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Obama & Sambi


Yesterday, the President received the Diplomatic Corps at the White House, including the Nuncio from the Holy See, Archbishop Pietro Sambi. I suspect that this photo will cause a few blood vessels to burst in the wacko conservative blogosphere and I wonder if Glenn Beck suspects the President and the Archbishop of secretly planning some kind of conspiracy.

Q & A: CUA President John Garvey


We continue the discussion about Pope Benedict's contributions to the life of the Church with comments from Catholic University's new president John Garvey.

This series on Benedict is undertaken to call attention to a new book about the Holy Father published by the USCCB: Pope Benedict XVI: Essays and Reflections on His Papacy.

The question: What is a significant contribution Pope Benedict has made to the life of the Church?

John Garvey:

"Some today question the Church’s involvement in education, wondering whether her resources might be better placed elsewhere....All the Church’s activities stem from her awareness that she is the bearer of a message which has its origin in God himself: in his goodness and wisdom, God chose to reveal himself and to make known the hidden purpose of his will. God’s desire to make himself known, and the innate desire of all human beings to know the truth, provide the context for human inquiry into the meaning of life."

Snyder v. Phelps


Fred Phelps has his day in court today. The hateful bigot-pastor from the Westboro Church in Kansas was sued for protesting at the funeral of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder by Snyder’s parents on the grounds that he invaded their family's privacy and inflicted emotional distress on the family. Pastor Phelps and his congregants, who tend to share bonds of blood affinity to an unhealthy degree as well as the bonds of their distorted understanding of Christianity, protest at the funerals of American military personnel. They believe these brave men and women deserved to die because America tolerates homosexuality. So, while wearing tee-shirts that read “God Hates Fags,” at the funerals they wear signs that read “Thank God for IEDs.” How to put this in the most Christian manner possible? Phelps and his family/parishioners are beneath contempt.

Election Time: CA-Governor


The California gubernatorial contest did not interest me at first.

While examining the California Senate race, I asked why such a large state produced two lousy candidates, but I know why this large state produced such lousy choices for the Governor’s race: The job is impossible.

If Arnold the Terminator can’t fix Sacramento, it probably can’t be fixed.

So, the race appeared boring both in its content and in its outcome and the candidates attracted to the prospect were predictably boring. The Democrats nominated an old government hand and former Governor, Jerry Brown, and the Republicans nominated a zillionaire CEO, Meg Whitman, who has poured more than $100 million of her own money into the race.

What to say about Jerry Brown?

Q & A: Father Ken Himes


This week at Q & A, we are looking at the contributions Pope benedict XVI has made to the Church to call attention to the publication of a new book from the USCCB, Pope Benedict XVI: Essays and Reflections on His Papacy.

Today we hear from Fr. Ken Himes, who teaches theology at Boston College.

The question: What do you perceive as a specific contribution Pope Benedict XVI has made to the Church?

Father Himes: After Joseph Ratzinger was elected Bishop of Rome, a friend told me that I should take a vacation from my study of Catholic social teaching since there would be no new social encyclical coming out of Benedict’s papacy. While my friend was joking, it is fair to say the expectations of many people were low regarding Benedict’s interest in social teaching. Yet this papacy has continued the practice of commemorating the social encyclicals of predecessors while adding its own voice and perspective to social questions.


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