict managed to speak the same language, appear to live in the same world, with the same standards, the same final Judge.
    Lopez concludes:
    This, my friends (!), is why elections matter. If Wright reflects Obama, do you want a man with this moral compass as president of the United States? I don't think you'd find quite the same "His Truth Is Marching On," welcoming ceremony for Benedict in an Obama administration that we saw last week. Where the president of the United States — a politician — said:
    In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred, and that "each of us is willed, each of us is loved" — — and your message that "each of us is willed, each of us is loved, and each of us is necessary."

    In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong, we need your message to reject this "dictatorship of relativism," and embrace a culture of justice and truth.
    And let's not forget Pope Benedict's own words while meeting with the U.S. Catholic Bishops:
    While it is true that this country is marked by a genuinely religious spirit, the subtle influence of secularism can nevertheless color the way people allow their faith to influence their behavior. Is it consistent to profess our beliefs in church on Sunday, and then during the week to promote business practices or medical procedures contrary to those beliefs? Is it consistent for practicing Catholics to ignore or exploit the poor and the marginalized, to promote sexual behavior contrary to Catholic moral teaching, or to adopt positions that contradict the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death? Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.

    Somewhat related, Lopez wonders "Did a little Benedict rub off on Dubya last week?"

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Thoughts on America by Two Religious Leaders

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    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (24 April 2008)

  • Biblical Scholars Challenge Pelosi's "Scripture" Quote

  • Hillary: "Mary is My Homegirl"

  • Kmiec's Wishful Thinking on Obama and Abortion

  • Racial Politics: Obama vs. Steele

  • Maureen Martin on "The Perks of Faith-based Marketing"

  • South Carolina Governor Proclaims "Liturgical Dance Day"

  • An Existence of Love

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (23 April 2008))


    Biblical Scholars Challenge Pelosi's "Scripture" Quote

    From Cybercast News Service:

    ( - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is fond of quoting a particular passage of Scripture. The quote, however, does not appear in the Bible and is "fictional," according to biblical scholars.

    In her April 22 Earth Day news release, Pelosi said, "The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, 'To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.' On this Earth Day, and every day, let us pledge to our children, and our children's children, that they will have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature."

    Cybercast News Service repeatedly queried the speaker's office for two days to determine where the alleged Bible quote is found. Thus far, no one has responded.

    Distinguished biblical scholars, however, cast doubt on the existence of the passage.

    My Comments:
    Some thoughts as I read this:

    1. Stuff like this only lends credence to the protestant meme that Catholics "don't know the Bible".

    2. Lord, spare me from having to listen to every piece of tripe coming from a left-liberal politican justified by the mantra "for the children".

    3. How did Pelosi and her staff think they were going to be able to get away with this completely fabricated Bible "quote"?

    The answer to the last question may be because she's gotten away with using it so many times before:
    Interestingly, Pelosi has mentioned the quote before, Mariottini noted.

    "In truth, (she) has used this 'passage' in many different ways, and all of those usages have nothing to do with the Bible whatsoever," he said.

    Indeed, Cybercast News Service has learned that Pelosi has repeatedly used the quote:

    -- In December 2005, in a Christmas message to the U.S. House of Representatives, Pelosi said: "Mr. Speaker, as we leave for this Christmas recess, let us say, 'God bless you' to the American people by voting against this Republican budget and statement of injustice and immorality, and let us not let the special interest goose get fat at the expense of America's children.

    "The gentleman from Washington [state], Mr. McDermott, quoted the prophet Isaiah. And as the Bible teaches us, to minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship, to ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us. Let us vote no on this budget as an act of worship and for America's children."

    -- On Feb. 8, 2007, in remarks before the U.S. House Science and Technology Committee, when it held hearings on global warming, she used the same quote, verbatim, as in her Earth Day release.

    -- On April 6, 2007, in congressional remarks before the Easter recess: "In this Holy Week, we are reminded of these words in the Old Testament: 'To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.' We must move quickly to honor God's creation by reducing greenhouse gas pollution in the United States and around the world."

    -- On April 25, 2007, in a speech to the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, D.C.: "We are now charging ahead to tackle one of humanity's greatest challenges yet - global warming. We will do this because we hold our children's future in our hands - not our grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, but our own children. "As it says in the Old Testament, 'To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.'"

    -- On Oct. 22, 2007, in a television interview with PBS host Tavis Smiley, she used it in discussion of her roots, attributing the quote to the book of Isaiah: "I'm raised in a family in Baltimore, Maryland, my father was the mayor. He was in Congress when I was born. And we were devoutly Catholic, very patriotic. We love America. Devoutly Catholic, deeply patriotic, proud of our Italian American heritage, and in our case, staunchly Democratic.

    "And that faith was related to our Democratic values. That is to say, the gospel of Matthew: 'When I was hungry, you gave me to eat.' You know, the least of our brethren. So that's an inspiration in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, Isaiah says, 'To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the god who made us.'"

    So, when left-liberals want to use scripture to justify their policy preferences, they just completely pull something out of their arses such as this alleged "passage" from "Isaiah" or that part of the "Sermon on the Mount" where Jesus blessed same-sex "marriage".

    But they'd never be caught dead relying on some actual but "obscure passage" in a letter from St. Paul to those members of the Church in the capital of the Roman Empire.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Obama in Ohio: Sermon on Mount Justifies Same-Sex Unions

    The Liberal Bible

    "... And The Truth Shall Make You Free."

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    Hillary: "Mary is My Homegirl"

    American Papist has the details.

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    Kmiec's Wishful Thinking on Obama and Abortion

    Margaret Cabaniss writes at InsideCatholic:
    Over on Slate's "Convictions" blog, Doug Kmiec outlines a way in which Obama could bridge the divide between the warring camps in the abortion debate ...

    Would I be thrilled if a President Obama supported such legislation? You bet. (Standard caveats about contraception and recognizing the legal rights of the unborn apply. But hey, it would be a start.) Do I think it likely? Nope...

    ... For his (at times)
    soothing rhetoric on the life issues, the precedent here argues otherwise: He has never before tried to pursue any sort of middle way on abortion, instead riding comfortably at the bleeding edge of liberal abortion laws. What would be the motivation to start seeking that common ground once he's already won the election?

    Todd Aglialoro responds in comments:
    You call Kmiec an "optimist," Margaret, but you omit his most wildly optimistic claim: that the measures he recommends would result in a "95% reduction" in abortions. We already have a a mishmash of abstinence and contraception education in this country, so that's nothing new. And in the age of the sonogram, how will a few pamphlets about fetal development provide any further disincentive to have an abortion -- to say nothing of a disincentive so strong that it will stop 3,800 abortions a day??

    The kicker, of course, is that even these feeble, moderate measures are absolutely anathema to the abortion lobby, to which any national Democratic candidate MUST pledge obeisance.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    So-Called "Catholic Reaganite" Doug Kmiec Endorses Obama [UPDATED]

    "No'bama for Me, Thanks"

    Can a Catholic Vote for Obama?

    Obama's Pledge to Planned Parenthood: “I Will Not Yield"

    Deal Hudson: "Barack Obama's Catholic Problem"

    "Why American Catholics are Supporting Barack Obama

    Catholics at the Ballot Box

    How the Catholic Left Will Tackle McCain

    Why Does Kmiec Criticize McCain for Positions on Which He Gave Romney a Pass?

    Deal Hudson on "Douglas Kmiec and the Lure of Obama"

    Douglas W. Kmiec on "The Moral Duty to Inquire"

    Professor Bainbridge: "Will Catholic Reaganites Go for Obama?"

    Deal Hudson: "Preacher Man: Barack Obama and the the Gospel of Liberalism"

    "Sorry, Doug Kmiec, But This Catholic Isn't Buying Obama"

    Ramesh Ponnuru on Douglas Kmiec and "Catholic Reaganites for Obama" [UPDATED]

    Romney Advisor Says Obama "a Natural for the Catholic Vote"

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    Racial Politics: Obama vs. Steele

    (Hat tip: Jonah Goldberg at The Corner)

    Lt. Gov. Michael Steele
    (Matt Houston/AP)

    Politico puts the charges of "racial politics" by some who are sympathetic to the Obama campaign into perspective:
    ... In his ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate, then-Lt. Gov. Michael Steele faced a barrage of attacks centered on his being an African-American Republican.

    It actually started in 2002, when Steele was selected as the running mate for gubernatorial candidate Robert Ehrlich.

    The editorial page of the Baltimore Sun dismissed Steele’s experience and used race to do it.

    Steele, the Sun charged, brought “little to the team but the color of his skin.”

    Four years later, the Sun continued to attack Steele, who had at that point served a full term as Maryland’s lieutenant governor and was running for U.S. Senate.

    While patronizingly labeling Steele a “likable man and persuasive speaker,” the Sun urged a vote against Steele “on the basis of record and experience alone.”

    Dismissing a likable, persuasive African-American on the question of experience sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

    Watching the attacks on Obama these past weeks, anyone who followed the 2006 elections knows what Yogi Berra meant when he quipped, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

    In the 2008 presidential race, Obama should consider himself lucky. He has not been called “slavish” by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, Steny H. Hoyer, or an “Uncle Tom” by Maryland state Senate President Mike Miller, as Michael Steele was.

    Perhaps most troubling, the attacks on Steele codified an attitude of many in the Democratic Party, which was crystallized in a 37-page memo by Cornell Belcher, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean’s handpicked pollster.

    He laid out a blueprint for how to deny Steele his very ethnicity, calling for a “persuasion campaign” to “discredit Steele as a viable candidate for the [African-American] community.”

    While the Clinton strategy has been to brand Obama as an African-American first and foremost, the Democrats’ playbook strategy was the inverse, hoping to “turn Steele into a typical Republican candidate — as opposed to an African-American” (emphasis added).

    Still, the Obama camp’s outrage over questions it says are race-based — concerning whether a three-year senator has the experience to lead the free world — cannot be taken entirely seriously.

    After all, it was Obama ... who questioned Michael Steele’s experience to become one of his colleagues, saying that while Steele is an “affable person” (articulate? clean?), his record was “pretty thin.”

    He then urged a predominantly African-American crowd to vote for the candidate with the “longer record of working on behalf of the African-American community.”

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Is Michael Steele on McCain's "Short List" for VP?

    The Story Behind Steele: No One Offered RNC Chair to Marylander

    Incredibly Stupid MoveMichael Steele to Head GOP?

    Steele Gaining

    Black Democrats Pledge Backing to GOP's Steele

    One of the Best Preemptive Political Ads That I've Ever Seen

    Maryland Lt. Gov. (and U.S. Senate Candidate) Michael Steele Reaffirms Catholic Values

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    Maureen Martin on "The Perks of Faith-based Marketing"

    The ever-vigilant Maureen breaks the story on the super-secret details of the inside-the-Curia discussions behind the Vatican's faith-based marketing campaign.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Tancredo Trashes Pope [UPDATED]

    Yesterday from the Left, Today Bishops Attacked from the Right

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    South Carolina Governor Proclaims "Liturgical Dance Day"

    (Hat tip: Dave Hartline at The Catholic Report)

    Go ahead and take Mark Sanford, South Carolina's conservative Governor, off the "short list" to be McCain's running mate:

    Governor's Proclamation

    WHEREAS, dancing is a vital component of our culture and heritage, providing a means of self-expression through art; and

    WHEREAS, the choreographic vocabulary of liturgical dance utilizes a variety of visual art forms, including ballet, tap, jazz, African, and modern dance, hip-hop, mime, and sign language; and

    WHEREAS, as a form of prayer and ministry, liturgical dance unites body, mind and spirit in visual praise and worship.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mark Sanford, Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, do hereby proclaim April 30, 2005, as


    throughout the state and encourage all South Carolinians to learn more about this spiritual art form.

    With Sanford on the ticket, McCain would lose the vote of devout Catholics for sure.


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    An Existence of Love

    (Hat tip: Tito at Custos Fidei)

    Christopher Chantrill writes at American Thinker:
    ... But how should we oppose the [dictatorship of relativism]? [Benedict's] answer is simple and timeless. He proposes Christian love, as discussed in his first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," and Christian hope, the subject of his second encyclical, "Spe Salvi." If you read the encyclicals you will find that they are not just "about" Christian love and hope but utterly drenched in them.

    Our progressive friends have been wrong about a lot of things over the years. One of them is the idea that Christianity is a severe "patriarchal" religion. The fact is that Christianity has always had a special appeal to women. There were women at the foot of the Cross. And today in the Christian growth areas of South America and China it is estimated that two-thirds of adherents are women. Why is that?

    Christianity is the religion of love. God loves you; you love God. God loves you so much he forgives everything and sacrifices His Son for you.

    Our progressive friends try every way they can to entice women out of an existence of love. They teach them to scorn marriage, to coarsen their loving relations with "a sexual life," to replace loving service with a selfish "career," to abandon their circles of care and take jobs in hierarchical government welfare bureaucracies. One fine day even liberal women will discover just how deeply this progressive culture scorns them and denies them everything that matters...

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