TACOMA, Wash. -- For state Sen. Debbie Regala, only the venue has changed. Stepping into the simple sanctuary, dark beams anchoring the low-slung ceiling crisscross overhead; the nave, flowing wide rather than long, is framed by pews, a modest organ, and slim panels of stained glass. At its entrance, an astonishingly large baptismal pool beckons as water does; one wonders how parishioners keep children from splashing in it.
Whether or not Washington state citizens reject or endorse same-sex marriage at the ballot box on Nov. 6, the role that Catholics and the Catholic church will have played could provide grist for analysis and conversation for years to come.
In January, Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain testified before the state legislature against the pending legislation that would make Washington the seventh state to allow same-sex marriage.
PLYMOUTH, N.H. -- Plymouth is a small college town of just under 5,000 souls. It is located near the geographic center of the state, where the New England Uplands give way to the White Mountains. Main Street hosts some of the old buildings of Plymouth State University, a white clapboard church, and a variety of storefronts. On the August morning when I drove into town, it was anything but sleepy, filled with people buying coffee and reading their papers, 20-somethings loading a beer keg into the back of a pickup truck, hikers emerging from a sporting goods store with last-minute additions to their gear.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Diocese of Nashville and seven of the Catholic entities operating in middle Tennessee have filed suit in federal court to block implementation of a mandate by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requiring them to cover services they find morally objectionable.
The mandate, which went into effect Aug. 1 as part of the health care reform law, requires all employers to provide coverage in their health care plans for contraceptives, including some that can cause abortions, and sterilizations. The mandate has a limited religious exemption that would protect only Catholic institutions that seek to inculcate Catholic values and primarily employ and serve Catholics.
Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Father Ryan High School, Pope John Paul II High School, Mary Queen of Angels assisted living facility, Villa Maria Manor and St. Mary Villa Child Development Center, along with Aquinas College, which is owned and operated by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation, are all independently incorporated under Tennessee law.
Paul Ryan, Republican candidate for vice president, claims to be an orthodox Catholic whose thinking owes more to St. Thomas Aquinas than to Ayn Rand. But this story seems barely more credible than Dagny Taggart's 80-car freight train in Atlas Shrugged that thundered through mountainous terrain from Cheyenne, Wyo., to Wyatt Junction, Colo., at an average speed of 100 miles per hour.
In fact, many of Ryan's ideas and policies appear to be directly at odds with Catholic teaching.
ST. LOUIS -- The day after Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell of NETWORK gave an impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention, members of the organization's Missouri arm took an equally heartfelt message to lawmakers and politicians across the state as a continuation of the Nuns on the Bus tour.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Buttons were available at the Democrats for Life of America forum Tuesday during the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
"Do We Count?" the button asks. The forum was an effort by pro-life Democrats to examine the question: "Can you be pro-life in a pro-choice party?"
The answer to both questions was mixed.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mere steps away from the site of the Sept. 3-6 Democratic National Convention, the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte has posted two larger-than-life messages about the sanctity of life, marriage and religious liberty.
The diocese has suspended two banners on property at St. Peter Catholic Church in Charlotte: one on St. Peter's administrative building and another on a large brick wall adjoining the church.
There aren't any white Protestants on the presidential ballot this year -- a first in American history.
Instead, the race features two Catholic candidates for vice president and a Mormon Republican and African-American mainline Protestant for president.
While much ink has been spent, computer time logged and pundit talk devoted to specifics in the budget proposed by Paul Ryan and embraced by Mitt Romney, we would like to take a step back and look at the broader implications of what the Ryan-Romney fiscal philosophy would do.