National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Distinctly Catholic

What Gov. Perry Meant to Say

 | 

You could see this one coming.
Last week, when asked about New York State's decision to legalize gay marriage, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, "That's New York, and that's their business, and that's fine with me." Perry was giving voice to his states' rights' advocacy.
But, predictably, his comment did not sit well with social conservatives who value the fight against gay marriage more than they value any antiquated ideas about states' rights.
Yesterday, Perry backtracked after a meeting with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins. "I probably needed to add a few words after that ‘it’s fine with me,’ and that it’s fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue. Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed."
Score one for the social conservatives. They remain the bedrock of any GOP primary electorate and potential presidential candidates ignore them at their peril.

De-Bunking the CW on Partisanship

 | 

At least one good thing has emerged from the debt ceiling negotiations. The conventional wisdom that Washington is mired in partisanship has been debunked. Washington doesn’t suffer from too much partisanship, indeed it can’t suffer from too much partisanship because there is no such thing any more as a political party.

Can you imagine Speaker Sam Rayburn having a day like Speaker John Boehner had yesterday? Of course not. This does not reflect poorly on Speaker Boehner’s leadership or intelligence or powers of persuasion. It reflects the fact that today the smoke-filled room is gone, not an entirely bad thing that, but it has not been replaced by any other appropriate venue for forging compromises and cutting deals. That power to cut a deal and make it stick no longer exists within the walls of Congress.

White House on +Sambi

 | 

President Obama sent a personal letter to Pope Benedict XVI expressing his condolences to the Holy Father on the death of Archbishop Sambi. That letter has not been released to the press. However, Vice President Biden, who lived across the street from the apostolic nunciature, released the following statement this afternoon:
Statement by Vice President Biden on the Passing of Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi

It is with great sorrow and sense of loss that I learned of the passing of the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, the Most Reverend Archbishop Pietro Sambi. I greatly appreciated Archbishop Sambi’s friendship and counsel; he brought a deep sense of empathy and comfort to the many lives that he influenced. I also long admired his distinguished diplomatic service for the Roman Catholic Church in this country, as well as in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, South Asia and Europe. Archbishop Sambi was held in great esteem by all Americans who met him as he traveled the length and breadth of this country. Our condolences and prayers are with Archbishop Sambi’s family and friends.

Statements on Abp Sambi

 | 

A variety of Catholic leaders have issued statements on the death of Archbishop Pietro Sambi. These statements give some indication of the high regard in which he was held and how much he will be missed.
From Professor Stephen Schneck, Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at CUA:

The Holy See has lost a diplomat of grace and charm. By combination brilliant and pious, jovial and savvy, Archbishop Sambi was at the heart of the excellent relations between the administration and the Vatican and will be sorely missed.

From Sister Carol Keehan, of the Catholic Health Association:
The death of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., is a great loss to the Church, especially in the United States.
Archbishop Sambi was a wonderful and joyful servant of his Lord. He loved the Church in the United States and was loved in return.

The Tea Party's Alternate Universe

 | 

If you want to know why the country is hurtling towards a self-inflicted economic catastrophe, look no further than the op-ed pages of this morning's Washington Post which features a column from Judson Phillips, founder and chief executive of Tea Party nation.

Phillips writes, "Unfortunately, Boehner is not listening to those who elected him and is now pushing a plan with almost nonexistent budget cuts." Actually, the Boehner plan includes cuts of nearly $1 trillion, and demands more cuts in advance of a second vote to raise the debt ceiling early next year.

Phillips writes, "There is only one way you get a debt crisis - you spend too much money." Huh? We have a debt crisis in large part because of the Bush tax cuts. If we returned tax rates to where they were the day Bill Clinton left office, or even better, where they were the day Ronald Reagan left office, there would be no crisis.

Boehner & The Bishops

 | 

According to Politico, Speaker John Boehner does not yet have the votes to pass his plan to raise the debt ceiling, cut government spending, raise no new taxes, and leave the Pentagon budget almost completely untouched. Good.

Boehner's plan is awful, as the USCCB indicated in its letter to members of Congress. The bishops quite explicitly echoed President Obama's call for a balanced approach to the problem of the government's long-term fiscal health. "A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons," they wrote. "It requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly."

The full text of the USCCB letter can be found here.

Boehner & The Bishops

 | 

According to Politico, Speaker John Boehner does not yet have the votes to pass his plan to raise the debt ceiling, cut government spending, raise no new taxes, and leave the Pentagon budget almost completely untouched. Good.

Boehner's plan is awful, as the USCCB indicated in its letter to members of Congress. The bishops quite explicitly echoed President Obama's call for a balanced approach to the problem of the government's long-term fiscal health. "A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons," they wrote. "It requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly."

The full text of the USCCB letter can be found here.

Amb. Melady on Abp Sambi's Passing

 | 

Ambassador Thomas Melady, who served as the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See during the administration of President George H. W. Bush sent the following message to the freinds and colleagues of Archbishop Sambi:

To the Family of Archbishop Sambi,

My wife Margaret and I just learned in Santa Cruz, Spain, about the passing of Archbishop Sambi. We extend our condolences to his family and his colleagues at the Embassy of the Holy See in Washington. I have been in regular contact with him since his arrival in Washington. He soon became a dear friend; he cared for people. He was a superb Nuncio of the Holy See. He also understood the pluralistic nature of US society. His passing is a loss to both the Holy See and the United States.

Warm best wishes,

Thomas Patrick Melady
Senior Diplomat in Residence, The Institute of World Politics
Former U.S. Ambassador to
Burundi, Uganda and the Holy See
President Emeritus
Sacred Heart University

Pages

Subscribe to Distinctly Catholic

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014

09-12-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.