You can almost hear the anti-clericals panting, ready to hurl the epithet "hypocrite" at New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan after The New York Times reported that the archdiocese of New York already covers contraception in some of its insurance policies. The epithet is misplaced.
Welcome to Distinctly Catholic, a blog by Michael Sean Winters that examines politics, religion and the estuary where the two meet, all from a distinctively Catholic point of view. The blog is small "c" catholic as well as big "C" Catholic, examining a wide range of issues but always from the perspective of Catholic history and theology.
In this morning's Washington Post, a report on how the Gang of 8 senators who negotiated the bipartisan immigration reform bill are holding together, and strategizing together, to keep the bill moving forward.
The Holy Father delivered a remarkable sermon last Saturday at his morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. We do not get full texts of these sermons, many of which have been stunning, but Vatican Radio gives the highlights. Here is a link to last Saturday's Vatican Radio report.
The sermon has several remarkable sections. Let us start with this:
Conservative radio talk show host Alex Jones has a new conspiracy theory: The government is secretly using "weather weapons" to create bad weather that will help them enact climate change policies, or something like that. Just when you think the right can't get any crazier....
In the Washington Post, Michelle Boorstein has a round up of reaction among religious leaders to the Boy Scouts' decision to end its ban on gay youngsters joining the group.
The President gave what was billed as an important speech about terrorism and U.S. efforts to confront it yesterday. In the event, the speech was less important than the hype. The President attempted to give a clear justification for his policies and to point a way forward in the struggle against terrorism, but there was not really much new.
In his homily this morning, Papa Francesco spoke about the metaphor of salt. As a friend who sent me the link noted, the pope's words perfectly express the Catholic approach to inculturation: "The Christian originality is not a uniformity! It takes each one as he is, with his own personality, with his own characteristics, his culture – and leaves him with that, because it is a treasure. However, it gives one something more: it gives flavour!
Will the public forgive Anthony Weiner? Public Religion Research Institute has a graphic that illustrates the public's attitudes towards officials caught in a sex scandal. I suspect that people, especially New Yorkers, are perfectly prepared to forgive Mr. Weiner. But, I am less sure that they are willing to let him become the public face of their city. Think of the jokes. Then again, Mark Sanford is back in Congress.
Santiago Ramos, one of the brightest young Catholic commentators coming up the ranks, has a provocative essay about desire up at First Things. Good reading.
Over at Vox Nova, Morning's Minion takes a look at the arguments advocated by Samuel Gregg in his book "Becoming Europe" which I reviewed here last week. Morning's Minion has got some serious economic chops, which I lack, so I am delighted to bring his writing to readers' attention. He demonstrates that the European ways of structuring the economy are not the mess they are commonly portrayed to be.