"Notre Dame didn't understand what it means to be Catholic"

Tuesday, March 31, AD 2009


As President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,  Francis Cardinal George of Chicago today spoke out on the Notre Dame scandal.  The money quote:  “So whatever else is clear, it is clear that Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation, …” Note however that the Cardinal also spoke of corresponding with Jenkins several times on the issue.  That of course will get approximately nowhere.  Jenkins and the powers that be at Notre Dame have made very clear that they will not back down.  They should be compelled to do so.  Here is a fisking of the press report by Father Z.

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27 Responses to "Notre Dame didn't understand what it means to be Catholic"

  • Ahhh suddenly the Catholic Americans give a damn about the USCCB! I thought it had no authority? Where is Tito when we need him?

  • Let me guess Catholic Anarchist, you have a Notre Dame beanie glued to your skull and can’t wait to cheer the abortionist-in-chief as he receives the adoration on May 17 of the retreating Irish?

  • Kathleen Gilbert wrote:

    Cardinal George prefaced his remarks by noting that as USCCB president he does not have jurisdiction or authority over other bishops, but nonetheless has “some moral authority, without any kind of jurisdiction or any sort of real authority.”

    So I’m quite pleased that the President of the USCCB has recognized this fact that I have known for quite awhile.

  • Let me guess Catholic Anarchist, you have a Notre Dame beanie glued to your skull and can’t wait to cheer the abortionist-in-chief as he receives the adoration on May 17 of the retreating Irish?

    Of course not. I actually have a problem with Notre Dame honoring ANY u.s. president.

    Of course none of you Catholic Americans raised a peep about the several members of the Bush administration who were honored with various degrees at Catholic schools during their reign, considering Bush’s approval of some types of abortion as well as his war which directly an unambiguously contradicted Catholic teaching.


  • Gee, Catholic Anarchist perhaps you would call Cardinal Ratzinger a hypocrite?

    “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    You voted for Obama, a man who has never met a form of abortion he hasn’t supported, who has raised campaign funds by touting his support for that barely disguised infanticide called partial birth abortion and who has pledged his full support for passage of the Freedom of Choice Act. You are not a hypocrite. You are simply a de facto pro-abort.

  • Michael J. Iafrate.

    So it appears you are just a dog?
    Time to give yourself a good kick in the ribs.

    So you are one of the supporters of Baldrick O’Bama?
    Why am I surprised.

  • Don,
    As the farce of 0bama unfolds expect his supporters to become even more rabid.

  • What do you mean by “supporter?”

    I am a supporter of calling out hypocrites on this blog.

  • Michael I.

    as opposed to calling out hypocrites and dissenters on your OWN blog (and in your mirror)? I guess it only depends on who’s ox is being gored, right?

  • as opposed to calling out hypocrites and dissenters on your OWN blog

    I do that too. Quite a few of the Catholic Americans comment over at VN, y’see.

  • Well, I guess all commenters in this thread, including me, have had ample opportunity to make their personal likes and dislikes clear. Any further comments involving personal attacks or which are off topic will be deleted.

  • Deleted your last comment Catholic Anarchist as it was a personal attack. Pay attention. No personal attacks and stay on topic.

  • Deleted your last two attempts at comments Catholic Anarchist. One personal attack and one not on topic.

    I will respond to your query contained in the second comment however. I stated that I would delete further personal attacks. Everyone had their licks in and I did not want this thread to devolve into a weary back and forth exchange of insults. That is not what this blog is for. If you wish to participate in my threads you will observe my rules.

  • Deleted your last attempted comment Catholic Anarchist which was off topic. I have already explained that I would delete further personal attacks. I did not say that I would delete prior personal attacks. I have kept yours up along with everyone elses.

  • Three more comments deleted Catholic Anarchist. One personal attack and two off topic. As for your suggestion for an e-mail for the blog that actually might have merit and I will take it up with my fellow contributors in due course.

  • Personal attack Catholic Anarchist, so your latest attempt to comment joins the rest in internet oblivion.

  • Deleted your last comment Catholic Anarchist. No personal attack in that one as opposed to the other ones that I have deleted in which there were personal attacks, but it wasn’t on topic.

  • Why do you care what the president of the USCCB says? You don’t recognize their authority.

  • Michael,

    I am not sure who you are addressing. Personally, I’ve always respected Cardinal George a great deal, and I would be surprised if anyone here had a different point of view.

  • John – I am addressing the author of the post. I generally respect Cardinal George a great deal as well and agree with him often.

  • I recognize the authority of all cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church Catholic Anarchist. I also recognize their ability to be wise or foolish, either individually or collectively. In this case Cardinal George is acting wisely, albeit probably ineffectually, in regard to the Notre Dame scandal. I trust more of his fellow cardinals and bishops will join him in expressing their outrage at the honoring of our pro-abort prez.

  • So you recognize the USCCB when it agrees with you. Nice.

  • No Catholic Anarchist I recognize the fact that bishops and cardinals can be right or wrong depending upon their actions or statements. Only the Pope has the charism of infallibility, as bishops and cardinals amply demostrate each day.

  • Only the Pope has the charism of infallibility, as bishops and cardinals amply demostrate each day.

    You might want to do some research on what the Catholic Church teaches about infallibility.

  • I don’t recognize the USCCB as having any authority except where the Holy See has granted specific powers, I don’t recognize the USCCB as really being wise about much of anything. Which is why we especially rejoice when the president of the USCCB actually does the right thing.

    By the way, the Holy Father only exercises infallibility under very specific circumstances, he may be in error on a number of things, but he does exercise universal jurisdiction.

  • It is quite adequately set out in Vatican I Catholic Anachist, and at 891 in the Catechism I believe. No guarantee there of the infallibity of either any individual bishop or cardinal or of national assemblies of ecclesiastics such as the USCCB. Of course in this case, their lack of infallibility, we do not have to rely on faith alone. Experience also teaches us this truth.

What does honoring Obama with a law degree communicate about our view of law and morality?

Tuesday, March 31, AD 2009

Over at New Catholic, Mark Stricherz expresses his doubts about the ‘dialogue model’ of engagement with culture, as mounted by some in defense of Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame:

But the dialogue model can’t, doesn’t, and shouldn’t entirely govern Catholic universities (and again, all universities). In exceptional cases, it breaks down. Surely these cases are absolute moral issues: torture, slavery, genocide, racial segregation, and yes, violence against pre-natal life (abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and cloning). Universities have little to learn from politicians who support such intrinsic evil. What exactly would Notre Dame have learned from, say, Stephen A. Douglas in the 19th century about domestic policy or Dick Cheney in 2009 about foreign policy? Would Douglas and Cheney have changed their mind about slavery and torture?

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15 Responses to What does honoring Obama with a law degree communicate about our view of law and morality?

  • In answer to the titular question of this post, it seems obvious to me that this honor communicates — and is intended to communicate — that no moral, religious or political position is so offensive, evil or outrageous that we wouldn’t be willing to hear from a President who held that position.

  • Paul,

    we wouldn’t be willing to hear from a President who held that position

    hear from? I think awarding an honor goes far beyond “hearing from”, you don’t?

  • “What does honoring Obama with a law degree communicate about our view of law and morality?”

    To be quite blunt it means that the powers that be at Notre Dame, at best, don’t give a damn about the fight against abortion.

  • “What does honoring Obama with a law degree communicate about our view of law and morality?”

    That sucking up to power is an overriding goal.

  • As proof of the utter failure of the honorary degree = dialogue hypothesis, consider this: none of the Presidents honored by Notre Dame changed their views so much as a jot or tittle.

    Jenkins and the University are flattering themselves. Good luck pulling a rabbit out this time, Bullwinkle.

  • none of the Presidents honored by Notre Dame changed their views so much as a jot or tittle.

    Well, I don’t think we can say that a dialogue wasn’t successful simply because the participants didn’t change their views. It’s pretty rare for anyone in public life to change their position on an issue of importance, and it’s difficult to take them seriously even if they claim they have (see, e.g., Romney, Mitt).

    A dialogue does, however, involve an exchange of views. And there’s little to reason to think that granting an honorary degree and a role as commencement speaker involves an exchange of views, rather than a platform for Obama.

  • I’m referring to what Professor Appleby and Father Hesburgh have said:


    Prof. Appleby: Mr. Appleby, the history professor, said the long-range goal of such a discussion with Mr. Obama would be “to change hearts and minds” and move the country “toward a culture of life” that opposes abortion and embryonic stem-cell research and allows medical workers who oppose abortion rights to opt out of participating in certain procedures.

    “The question is, how can one who is so good and so insightful and so poised on issues of human dignity and human rights — how can that same person not engage fully and seriously in a debate on unborn life?” Mr. Appleby said.

    Fr. Hesburgh: “No speaker who has ever come to Notre Dame has changed the University. We are who we are. But, quite often, the very fact of being here has changed the speaker.

    Again, in light of the stated aims, ND’s batting average in such things is .000. What makes them think Obama will be any different? Given his contemptuous statements on embryonic stem cells, the odds are to small to be meaningfully calculated.

  • Appleby:how can one who is so good and so insightful and so poised on issues of human dignity and human rights

    Is he joking???? It is clear that those who oppose the rights and dignity of the most vulnerable can not be trusted with any issue regarding human dignity and rights. Obama’s perspective of dignity is entirely different from the Catholic one.

  • Notre Dame, since the days of Father Hesburgh, has had far less impact on the World, than the World has had on it. Hesburgh isn’t an idiot, he realizes and supports this. His words are just so much flab-jab to help the current powers that be get through a rough patch among Catholics who actually believe in what the Church teaches in regard to abortion, instead of laughing at it behind closed doors at academic conferences at Notre Dame.

  • To be quite blunt it means that the powers that be at Notre Dame, at best, don’t give a damn about the fight against abortion.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to remind the Catholic Americans here of this blog’s comment policy:

    I will not exaggerate others’ beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

    Donald, you seem to have failed.

  • As in so many, many things Catholic Anarchist, we will have to agree to disagree.

  • I think granting an honorary law degree to President Obama is a gesture of an “honor” for speaking which is a common practice. It is honoring him with a degree at the level which he has already earned, as he graduated from Harvard Law. Most importantly, it shows a separation from the role of belief and a “fight against abortion” to support the continuation of a tradition that has held for I believe over 24 years of inviting the President of the United States. This invitation is given with the recognition of position and accomplishment, regardless of belief or political party, to speak at a University known for teaching intelligent students, to see the world through understanding and knowledge. Both of which require listening to and debating issues with the brightest minds not only of whom you agree with, but more importantly those you disagree with, to find wisdom and depth beyond initial judgment. This especially goes for highly religious students, who seek temperance and tolerance as foundational ideals in a world of chaos and hatred.

  • Alexander,

    regardless of belief or political party

    or violent action against the unborn.

    listening to and debating issues

    There will be none of that in this case.

  • As I said before, if this is simply a gesture of an “honor” that Obama deserves, then might as well grant the same honor to Hitler as well for having successfully resurrected a Germany that had been reduced to ashes after WWI.

    Of course, you would have to ignore the fact that he had wanted to exterminate an entire race of people now would you?

    Yet, there will be those who would find this analogy inappropriate — after all, Obama’s fiercely global pro-abortion policies have little or really nothing to do with the extermination of people but babies.

    Unborn babies hardly qualify — as even certain Catholics themselves here would attest to, in fact.

    So, Hail Obama and, yes, Hail (or rather Heil) Hitler!

Marci Hamilton's Crusade

Tuesday, March 31, AD 2009

Several weeks ago there was a rather unpleasant exchange in First Things, between Marci Hamilton of the Cardozo School of Law, and Martin and Melissa Nussbaum of the Diocese of Colorado. Ms. Hamilton supports lifting the statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims, while the Nussbaums are decidedly against the idea. There are reasonable arguments on both sides, and, in this particular discussion, unreasonable arguments on both sides. But I think removing the statute of limitations, as Ms. Hamilton proposes, is likely to provide little benefit in terms of deterring abuse, and myriad opportunities for malicious or frivolous litigation. Furthermore, Ms. Hamilton’s professed concern for children has been rather morbidly focused on the Catholic Church rather than, for instance, public schools, where abuse problems are far more rampant.

I thought at the time I read the exchange that Ms. Hamilton’s name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. And then I remembered: Ms. Hamilton was the author of a rather incautiously written book entitled God v. the Gavel, in which she made a case against many traditional religious liberties (noticing a theme in her oeuvre?). I say incautiously because the book contained enough errors and sloppy argumentation to elicit a legendarily harsh book review from Douglas Laycock, one of the field’s most distinguished scholars. The whole review is worth reading if the topic is of interest to you (or if, like me, you enjoy reading rigorous criticism), but here is the conclusion:

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7 Responses to Marci Hamilton's Crusade

  • More children are abused each year in the California Public School System than there are children in the whole US Catholic School System…. Public School teachers are many more times likely to abuse a child than are clergy of any religion, and Catholic clergy are even less likely than all religions…. We are just too big a target.

  • Few things please me more than reading a good negative book review!

  • Yo, Marty (Nussbaum):

    So we don’t get off on the wrong foot here, let me introduce myself. I am a life-long Philadelphia Catholic who values his religion/faith dearly. Married for over 34 years with two special needs daughters..I tell you this because this writer is quite accustomed to speaking up and out and advocating for those who fall victim to the agencies/organizations whose mission it is to serve people and, in this case, Catholic parishioners.

    If your style is anything like the lead counsel to Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Phila., then this will be most interesting. I’m sure you have had some communication with the very special William Sasso, and, if not this icon, surely the head of his non-profit group, Mark Chopko (former counsel to America’s Bishops).

    Anyhow, I would like to quote your opening statement from a “First Things” article in 2003. I just love that publication, “First Things”, because it so aptly describes and portrays the US Catholic Church, its leadership, both lay and religious as well as its management and organizational style. In other words, the “first things” we take care of is “ourselves.” No, no, Marty, you don’t understand, Our Lord made it quite clear and the “first things” are the children.

    “Let us stipulate from the beginning, as we lawyers say, that the Catholic scandal is fueled
    by a minority of priests who, mostly from the mid-1960s through the early 1990s, egregiously
    violated their ordination promises; by the bishops who reappointed known perpetrators; and by
    partisans of the left and the right now seeking to advance their pre-existing agendas for Church

    Marty, partisans, left and right, advance pre-existing agendas for Church reform, etc…….Marty, maybe it’s the high altitude in Colorado but you’re making as much sense as the Catholic leader, Cardinal Kaput (yeah, I got it right, he’s over and kaput). See if you can follow this one, I’ll take it slow…….the agenda here is to PROTECT OUR CHILDREN.

    You can jump in anytime and help out if you want. Why don’t you take your high-powered legal expertise and address the sovereign immunity issue regarding sexual abuse of children in public schools. This way, Marty, you take care of the children in the public arena and Marci will take care of the children in the religious arena. Now that sounds like a plan,….what do you think, Marty?

    Back to the original point of this correspondence….I envision a title bout between Marty and Marci……we have the Vegas venue on your end or the Atlantic City venue here. As mentioned, you guys can use the sobriquet “Abusers-Enablers” and Marci’s side will be appropriately called “Children-Survivors” We would have all of the accompanying hoopla as the date/day approaches with the media, press and oddsmakers weighing in on the outcome. We have all of the factors for an interesting bout……age, gender, experience differences and concerns. Height, weight, reach and even, you guessed it, hairstyle.

  • Michael S.,

    You failed to advance any argument for either side. Your comments are neither constructive nor helpful.

    I appreciate the passion on both sides of the debate, but mocking people for taking a position will not be tolerated on this blog.

  • Sir…..satire and what you call “mocking” aside, the only truth that matters here is that “First Things” in our society should be the protection of our children. Marty’s diatribe that is personally directed at Ms. Hamilton and her extraordinary efforts to protect this nation’s children, both now and in the future….now this, sir, is mocking behavior and conduct.
    Mr. Nussbaum, as counsel to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, would do well to obey the court’s directive as part of the settlement agreement and turn over the personnel files…..stop the obfuscation and delay.

  • Michael S.,

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    The comment is back up again.

  • [Comment deleted: Michael, you’ve already made your point; any future comments in this vein will be deleted – JH]

4 Responses to Send Him Some Mail

  • God said no one shall judge but him…Let’s stop judging like all the anti abortionists do..
    I am Catholic and I am pro-choice like 75% of all Catholics… The church needs to enter the 21st century and realize that we are not evil but reasonable people. that realize that there is more than giving birth to a child

  • Jim C.,

    You fail to recognize that the Catholic Church is not a democracy. That the teachings of Jesus are timeless.

    There are those that don’t follow the teachings of Jesus and have drifted from the Church.

    If you feel that you’re “right” in your “opinion” just because 75% of misguided Catholics think as you do, then think again.

    You need to be right with God, not with man.

    We are to be “in this world”, not “of this world”.

  • I think the statistic that 75% of Catholics are pro-choice is nonsense. That would mean that Catholics as a whole are more pro-choice than Americans in general!

    Here’s some more recent info:


    “59 percent of practicing Catholics say they are pro-life while just 29 percent of non-practicing Catholics say so.”

    To me “non-practicing Catholic” is a nonsensical statement – this is not a cultural club, it is a profession of faith. I’m sick of the psychotic arbitrariness that can declare, “Oh, I’m a Catholic – even though I believe in nothing the Church teaches, never go to Mass, and am a pro-abortion atheist.” That’s yet another Orwellian abuse of language. You aren’t a Catholic because you’re Irish or Italian, because your Mom was Catholic, or some other nonsense. Technically, I suppose, if you’re baptized you’re a Catholic but you don’t deserve to be called one and certainly don’t deserve to be included for demographical considerations.

    As for this disgusting rationalization for child murder, thank the Lord in heaven that the immorality of abortion has been established ex cathedra, as intrinsically evil now and for all time.

Hot Air Has A Problem

Tuesday, March 31, AD 2009


I have often linked to Hot Air, a conservative web-site.  I greatly respect Ed Morrissey who posts there.  He is a solid orthodox Catholic who has a good nose for news.  It disheartens me therefore to have to point out that whenever a story involving the Catholic Church is featured there, vicious anti-Catholic bigots among the commenters always take the opportunity to lambaste the Church in the vilest terms possible.  My friend Sydney Carton has done yeoman work spotlighting this problem at his website Aggressive ConservativeHere is a typical thread at Hot Air where Catholic bashers came out to play.

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15 Responses to Hot Air Has A Problem

  • The atheist running the site – who appears, in my estimation, to despise social conservatives – probably relishes the anti-Catholicism in the comboxes. And let’s not forget the site’s owner, who has come dangerously close to anti-Catholic bigotry herself:


    Whatever Ed Morrissey’s reasons for being associated with HotAir, his writing is clearly the only thing worthwhile about that site.

  • Yes, I’ve stopped reading Hot Air for three years now after encountering the Anti-Catholic bigotry on there. The owners of that website have not responded to my queries concerning this so I stopped reading them.

    We need to publicize this more and expose Hot Air’s issues with Catholicism.

  • I must say that I disagree. Censoring comments is really a choice, and an unnecessary one at that (at least in most contexts). The great thing about free speech is that if someone says something wrong, you can respond. In fact, even in the example of Catholic-bashing that you linked to, people responded rather effectively. I think that the discussion that comes out of a free speech context can often seem more fruitful because you know that all objections are being aired.

  • I disagree Jose. An exchange of ideas is one thing, bitter vituperation is quite another. Allowing bigots to run at large in comboxes merely produces endless threads of weary back and forth which are boring to read and shed precious little light on any subject, except to underline that the bigots really hate the target of their ire.

  • A site that cannot maintain decency and decorum, and which cannot avoid falling into the trap of ad hominem attack that actually distracts from a conversation about the actual topic at issue, is NOT doing a service to anyone, and certainly isn’t promoting a “fruitful” or enlightened discussion. It becomes a free-for-all where insults are hurled and the actual topic at hand is ignored.

    I mean, really. Is it really “fruitful” for a commenter to continually bring up the priest scandal as a means of disqualifying the Church from speaking out on the moral issues of the day? Case in point:

    Given the fact that the Catholic Church has been complicit in covering up the rapes committed by its priests and complicit with the acts of Nazi Germany, (and these are only headline items) I find it highly entertaining that it tries to take moral stands and even more amusing that anyone takes it seriously.

    And this:

    When did schtupping boys and nuns get official sign off? Because I am pretty sure the Church has been complicit in that for at least the last thousand years.

    Apples and oranges maybe? Perhaps there are hairs to be split here – abortion vs. homosexual statutory rape.

    Catholics are the very last people on earth who should be sounding off on moral issues.

    “The mote in your eye” comes to mind.

    And then this:

    The Catholic Church and its adherents should clean up their house before trying to force feed their version of morality on the rest of the world. Admittedly they have had a great deal of success, especially in developing nations with under-educated populations, but its claim to any kind of moral authority is at best suspect given its disgraceful history of covering up sexual abuse and of course its collusion with the nazis and other totalitarians in the 20th century.

    Personally I don’t care if priests schtup alter boys and nuns regularly. Personally I don’t even care that they colluded with the fascists in WW2. What sticks in my craw is having these craven fools try to ram down their twisted morality down everyone’s throats.


    I mean, seriously. What ends of “fruitful” dialogue are served by such ad hominem nonsense? I think many of you already know my views on this subject:


  • Let me stick up for Allahpundit for a moment. While I know he enjoys the free-for-alls on atheism and other “red meat” topics, I don’t think he particularly has it in for Catholics. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that between Catholics and Protestants, he prefers the former. Moreover, he has some reason to grouse against Christians in general–I’m reminded of the gloating about Hitchens getting beaten up by pro-Syria thugs in Lebanon–not the believers’ best moment on HA.

    But I agree wholeheartedly about what is permitted in the comboxes, which threatens to poison what is otherwise a worthwhile enterprise. As to provoking dialogue and good defenses of the Faith–yes, but only for a while. Who wants to read and respond to the same Chickian drivel every day? The bad drives out the good, every time, on the internet.

    If they can (rightfully) ban paranoiacs pushing conspiracy theories, then HA can ban the Catholic bashers. After a while, silence becomes assent.

  • llowing bigots to run at large in comboxes merely produces endless threads of weary back and forth which are boring to read and shed precious little light on any subject, except to underline that the bigots really hate the target of their ire.

    Sounds like another blog that I know. 😉

  • I agree with Dale’s assessment of Allah. The man himself is not an anti-Catholic bigot, though I do tend to avoid his posts. He’s simply not as good a blogger as Ed. He’s also just too squishy for my tastes.

    But I do think HA has to do a better job moderating their comments and removing the vilest of the anti-Catholic stuff.

  • Though I deviate from Dale and Paul concerning AllahPundit, I agree that if they do moderate the comments better, I would possibly return to reading Hot Air as I once did three years ago.

  • “If a website is to be part of a responsible debate on the issues of the day, the management of the site must take steps to ensure that bigots do not shelter within their comboxes to vent their hatred against other creeds or races. In regard to the Catholic Church the management of Hot Air has failed to take effective steps to ban anti-Catholic haters from among the ranks of the commenters, and to send a clear message that they are not welcome. They can do far better than this.”

    Did it even occur to you gents that they might bloody well hold the same anti-Catholic sentiments that their commenters foaming at the mouth do?

    The fact that they haven’t even in the least spoke out against the anti-Catholic vermin should make that self-evident.

  • e. I know of one anti-Catholic bigot that Ed Morrissey has banned. My point of course is they need to do a great deal more.

  • It’s not just the anti-Catholicism that is wearying at Hot Air – any discussion of say, evolution, degenerates into a stupid, unedifying squabble. I got my fill of the place during the primaries, when the supporters of Huckabee were bashing the supporters of Romney and McCain and vice versa. It got very nasty and childish, and after a while I thought “This place is turning into the right wing version of Daily Kos. Why am I wasting my time here?”

    I liked the old Captain’s Quarters blog much more. I thought the commentators there were generally a thoughtful bunch, but I suppose I can’t blame Morrissey for wanting a more high profile (and, I hope, more lucrative) venue.

  • Donna, I was a faithful reader of Captain’s Quarters also, and I only began to read Hot Air when Morrissey closed up shop and moved over there. At Hot Air I usually only read the posts by Morrissey.

  • i resent all your intelligence and want to learn about folks that were against catholicism and why from say 70 ad. that is not here so bye.

  • Somebody dropped a link to your blog on Twitter and that is where I first found your site. I like the way you write and I am going to subscribe to read more whenever I can. Oh yeah, are you on Twitter yet?

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-30-2009

Monday, March 30, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Please pray for Father Benedict Groeschel as he suffered a stroke last week.  For the story click here.

2. Jay Anderson is contemplating leaving blogging.  It seems he is being worn down by the grind of writing on politics and religion.  For the story click here.

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4 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-30-2009

"Dads Protecting Daughters" Facebook Cause

Monday, March 30, AD 2009

I wanted to announce that I just started a Cause on Facebook- “Dads Protecting Daughters”. I include below the extended information about the Cause. I would welcome an expansion of this to go well beyond the Facebook orbit. Please feel free to comment:

I am a dynamic, orthodox Catholic who teaches high school, I’ve run for public office, I have lived in many countries. As a Christian convert I know the world quite well. I understand the challenge of overcoming the dominant Playboy/false feminism group think. I believe in an ecumenical Christian movement potential to stand up for our children before they are thrown to the wolves in our society.

The enemy is not one thing, it is a thousand ideas all of which are contrary to the dignity of human life. Strip clubs, abortion clinics, pornography, degrading music lyrics, divorce, contraception and endless marketing using base sexual instincts- all of these are manifestations of the cultural rot we are leaving for our children to live in.

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11 Responses to "Dads Protecting Daughters" Facebook Cause

  • Nice intention, Mr. S. But what pray tell would you like us to do?

  • Gerard- I hope I am not hearing sarcasm in your comment- but in any case- like I say in my note- the enemy is a thousand ideas that currently dominate our culture and socio-political structures. There are so many good ideas- like encouraging and helping Catholic dads to run for political office- like organizing KOC types to get out and protest in front of strip clubs and adult entertainment businesses. We can always lobby our political and business leaders to bring moral views into the marketplace. We can expose the smut, we can encourage one another to evangelize caring but unaware dads- are girls having their dads meet with their dates before going out at night? What happened to that tradition? I’m going to be insisting on this one- but I dated a lot in my younger years and I never went through this simple step- and that was a shame. This kind of thing is really up to fathers to get their act together. We need to combine the best of all the movements out there like Promise Keepers and the rest, but with a Catholic theological understanding of just what divorce means, what contraception does to relationships and to the health of women.

    I can see so much to discuss and to organize- but there has to be a segment of profound, concerned Catholic dads out there to get something going on a lasting and national/global basis. If anyone knows of similar public movements I would like to connect with them- God Bless, Tim Shipe

  • This is a resource for Catholic Dads:


    I’m not sure what the organization does exactly; I only know it exists. I hope it in some way helps.

  • Nice intention, but I would like to add a word of caution. From my personal experience, I felt that my Catholic parents worried so much about me as a teenager that it actually drove me to rebel against their control and my faith, driving me away from the Church for some years. There’s a fine line between guiding a child and controlling them (making choices for them) that ought not be crossed. I feel that Catholic parents should make sure to instill good faith and morals in their children, but must acknowledge that they will not always be at their child’s side, and thus prepare the child to make the right choices themselves.

  • Hat tip Eric! I just checked out Dads.org and signed up for their newsletter and wrote them an email to encourage some mutual networking- I’m going to post that site at the Cause page- great stuff- I know there a whole lot of Catholic and Christian papas’ out there who are feeling isolated and outnumbered- we need to get Lobby strength without selling out or becoming corrupt in our central mission- not to over-control our children, but set the conditions for them to have Love and Truth in their lives without being constantly challenged by the mass culture in which they are being raised.

  • Good luck raising a “tough” son. I’ll say a rosary that he turns out like a sweet-hearted little Rambo.

  • I don’t know how much interest this would be to others, but I once took a course called the “Psychology of Religion.”

    I thought it was a very fascinating class and I was thinking of doing some posts on contemporary psychological findings on human religious experience.

    Relevant to this post, I have found a particular statistic very fascinating in regard to “religious training and development.” In fact, the findings of such studies are actually testified to by many of my friends as well as myself:

    1. If two parents are both religious, more often than not, their child turns out to be less religious, if not at all — a myriad of factors go into this, e.g. the growing phenomenon of single parent households, how the parents present their faith, etc., but the trend itself is constant — more end up less religious than others, though the margin is not alarmingly large.

    2. If two parents are both non-religious, their child is more likely to grow up to be more religious, if not very religious. I have found this of all the findings to be more true of most of my friends than any of the others.

    3. If only the mother is religious, the child is more likely to share religious belief, or lack thereof, with the father. If only the father is religious, again, the child is likely to share religious belief with the father. Therefore, studies show that fathers have a more influential role in terms of shaping the religiousness of their children.

    I can look up the studies if anyone is interested.

  • No sarcasm meant. Just puzzled. Clearer now. Thanks.

  • Glad to hear it Gerard- it was that “pray tell” line that had me wondering- it is often used in a sarcastic sense.

    Please check out the Facebook Cause if you are on Facebook- and join up and contribute ideas- I just had Norma Mccovey- the Roe of Roe v. Wade sign up for the Cause- I am inviting more than just Catholic dads- though I do want to bring these fathers together to draw up some plans of attack on the dominant anti-child, anti-woman, anti-human culture.

  • Good luck to you, but Jose’s experience was also mine. My parents were devout and very overprotective of me when I was a teen, and I rebelled and left the Church for a very long time. Yet, what can one do? Simply kow-tow to the culture and put your 16 year daughter on the Pill, because “everyone” is having sex at that age? I am not a parent, and sympathize greatly with the dilemma they face these days. I would agree with Jose about the fine line between guiding and controlling. At any rate, I wish you well. Looking back, there are many things I wish I had done differently and much false conventional ie secular (feminist) “wisdom” that I am sorry I heeded when I was younger and more naive. Now that I’m nearing 50, I realize more and more how right my parents were about many things. I wish I had known it at 18.

  • Donna- You know it is a requirement of the Catholic faith to educate your children and nurture them to be Catholics- so there isn’t any way out of that even if we wanted. I think that combining the faith demands with loads of affectionate love may be the best combination approach- and it is what my wife are attempting in our home- we’ll see how it turns out! But the Facebook Cause is really more about taking on the larger culture and political structures- that is the spiritual environment that is outside my home and is something I liken to thick, polluted air. And just like with air pollution, there are causes and there are things the citizenry can do about it. This is what I want to focus on with the Cause. There are more than a thousand bad ideas in the mainstream culture right now, and there are plenty of targets for our righteous intervention- so if you are up for a good and holy fight- I’m hoping this Cause will attract such types of Can-do Christians. Check it out on Facebook. God Bless, Tim Shipe

The Mass on Mount Suribachi

Monday, March 30, AD 2009


Iwo Jima probably has the sad distinction of being the most expensive piece of worthless real estate in the history of the globe.  Expensive not in something as minor as money, but costly in something as all important as human lives.  In 1943 the island had a civilian population of 1018 who scratched a precarious living from sulfur mining, some sugar cane farming and fishing.  All rice and consumer goods had to be imported from the Home Islands of Japan.  Economic prospects for the island were dismal.  Eight square miles, almost all flat and sandy, the dominant feature is Mount Suribachi on the southern tip of the island, 546 feet high, the caldera of the dormant volcano that created the island.  Iwo Jima prior to World War II truly was “of the world forgetting, and by the world forgot”.

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19 Responses to The Mass on Mount Suribachi

  • What a moving story, thank you for sharing it.

  • Yeah, I’ve always appreciated this story. You certainly have knack for writing good history, Don. No doubt it comes in large part from having read so much history, but maybe you missed your calling. 😉

  • “but maybe you missed your calling.”

    No doubt some of my legal clients have felt the same way in some of my less successful cases!

  • Perhaps someone should do a piece on the mass depicted in “Joyeux Noel” during the Christmas “truces” of WWI? The striking thing was that, while they had trouble communicating (Scottish, French and German Catholics)… when it was time for Mass, the priest began:

    “in nomine, patri, et filio, et spiritu sancto”… and all were in unison. Latin unites us… or at least it COULD, if we would only subscribe to Vatican II and all the Holy Fathers for 1000 years.

  • Don,
    Written like a true Marine. I have a calendar from Angelus Press with a strikingly similar picture – must be a frame ahead or behind. I am glad to know the name and story of this remarkable priest of God, the Church, and our fellow marines.
    David Penn
    LtCol, US Marines (Ret)

  • Thank you Colonel. Everyone who cherishes our country has a large debt to the Marines and the members of the other armed services.

  • LtCol,

    thank you for your service!

  • I think he was from Ellensburg, Washington. There is no Ellensburg in Oregon.

  • Thank you Jason. Error corrected.

  • Thank you for sharing, Don. It brought a mix of emotions. The valor and courage are truly unfathomable! LtCol Penn, God bless you, Sir!

    Did you notice it was a Traditional Latin Mass? How incredibly beautiful to see the Traditional Latin Mass (Tridentine Mass) celebrated under these adverse conditions. Thanks to our Holy Father Benedict XVI this treasure of the Church is once again spreading like wildfire and will no doubt bring many blessings to the Church. Many will flock back and find their way back Home.

    Our Military are the brave soldiers of our County and our Priests are the Military, brave soldiers of our Lord! “Milites Domini!” GOD BLESS THEM BOTH!

  • It also is worth noting that the soldiers who had spent days fighting for their lives in deplorable conditions with little or no sleep, manage to assist more reverently than what typically occurs at youth retreats….

  • Great story Don.

    You certainly dig up some excellent stuff.

    I’m the last one to approve of war, but doesn’t fear, and the realisation of our mortality in war bring out the best in men (generally) – honour, valour,bravery and self-sacrifice.

    My Almer Mater motto: “Confortare, esto vir.” – Take courage, be a man.

  • I hope there is a time Don when humanity can relegate the ghastly chronicles of war to the pages of history, although I doubt if it will come this side of the grave. It is important though not to allow hatred of war to ever diminish our respect for those who conduct themselves with honor and courage in the midst of trials that most of us, fortunately, will never experience. I am sure you will be familiar with this quote, although it is less familiar to most Americans, from the memorial to the dead of the 2nd British Division at Kohima: “When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.” When I write about war, I always keep that quote in mind.

  • As the daughter and niece of Navy men who served in the Pacific theater (another uncle was, as he always put it, “touring Europe with Gen. Patton”), I love these stories and am filled with admiration and gratitude for the incredible bravery and valor of our troops in WWII.

    Col. Penn, your service is appreciated.

  • Father Suver also had a nephew on the same Island. This was a great article to read. Especially for me, as Father Suver was a great Uncle of mine

  • Jordan he was certainly a great man and a great priest. I hope the nephew made it through Iwo alive and in one piece.

  • I never had the chance to meet Father Suver. But yes the nephew made it, he’s my grandfather; he also made it through Tinian, and Okinawa.

  • Thank goodness. Your grandfather had the ill luck to fight in three of the toughest battles of the Pacific. I had an uncle who fought in the Pacific as a Marine. He told me that the most surprising thing that happened to him during his life was that he managed to survive that war.

58 Responses to An Apology

  • While I having ocassionally refered to PP as Murder Inc, I have also often said that PP makes them seem like amateurs. Basicly, this post backs up my claim that PP is worse.

    As someone of Italiano heritage, but no Mafia ties, I think that I am able to speak on behalf of Murder Inc., accept you apology & say you are forgiven for trying to lower them down to the level of PP.

  • Thank you Al. I feel better now!

  • Thanks for the good laugh. The scary thing is every thing you say is true and that is not funny. PP make the members of Murder Inc look like a bunch of retired boy scouts. Of course our fearless leader BOH loves this group and is giving them all kinds of money to help fix the economy, not sure how that works but I dare not criticize I don’t want to end up on a list somewhere.

  • The total of all Americans killed in all of our wars is about one million.

    The total number of slaves brought into this country, against their will, was about one million.

    The total number of Jews killed in the holocaust was about six million.

    The total number of babies killed by abortion in this country since Roe v. Wade passed in 1973 is about 50 million.

    Planned Parenthood is clearly the leading provider of abortions and is clearly supported by BHO and the Democratic Party.

    When the time comes, I am sure that God will understand these facts and hold us accountable.

  • Would it not be simpler to refer to the organization as Planned Unparenthood?

    Can anyone cite statistics about the number of parents who became parents because of the organization?

  • I am confused. Isn’t Planned Parenthood worse than Murder Incorporated ever was? Why not call it what it is? Isn’t president Obama about to join the mass murderers club with FOCA? And I’m not at all sorry to say it.

  • What about “Murder Ltd” or “Murder LLC”?

  • For all those against access to abortion, just once I would like to see you volunteer to pay much higher taxes to fund the increases in welfare, TANF, food stamps, WIC, medicaid, school enrollment increases, extra police forces needed to enforce the measure, greater legal costs from abortion related prosecutions, more money for jails for abortion related imprisonment, etc, etc, etc if abortion were to be criminalized.

    And don’t get around the issue telling me about charity and adoption. Study after study shows, when a woman chooses to keep a baby, she chooses not to give it up for adoption. The choice is abortion or raising the child. Studies overwhelmingly show that.

    So we’re talking tens of billions per year minimum, if not hundreds of billions, of more government money and that’s every year.

    I’m not saying abortion is right. I’m just asking for some consistency among so called conservatives.

    Step right up. Pay your taxes. Stop arguing against the increases in the social welfare safety net that you have been doing concerning President Obama’s budget.

    Because if you truly oppose abortion, you must be prepared to fund those same things on a much greater scale than we’ve ever seen. You have to choose MORE government or LESS government. If you choose criminalizing abortion, you are telling us that you believe in MORE government. There’s no two ways about it. So be consistent and stop chiding Obama when at heart you feel the same way as he does about our social welfare system.

  • Albert, considering the fact that Obama has all those funds from the Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, sometimes called a Stimulus bill, perhaps he can now call a halt to the killing of almost a million unborn children in this country a year. When pigs fly! Cost of raising the children has nothing to do with it. Obama and the other pro-aborts in this country support the slaying of the unborn, erroneously, as a matter of women’s rights and not because of the cost to raise the children. It is interesting that abortion became legal in our country just as the welfare state was becoming the huge enterprise it is today. If your argument had any validity, then the welfare state would have prevented the massive number of abortions since 1973, some 50,000,000 lives lost. The fact that it did not, clearly indicates that there are other factors than government largesse to unwed mothers or poor families at work. On a personal note I have been on the board of directors of a crisis pregnancy center, currently I am president of the board, assisting poor mothers for 10 years. What have you done?

  • Albert,

    Given that statistics show that a very large percentage of the unplanned pregnancies that end up being aborted are the result of abortion being legal (as in, if you look at the historical record, the number of unplanned pregnancies skyrocketed after Roe, because the effective cost of behavior resulting in unplanned pregnancy had been reduced) this argument is basically illusory.

    While even as a conservative I have no objection to funding a limited and highly means tested welfare state (as being conducive to peace and the common good) it is at the same time clear that in any functional society the primary responsibility for providing financial support for all children conceived is that of their parents. It is no more necessary to have abortion as an “out” for parents who did not intend to become such than it is to allow euthanasia as an “out” for the children of parents who failed to save for retirement.

  • …or maybe ‘The Man of Perdition’

    I jest at the argument “oh it’s just a fetus”

    ….five minutes later it’s suddenly a REAL human with hands, feet, eyes and yes able to feel evey single PAIN imaginable!

    Poor America, so civilized, so intellectual, so powerful, yet with insatiable Necrophilia.

  • I’ve never understand the whole it’s not human, while in the womb. I mean let’s for the sake of argument admit it is a foetus in the womb.. and remove the whole it’s not a baby, for themoment. what kind of foetus is it. It is a human foetus.

    I mean really, a pregnat can’t will carry a feline foetus. preganat female dogs will be pregnant with a canine foetus. A pregnant woman is pregnant with a human foetus.

    So if this kind of HUMAN can be denied the right to live according tot he law, what other HUMAN will the law deem to not have the right to life.

  • Don- you only missed that Albert Anastasia met an unfortunate end in 1957. Safely nestled in Manhattan barber chair when met with large flurry of shots fired by person or persons unknown. Sad end indeed.

  • Albert et al,

    A nation cannot kill its own and be prosperous. Killing children kills the tax and consumer base. Killing children kills off producers and ideas and vision for a better world. All economic booms are in tandem with increased birth rates. If you can’t seek the truth of divine revelation then at least be a good economist. Go to Demographicwinter.com

    I have seen numerous young women become pregnant. Often they will tell me, “I either keep the baby (no adoption) or I have an abortion.” What they are expressing is power, not nurturing love. Because of our contraceptive and abortive society, children are now property. Abortion is nothing more than a contraceptive measure. Out of wedlock births continue to climb for all races, with blacks near 70%. hispanics around 60% and whites approaching 50%. Roe v Wade continued this.

    So, no more grace, no more companionship rooted in sacrificial love, no more marriages; only power plays: penetrators vs penetrated.

  • I am looking for a copy of FOCA. I can not find it. Would zome one help me? I have written to my local Catolic paper and they will not answer.
    I do need a copy because I hate to contact my congress man without knowing what I am talking about.

  • As thought, no one had the balls to be honest.

    Weldon, you did at least admit the truth that the choice is either abortion or keeping the baby. I give you credit for not going into the ridiculous argument of “we’ll have pregnancy crisis centers and lots of adoption and that will make everything ok.”

    Um, no. It won’t. We’ll just have lots more welfare, tanf, food stamps, medicaid, wic, etc, etc, etc. It will make Obama’s current spending look trivial by comparison. But you guys just can’t stop wanting to have your cake and eat it too.

    If you favor criminalizing abortion, you must accept the enormous empowerment that it would give to the federal and state government. Trillions of dollars of new government spending on social programs and billions more on police powers. Some conservative cause that is!

  • Albert,

    The fact that you can write hooey does not mean that other people need to accept your assumptions as gospel.

    Trillions of spending on social programs and billions on police powers?

    Let’s see, there are 1.2 million abortions per year. If you say “trillions” I assume we shall have to assume that you mean at least two trillion dollars. Divide that two trillion dollars between the 1.2 million people not aborted that year. You apparently imagine that every single un-aborted person will require $1.6 million in welfare spending. I don’t think that it’s a stretch to point out to you that this is rather more generous than welfare benefits in any state at this time.

    If you want people to take your comments seriously, try saying something worthy of thought.

  • “Trillions of dollars of new government spending on social programs and billions more on police powers. Some conservative cause that is!”

    Just like we did prior to Roe in 1973? Really, if you are going to be a pro-abort troll on a pro-life Catholic website you need to do better than that. One thing I will grant you however, it is cheaper to kill them short term, Of course that is true of all children and I think it is a crime beyond imagining to kill a child even if it does improve one’s bottom line individually or as a nation. Of course if we did have those 50,000,000 kids who have been slain over the years through abortion since 1973, a fair number of them now would be taxpayers and making financial and other contributions to society, so your argument really flies out the reality window when that is taken into account.

    Oh, and you didn’t answer this question:

    “On a personal note I have been on the board of directors of a crisis pregnancy center, currently I am president of the board, assisting poor mothers for 10 years. What have you done?” Other than shill for abortion of course.

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  • Donald and other AC bloggers:

    Perhaps you’d mention the red envelope project, which launches tomorrow?


    Send red envelopes to the White House as a witness against abortion!

  • Darwin, Your assumptions about my math are wrong because it’s not simply 1.2 million per year. It compounds. Each of those children would often have to be provided for until age 18. Studies show a great majority of the non-abortions and non-adoptions would be on public assistance throughout their childhood. And the mothers in such scenarios are provided for under our safety net as well. We could be talking, therefore, about adding 10-20 million people to the government rolls down the road (and that’s merely using current numbers). Given our current population rate of increase, and rampant legal and illegal immigration, the number could easily be double that in a couple of decades. So I stand behind those numbers completely. That’s Trillion with a T, as we’ve been recently reminding President Obama.

    Like I stated earlier, I am not necessarily in favor of abortion.

    I simply think it’s disingenuous for people to favor the criminalization of abortion AND yet claim to be fiscal conservatives who oppose President Obama’s current expansion of the social welfare safety net. One can’t have it both ways. If abortion is your priority, then make it your priority. Stop opposing expansions of the very programs which will become relied on more than ever were abortion to be criminalized.

    And, Donald, kudos to you for your charity work. That’s great and if you need for me to tell you that you are a good person, well, then you seem to be a good person. You won’t get an argument from me on that. I could list my but I generally prefer to let intellectual arguments rest on their own merit. I happen to believe our charitable works and gifts are best left to the eyes of our own conscience and God.

  • One does not need to swear allegiance to the welfare state in order to oppose killing children in the womb. I may not wish to raise my neighbor’s kids, but that does not mean I would sit by while he kills them. Somehow this country did just fine in providing for kids throughout most of our history without resorting to abortion or crushing the economy by a vastly expanded welfare state. You present a false dichotomy. I do find it interesting to note however that in my experience those who want a vast expanision of the welfare state usually, not always but usually, are also the most ardent pro-aborts.

  • I am not ardently pro-abortion at all.

    I just realize where we are in the big picture of our nation’s history. The fact that individuals were able to provide for their children with little to no government assistance for 150-200 years is irrelevant to where we are today.

    We are on the verge of having a full-scale socialist state. I hate it. And you’re talking about giving the government power to criminalize something that is widespread. And the government power to police it. And then the government has to greatly expand an already massive social safety net to provide for all those extra people.

    My point is – we are so close to socialism – the irony is that the cause of social conservatives (were it to ever come to fruition) would be the final measure that truly kills fiscal conservatism and expands our government and its powers like never before.

    Donald, what happened in 1820 or 1920 or even 1980 simply isn’t relevant to 2009 in this regard.

    This is simply not the time to push this issue.

    If you disagree and feel it is, well, like I originally said, it’s obviously your priority. It trumps your conservatism. Be consistent. Get off Obama’s back because your coming from the same angle of believing in the power of government to make wrongs right, ie abortion.

  • Well, the power to ban abortion was something exercised by the states during their entire existence up to 1973. I see no need for a radical expansion of the police power in order for the states to do what they did only 36 years ago.

    “We are on the verge of having a full-scale socialist state.”

    I have more faith in the essential good sense of the American people. We shall see after the elections of 2010.

    “My point is – we are so close to socialism – the irony is that the cause of social conservatives (were it to ever come to fruition) would be the final measure that truly kills fiscal conservatism and expands our government and its powers like never before.”

    Disagree. I do not think the economics of the issue are at all that clear, especially if one factors in the ultimate economic contribution of those children spared from the abortionist’s knife. The idea that because a mother can’t get an abortion she and the child will remain on welfare until the child is 18 understates other factors: marriage, family support, mom becoming employed, which could well lead to a non-welfare life for both mom and child.

    “Donald, what happened in 1820 or 1920 or even 1980 simply isn’t relevant to 2009 in this regard.”

    Actually history is always relevant, especially when it teaches us that straight line progressions rarely work out in reality. More kids being born would have a big impact on our society and I would argue that most of them would be positive. People ultimately are a resource for society. How many of our fiscal problems in regard to social security for example, are due to the missing 50,000,000 and the offspring that many of them would have by now? I of course would be opposed to abortion even if you could prove that ending it would be a fiscal disaster, but I think that is far, far from the case.

    “Get off Obama’s back because your coming from the same angle of believing in the power of government to make wrongs right, ie abortion.”

    That is your weakest argument. The main function of government is to protect its people from physical violence. Banning abortion is something that has often been done by governments throughout the ages. The idea that courts prevent legislation in this area is the novelty. I cannot understand how any conservative can be opposed to legislators, and not judges, determining the law in this area.

    You are correct however, that my priority is to end legal abortion. It has been since 1973 and that will always be my goal. I may not live to see the goal reached, but I am confident that one day abortion will be viewed with the same abhorrence that we have for slavery as practised in America’s past.

  • Albert Julius’s argument seems to me to rest on the fallacy that all 1.2 million children aborted would have been conceived in an abortion-free nation.

    Given that a sizeable number of aborting women are repeat aborters and that some conceive and abort more than once within the year to eighteen months during which they would be either pregnant or in a state of postpartum infertility, this would be unlikely.

    Mothers have a greater incentive to be sexually responsible than women with no young children. And “redemptive pregnancies” are not unusual in postabortion women.

  • Trillion with a T in what timeframe? Per year? Per ten years?

    Honestly, it just doesn’t add up no matter how you cut it. Indeed, your analysis is so simplistic as to be borderline embarrassing.

    The countries in Europe, which have significantly more restrictions on abortion than we do, significantly lower abortion rather, and much lower birth rates than we. (Yes, they’re comparatively more socialist, but not because of population pressures.)

    There is absolutely no reason why we could not both ban abortion and reduce the welfare state. To assume otherwise is to buy into a number of eugenicist myths which have little grounding in modern science.

    And keep in mind, one of the reasons that we’re heading for a nasty fiscal mess in the next 10-20 years (and are likely to try to socialize our way out of it) is precisely because our population growth is barely above the replacement rate — and more key, because it’s well below the replacement rate among middle class and native born populations, while above replacement rate only among the poorest and most recent immigrants.

    Plus as I pointed out, the research is pretty clear that one of the reasons why there are so many unplanned pregnancies is because the availability of abortion makes the potential cost of promiscuous behavior lower. (This isn’t just a Catholic or pro-life point, check out pro-choice agnostic economist Megan McArdle’s posts on the topic over at the Atlantic.) It’s entirely possible that a 70-80% drop in the abortion rate would translate to only a very small blip in the birth rate.

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  • I would like to raise a different but equally significant point here. I agree that Roe was a horrendous decision, ranking right up there with Dred Scott, that ought to be reversed some day. However, I think its overall effects have been overrated to a certain extent, mainly by pro-lifers but also by pro-abortion rights people.

    Pro-lifers often talk as if 1) legal abortion didn’t exist before Roe and 2) every single one of the 50 million children aborted since Roe would be alive today had Roe never happened.

    Actually, 19 states had already legalized abortion before Roe; at least 5 had in effect legalized abortion on demand. Had Roe been decided “correctly” it would simply have affirmed the right of states to continue making their own abortion laws. However, the trend at the time was toward liberalization, and that trend would likely have continued.

    We would have ended up with a patchwork of different levels of state regulation of abortion; a few states might still ban it outright, others would allow it only for “health” reasons (which would still probably be relatively easy to circumvent) and still others would have abortion on demand. Some states also would have parental consent or notification provisions and bans on partial-birth, while others would not.

    So chances are that at least some of the 50 million legal abortions since Roe would have still occurred without it. How many is impossible to say, but my gut feeling is that at least 25 to 30 million abortions would still have occurred legally in states that allowed it. Of course that’s not as bad as 50 million, but it’s still bad enough.

    Also, can we really assume that if Roe never happened, every single one of the 50 million aborted children WOULD be alive today? Not necessarily. A good number of them might never have been concieved because their mothers had other children earlier whom they did NOT abort, and therefore did not feel the need to “replace.” (I have heard it said that something like 30 to 40 percent of all abortions are performed on repeat “customers” who have had abortions before)

    Others would have since died of other causes; some by natural causes, some via accidents, others, sadly, by suicide, violence or drug abuse, particularly if they had been born into extremely dysfunctional families (which is NOT to say they would have been “better off” being killed in the womb, but you get my point)

    My point is twofold: legalized abortion has obviously had some demographic effect, but how much it has had in comparision to the alternative scenario of Roe having been decided the other way or not decided at all is impossible to determine fully. And, there would still have been a need for an active pro-life movement even without Roe.

  • There certainly would have been a fight over abortion in each state without Roe. However, I think it is a fight that pro-lifers would have won. Laws legalizing some abortions were usually far more restrictive than Roe. I believe the New York law was up to 24 weeks, and that was the most “liberal” law. Most states who had “liberalized” their abortion laws dealt with the cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother. These laws were passed as part of a general movement towards the left in the sixties. Roe, by taking abortion out of the hands of legislators, prevented the repeal of many of these laws as a natural political reaction when conservatives came into their own with Reagan in 80. A see-saw battle would have been fought since then, but without the protection of a constitutional right, abortion would be increasingly hemmed in with a maze of state laws restricting it if not outright banning it. I have no fear for ultimate pro-life victory when Roe is ultimately overturned.

  • I think you make some good points Elaine; pro-lifers, like most passionate advocates, can frequently overstate their case. And there certainly will still be abortion in most states even if/when Roe is overturned. It is worth bearing in mind, though, that Roe overturned the abortion restrictions (in one form or another) of 46 states. With increases in sonogram technology etc., it’s not clear how much of the liberalization of abortion restrictions in the late 1960’s might have been turned back in the mid-to-late 1980’s as people better understood fetal development had Roe not prevented it.

  • “pro-lifers, like most passionate advocates, can frequently overstate their case.”

    Truer words were never spoken. What you all fail to realize is that though you may be passionate about the cause of abortion, the issue of choice is actually a settled issue. It’s now a firmly established privacy right. Even many pro-lifers are often forced to admit that in moments of reflection as Michael Steele did recently. You simply cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube. Move on and work to make abortion a less attractive choice to women. By sending the message that you think it’s sinful or that it should be illegal, you actually only make it more appealing. Put down bible for just a few minutes and study human nature people.

  • Albert,

    we’ll pray for you.


    Others would have since died of other causes; some by natural causes, some via accidents, others, sadly, by suicide, violence or drug abuse, particularly if they had been born into extremely dysfunctional families (which is NOT to say they would have been “better off” being killed in the womb, but you get my point)

    My point is twofold: legalized abortion has obviously had some demographic effect, but how much it has had in comparision to the alternative scenario of Roe having been decided the other way or not decided at all is impossible to determine fully. And, there would still have been a need for an active pro-life movement even without Roe.

    You act as if pro-lifers actually believe that Roe vs. Wade was and is the only problem, but we don’t. It is obviously the first big hurdle in banning baby murder EVERYWHERE to actually make it legal to ban in at least ONE place. There was a pro-life movement before Roe vs. Wade and there will be one when this unconstitutional and evil decision is overturned.

    Your claim that 70% of abortions would have occurred without Roe vs. Wade is absurd. Remember, even in states that had legal abortion it was with significant restrictions which Roe vs. Wade (and companion rulings) eliminated, and it was always considered wrong. When the government says something is a “right” then it has legitimacy. Without Roe vs. Wade groups like PP would not be able to get funding from the federal government and would be much more restricted in their ability to further their cause.

    Having said that… what’s your point?

  • Albert, the killing of innocents is never a “settled issue”. You may not be fortunate enough to live to see it but there will come a day when the right to life of the unborn is once again respected in law in every state in this country.

  • Matt, my point is that pro-lifers should be careful not to overstate their case or make arguments that could easily be shot down, lest it undermine their credibility and make it harder to win people over to their cause. We are supposed to be proclaiming the truth and that means not resorting to exaggeration, distortion, or any of the other tricks the opposition uses.

    Yes, I am quite aware that a pro-life movement existed before Roe and will continue exist after it is gone. And I do not deny that Roe made the problem of abortion significantly worse and gave it a “legitimacy” that it did not have previously. I fear the same is likely to happen with same-sex “marriage.”

    However, the federal government is not the only government there is. If a number of states approve something (be it same-sex “marriage,” the death penalty, concealed carry permits, etc.) that likewise gives legitimacy to other states to do it. I do agree that Planned Parenthood would not be nearly as powerful as it is today without federal support.

    However, my main concern as always is to insure that pro-life perspectives and arguments are as accurate and factually based as possible.

  • Donald, the only way I see it happening, even if in the distant future, is if we have some form of totalitarian government in response to our current government’s socialist experimentation. Sadly that pattern has affected many other governments. Hard left, bad failure, then hard right. That form of government would seek to control all measures of a person’s life and the right to choose abortion could very well be one of them.

    Let me ask you this then, rhetorically. Let’s say my scenario does happen – humor me, ok. 50 years down the road. Our socialism has all but ruined our democracy and the faith people have in government. A political leader or leaders come along promising resurrection of American greatness but that our constitution no longer works. Power needs to be centralized for the rebuilding to work.

    Here’s the catch. One of their promises is that in this new state, abortion would be criminalized. And they tell us the Supreme Court or any other court will not matter in it. It will be enforced via executive order and federal enforcement.

    Humor me, accept this possibility for just a moment. It has happened to other democracies in history (something I know you value) afterall.

    Question: would you give that person or persons your support?

    I anticipate you’re gonna tell me you don’t accept my scenario. Fine. Maybe I’m way wrong. But just ask yourself this one time. Abortion is your issue. The choice is abortion or American democracy?
    What would you choose???

  • Albert,

    are you at all familiar with the the Dred Scott decision, the 13th, 15th, 18th, and 19th amendments of the Constitution?

    Do you think the founders ever envisioned slavery would be abolished, blacks and women would vote or liquor would be banned???

    The idea that any of those could be enacted would be incredible to the founders, and yet they were.

    As to your little “trap” question, it’s ridiculous, and intellectually dishonest.

  • Albert, I would choose (c), the second American Revolution. I reject both socialism and killing kids in the womb. Additionally, after 27 years at the bar, I know that questions in life, as opposed to in court, are ever just a and b. There are usually many different courses open to us as we make our way through life.

  • Matt, actually many of the Founders did envision slavery being abolished. Some wanted it to happen in 1787 no less. And I’m quite sure John Adams envisioned the need to give the vote to his wife Abagail. You might want to brush up on history before making that claim.

    However, as I have said before, I feel history only has so much power in the wake of monumental changes. The Unites States of America is about to become a socialist country under President Obama. Do you even understand that? Our government is soon to own or control directly our banking industry, large segments of our manufacturing industries, and no single segment of the economy has become more important than government spending. Don’t tell me about 1787. Or 1887. Or even 1987. The history books are sadly being erased and the Democrats and Republicans too are chartering us a new history.

    Donald, that’s a lot of drinking man. If it gives you clarity, more power to you. But step away sometime. Consider diet sodas or spring water. They do a world of good. Trust me, I know from experience. Moving on, yes, you’re right, as individuals we usually do have many courses open to us. As individuals we do have options. One could have voted protest voted in 2008 for Bob Barr or Newt Gingrich or numerous other more worthy natural born American citizens older than 35 years of age who have lived in the country more than 14 years.

    But realistically, as a whole, we know that options A and B were the only legitimate options. In looking back I see your use of similar arguments in your steadfast support for John McCain. So flatter me. You well know that as a people, we sometimes do come to forks in the road. As a whole, we sometimes do have to go one way or the other. You can ignore this as a trap if you must. But I envision the American people facing this very question (whether over abortion, perhaps gun rights, perhaps even direct voting, etc) in the future with the way we are presently heading. So where stand you?

  • “C” Albert. By the way you have made clear that you are against socialism. What is your position on abortion? Once you view it as the taking of innocent human life as I do, any such thought experiments as you propose are nonsensical. You might as well ask a parent which child they would prefer to have killed. I love both freedom and unborn kids.

  • The Unites States of America is about to become a socialist country under President Obama. Do you even understand that? Our government is soon to own or control directly our banking industry, large segments of our manufacturing industries, and no single segment of the economy has become more important than government spending.

    Of course I stand and act against these ills. The worst thing that Obama will do is expand the murder of innocent unborn babies.

    What is YOUR position on abortion?

  • Donald, you may say C, but your words reveal B. And that’s good. You will not sacrifice freedom to stop abortion. You want both and will settle for no less, even if you have to wait for all eternity to see it.

    If only your all colleagues in the extreme anti-abortion movement felt the same. I sadly believe a small percentage (some whom it looks like they may write or comment on this site too) would sacrifice all principles in the name of their cause. I’m glad you don’t.

    And this is why I also say, in moments of reflection, most pro-life people are not as ardent in their cause as they believe they are. That’s not to say you don’t believe in it. I know in your heart you do. But you realize there are limits on how hard you will fight for it. And thank god for that. If pro-lifers had the fervor of the environmental movement, for example, abortion may very well be illegal but this country would also be a very scary place.

    As to abortion, I’ve made my position known. I’m against abortion. Judge me by those words, please. I repeat, I am against having abortions. And I’m also against lots of bad things. But I will not advocate giving the state the control over a person’s body almost ever. That right may only be given in the name of reasonable law and order, such as incarceration or punishment for crime after trial or pending one.

    You may think a fetus in human life. I may even think a fetus is human life. But the fact is that it is also a life trapped inside another person’s body. I will not allow the state to get so powerful that it does not respect that limit. And that is why I feel opposition to abortion IS consistent with being a conservative, but opposition to choice IS NOT consistent with being a conservative.

  • Albert,

    you may think a fetus in human life. I may even think a fetus is human life. But the fact is that it is also a life trapped inside another person’s body. I will not allow the state to get so powerful that it does not respect that limit. And that is why I feel opposition to abortion IS consistent with being a conservative, but opposition to choice IS NOT consistent with being a conservative.

    you may say you are against abortion but your word’s belie the fact that you are in favor of abortion to be legal.

    As a conservative, why do you believe murder should be illegal? A conservative believes that because a human life has intrinsic value, regardless of it’s state, it’s utilitarian value, it’s potential, or it’s dependence on another. That’s why true conservatives believe murdering an unborn child ought to be illegal.

    Some so called conservatives argued against forcing the freeing of slaves on exactly the same lines as you… that is NOT conservative, and it’s not principled.

  • ps. the fact that someone would not abandon their principles to accomplish a good in now way dimishes their devotion to accomplishing the good. The Church has always taught that one may not do evil that good may come. Period.

  • Abortion is the slaying of the innocent Albert, it is as simple as that. No one has a right to choose to do that. I, and many more people like me, will never stop fighting it. The protection of innocent human life is a key component of any conservatism worthy of that honorable title.

  • Hail:

    As a clear conquering hero to the pro-life folk, and with a lovely sense of humor, Hail is the proper greeting.

    Hail! proud Hero, Hail!

    And as for a new term, commenter Paul recommends,

    “Murder Ltd” or “Murder LLC”?

    Methinks that, “Murder uLtd” – meaning “Murder unlimited” is far better and more accurate – as the bloody grasp of Moloch is seemingly without bound.

    God Bless,

  • Conquering hero Rich? At most I aspire to comedy relief for the pro-life movement! I do appreciate your kind words. Perhaps some day I will run a contest for a new name for Planned Parenthood although I do like your Murder Unlimited. Murder Extreme also seems to fit in, sadly, with the spirit of the times.

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Right To Thrive

Saturday, March 28, AD 2009

The issue of Abortion was not the compelling concern for a majority of Americans in the last elections, but it is still a powerfully divisive legal/moral contest that pits Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, in a heated competition for hearts and minds. It is tough to find common ground or fresh areas for public debate, but as a pro-life Democrat I am accustomed to thinking outside the pack.

Most Pro-Choice political leaders are quick to say that they are not pro-Abortion, they are interested in abortion reduction without outlawing the procedures. Many pro-life leaders similarly claim that they are also committed to reducing the numbers of abortion even as they seek a final legal solution of defining the right to life. There are a couple of bills coming back for consideration in Congress that will test the truthfulness of these politicians’ claims.

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11 Responses to Right To Thrive

  • The “Pregnant Women Support Act” is being promoted by the Democrats for Life organization as a means of reducing abortions by 95% over the next 10 years.

    I have no doubt that you approach this issue with great sincerity, but there’s just no getting around the fact that is an absolute pipe dream. The persistent myth is that practically all of the women who procure abortions are down and outers stuck on their last nickel, but nothing could be further from the truth. This bill does nothing for the arrogant yuppies who abort because the little one will interfere with their lifestyle of weekending in the Hamptons, and if you think that this constituent represents only a small minority of the women who procure abortions, then you are incredibly naive.

    It is absolute tripe like this that puts the pro-life movement back. Increased federal aid is the mirage that Catholic Democrats put out there as the excuse to keep voting Democrat.

  • Well- the actual research shows that apparently a high percentage of young women are indicating that the top reason for their choice of abortion is their fear of not being able to continue on with their education or related financial fears- I don’t know what studies you are basing your opinion on that say that most women seeking abortions are arrogant yuppies. I am simply taking women at their word and trying to address the root causes of women who would choose a legal or perhaps an illegal abortion.

    Personally I ran for public office as a pro-life Democrat who opposes legal abortions- using the 5th and 14th Amendments after making the case that medical research has made strides to prove that human life truly begins at fertlization/conception. And additionally, I promised to put forth legislation to regulate fertility clinics to forbid the practice of creating surplus embryos- which has created the supply to meet the demand of those who wish to pursue embryonic stem cell research.

    I plan on writing an article soon entitled “Pro-life movement: Democrats need not apply” to address the fact that many in the pro-life movement do not seem interested in developing an effective two-major party pro-life strategy- it would seem that serving the more narrow interests of the Republican party has become a central corruption for the major players who are ostensibly fighting for the unborn’s right to life. Personally I don’t find the normative Republican state’s rights approach to Life issues very pro-life- and I found that a Democrat such as myself is not even afforded the chance to compete in pro-life circles- not sure what happened to the meritocracy on that one. I will provide more specific details on a later post. But I will conclude by saying that I can see nothing wrong with working both the legal front and the reducing abortion demand front- combining that with the cultural interventions- so hold off on lumping me in with all your preconceived notions of what pro-life Democratic politics is all about.

  • There certainly are arrogant yuppies who abort — but the studies that I’ve seen do show that the majority are young, poor, and/or “repeat customers”. Of course, with over a million abortions a year, even a 10-20% minority adds up to a staggering number, so that data would certainly not make one expect not to know of lots of cases of either sort.

    I do rather share, however, Paul’s skepticism on the likely ability of the Pregnant Women Support Act to reduce abortions 95% over ten years. The number of abortions has been decreasing for the last 30 years and I think these sorts of programs might be able to increase the rate of decline by 2-4%. However, despite the frequency with which financial, educational and career reasons are given for abortions, I kind of suspect that the sorts of financing and services the bill offers would not actually make the personal cost of either setting up an adoption or being a (quite possibly single) mother seem that much less. No amount of subsidized childcare will make it easy to pursue what a 22 year old would think of as a normal dating life with a six month old. Nor will food stamps make it easier to scrape spilled food off the floor and get up at two in the morning with a toddler who can’t sleep.

    So while I think there is value to be found in making it more feasible for those brave women who choose life in difficult circumstances to continue with their educations and careers, I tend to think that there is actually very little distance to successfully go in the “reducing the need for abortion” direction.

    The “need” itself is pretty obvious. The trick is vastly increasing the social tendency against either getting yourself into the situation of needing one, or against acting upon the need itself. In other words: either make abortion socially (and/or legally) unacceptable or make pre-marital sex much less socially acceptable.

    That said, I think it’s a genuine problem when truly anti-abortion Democrats are being made to feel like they need not apply. Not only is that contrary to any sense of pro-life unity, it’s also a terrible way to run a movement. (Given that it strikes me that the NRA is pretty much the quintessential example of how to get your way legally — you don’t exactly see them turning away pro-gun Democrats now do you.)

  • And on a side note, I’m very glad to hear, Tim, that you’re working on getting legislation moving restricting the production of “extra” embryos in IVF clinics. That is something that we as pro-lifers should without question object to, and not enough has been done about it despite ample legal precedents in significantly less religious nations. I’m sure that presented right, that kind of regulation could successfully gain support.

  • The 95% figure is one that the national Dems for Life org puts out- I am an advisor for Florida Dems for Life- I don’t have a handle on how they arrived at that percentage- I’ll look into that more closely.

    Personally, I am trying to get things going on mulitiple fronts like I mentioned before- one thing I am just getting ready to do is start up a “Dads with Daughters” facebook group- this will have a religious focus to address the culture in which our girls are being brought up into. We need to take on the Playboy mentality big time- now that I am a father myself with girls, I finally really and truly get it. I can’t believe that so many American men who became fathers of girls didn’t get the memo and act on it before- we have done a lousy job on the chivalry front- the strip club on every corner thing – that has to go. I tried to get my Knights of Columbus council to get out in the streets in front of these clubs and hold up signs reminding men of the dignity of women- to try a little shame combined with some rosary praying in a very public in your face action. But I had no takers.

    I see abortion related to all kinds of things- a lot of cultural rot- there are a lot of Christians out there, but we just aren’t taking to the streets- not even to stand up for our daughters who are going to be treated like meat in a few years. I take the politics of all this deadly serious- but too many Christian/Catholic men seem so sheepish- maybe they are secretly addicted to porn like one of my female friends suggested- maybe. I understand being a weak male, but now I understand how to be a strong male, and I am hoping to help others get more proactive- let the incredible love we feel for our girls inspire us to make sure we are the ones who are determining the laws and marketplace appropriateness of things that encourage promiscuity and lax sexual morality. I’ll update you when I get this launched at facebook and hopefully beyond. God Bless- Save the children- save our children!

  • I have to say, as much as I like the idea of the PWSA, it isn’t going to stop 95% of abortions in 10 years or 100. Such an outlandish claim only opens the bill to ridicule and lessens the chances that it will succeed. I would support it if it stopped 1% of abortions, the quantity is a secondary concern, the principle and the intent are right. That does matter.

    After all, nearly 4 decades of trying to overturn Roe hasn’t reduced abortions at all. If quantity is what matters here, if we are going to be pragmatists or utilitarians, then it is this strategy that should finally be thrown out the window, especially now.

    I would rather see money spent on crisis pregnancy centers, community outreach groups, sidewalk counseling, shelters for homeless and abused women, etc. But most of those things will never be funded by our government.

  • Thanks for noting that Joe. I’m supportive of these types of initiatives. I really am. But Democrats for Life seriously undermines their credibility imo when they claim any policy will reduce abortion by 95% in 10 years. Down that road lies the Doug Kmiec Obama-is-really-the-pro-life candidate shilling, or so it appears to many right-leaning conservatives. Not even overturning Roe would result in that sharp a reduction.

  • The 95% figure is sheer flim-flam and is mooted about to give electoral cover to pro-abort democrats. I have no problem helping pregnant women in crisis pregnancies as the 10 years I have spent on the board of the local crisis pregnancy center in my county indicates, but helping pregnant women should not diminish one iota the fight against the obscenity of legalized abortion.

  • I don’t know what studies you are basing your opinion on that say that most women seeking abortions are arrogant yuppies.

    I actually never said a “majority,” but rather bristled at the implicit suggestion that all but a very tiny percentage of women who procure abortions are poor or uneducated. I don’t dispute that a majority are, but let’s stop pretending this is solely or even mainly about economics.

    As others have said, there is nothing wrong with assisting crisis pregnancy centers and like, as my KoC council is doing. Certainly there are both political and societal ways to attack to the problem of abortion outside of fighting for its abolition; however, as long as Democrats continued to be aided and abetted by pro-life Democrats such as yourself, we will continue fighting an uphill battle regarding the evil of abortion and the pursuit of its ultimate demise.

    You can put as much lipstick as you want on this pig, but it’s still a pig.

  • Paul- are you saying that even being a pro-life Democrat is contributing negatively to the abortion situation? Be careful not to lump all pro-life Dems in with those who publicly endorse pro-choice candidates- I don’t. I think it is a mistake to focus so heavily on recruiting Catholic Democrats to just become Republicans. Before 1980 there were more pro-lifers in the Democratic Party establishment than in the Republican one- the parties change like the wind on many issues- look how Clinton sold out the FDR economic tradition for Dems- and I would say that Ron Paul is right to stay Republican and fight for the party to drastically change the imperial approach to foreign relations and excessive military presence and expenditures. I would never say that Dr. Paul should simply quit the Repubs and become a Democrat because he is enabling imperialism- he didn’t endorse McCain as far as I am aware and I never endorsed Obama- I am being true on every issue regardless of where the Democratic platform of groupthink is. I say that as a Catholic- pick a party and be consistent with the Catholic social doctrine as best you know- every party is in need of major reforms from this perspective- no party is clean- there is no party of God- only the social doctrine of Christ’s Church- and that is a blueprint of moral principles, not an exact step-by-step ideology

  • I’m a huge advocate for the Pregnant Women Support Act.

    Now granted, the goals of the bill are quite lofty. However, I don’t think we should ever settle for less.

    In fact, the legislation is not merely some pro-life Democratic measure to strengthen the social safety net and reduce the “need” for abortion. Rather, it is a pro-life jewel in that it would in one federal legislative action win the wars that pro-life Americans have been fighting at the state level for years.

    – For over a decade, the pro-life movement has been fighting to get unborn children and pregnant covered in the S-CHIP program. This would occur definitely under this bill and get health care for pregnant women.

    – The PWSA would establish parental notification laws in all 50 states. A study from the University of Alabama estimates that parental-involvement laws in states that have enacted them, have effected the abortion rate by 13 – 31%. Several states do not have such laws and this would be a magnificent way of doing it all in the stroke of one legislative pen.

    – There is legislation entitled “A Woman’s Right to Know” that requires that women be asked if they would like to see an ultrasound before having an abortion, be offered literature on human life development, and be informed about fetal experience of pain from an abortion. Sometimes this also includes a 24 hour waiting period. This approach has about the same success as parental notification laws. This is another aspect of the bill that could be enacted in all 50 states that could have quite an impact on the abortion rate, acting in concert with all the other measures.

    – There is an aspect of this legislation that deals directly with parents who have a prenatal diagnosis, particularly with Down Syndrome. In regard to Down Syndrome, 90% of such diagnoses end in an abortion.

    – It would protect and expand federal funding of pro-life pregnancy crisis centers and provide ultrasound equipment and free screenings.

    – On this last point, I’m not certain, but I could have sworn there is a provision in the bill that is covered in CIANA laws, which deals with teens crossing state-borders to go obtain abortions. This may be dealt with under the parental-involvement aspect of the bill, but again, this is another pro-life measure that could find its way into federal law.

    I’m sure, if we all had to vote for it, most of us would vote in favor of it. My only point is: I don’t think we should be so quick to say this is ‘already being done’ and won’t have much of an effect.

    I think we should consider the amount of resources that would be put at the disposal of groups trying to help pregnant women. This could increase efforts and enable them to expand. I’m sure many non-profit organizations often stretch thin on resources.

    Another area of interest is how many pro-life measures — parental notification, CIANA laws, women’s right to know — would be enacted in all 50 states. This is currently not the case and it would be phenomenal to reap the effect of such widespread measures, together with increased efforts and financial resources of groups seeking to help support pregnant women.

    95% in 10 years? Maybe not. But, right now, it is hard to say that there has been a significant difference in the abortion rate between pro-life and pro-choice Administrations, aside from the only agreed fact that the number of abortions itself is declining. I think this would be a profound step in the right direction.

What's a Modernist?

Saturday, March 28, AD 2009

A biretta tip to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf for this wonderful piece of humor that he came across on Catholic Church Conservation.  When they stop believing in God, they call themselves modernists.  They being the Church of England but would also apply to many Catholic prelates and laymen here in the United States and around the world.

(Biretta Tip: Catholic Church Conservation via Fr. John Zuhlsforf)

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11 Responses to What's a Modernist?

  • Thank you Tito, I haven’t laughed so hard this week! We laugh because it’s funny and we laugh because it’s true!

  • “They being the Church of England but would also apply to many Catholic prelates …in the United States and around the world.”

    Tito’s at it again.

    He simpy cannot seem to live his faith without scapegoating many American (and international)prelates in the process.

    At least he is not naming names again.

    That’s spiritual progess, maybe.

  • Remember…he has actually charged her that many prelates (U.S. and worldwide) of having stopped BELIEVING IN GOD.

    How does he know this? Does he have sources willing to go on record? A special charism of discernment in these matters?

  • Mark,

    What’s the name of your gf’s puppies name?

  • “When they stop believing in God, they call themselves modernists.”

    How many self- described “modernist” prelates are there? Very few, I would imagine. Rather, isn’t it usually a label tagged on by others who disagree with their pastoral approach…. and are perhaps lacking in faith themselves? Just something to ponder…

  • “How many self- described “modernist” prelates are there?”

    Lots in the Anglican Church ever since John Robinson’s Honest to God book in the sixties.


    The good news regarding modernists is that they tend to destroy the sects that embrace them as they have done in the Anglican Church. I doubt if they will do lasting harm to Christianity. The bad news is that they destroy the faith of those few who do embrace their “updating” of the faith.

  • Donald,

    John Robinson is a pretty complex case. His biblical scholarship often questions so- called modernist presuppositions. There is much to take issue with in his work, for sure, but I doubt that he would think of himself as a “modernist” today. And can we really accuse any Catholic prelates of modernism, as defined by the Church?

    I just think we should be careful tagging people as modernists. There was a period in the Church when the reigning opinion was that Henri de Lubac and Congar were modernists. I’m sure that Ratzinger was considered one by the conservatives at the eve of VII.

  • “The Church of England is trying to be more relevant”

    “To God?”

    “Of course not!”

    Hahaha….so true…reminds me of Notre Dame….

  • Brian, you are correct that the Bishop of Woolwich, CS Lewis, who didn’t think much of Honest to God, referred to him privately as the Bishop of Woolsworth, argued for an early dating of the Gospels, and that is a credit to his intellectual honesty. However, I think the contention that his book gave a huge impetus to modernism is uncontroversial. As to his position today, since he died in 1983 I truly have no clue, although during his lifetime he was always firmly in the camp of those most eager to overturn traditional Christian beliefs. The most important theological battles are no longer between the Church, our separated brethen, and the disputes among their sects, but within the Church and within the sects between those who believe that Jesus is God as part of the trinity, and those who at bottom reject all of this as superstitious mumbo-jumbo. That of course is why modernism, I actually would call it agnosticism-lite, is a path to extinction for any group within Christianity that embraces it. Why attend a “church” that really believes in nothing, can promise nothing after the grave, and might as well be flying a flag atop its steeple with a question mark emblazoned upon it?

  • Well said Donald.

    The demands of the Catholic Church may be difficult, but the rewards are eternal. I may make mistakes, but I try my best to rectify them and follow the path that Jesus as set out for me.

    I love the Catholic Church unconditionally.

13 Responses to The Past Is Another Country…Music Edition

Clinton and Our Lady

Saturday, March 28, AD 2009


Our Secretary of State, pictured above in her school days when she must have been busily not paying attention in at least some of her classes, visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe On Thursday March 27.  After observing the image of Our Lady, Clinton inquired who painted it?  She then told a group of Mexicans outside that they had a “marvelous virgin”.  I must say that I am proud to have such a sophisticated, intelligent  and well read person as Mrs. Clinton representing the U.S. abroad.  I trust that she will not forget the “Montezuma’s Revenge” reference on a future trip to Mexico.  Paying “homage” to Our Lady was squeezed in on her way to accepting the Margarent Sanger award Thursday night in Houston from Murder Inc., aka, Planned Parenthood.

Update I:  “Reproductive rights and the umbrella issue of women’s rights and empowerment will be a key to the foreign policy of this administration,” Clinton said in Houston, where she received the Margaret Sanger Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “

Update II:  Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air that Clinton said that she had been at the Basilica 30 years before.  Hopefully she was paying more attention this time.

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32 Responses to Clinton and Our Lady

  • With all due respect, the hatred here is palpable.

  • You are correct Mr. DeFrancisis. Clinton obviously does not think much of either Catholics or fetuses. In the case of Catholics I would say it is stupidity rather than hatred. In the case of fetuses it might be hatred.

  • Ironically enough, Our Lady of Guadeloupe’s grace led to the conversion of an entire culture that was built on destroying life. Let’s pray that even this PR encounter leads to more conversion.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    I just know that you can do better that this. These types of posts add a foul air to the general atmosphere of discussion.

  • Mr. DeFrancisis, your anger towards me is misdirected. I merely report the news and point out the follies therein. It is people such as Mrs. Clinton who engage in the follies and much worse. I tremble for our nation when, and it is when and not if, she has to wrap her tremendous knowledge base around a dangerous foreign crisis.

  • I am no fan of Hillary, but cut her a little slack here. Sheesh, there are CATHOLICS in this world who don’t know about Our Lady of Guadalupe; it doesn’t surprise me that a non-Catholic wouldn’t have heard about its miraculous significance. She’s probably seen it but assumed it was a painted icon like Poland’s Black Madonna, or Russia’s Our Lady of Vladimir.

    One could argue that because she is Secretary of State and is supposed to be an expert on foreign cultures, particularly those of strategically important nations, she should know better. However, GOP presidents and administrations aren’t immune to similar gaffes. Bush’s last press secretary, for example, admitted she didn’t understand an analogy to the Cuban Missile Crisis because she didn’t know what it was.

    I agree with Rick that given Our Lady’s success in turning around another culture of death, this might be a hopeful sign.

    I have heard that President Reagan (whose father and brother were Catholic although he was not) knew about Our Lady of Fatima and was intrigued by her promise of Russia’s conversion.

  • While I’m not a Hillary fan (to put it mildly), I would be more surprised if she was aware of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

  • Of course she is not a mere tourista. Secretaries of State are extensively briefed before foreign visits. I find the idea that she seems to be oblivious of Catholic beliefs regarding the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to be risible in the extreme, especially as part of the brightest and most sophisticated administration in our nation’s history, or so what is left of the mainstream press keeps assuring us.

  • When I saw the outrage from Mark I assumed part of the story was fabricated. In particular, I assumed the bit about the Margaret Sanger award was added as a joke. However, after reading the linked article it turns out she went from paying homage to Mary to receiving an award from PP named after a racist advocate of abortion as a way to clean up the gene pool. Yet, the outrage is directed at the author of the post and not towards the Secretary of State who would accept such a heinous award, or the President who would name such a character as SECSTATE. Seems our outrage is misplaced. I don’t care that she had no knowledge of the history of the shrine in Guadalupe. I do care that she has lived her sorry life in such a way that disgusting people like PP feel obliged to honor her. As a society we should be ashamed that PP exists and yet no less a figure than our SECSTATE deems them worthy of her presence. Yet, we have people more concerned about internet posts adding a foul air??? Ridiculous.

  • Last year when she was trolling for Catholic votes Clinton wore a “madonna” bracelet with an image of our Lady of Guadalupe. I guess it was boob bait for Catholics stupid enough to think it meant anything to her other than as a piece of jewelry.


  • I would think that if she was making a visit to the shrine, her staff should have provided her a one-sheet on Our Lady of Guadalupe. That’s the sort of cultural sensitivity and competence we were assured we could expect from this administration.

    Or perhaps, being an “ugly American” tourist is more bipartisan than is generally claimed.

    If she’d had the question sprung on her (in a Katie Couric interview?) on some unrelated occasion I’d consider it fair to allow her ignorance, but if you’re going to visit a national shrine you should know the five minute version of its story.

  • Frankly, I’m surprised by her gaffe. She has made a gross error.

    On Donald’s point, I agree, that bracelet was mere pandering to the Catholic vote, a meaningless gesture worn by the former first lady.

  • Donad,

    There is no anger or outrage on my part, but mere pity– that you have to bring the blog down to the level you sometimes do.

  • Your pity is misplaced Mr. DeFrancisis. I will attack absurdity and evil wherever I find them. If you do not regard Mrs Clinton’s ignorant perfomance at the Basilica as aburd, and her acceptance of the Margaret Sanger award as evil, then you and I clearly have different definitions of those terms.

  • I certainly do not agree with anything Margaret Sanger or Planned Parenthood stands for.

    However, I think pro-lifers would be well advised to stop citing statements Margaret Sanger made back in the 1920s as “proof” that the modern-day Planned Parenthood is explicitly racist and bent on genocide.

    That would be like insisting that Jews today shouldn’t buy Ford products because Henry Ford was anti-Semitic — even though Henry Ford’s personal views nearly 100 years ago have little if anything to do with how the company is run today. It’s an argument that makes pro-lifers, not PP, look like fools who resort to irrelevant ad hominem attacks to make a point.

    In the early 20th century a LOT of educated and otherwise well-intentioned people considered eugenics a legitimate science that held the promise of eliminating poverty, disease, etc. The Nazis didn’t invent eugenics. They did, however, exploit it for their own racist and nationalistic purposes, which hastened its demise.

    If I were looking for proof that the modern PP is racist, I would look for more recent evidence than that. Margaret Sanger died in 1966, I believe, and she gave interviews as recently as the late 1950s. She had to have been aware of the civil rights movement. Did she ever repudiate, take back or explain her earlier comments about “Negroes”? If she did repudiate those views later in life, then no matter how loathsome or offensive we may find her views on sexuality, I don’t think it would be fair to charge her or the modern Planned Parenthood with racism.

    There are plenty of solid arguments against Planned Parenthood’s approach to sexuality without resorting to a rather lame charge like this.

  • Then we have Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., who is one of the leading critics of Planned Parenthood in the black community:


  • A group of black pastors in Washington attacked Planned Parenthood last year.


    Now admittedly charging a group that kills children in the womb with racism does seem rather behind the point. However it is interesting how many Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are located near black population centers:http://www.lifeissues.org/connector/display.asp?page=05oct.htm

  • Elaine,

    I think you’re missing the bigger picture with respect to the association of Margaret Sanger and PP. The larger issue is that the early 20th century progressive movement was in favor of eugenics because it was completely unmoored from any idea of natural right or law. The same is true of today’s progressives and many so-called conservatives as well. Both ideologies are suffering from a divorce from the reality of natural law; in the case of progressives, there is nothing eternal and transcendent, only the traditions that “hold us back” from the “progress” we should be making. In the case of many conservatives, it’s more of a Burkean “tradition for tradition’s sake” than anything else.

    And so you have two sides basically trying to shout louder than each other with almost nothing in the way of first principles. In this respect, I think it’s *extremely* pertinent to point out the historical heritage of today’s progressives with those of the Sanger era. It’s not surprising at all that today’s progressives seem to have nothing in common at all with the racist eugenicism of Sanger; that’s because there’s nothing fixed in the ideology — there’s only the desire to defeat human nature and replace it with the pragmatic concerns of the zeitgeist.

  • Christian seems to be onto something — the notion that “progressivism” basically denies original sin and the need for repentance and conversion, because man can achieve perfection in this life if only he tries “something” hard enough.

    Sanger’s belief in eugenics dates from an era when science and technology were thought to be the key to establishing “heaven” on earth. She comes from the same era as inventors like Ford and Thomas Edison, along with utopian fiction writers and thinkers like H.G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, etc.

    It took World War II and the invention of the atom bomb to disabuse most people of the notion that science could solve all problems. After that, came the notion that “tolerance” and “just getting along” with people of different races, religions, etc. would solve everything. More recently we have the notion that a good education, a good job, regular checkups and counseling whenever something bad happens will cure war, crime, hunger and all other bad things.

    So basically, the only thing Sanger’s progressivism has in common with today’s progressivism is its faith in something other than natural law and morality as the ultimate solution to social problems.

  • Mark DeFrancis! Can’t you man get a life? Why do you always feel the need to rush to the defence of people like Ms Clinton who are so militantly pro-aborts that they actually received awards from PP precisely because of that? I understand that, much like the Bush devil’s advocates of the previous administration, you are simply engaging in the usual Coalition For Fog…but there is a point where the whole thing becomes outright disgusting…

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  • Mark, in my threads I do not allow personal attacks on other commenters. Since you are new, I believe, I will not delete your comment but no further personal attacks will be allowed by me. We can all make our points without attacking each other in the comment boxes.

  • I also want to make it clear that my intention is NOT in any way to defend Sanger or Planned Parenthood but to insure that pro-life arguments against their worldview are as solid as possible and not tainted by unfairness or distortion of any kind. We are Christians, after all, and are supposed to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” That includes not making outdated accusations of racism against someone IF they or their organization changed their view later in life.

  • Well, I do apologise Donald Mc Clarey for having gone much too far…However I am really “bothered” by the almost knee-jerk reaction of some people who rush to the defense of people like Ms Clinton who has lead such a life as to be fit to receive the highest award of PP…what do such people think they are gaining by doing this? what thoughtul contribution are they bringing to the conversation? And yes, I often read Vox Nova; I know what they have done to fellow blogger Zippy and I apprciate the fact that you did not “send me into exile from civilization” (banning) too…
    However it should be noted that it is Mr Defrancisis which assumed the worst of you with his “hatred is palpable” comment. I will also not walk away from the Coalition for Fog part of my comment because it’s true though i guess that in the politics of USA 2009 it’s fair game…

  • Thank you Mark. I allow more discretion when comments are directed towards me if I find that I can use them to advance the discussion. If not, I delete them. My purpose in mandating civility is partially manners, but mostly because I have seen too many combox threads on too many blogs devolve into wearying back and forth between a few commenters exchanging insults. I find those threads boring to read and ultimately a waste of time. The comboxes on my threads are for exchanging insights, ideas and views and never insults. I hope I will see you frequently in my comboxes because I think you can make a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate.

  • “De rien” as the frenchman will say…

  • To wrap up my earlier tangent on Margaret Sanger’s alleged racism: a quick Google search on this topic turns up several interesting articles.

    Planned Parenthood of New Jersey has an article devoted to this topic. Of course it is meant to be sympathetic to Sanger, but it does point out that some of the most offensive quotes often attributed to her (such as “the most merciful thing a large family does to one of its children is to kill it”) appear to have been either wrongly attributed or taken grossly out of context. This does not surprise me as many historical figures and celebrities (from Lincoln to Einstein) are often misquoted or assumed to have said things they never really said.

    The Wikipedia entry on Sanger notes her controversial racial views as well as the fact that they were shared by a lot of people at the time. It also notes, however, that she did not approve of the state-enforced Nazi eugenics program. She did once address a KKK women’s group (in the 1920s the Klan was at the height of its popularity and was known just as much for its anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant views as its racial views) but found it to be a strange and rather disturbing experience.

    Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, she also made comments acknowledging that abortion was killing a baby and that she intended for contraception to reduce the incidence of abortion.

    Whether Sanger’s “Negro Project” was a consciously and deceptively racist effort to reduce the black population or simply an attempt to give black women the same “right” to control the size of their families as white women had, was and still is a matter of debate, particularly among African-Americans.

  • A good book in regard to Sanger and her role in the American eugenics movement is War Against the Weak.


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3 Responses to We All Have Little Lists

  • Ah yes, The Mikado.
    Back in the 50’s at my Almer Mater, Sacred Heart College, Auckland NZ, we did the Savoy operas each year for our major art/culture production. As a callow youth at ages 13 and 14, still with a boy soprano voice, I acted in the Gondliers in ’55, and as Piti Sing in The Mikado in ’56.
    The following year I was a budding tenor, but not mature enough in voice to take a part in The Pirates of Penzance.
    But in ’59 did My Fair Lady at a different establishment (male role)

    Days worth remembering.

  • To avoid the risk of demonstrating gross intolerance, I decline to offer my list.
    But if I did, it may include, but not limited to, or necessarily definitely include –
    – those who don’t like beer.
    – people of a non-heterosexual orientation whom I do not know
    – people who followed our media directives to turn lights out last
    night “For The Earth” (gag)
    – greenies, lefties and those who do not like huntin’,shootin’ an’ fishin’.
    – people who give me the fingers while driving, then want to stop
    and argue whem I blow them away in my Subaru GT 😉
    -those gutless men who beat their wives or girlfriends.
    – druggies, pot smokers.
    (how many’s that?)

    But I would definitely do away with any one worse than that.

  • Well done as always Don!

Save the Honors for Scholars

Friday, March 27, AD 2009

On the general outlines of the Obama-honored-by-Notre-Dame fraucus, there can be little question. It’s fairly obvious that this was a bad move on the part of the Notre Dame University leadership, especially when they already had a precedent to follow in that they had not had Clinton — another pro-abortion non-Catholic president who had been a law school hot-shot — as a commencement speaker. It’s fairly obvious this will be seen, not as an opportunity for dialogue, but as the Catholic intellectual establishment endorsing Obama. It’s fairly obvious that Notre Dame will not back down at this point, and to be honest this is very much in keeping with the general tenor of Notre Dame over the last 30 years or so, so that’s hardly a surprise either. It’s generally agreed that Notre Dame is the most elite Catholic college in the US, and also generally understood that the question of whether it is its Catholicism or its elite status that is its controlling characteristic is undecided.

However, there’s a wider question at play here which is, I think, worth considering as regards what academia is and ought to be. It’s become quite common for colleges and universities to bring in commencement speakers who have been successful in the wider world: politicans, CEOs, actors, people well known for their work at non-profits, etc.

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12 Responses to Save the Honors for Scholars

  • Well written.

    I agree that Reagan and the two Bush’s along with Obama should not receive an honorary degree. Especially when it has almost nothing to do with their own personal histories and experiences.

  • “It’s generally agreed that Notre Dame is the most elite Catholic college in the US”- I think some folks in Georgetown might disagree with you on that one. Oh wait though, they’re Jesuits so they don’t matter.

  • I think another reason why outside speakers are invited to give commencement addresses is that the vast majority of students are not continuing in academia. The commencement speaker, who presumably has been successful in some pursuit, is supposed to give them advice in navigating the outside world. I suppose the honorary degrees have been added along the way as a sweetener, although they’ve always struck me as a faintly ridiculous.

    John Schwenkler made a somewhat similar point the other day, although he was more focused on exemplars of the faith for Catholic universities, rather than academics. I thought it was interesting fwiw:

    My own inclination is actually to say that the standard should be really high: only individuals who’ve contributed in pretty radical ways to the life of the Church should be given honors like this one. That this means that pretty much no national politician would clear the bar is, I think, one of such a proposal’s very best effects. There are countless people who teach, write books, feed the hungry, aid the sick, and otherwise do the real work of advocating for God’s justice who deserve an honorary doctorate more than Barack Obama does; that most such people are not presently famous is all the more reason to single them out.


  • I think I agree, or at least I would choose scholars over politicians were I in the position of choosing commencement speakers. Of course, I would probably choose obscure postmodern philosophers, and they have a history of provoking opposition and outrage. In 1992, Cambridge gave Jacques Derrida an honorary degree. Protest from philosophers opposed to deconstruction ensued. They wrote a letter to the London Times urging faculty to vote against the honor.

  • Kyle Cupp

    I agree with the fact that honorary degrees should be given to academics (though, one could say Obama had an academic career, of sorts, as did and do many politicians, so the distinction is not as easy as we would like). But more than that, save for extraordinary circumstances, I don’t think honorary degrees should be given. I don’t like the practice. But since it is the norm, and I am not the one in charge, I understand why they are given, and given to politicians.

  • Giving honorary degrees to anyone who speaks at a commencement would be like conferring the title of “honorary President” on anyone who makes an official appearance at the White House, or “honorary Congressman” on someone who testifies before Congress or one of its committees. It is silly and superflous (which is probably one reason Stephen Colbert makes such a big deal of his honorary degree from Knox College).

    If the Obama commencement invitation hadn’t come with an honorary degree, it might have lessened the outrage among (orthodox) Catholics somewhat, but probably wouldn’t have eliminated it entirely.

    Did Mr. Clinton never speak at Notre Dame because they didn’t invite him, or because he never accepted the invitation? If ND does have a tradition of inviting new presidents I assume Clinton was invited but didn’t accept.

  • Actually, John Henry, (as you are probably aware), Notre Dame already has an award called the Laetare Medal that fits the criteria you cite (intended for someone who has contributed significantly to the life of the Church).

  • Kyle,

    It doesn’t strike me as surprising that a good university’s choices of whom to honor would make some people mad — though in this ND case I think it’s the university rather than those who are objecting that is in the wrong.


    Agreed. Passing out honorary degrees like party favors does pretty much rob them of any meaning. One would think that if a university thought its degrees worth of some estimation, they would only rarely give them out to those who had not earned them in the traditional fashion.

    (It’s true, as you point out, that most politicians have had an academic career in the sense of earning an undergraduate degree and either a law degree or an MBA, but I think we’d probably agree that’s not usually an “academic career” deserving of any degrees other than the ones actually earned already.)


    Perhaps ND can honor Stephen Colbert for his leadership next year…

  • Jose,

    That was pretty funny. :~)

  • With apologies (of sorts) to Rush Limbaugh, I offer the first of Elaine’s As Of Yet Undetermined Number of Undeniable Truths:

    When it comes to Catholic faith formation, a secular university with a well-staffed, active and orthodox Newman Center is preferable to a “Catholic in name only” private university. (It’s also a lot more affordable.)

    My daughter isn’t in the college or university market yet — probably won’t be for a while due to her disability — but I would, on this grounds alone, choose to send her to the U of I Champaign over Notre Dame, Loyola, DePaul, et al. In fact I would argue that UIUC may be one of the best Catholic colleges in Illinois, and it’s not even Catholic!

  • Plus, as Don can attest, St. John’s Chapel can hold its own in architectural wow power, even if not in size, with ND’s Sacred Heart Basilica.

Cardinal DiNardo Critiques Notre Dame Invite

Friday, March 27, AD 2009


Daniel Cardinal DiNardo has become the latest in a series of bishops questioning the appropriateness of the University of Notre Dame’s invitation to invite President Barack Obama to address the commencement ceremony as well as to receive an Honorary Law degree.  One distinguishes Cardinal DiNardo from the previous three bishops is that he is the highest ranking prelate in the United States to voice his “disappointment” to the invitation.  The following is an excerpt from the Texas Catholic Herald, the mouthpiece of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston (separation of paragraphs and emphasis mine):

“I find the invitation very disappointing. Though I can understand the desire by a university to have the prestige of a commencement address by the President of the United States, the fundamental moral issue of the inestimable worth of the human person from conception to natural death is a principle that soaks all our lives as Catholics, and all our efforts at formation, especially education at Catholic places of higher learning. The President has made clear by word and deed that he will promote abortion and will remove even those limited sanctions that control this act of violence against the human person.”

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8 Responses to Cardinal DiNardo Critiques Notre Dame Invite

  • Thank you Cardinal DiNardo from the bottom of my heart.

  • By God, this is what one expects of a Texan Cardinal !
    Give ’em [charitable but vigorous] Hell, Cardinal DiNardo !

  • Yes, thank you for your leadership, Cardinal.

  • Now Archbishop Timothy Dolan, upcoming Archbishop of New York, has weighed in on matter. In interview broadcast Sunday on WTMJ-TV Milwaukee- where he will leave April 14 for Manhattan skyline- His Eminence told host Charlie Sykes about his own disappointment for Father Jenkins’ decision. Not going well for the Good Father. Tee hee.

  • As a Notre Dame graduate I ask ” are we a Catholic University or are
    we just another fine university with a good sports program?”

  • The most visible clergy in the U. S. have a moral responsibility to express disappointment and disagreement with what Notre Dame has done. Cardinal DiNardo has absolutely done the right thing. It seems to me the Pope has the same responsibility but we will not hear from him.

  • It seems to me the Pope has the same responsibility but we will not hear from him.

    I would have to think that Notre Dame University is pretty peripheral to the pope’s concerns. It’s one college (although a moderately prestigious one) in one country in the world.

Third Bishop Reproach's Notre Dame Decision

Friday, March 27, AD 2009

Bishop Gregory Aymond of the Diocese of Austin has reproached the decision rendered by the University of Notre Dame to allow President Obama to do the 2009 commencement address and receive an honorary law degree.  In an E-Pistle issued earlier today, Bishop Aymond had this to say:

“I, along with many other Catholics, express great disappointment and sadness that a Catholic university would honor someone who is pro-choice and who holds many values contrary to our Catholic belief.”

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7 Responses to Third Bishop Reproach's Notre Dame Decision

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  • I was actually surprised when I saw Bishop Aymond’s e-pistle. Our ordinary is not generally very political — to my knowledge he was pretty quiet and simply referred everyone to Faithful Citizenship during the election. So that he spoke out on this really struck me.

    On the other hand, it strikes me that for many of the bishops, while they are reluctant to tell people specifically not to vote for one party, the call on not handing out honors to a pro-choice politician may be a lot more clear cut. Unless one abstains entirely, one will generally vote for one of the two major parties. But there’s certainly no requirement that one go handing out honors without good cause.

  • I was fortunate enough to speak with Bishop Aymond briefly last week Wednesday in College Station and I was impressed by his orthodoxy, charity, and demeanor. He was easy to speak with and very polite.

    I to was thrown off guard and was happy to be surprised.

    Now his recent statement concerning the scandal at Notre Dame has made me even more impressed with his episcopacy.

    You have a good bishop in Austin Darwin.

  • My pastor (Notre Dame alumnus) is not particularly happy about this either 😉

  • Hey man, Obama is actually pro-life, or at least in the holistic sense of the term – what’s the deal with the private theology of these bishops?

  • at least in the holistic sense of the term

    Does one have to drink green tea, do stretching exercises and burn some sort of herb to achieve this kind of holistic sense of the term? A sort of alternative medicine for the mind?


  • Darwin,

    Whooaaa now, that’s hitting to close to home with me.

    Fortunately, I don’t burn herbs of any sort (I don’t burn anything except a good Jamaican cigar for that matter — Cuban cigars are vastly overrated).