The New York Times Sept. 7 profiled resilient anti-nuke protester, Oblate Father Carl Kabat, who last month outside of Denver was arrested for protesting at a nuclear weapon silo.
That headline may surprise you, but according to Kevin Eckstrom, editor of Religion News Service, the basic position of the U.S. bishops' conference on health care, if you leave out the question of abortion -- a big asterisk -- is "to the left."
What Eckstrom means is this: They favor universal coverage as a human right and other basic reforms. He is quick to point out that some individual bishops have articulated views that sound more like standard Republican Party fare than the social justice teachings of the church. (I can’t help wondering, does that make them “Cafeteria Bishops?”)
Want to know more? Kevin was the lead guest on my radio program "Interfaith Voices" this week, discussing the religious dimensions of our health care debate overall. Included were the views of mainline Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, conservative Evangelicals and Christian Scientists.
Eckstrom also talks about the reasons he believes President Obama is reaching out to religious leaders on this question.
To hear the full interview, go to: http://www.interfaithradio.org/
Eugene Robinson wrote some of the best commentaries on the election of President Barack Obama last year. But, this morning he addressed the issue of doctors and psychologists who participated in the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogations.” He writes: “Doctors and psychologists might have been able to prevent this whole shameful episode by refusing to participate. Instead, professionals who were trained in the healing arts used their experience and skill in a way that facilitated harm.”
A featured speaker at the Dominicans annual gathering in Rome, Journées Romaines Dominicans, was Fr. Peter Phan, the American theologian whose work has been under Vatican scrutiny.
According to a report in The Tablet, the British weekly, Phan told the conference that the topic of religious pluralism was “one of the most pressing issues” in the Catholic church today – and one of the most dangerous.
Read the full report: Phan spells out goals of interfaith dialogue
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Sept. 2 passed to the full court a request by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport to keep clergy sex abuse files sealed. The full court will decide the matter by Sept. 29.
The diocese had asked Scalia to stay the publication of more than 12,000 documents while the full court decides whether to take up the diocese's appeal of an earlier ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court that the documents are public records.
Efforts to clinch a new Russian-US nuclear disarmament deal this year have advanced and negotiators will report to the two countries' leaders this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.
During President Obama's landmark visit to Moscow in July, he and Russian President Medvedev agreed to hammer out a new nuclear arms reduction pact to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), preferably by the time it expires on December 5.
It seems to look that that might happen.
Francis deBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry, a national Catholic ministry of justice and reconciliation for lesbian/gay Catholics and the wider church, has taken on Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, for his opposition to the legalization of sex marriage in the District of Columbia.
Archbishop Wuerl has joined forces with some Baptist African-American clergy in calling for a referendum in the District that would define marriage as “one man, one woman.”
Earlier this year, the City Council of Washington, DC voted to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, and the council is planning to vote in the fall on legalizing same-sex unions in the District itself.
According to The Washington Post, Archbishop Wuerl sent a letter to all 300 priests of the archdiocese, and has launched his own personal campaign in the media.
In an interview, DeBernardo said, “Archbishop Wuerl is wrong in claiming that same sex unions weaken marriage. Same sex marriage will not weaken marriage; it will strengthen it because it provides protection for committed relationships across the board.”
I know that it is time to let the souls of the dead rest in peace, but it seems the issue of Senator Ted Kennedy’s funeral will not go away. The hierarchy’s complete rejection of the rejectionist stance of some conservative Catholics has caused some to grab at straws.
First, there was the charge that Cardinal O’Malley had snubbed Vice-President Joe Biden by not shaking his hand when the cardinal greeted President Obama. The cardinal’s spokesman pointed out that Mr. Biden had arrived earlier and the cardinal and he had spoken at that time, before the President arrived. Videotape of the Mass showed Cardinal O’Malley and the Vice-President even sharing a laugh before the Mass began.
The Hartford Courant is reporting that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed to the full court a request by the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., to keep clergy sex abuse files sealed.
The files will be sealed at least until the full court reviews the case on Sept. 29.
The diocese was appealing a ruling by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had denied the diocese's request for a stay last week.