Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
What do you think? What should a Catholic's approach to finances be?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm stumped over the weekend for Proposal 2, which would allow scientists to perform stem-cell reserarch on donated human embryos.
"As a Catholic, I can say to be pro-cure is to be pro-life," she said.
Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, Mich., called Granholm's words "shocking." A "well-formed Catholic conscience would never lead a person to support Proposal 2 'as a Catholic,'" he said.
(hat tip to Rocco Palmo)
Monday, October 27, 2008
Here's the latest example, about actions being taken by the Los Angeles public school district. But it's patently clear that staff training and resource coordination — while hopefully lowering such instances — does not address the root causes: Sexualization of youth in television? Advertisements? Video games? Internet? Societal separation of sex from marital intimacy and love?
Whatever the cause, parents today need to be more vigilant and communicative about these things with their school-aged children than they themselves were at the same age.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
O'Byrne is a Kennedy family friend and presided at the wedding -- and later funeral -- of John F. Kennedy Jr.
O'Byrne is also openly homosexual, left the Jesuits in 2001 and now is a practicing Episcopalian. He left practice in corporate law in 1988 to study for the priesthood for the Archdiocese of New York but was expelled from the seminary. He entered the Jesuits the following year. He has described being a priest as his "earliest ambition."
His now-former boss, Governor David A. Paterson, was also raised Catholic (and supports abortion and same-sex marriage), and The Times describes their "unusually close relationship" in ministerial language.
Friday, October 24, 2008
A) Gay-advocacy organizations
B) Civil-rights groups
C) The California Teachers Association
The answer is "C." In a state with a highschool dropout rate of 25 percent.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
The archbishop, who said he was speaking candidly as an author and private citizen, not in an official capacity, particularly singled out Doug Kmeic, a Catholic law professor and former Republican partisan who has come out strongly for Obama because his policies supposedly would do more to further Catholic social teaching despite his support for abortion rights:
"I think [Kmeic's] activism for Sen. Obama, and the work of Democratic-friendly groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, have done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress prolifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn."
As the archbishop said, the speech is candid. A condensed adaptation of it is posted here.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Our Oct. 12 issue featured a story about the claim of pro-life Catholics who support Sen. Barack Obama that his social safety net policies will actually do more to reduce the number of abortions than a McCain presidency.
That's a bold argument to make, and one that has little support in facts, argues George Weigel in a new Newsweek article. For example, he points out that Sweden has a much more robust system of social support than we do, but has the same rate of abortions — 25 percent — per pregnancy. And he points to Guttmacher Institute data showing that only 23 percent of U.S. women getting abortions cite economic hardship as their primary reason.
Richard Doerflinger, the associate director of the U.S. bishops' pro-life office, also recently deconstructed what he called the "myth" that laws against abortion don't actually reduce them. He also addressed the "various false claims" used to support that argument.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Today's Wall Street Journal has a similar article that highlights some of the absurdities involved when such laws are put into practice. It's focus is on a Swiss constitutional amendment that has been interpreted such that vegetation is understood to have an inherent moral value and that it is immoral, say, to "[decapitate] wildflowers at the roadside without rational reason."
This has put scientists performing genetic modification in a bind; perhaps such research is humiliating for plants and tramples their dignity.
And who knows where the line should be drawn. "It ...begs an obvious, if unrelated question: For a carrot, is there a more mortifying fate than being peeled, chopped and dropped into boiling water?
'Where does it stop?"'asks Yves Poirier, a molecular biologist at the laboratory of plant biotechnology at the University of Lausanne. 'Should we now defend the dignity of microbes and viruses?'"
Other new rights granted last month in Switzerland to "social animals" require prospective dog owners to take a four-hour course on pet care, reuire prospective anglers to learn how to fish humanely, require fish hobbyists to keep fish in tanks with at least one non-transparent side (so the fish has privacy), and prohibit flushing goldfish down the toilet (they must be anesthetized first with special chemicals).
Our story has a broader look at some of the long-term ramifications of such moves.
Monday, October 6, 2008
The Archdiocese of San Francisco did not provide a motive for its decision, but Catholic Charities has been under budgetary pressure.
It's no surprise that the archdiocese is playing this cautiously. There have already been serious efforts in San Francisco to cut Catholic Charities' public funding in protest over Church teaching on sexual morality. And were the archdiocese formally to attribute this move to an attempt to comply with Church teaching, you can be sure there'd be renewed calls fo Catholic Charities' blood.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008
They did it again. They distracted us with all their talk of illegal immigrants stealing our jobs and draining our resources. They told us how we had to put up barriers, distrust anyone who wasn't American. They made us suspicious of others, just the way they did in the past with blacks and Jews, Italians and Irish.
We talked about walls to keep those people out and keep us safe, and we let commentators on talk radio and cable television whip us into a frenzy over the folks they said threatened America.
And once again, the fingerprints on the knife in our back belonged not to the poor and minorities, but to the best and the brightest.
Instead of statues of a bull and bear on Wall Street, we should erect a Trojan horse, because what's pushed America to the brink of financial disaster was not all those illegals coming in and "stealing" our jobs as busboys and janitors and underage laborers in meat-processing plants.
This was an inside job. It was made in America. It was all the hotshot brainiacs, our best college grads, the brokers and bankers pulling in bonuses that weren't just in the hundreds of thousands but in the millions.
These were the people who have been most blessed by this country's abundance, and these were the people most driven by greed. They weren't minimum-wage workers trying to put food on their table and give their children an opportunity to obtain a high school diploma. They weren't the day laborers on the city streets hoping for a job or the field hands bent double from hoeing the weeds on corporate farms.
These were people who drove Manhattan delirious come bonus time, the folks who bid up the prices on luxury condos, who went to restaurants competing to serve the most expensive hamburgers in America, who vacationed at the toniest resorts and who, if they had children, sent them to only the best prep schools.
These were the people whose patterns of consumption were lauded in the Style section of The New York Times, the same paper that now excoriates them on the editorial pages.
These were the people who saw themselves as "Masters of the Universe," and the irony is that some of these same folks -- now working for the government -- are supposed to be crafting the nation's exit strategy from this financial debacle.
We don't know where this will all end. The number of people who have lost their houses and lost their jobs is already a scandal, but what the future holds, we don't know. Will other financial institutions fall to earth? Will the taxpayers have to pay even more to cover up the bad decisions of the best and the brightest?
And will our nation with its trillions of dollars worth of IOUs to countries like China and Saudi Arabia -- both made unbelievably wealthy by our voracious consumption beyond our means -- have the fortitude to stick to our promises, pay our bills and not sacrifice the poorest among us while doing so?
Greed has permeated our society. In most cases, it led us to make some dumb financial decisions based on bad assumptions, and the results will be defaults on home mortgages and car loans and credit-card debt. But the greed of those most materially blessed who were leading some of our most powerful financial companies is what is most shameful, and has done the most harm.
I know people who are in this country illegally. They pay their taxes, they work two or three jobs at minimum wage and send money back home to support impoverished family members there. Yes, they broke the law. Yes, a country has the right to enforce its laws and protect its borders.
But Americans have taken their eyes off the ball. We have not been done in by the strangers among us. We have been done in by our own.
Never has it been more true: We have met the enemy, and he is us.
Greg Erlandson is the president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor.