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Q & A: Sean Caine on Cardinal Gibbons


This week at Q & A, we are focusing on the contributions made to America, and to the Catholic Church in the United States, by those whose parents were immigrants and who might, therefore, lose their citizenship if this ridiculous tinkering with the 14th Amendment were actually to be enacted. Our first example is James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore from 1877 until his death in 1921. Gibbons was one of the “anchor babies” the right wing is yapping about. He was born in Baltimore in 1834 but his family moved back to Ireland in 1839, only returning to the United States in 1853. Commenting on Gibbons and his extraordinary contributions to America and the American Church is Sean Caine, communications director for the Archdiocese of Baltimore:

In a time when Catholic leaders wince at the thought of being photographed with a politician for fear of being branded “pro this” or “anti that” it is nearly impossible to imagine a Prince of the Church among the most trusted advisors to several U.S. presidents. In doing so, Cardinal James Gibbons not only showed—but personified—how Roman Catholicism was a natural part of American life.

Ground Zero, Religious Liberty & Hypocrisy


In an interview with National Review shortly after the release – perhaps it is better to say the promulgation –of the Manhattan Declaration, Professor Robert P. George, one of the main movers behind the Declaration, said: “I hope that President Obama will understand that the signatories to the Manhattan Declaration are determined to defend the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage, and respect for religious freedom. On these issues, they cannot compromise, and they will not remain silent.”

Obama & the Mosque


The President spoke about the proposed mosque and community center to be built near the site of the 9/11 attack yesterday. The headline in the New York Times reads “Obama Strongly Backs Islam Center Near 9/11 Site” and runs with the headline “Obama stands up for Ground Zero mosque.” I have just read the actual text of the President’s remarks and these headlines are not quite right. And, this is a distinction with a difference.

MSW's Final Thoughts on Ex Corde


All this week, we have been discussing the 20th anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae on this blog. Later today, I will be posting a guest commentary by Bishop David O’Connell, who served as President of the Catholic University of America for the past 12 years and so was charged with implementing Ex Corde at the bishops’ own university. Also, in today’s Q & A we will have comments from Professor John Cavadini, who served for the past thirteen years as the Chair of the Theology Department at the University of Notre Dame.


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July 18-31, 2014


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