National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Distinctly Catholic

Can't or Won't

 | 

I count myself among those who thought it was very bad for the Vatican to treat the ordination of women in the same document in which it dealt with new norms for punishing those clerics who sexually abuse minors. But, among those who criticize the document, one criticism seems to me misplaced and that is the charge of misogyny.

Blast From the Past: Murray v. Vagnozzi

 | 

Last week, I ran a quote from Gerald Fogarty’s invaluable The Vatican and the American Hierarchy from 1870 to 1965, which included quotes from the intervention of Bishop Stephen Levin at the Second Vatican Council. That passage is followed immediately by this account of a struggle between Father John Courtney Murray, S.J. and the Apostolic Delegate to the United States, Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, which shows that there is always a back-drama to the Church’s decision-making, a thing to remember whenever we read a new document from the Holy See.

Yahoo Watch: Ex-Gays

 | 

There are few more pernicious groups in America today than those which claim they can “convert” gays and lesbians into “ex-gays.” They promise nothing but lies and human misery. So, it is not simple schadenfreude that makes me relish a story about the leader of one such group being caught doing things that are inappropriate by any standard.

Click "read more" to see the video. (H/T to Right Wing Watch.)

Edmund Burke: Call Your Office

 | 

There is nothing unremarkable about finding the following sentiments on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal regarding the relationship of the United States with the United Kingdom: “The U.S.-U.K. relationship is simple: It's strong because it delivers for both of us. The alliance is not sustained by our historical ties or blind loyalty. This is a partnership of choice that serves our national interests.” This is the kind of cost-benefit analysis to which the good folks at the Journal reduce all human interactions. But, what is remarkable – quite remarkable – is that these words were penned by British Prime Minister David Cameron, the newly installed PM and leader of the Conservative Party.

Investigating the Spook-Industrial Complex

 | 

All of Washington is abuzz over a Washington Post investigative report into the vast network of public and private security organizations that have sprung up since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The two reporters, Dana Priest and William Arkin, are to commended for this two-year investigation that concludes: “The government has built a national security and intelligence system so big, so complex and so hard to manage, no one really knows if it’s fulfilling its most important purpose: keeping citizens safe.”

GOP Hypocrisy

 | 

President Obama came out swinging yesterday. After congressional Republicans have blocked an emergency extension of unemployment benefits for a third time, the President stopped blaming “Washington” for the problem and placed the blame squarely where it belongs, on the GOP.

The Republicans, of course, will tell you that they have no objection to extending the unemployment benefits, they simply think the new expenditure needs to be off-set with spending cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. When pressed on what programs should be cut on Meet the Press Sunday, Congressman Jeff Sessions stumbled and hemmed and hawed. Last night, on Hardball, Congressman Mike Pence was similarly elusive on precisely what programs they think should be cut, failing to mention a single program he thought should be cut.

Blast From the Past: Eamon Duffy

 | 

These lines from Eamon Duffy’s short but wonderful history of the Church remind us of a salient point: Be suspicious of those who turn to the Scriptures for proof-texts, those who emphasize one part of the tradition against another, those who deny the very premise of Catholicism, that the unity of the universal Church is achieved by bringing together different local churches, not extinguishing those differences.

“The New Testament speaks with many voices. It is not a single book, but a library, built up over half a century or so from traditions of the remembered sayings and actions of Jesus, early Christian sermons, hymns and liturgies, and the letters of the great founding teachers of the early Church.”

“…not single book, but a library…” Priceless.

Dionne v. Alter

 | 

Last Friday night, while assessing the President’s inability to translate his legislative victories into political capital, Jonathan Alter said that he thought the problem was that the President is not just incapable but downright allergic to the kinds of soundbites that would translate his complicated policy proposals into something the average voter can understand.

Yahoo Watch: Patrick Madrid

 | 

Patrick Madrid is one of those “Catholic apologists” who would make me run as far from the Church as possible if I believed for a minute that his reasons were the best reasons to be a Catholic.

He has posted, evidently admiringly, an article about the incompatibility of yoga and Catholicism written by the late Father John Hardon, S.J. In the event, I know one U.S. bishop who performs an hour of yoga every morning before his morning Mass. In addition to the spiritual benefit, it helps with his bad back. Had Madrid taken the time to do a little research, he would have learned that some seminaries in India teach yoga, and as well all know, the curriculum of a Catholic seminary is approved by the Holy See.

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.