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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Politics And Politicians Archives

Fewer Catholics in Congress

posted by jmcgee

But, interestingly, the two parties have about the same number. From CNS, via U.S. Catholic: With more than three dozen Catholic Democrats voted out of office or choosing not to run in the November election, a decline in the number […]

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Blair v. Hitchens: who won?

posted by jmcgee

The answer to that may depend on whom you ask — though an informal poll afterward evidently found Hitchens to be more persuasive.  The BBC was there and offers some highlights: It felt like the event of the season. Organisers […]

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Is the Tea Party Catholic?

posted by jmcgee

Some people are asking that question — and Catholic News Agency has some answers: CNA spoke about the movement with Dr. Steven Schneck, Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America, and […]

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Pelosi on prayer

posted by jmcgee

“Do you think frequently of your father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., the former mayor of Baltimore? My father died the year I was elected to Congress, 1987. I think about my parents all the time, especially on Sunday when I’m at […]

Is Mark Rubio Catholic? Another answer…

posted by jmcgee

A little more news, following last week’s post. The e-mail below, sent to Florida writer Eric Giunta, comes from the senator-elect’s campaign.  Giunta wrote to the campaign, looking for an explanation.  Below is part of what they wrote back. (But […]

George W. Bush: why I’m pro-life

posted by jmcgee

The former president is back in the public eye again, with a new book and a headline-making interview with Matt Lauer that includes, among other things, some personal insight into his political beliefs: The most startling anecdote he shared was […]

Is Marco Rubio Catholic?

posted by jmcgee

Not anymore, but there’s some confusion about it. From Damien Thompson: I came across this curious article from Politics Daily which (without apparently realising that it is doing so) reveals that he has abandoned the faith of his Cuban parents: […]

Election 2010 and “the God gap”

posted by jmcgee

Religious voters — especially Catholics — may well have been the ones who turned the tide, according to analysts: As Democrats conduct a grim postmortem on Tuesday’s elections, some liberal leaders say one diagnosis is already clear: the party’s outreach […]

Boehner: Washington’s most powerful Catholic?

posted by jmcgee

He might have some competition from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but the man who will soon be the Speaker of the House could claim that title. Some details about John Boehner’s upbringing: He was reared in a […]

Boehner: “I’ve been praying all day, every day”

posted by jmcgee

With the election just a couple days away, the man who is hoping to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives had a few things to say recently about prayer: House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has a […]

“We are the Catholic vote”

posted by jmcgee

The latest ad from CatholicVote.org., below.

“Myths about Catholic voters”

posted by jmcgee

The President of the dissident group Catholics for Choice has his own spin on the subject of Catholics and how we vote: As the election nears, many news outlets are repeating misinformation about what Catholics believe and what they can […]

O’Donnell: “Pray that the eyes of the voters be opened”

posted by jmcgee

“God is the reason that I’m running. If I didn’t believe that there were a cause greater than myself worth fighting for, if I didn’t believe that it takes a complete dying of self to make things right in this […]

“This is in your face anti-Catholicism” — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

That’s how Matthew Archbold at National Catholic Register describes the postcard below that many in Minnesota found in their mailboxes this week.  It was sent out by a Democratic non-profit, with a simple message: the Catholic Church supports a party […]

Sam Brownback, Catholic

posted by jmcgee

After 16 years in Congress (including a failed run for the White House), Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback is running for governor of Kansas. The Kansas City Star has a lengthy look at his life, which included converting to Catholicism […]

O’Donnell questions separation of church and state — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

Two weeks before the election, controversial Catholic Senate candidate — and notable non-witch — Christine O’Donnell waded into the issue of church-state separation in a broadcast debate.    From the AP: Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday […]

Decision ’10: Catholics leaning to the right

posted by jmcgee

Could this be a bellwether for the coming election? Take a look: A new poll reveals that Catholic voters, generally the middle ground in the religious political debate, are moving toward the political right, mirroring what pollsters believe is the […]

“Not a witch” vs. “Not a Marxist”?

posted by jmcgee

The subject of faith came up — prominently — in last night’s debate between the two contenders for Senate in Delaware: Christine O’Donnell, the Republican Delaware Senate candidate, and her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons, hurled personal attacks at each other […]

Carville and Matalin to speak at New York’s Al Smith Dinner

posted by jmcgee

One of the more famous — or infamous — political duets will perform at one of the country’s premiere Catholic fundraisers, according to the Archdiocese of New York website: Political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin will be the guest […]

Hitchens and Blair to debate

posted by jmcgee

This should be interesting, to say the least: One is a prominent atheist, the other a devout Roman Catholic. Both share mutual admiration for each other, but for a few hours next month, they will be adversaries, facing off over […]

Ann Coulter, Catholic

posted by jmcgee

I’ve wondered about that for a while, and now this curious piece in the New York Times — in the Fashion section, believe it or not — confirms it (though Coulter, it seems, is, um, un-comfirmed…literally): Ms. Coulter was born […]

New York bishops: “We must be cautious when we vote…”

posted by jmcgee

The bishops of New York state have just released a statement about the upcoming election. A snip: “We Catholics are called to look at politics as we are called to look at everything – through the lens of our faith. […]

Seeing Red: annual mass celebrated in Washington

posted by jmcgee

Before the First Monday in October, there’s the First Sunday, and what has become a long-running tradition in the nation’s capital. From the Washington Post: On the eve of a Supreme Court session that will feature six Catholic justices for […]

In the Clubb House: Obama visits with Iowa Catholic family

posted by jmcgee

President Obama continued his election season backyard tour, and paid a call on the Clubb family — who, whether by accident or design, just happen to be Catholic. From the Catholic News Service: President Barack Obama chose the backyard of […]

Obama: “I’m a Christian by choice”

posted by jmcgee

In a rare description of his personal faith, the president at a New Mexico gathering answered some questions about religion and abortion: An event billed as a discussion on the economy turned personal Tuesday when a woman asked President Barack […]

You can’t say that in church: all about “Pulpit Freedom Sunday”

posted by jmcgee

If you wonder why churches cannot endorse political candidates, Chuck Colson explains — and explains what some preachers may be doing about it this Sunday: In 1954, then-Senator Lyndon Johnson was in the middle of a particularly bruising re-election battle. […]

Mistress of her domain?

posted by jmcgee

That seems to be the title Christine O’Donnell is going for (with a h/t to Seinfeld, of course).  Elizabeth Scalia takes note, and reminds us of what is taught in the catechism: Perpetual adolescents will demand that the masturbation quotes […]

First, the pope visits the Anglicans, now this…

posted by jmcgee

The President paid a visit to the Episcopalians — and went up for communion: On Sunday, President Obama and the First Lady — along with daughters Malia and Sasha — attended 9 a.m. church services at Washington’s St. John’s Episcopal […]

“Catholics are seen as just another interest group”

posted by jmcgee

“These days, it seems, Americans are religious about everything except religion; and it’s a sign of Catholicism’s widening acceptance and waning influence that, instead of being feared as a monolithic bloc that unquestioningly follows the dictates of its leaders, Catholics […]

Catholic Vote’s new ad: “We are Americans”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the final emphatic line of this new ad from CatholicVote.org. It’s not nearly as effective as the ads they produced for the’08 election, and I find a lot of this frankly over-the-top. But it certainly makes its point. Take […]

Our “Muslim” president: the story behind the numbers

posted by jmcgee

A blogger at the Washington Post has unearthed an interesting disparity in those poll figures showing a significant number of Americans think President Obama is a Muslim.  And what he’s uncovered is intriguing: A widely reported poll from the Pew […]

Obama to speak at Xavier in New Orleans

posted by jmcgee

And it seems to be causing much less of a stir than what happened last year at Notre Dame: The archbishop of New Orleans has responded to the decision of Xavier University, a Catholic institution in his diocese, to host […]

Tony Blair, Ambassador to the Holy See?

posted by jmcgee

A BBC blogger is raising the possibility, after noting a couple other names: If not Chris Patten or Ann Widdecombe, then perhaps Paul Murphy, the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland — a devout Catholic and a papal knight […]

Rhode Island row: debate delayed over statue of Mary

posted by jmcgee

Seems a candidate brought a statue of Mary to a political debate, and created an unholy mess: Four mayoral hopefuls took the stage at the Providence Career & Technical Academy auditorium on Wednesday in a debate centered on the minority […]

Mary Matalin, new Catholic

posted by jmcgee

The Republican strategist, editor and talk show host (and wife of Democratic loud mouth, James Carville) spoke to the Catholic Media Convention last weekend. At one point, she mentioned that she was raised Methodist, but joined the Catholic Church this […]

Pelosi urges Catholics to back immigration reform

posted by jmcgee

The Speaker of the House was speaking her mind yesterday — and trying to rally Catholics behind her latest cause: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Catholic leaders Thursday that she wants them to “play a very major role” in getting […]

Let us pray, anyway

posted by jmcgee

A judge ruled on Thursday that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional — but President Obama plans to mark the occasion anyway. From CBS News: “It goes beyond mere ‘acknowledgment’ of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage […]

Obama on “the lesson I take from Christ’s sacrifice”

posted by jmcgee

The President offered some words Tuesday morning on a topic you normally don’t hear him discussing — Christ and the resurrection: Speaking of Christ’s sacrifice and “the promise of redemption in the resurrection,” President Barack Obama welcomed Christian leaders from […]

What about Rudy?

posted by jmcgee

Canon lawyer Ed Peters is batting around Canon 915 — withholding communion from someone who persists in grave sin — and says the most obvious case for applying the canon seems to be Nancy Pelosi: I suggest that there is […]

Stupak: “We have an agreement”

posted by jmcgee

The passionate pro-life Democrat (and Catholic) is satisfied that the health care reform bill will not use federal funds for abortion: House Democrats who had withheld support of the health care legislation because of abortion concerns said Sunday afternoon that […]

Biden, abortion, and bishops

posted by jmcgee

Yesterday, the country’s first Catholic Vice President had a few things to say about health care reform and abortion: Vice President Joseph Biden, a practicing Catholic, is using his faith and his position to try and help convince those in […]

The odd couple: Nancy Pelosi and St. Joseph

posted by jmcgee

Um, isn’t that feast she’s talking about in May? I’m just sayin’ …

Will abortion kill the bill?

posted by jmcgee

The issue seems to be a defining one for several Democrats in the House: The health care reform bill passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve appears to be dead on arrival in the House, as seven anti-abortion Democrats intend […]

Bishops: Senate health care bill still unacceptable

posted by jmcgee

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, from the USCCB, just sent around this e-mail, which I post here. It’s a response to recent media inquiries about the Senate version of the health care reform bill: The Senate Health Care Reform bill clearly […]

Obama: pray for civility

posted by jmcgee

That was one of his messages at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington: President Obama bemoaned the “erosion of civility” in the nation’s political debate Thursday, telling an audience at the National Prayer Breakfast that there is a growing […]

“For the common good, we need health care for all”

posted by jmcgee

With the debate about health care reform still percolating, I’m going to turn my internet microphone over to a guest blogger, and pal of mine, Sister Mary Ann Walsh. She’s Director of Media Relations for the United States Conference of […]

What did Obama say?

posted by jmcgee

I only caught bits and pieces of the State of the Union speech last night — 70 minutes is a long time for a deacon to devote to anything on a weeknight — but a British paper has performed the […]

Scott Brown’s nuns

posted by jmcgee

The new senator-elect from Massachusetts is not Catholic, but he has a long-standing relationship with an order of nuns: The family worships at New England Chapel in Franklin, a member of the Christian Reformed Church of America, a Protestant denomination, […]

Obama the Irish-Catholic?

posted by jmcgee

That’s the provocative comparison being made in this opinion piece in today’s Los Angeles Times: A presidential candidate belonging to a historically despised minority group is elected partly because he and the way he talks don’t conform to a stereotype. […]

Remembering Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden

posted by jmcgee

On Friday, the vice president’s mother passed away. It’s worth noting the tough but tender resilience and Irish Catholic pugnacity of Jean Biden — and the AP obit doesn’t disappoint: Raised in a family with a strong Irish Catholic tradition, […]

The Obamas’ church-less Christmas

posted by jmcgee

I was wondering about this over the holiday, and now TIME magazine has answered the question: no, the Obama’s didn’t go to church on Christmas. Details: The Senate vote on final passage of health reform almost scuttled their plans, but […]

Who is Robert George?

posted by jmcgee

The New York Times Magazine this weekend offers a detailed answer, with an in-depth look at a man who is arguably the leading (and most influential) Catholic intellectual in America. A snip: George’s role as an adviser to (these) bishops […]

Sanford files for divorce

posted by jmcgee

“As so many of us know, the dissolution of any marriage is a sad and painful process. It is also a very personal and private one. Because Mark and I are public figures, we have naturally had less privacy with […]

On Kennedy and Tobin: “Absurd, dangerous, impossible…”

posted by jmcgee

I got the impression that Patrick Kennedy wanted to put his clash with Bishop Tobin behind him and move on, but some commentators just won’t let it rest. The latest to add his two cents is Timothy Egan from the […]

Giuliani priest friend cleared of abuse charge

posted by jmcgee

This bit of news slipped under the wire over the weekend, but it’s worth noting: A Long Island priest with close ties to Rudy Giuliani has been cleared of allegations he molested a teenager in 1975, church officials said Saturday. […]

Deacon “snubs” Cherie Blair

posted by jmcgee

The Massachusetts deacon whose miraculous healing is clearing the way for Cardinal Newman’s beatification met with Tony Blair’s wife Cherie last month — and now he wishes he hadn’t: Cherie Blair has received a humiliating snub from a leading Roman […]

Santorum on Catholics, conscience and Kennedy

posted by jmcgee

Another commentator has added his voice to the chorus chiming in about Patrick Kennedy and Bishop Tobin. Here’s former Senator Rick Santorum: Simply put, the church has membership requirements. Kennedy is free to reject them. What he is not free […]

Kennedy: “I’m not going to indulge in this debate anymore”

posted by jmcgee

“These are personal issues of faith for me. I’m not going to indulge in this debate anymore. It’s really for me about what my constituents are most interested in now, and that is getting a health care bill passed that […]

Kennedy and Tobin: “Why now?”

posted by jmcgee

John Allen has a few interesting thoughts about the Patrick Kennedy-Bishop Thomas Tobin communion clash: I have no insider scoop to offer, but I can summarize here what I’ve been saying on-air: the most interesting question about the story isn’t […]

Cuomo: “God is not a celestial party chairman”

posted by jmcgee

Another high profile Catholic politician — and one who is no stranger to clashing with bishops — has added his two cents to the Kennedy-Tobin debate: Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo said Sunday that church leaders should be cautious […]

Kennedy says he is barred from receiving communion — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

One of the most publicized standoffs in what’s been dubbed the “wafer wars” has reportedly escalated: Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has forbidden Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy to receive the Roman Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion because of his advocacy […]

Lawsuit opposes “In God We Trust”

posted by jmcgee

Those four little words are causing some big problems, again, after they were added to a popular tourist destination: The American Center for Law and Justice has filed a legal response to a lawsuit that opposes religious engravings in the […]

Act of Providence: Tobin’s letter to Kennedy

posted by jmcgee

In a rare public rebuke, the Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island has called a prominent member of his flock, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, to “conversion and repentence.” Bishop Thomas Tobin is publishing a letter to the congressman in the diocesan newspaper […]

Planned Parenthood: “The Catholic bishops drew a line in the sand”

posted by jmcgee

How big a role did the Church play in this weekend’s House vote on health care reform? Consider this: Injecting itself aggressively into the health-care debate, the Roman Catholic Church in America has emerged as a major political force with […]

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on health care reform

posted by jmcgee

As the vote on health care reform nears, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend weighs in: The good news is that thoughtful minds have come together in the House of Representatives to craft a reasonable and abortion-neutral proposal in health reform. It is […]

The year of the Catholic?

posted by jmcgee

Tuesday’s election, by at least one tally, appears to continue an interesting  trend: The past 12 months have been noteworthy for the number of Roman Catholics elected or appointed to top political posts, and yesterday’s election results kept the streak […]

Bob McDonnell, Catholic

posted by jmcgee

The AP has this item about Virginia’s new governor-elect — only the second Catholic one in the commonwealth’s history: The new Republican governor-elect of Virginia brings to the office firmly conservative views that took root in the suburban, middle-class Irish […]

For Kennedy’s seat, a Cardinal connection

posted by deacon greg kandra

It turns out the man taking over Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat is himself part of a Massachusetts Catholic dynasty, according to Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe: A dispatch from the Boston-is-a-really-small-town department: Paul G. Kirk Jr., who was named […]

Sebelius on her bishop: “It was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Washington Post the other day posted a lengthy interview with Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Catholic. A pertinent excerpt: MS. ROMANO: You are also a pro-choice Catholic, and I was reading some stories out of […]

Santorum?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The former senator is evidently thinking about running for President: Speaking to a room full of prominent US Catholic leaders Friday night, Senator Rick Santorum was challenged to run for the Republican Presidential nomination. Responding to a room already thick […]

Ambassador Kmiec

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the most controversial Catholic supporters of Barack Obama was officially sworn in as an ambassador this week, and U.S. News & World Report’s Dan Gilgoff has the scroop: Imagine a Washington event that opens with Martin Sheen—aka The […]

O’Malley on Kennedy funeral: “I considered it appropriate to represent the Church at this liturgy ” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has just posted on his blog a statement, explaining and defending his role in the Kennedy funeral last weekend: Saturday was the 39th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood, at St. Augustine’s Church in Pittsburgh […]

The Bush Brothers: Jeb says W won’t convert

posted by deacon greg kandra

After gobbling up tons of bandwidth over the Kennedys, let’s now turn to the other side of the aisle, and another political dynasty, okay? Rumblings about George W. Bush converting to Catholicism have been heard since before he left office. […]

Looking at the “socially minded ethnic Catholic tradition” of the Democrats

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at U.S. News & World Report, Dan Gilgoff (with a big nod to David Gibson) takes note of an interesting demographic point: Ted Kennedy’s death is an end to several different eras, but Politics Daily’s David Gibson warns against […]

Kennedy’s letter to the pope: “I know that I have been an imperfect human being” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone wondering what was in that letter that Ted Kennedy sent to the pope got a glimpse this afternoon, when Washington’s retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick read an excerpt at the graveside: McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, read from a letter […]

Another Kennedy burial at Arlington

posted by deacon greg kandra

Arrangements and details are trickling out: The official tributes and funeral services for Senator Edward M. Kennedy will begin on Thursday morning, when his body is carried by motorcade from the family compound in Hyannis Port to the John F. […]

Kennedy: the final days

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Senator from Massachusetts had come to rely more intently on his faith, according to his family and his priest. From the New York Times: In recent years, friends say, Mr. Kennedy had come to lean heavily on his Roman […]

Obama to religious groups: health care is “a core ethical and moral obligation”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The President continued his campaign for health reform yesterday, taking his case (via conference call) to a variety of sympathetic religious groups: Addressing a coalition of religious progressives this afternoon in a teleconference call, President Barack Obama denied that his […]

Why Newt did it

posted by deacon greg kandra

Time magazine has what I think may be the first in-depth look at Newt Gingrich’s recent conversion. From the magazine: Visitors to the Basilica of the National Shrine in northeast Washington often do a double take when they see Newt […]

Obama picks a Catholic as surgeon general — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is big. And impressive: Founder of a rural Alabama health clinic for the poor that was devastated three times (twice by hurricanes, once by fire) since its founding in 1990, Dr Regina Benjamin was reelected to a second term […]

Does Obama have a friend in the Vatican?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Several prominent Catholics commentators, of varying political persuasions, seek to answer that question in this post. It’s an interesting Sunday morning conversation-starter.

“Truly cordial”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those are the two words used by the Vatican to describe the meeting between President Obama and Pope Benedict. NCR’s John Allen has details: When President Barack Obama came calling on Pope Benedict XVI today, the two men enjoyed a […]

The pope and the president: a first report — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

From Catholic News Service: Pope Benedict XVI welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama to the Vatican July 10, and the two discussed world issues addressed at the Group of Eight summit. As they met, Obama told the pope, “It’s a great […]

Different strokes

posted by deacon greg kandra

That might be how one could sum up what are seemingly two differing views of President Obama, one from the Vatican and the other from U.S. bishops: Ever since he took office, President Obama has been given a cold reception […]

Obama’s gift for the pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

What would you give the pope for a gift? President Obama has something picked out, according to the Catholic Review of Baltimore: During President Barack Obama’s July 10 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, he will present the pope with a […]

When Benedict meets Barack

posted by deacon greg kandra

With President Obama and Pope Benedict about to have their first face-to-face meeting tomorrow, commentators are weighing in on What It Will Mean. Here’s the WaPo’s (Catholic columnist) E.J. Dionne: Whether he is the beneficiary of providence or merely good […]

Cardinal praises Obama’s “humble realism”

posted by deacon greg kandra

As if the warm words he’s getting from the Vatican newspaper weren’t enough, President Obama now has a prominent cardinal and former papal theologian in his corner. John Allen has details: In the run-up to President Barack Obama’s much-anticipated July […]

Start the presses!

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Pres met the press today. Barack Obama sat down with several members of the Catholic media — Your Humble Blogger, I should note, was inexplicably not on the guest list — in advance of next week’s trip to Italy, […]

How’d we get so many Cathholics on the Supreme Court?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court has drawn renewed attention to the fact that Catholics could soon comprise a sizable majority on the court. How’d that happen? The Washington Post chatted with Barbara Perry, a professor at […]

Diaz: thumbs up from the nuncio

posted by deacon greg kandra

This little tidbit almost slipped through the radar yesterday, but it’s worth noting: [Papal nuncio] Pietro Sambi leaped to the mic for a second time during this morning’s program to note the “wonderful and unexpected coincidence” of Miguel Diaz’s nomination […]

It’s not Caroline: Obama picks Dr. Diaz as Vatican ambassador — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Word came late today that President Obama had named several of his nominees to various ambassadorships. One was to the Vatican: Dr. Michael Diaz. From the Boston Globe: Diaz is a Cuban-American theologian at the College of Saint Benedict and […]

Gingrich: “The moment that finally convinced me to convert…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This week, U.S. News & World Report caught up with Newt Gingrich, who spoke at length about his conversion to Catholicism just before Easter: Part of what led to my conversion is the first time we [he and Callista] went […]

Praise for Obama from Cardinal George

posted by deacon greg kandra

The leading archbishop who described President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame as “an extreme embarrassment” isn’t saying that anymore. Quite the opposite, in fact. Cardinal Francis George is now lauding one portion of the president’s speech, on the subject of […]

National Day of Prayer: the sound of silence

posted by deacon greg kandra

Today was the National Day of Prayer, and if it seems like it was a much smaller deal than usual…well, it was. From the Boston Globe: President Obama’s latest break from his predecessor is drawing some ire among some Christian […]

Poll: about half of Catholics support Notre Dame invitation to Obama

posted by deacon greg kandra

It was only a matter of time before someone commissioned a poll on the Obama/Notre Dame controversy — and now the good people at Pew have done it. Take a look: Most Catholics who have heard about the issue support […]

Vatican paper on Obama: “The 100 days that did not shake the world”– UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

That’s the headline at L’Osservatore Romano, assessing the first hundred days of the new U.S. president. CNS has a snip: The Vatican newspaper said President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office have not confirmed the Catholic Church’s worst fears […]

BREAKING: Glendon declines honor at Notre Dame

posted by deacon greg kandra

A huge h/t to Amy Welborn, who zapped this item to me moments ago…part of a fax that Mary Ann Glendon has sent to the president of Notre Dame: Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement […]

And now, Xavier

posted by deacon greg kandra

First Notre Dame, then Georgetown, and now Xavier, down in New Orleans. The list of Catholic institutions honoring pro-choice political figures — and sparking controversy as a result — continues to grow. From the Washington Post: Another bishop has declined […]

Georgetown honors Biden

posted by deacon greg kandra

In case you missed it, another Catholic university is raising some eyebrows for honoring a politician who favors abortion rights. From the Washington Post: A pro-choice White House is already providing new challenges for Washington-area Catholic leaders. First, Washington Archbishop […]

“A watershed moment”

posted by deacon greg kandra

What’s fueling the continuing controversy over President Obama’s planned trip to Notre Dame? This piece, from the Washington Independent, offers some answers: After eight years of only occasional disagreements with a Republican president, conservative Catholic activists have moved into the […]

Gingrich on Notre Dame: “Maybe this will turn out to be a blessing by God”

posted by deacon greg kandra

America’s most famous new Catholic appeared on FOX News the other day (what a surprise!) to chat with Greta Van Susteren about a whole raftload of issues, including the ongoing Notre Dame story. A snip: VAN SUSTEREN: We continue now […]

The Catholic identity crisis

posted by deacon greg kandra

This writer in today’s New York Daily News offers some trenchant observations on the state of Catholic America, particularly in light of the Notre Dame controversy: If it looks like there’s an identity crisis within the Catholic contingent, there is […]

“One of the most powerful moments of my life”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I’m not talking about this much publicly, but let me just say that I found over the course of the last decade, attending the basilica … reading the literature, that there was a peace in my soul and a sense […]

Letter to Obama: “Give your conscience a fresh opportunity to be formed anew” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The head of the order which founded Notre Dame has penned a letter to President Obama, and CNS has details from Rome: U.S. Father Hugh W. Cleary, Holy Cross superior general in Rome, said that when Obama receives an honorary […]

Welcome, Newt

posted by deacon greg kandra

There was much buzz a few weeks ago when it was revealed that Newt Gingrich was going to join the Catholic Church. Last weekend, he reportedly made it official. Since then, news has been scarce. But this tidbit popped up […]

“I am greatly pleased that Obama has agreed to speak at my alma mater…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

In the Washington Post this Sunday, you could read this opinion on the Obama-Notre Dame mess: I am an alumnus of Notre Dame. I am adamantly pro-life, independent as a voter — and greatly pleased that Obama has agreed to […]

And then, the Lady in the tilma just rolled her eyes

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just when I needed a good laugh, along came this: During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of white […]

“I fear the situation is getting out of control…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A brother deacon from the Diocese of Brooklyn sent this link my way, with the note, “Let’s get civil and teach about the real problem.” Here’s an excerpt, from the National Catholic Reporter piece. It’s by Dr. Thomas Patrick Melady, […]

“I have decided not to attend the graduation…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A short time ago, John D’Arcy, the bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend — the diocese of Notre Dame — issued a statement about the Obama commencement speech: On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that […]

Backlash

posted by deacon greg kandra

President Obama’s planned appearance at Notre Dame appears to have sparked a backlash among some on campus — and among a number of Catholics, according to MSNBC: In today’s edition of the student newspaper, The Observer, letters to the editor, […]

Shell-raiser — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

File this under the category of “Papal Gifts, Animal Division.” From CNS’s intrepid John Thavis, aboard the pope’s flight from Angola: Non-cardinal passengers on the papal plane have to be onboard well before the pope or they get left behind […]

Obama to give commencement speech at Notre Dame — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

This falls under the category of “What Were They Thinking?” From South Bend: President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address May 17 at the University of Notre Dame. Obama will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an […]

Two presidents meet — Obama and George

posted by deacon greg kandra

Information is scarce, but it seems the leader of the free world had a chat today with the leader of the U.S. bishops. From CNS: President Barack Obama met for half an hour March 17 with Chicago Cardinal Francis E. […]

Obama’s pastors

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone curious about where Barack Obama turns for spiritual guidance might want to check out this intriguing item from Saturday’s New York Times: President Obama has been without a pastor or a home church ever since he cut his ties […]

Catholic Charities calls Obama’s budget “very positive”

posted by deacon greg kandra

While a number of President Obama’s initiatives (notably on embryonic stem cells and abortion funding overseas) have been criticized by Catholic leaders, Catholic Charities has welcomed some of his moves: Seeing President Barack Obama’s first federal budget proposal in his […]

Dog bites man: Evangelicals and Catholics express disappointment in Obama

posted by deacon greg kandra

Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me. And I expect that the list of those who are less-than-thrilled with the new president will grow. From the AP: Conservative evangelical and Catholic leaders who went out on a political limb by aligning themselves […]

“The bill is designed to bankrupt the Catholic Church”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Devastating” is just one of the words used to describe a new bill working its way through the New York State Legislature. It has set off alarm bells among the Empire State’s Catholics — and many fear it could even […]

Attn: Governor Sebelius. You might want to take a look at this.

posted by deacon greg kandra

A new video from Priests for Life.

“Republicans have to worry about Catholics”

posted by deacon greg kandra

At the US News & World Report, their religion blogger Dan Gilgoff recently chatted with Deal Hudson about the GOP and HHS: Trying to understand why Republican leaders have been all but silent on Kathleen Sebelius’s appointment to head the […]

The Newt Evangelization: Gingrich to become Catholic

posted by deacon greg kandra

Buried deep inside this long and wonkish profile of Newt Gingrich in Sunday’s New York Times, was this little nugget that, I suspect, went largely unnoticed: At a moment when the role of religious fundamentalism in the party is a […]

On Sebelius: two lay Catholics, two different views

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Congratulations to Governor Sebelius on being nominated to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. It’s an honor for the State of Kansas to have an elected official appointed to the president’s cabinet.” — Sen. Sam Brownback, on the […]

Mystery brewing over alleged letter from Sen. Brownback

posted by deacon greg kandra

You may remember the fiery letter that reportedly was sent by Sen. Sam Brownback, questioning the authentic Catholicity of some members of Congress. Now there are doubts being raised about how authentic the letter itself was. From Politico: A mystery […]

Brownback: “Real Catholics need a new voice”

posted by deacon greg kandra

After a long period of relative silence, following his departure from the presidential race, Sen. Sam Brownback is back, and he has some of his fellow Catholic politicians in his sights: Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback, in a fundraising letter […]

The more things change …

posted by deacon greg kandra

… the more they stay the same. Why does this feel like Groundhog Day? (Which remains, to my way of thinking, one of the smartest and subtlest and sweetest conversion stories ever captured on film.)

Benedict speaks, and the Speaker listens — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you’re wondering what the Holy Father had to say to the Speaker of the House, Whispers has a glimpse: Following the General Audience the Holy Father briefly greeted Mrs Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, […]

Candle becomes a burning issue

posted by deacon greg kandra

A controversial image of President Obama is causing a small war to break out in the California city named for a patron of peace: He may be the Second Coming to many San Franciscans – but one local Catholic priest […]

“He’s throwing out a life preserver, and I’m going to grab it”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last week, my own diocese announced a unique plan to save some Catholic schools threatened with closure: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn unveiled a proposal on Saturday to convert four Roman […]

Cardinal George flashback: “We have a unique situation in America, for good or for ill…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

While the hand-wringing continues over the planned meeting between Nancy Pelosi and Pope Benedict, I thought it might be instructive to look at an item that John Allen posted in the pages of NCR five years ago: In January 2001, […]

On Pelosi and the Pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

By now, you’ve probably heard reports that the Speaker of the House is planning to meet with Pope Benedict. As of right now, it’s unconfirmed. The Washington Post — the source for the story — reports: If working on NATO […]

Ben and ‘Bam: more in common than we think?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The venerable John Allen speculates that Barack Obama and Pope Benedict, while poles apart on some important issues, still share some common ground: The prevailing view in the Vatican leadership, even among Benedict and his conservative supporters, seems to be […]

“A promise perpetually kept”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A number of prominent politicians popped up at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday in Washington, and offered some of their thoughts on prayer and belief: President Barack Obama and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair struck similar themes in remarks […]

Chairman of Steele

posted by deacon greg kandra

The GOP has selected an African-American Catholic to head the Republican National Committee — not only that, but he’s a Marylander (go Terps!) and a former seminarian. From CNA: The Republican National Committee has chosen Michael Steele, a devout Catholic […]

Bishop: “Obama is not the enemy”

posted by deacon greg kandra

But he has a clear idea who is: Bishop Robert Hermann, administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, says that the election of President Barack Obama would not have occurred without the support of lax Catholics. “If at this stage […]

That’s one way to cut short a honeymoon — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

As many expected, President Obama has struck down a rule prohibiting U.S. funding for overseas clinics that provide abortions. Some observers predicted it would be his first act in office. It wasn’t. It wasn’t even his second or third. (And, […]

The Vatican and Obama: “What is it that Rome doesn’t get?”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With a new president now working in The Oval, commentators have started looking at how he will get along with the Vatican — and vice versa. From CNS: The Vatican has struck a positive tone as it opens relations with […]

At the inaugural: the Tuskegee Airman who is also a deacon

posted by deacon greg kandra

A reader sent this my way: the surprising, largely untold story of a special guest at the Obama inaugural: Among the millions who braved the cold to watch as President Barack Obama made history by becoming this nation’s first African-American […]

The new president’s first act…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…was issuing this proclamation, below: As I take the sacred oath of the highest office in the land, I am humbled by the responsibility placed upon my shoulders, renewed by the courage and decency of the American people, and fortified […]

And now, a word from the pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

Benedict sent a cable to the new president on this historic day: ON THE OCCASION OF YOUR INAUGURATION AS THE FORTY-FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA I OFFER CORDIAL GOOD WISHES, TOGETHER WITH THE ASSURANCE OF MY PRAYERS […]

No rabbi? Who knew?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at TIME, Amy Sullivan looks over the roster of people on the inaugural dais and finds one or two glaring omissions: Inauguration audiences on Tuesday will hear the new President deliver the most anticipated Inaugural Address since John F. […]

On Inauguration Eve: Obama as pancake expert

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a little something from Mr. Peabody’s WABAC Machine. Barack Obama before he had mastered the art of walking on water and giving sight to the blind. Peach cobbler, anyone?

“Dear Barry…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The head of the USCCB, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, has just sent a letter to the soon-to-be-president: Dear Mr. President-elect: I recently wrote to assure you of the prayers of the Catholic bishops of the United States for your […]

Word clouds: presidential edition

posted by deacon greg kandra

The New York Times has created some interesting interactive material for their inaugural coverage, including this spiffy glimpse at what the presidents said in their inaugural speeches, structured as “word clouds.” They’ve also got this interesting look ahead to what […]

Someone needs to show this to Obama. Now.

posted by deacon greg kandra

A sensational new video from the people at CatholicVote.

Read it carefully — it may be a while before we see another document like this

posted by deacon greg kandra

This may be one of the president’s final proclamations — maybe the final one? — before he leaves office: The sanctity of life is written in the hearts of all men and women. On this day and throughout the year, […]

“We could have 90% of Catholics in Congress and it really wouldn’t mean anything…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With a new team in charge in Washington, winds of change will inevitably be blowing — and the National Catholic Register looks at where those breezes may take us: The 111th Congress convened on Jan. 6 with strengthened Democratic majorities […]

Obama picks gay bishop to deliver invocation at the Lincoln Memorial

posted by deacon greg kandra

This just in: the president-elect has invited an outspoken Episcopalian cleric to give the invocation at a key inaugural event next weekend: An openly gay bishop will deliver a prayer for President-elect Barack Obama in an inauguration event on Sunday […]

Virgina’s new Congressman Perriello and “the Service Generation”

posted by deacon greg kandra

There’s a new breed of congressman in Washington, says the Washington Post, which offers us this heartening profile of one of them: In his new Capitol Hill office, Rep. Tom Perriello, 34, displays a diverse collection of mementos. There’s the […]

Tim Kaine: the Catholic who will head the DNC

posted by deacon greg kandra

This was a surprising tidbit that drifted across the wire yesterday, about the man Barack Obama has picked to be the new chair of the Democratic National Committee: If anyone had any doubts about Barack Obama’s willingness to listen to […]

The Kennedys and abortion: where a Catholic dynasty went wrong

posted by deacon greg kandra

With another Kennedy poised to enter politics (and declaring support for abortion part of her platform), a writer in the the Wall Street Journal takes an interesting historical look at how the most celebrated Catholic family in America became a […]

Denying communion Down Under

posted by deacon greg kandra

This happens so rarely, you can’t help but sit up and take notice. A government official in Australia was denied communion on Christmas Eve. And, it seems, it was all a big mistake. From the local press: Attorney-General Rob Hulls […]

Priest pulls Obama books from Catholic school library

posted by deacon greg kandra

This bit of news strikes me as excessive — and just a bad idea: A priest has removed two books about Barack Obama from a Missouri Roman Catholic school’s library because of the president-elect’s abortion position. “I am very pro-life,” […]

Catholics in Congress: the numbers are growing

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some figures from Catholic News Service offer an interesting snapshot of the new Congress: When the 111th Congress is sworn in Jan. 6, more than a quarter of its members will be Catholics, roughly matching the percentage of Catholics in […]

A purpose driven inaugural — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Several weeks ago, I received a couple of e-mails from concerned voters, who were convinced that the men offering invocations at Barack Obama’s inaugural would be Louis Farrakhan and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. So this news might surprise them: Aretha Franklin […]

From the priesthood to politics: Mr. Cao goes to Washington

posted by deacon greg kandra

Washington will soon be welcoming a former Jesuit seminarian to Congress — and CNS has a first look at his remarkable story: The first Vietnamese-American member of Congress is a former Jesuit seminarian who served for four years on the […]

Another priest urges confession for Obama voters

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s deja vu all over again. Yet another priest is telling his flock to make a trip to the confessional if they voted for Obama. From the Modesto (Calif.) Bee: Parishioners of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Modesto have been […]

The threat of FOCA

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s more than just a threat to the unborn, as Melinda Henneberger suggests in this piece from Slate: Though it’s often referred to as a mere codification of Roe, FOCA, as currently drafted, actually goes well beyond that: According to […]

How the press covered (or didn’t) religion during Campaign ’08

posted by deacon greg kandra

The good people at the Pew Forum released an interesting report late last week on journalism and the press. Some highlights: Religion played a much more significant role in the media coverage of President-elect Barack Obama than it did in […]

Where should Obama worship?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some suggestions come from Amy Sullivan at Time magazine, who has penned a letter to Obama: Dear Mr. President-elect, No doubt you have a lot of big decisions associated with your upcoming move to Washington. What school (public or private) […]

Priest: those who voted for Obama should not receive communion — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

A priest has taken the unusual step of telling his congregants that their political support may determine whether or not they can receive communion. From the AP: A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should […]

Barack rings up Benedict

posted by deacon greg kandra

The man who will be president had his first phone conversation with the man who is pope. And Vice President-elect Biden’s bishop has a few things to say, too, about the most famous Catholic in his diocese. From The Times […]

O’Malley on Obama

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The always-interesting Michael Paulson at the Boston Globe has just posted an interview with Beantown’s cardinal archbishop, Sean O’Malley, in which he discusses the election, abortion, and a raftload of other things: Q: So many bishops spoke out on abortion […]

Advice to Obama: “Get on the phone if the pope calls”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Over at the National Catholic Reporter, John Allen has penned an open letter to President-elect Obama, offering some unsolicited advice about how to deal with the Vatican, and he concludes with this telling anecdote about the last Democratic president: In […]

“Dear Senator Biden…”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A bishop from Florida, John Riccard, has drawn a line in the sand — or maybe, at the altar rail — and has sent a letter to the vice president-elect regarding communion and conscience: I learned recently of your visit […]

How he did it

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Barack Obama fared much better among religious voters than John Kerry did in 2004 — and this piece from the Wall Street Journal helps to explain why: The Obama campaign prevailed among Catholics despite sermons and letters from several conservative […]

The Catholic vote, the morning after — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Rocco called it, aptly, a “repudiation,” and now others are weighing in with their thoughts about how Catholics voted yesterday. Here’s Thomas Reese, SJ, from the Washington Post: Catholic voters ignored the instructions of a group of vocal bishops and […]

Having a voice

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A colleague at work described to me the scene at his polling place, in a mostly African American corner of Brooklyn. Long lines. A sizable crowd. And a cheerful mood. “There was singing,” he told me. Singing?, I said. What […]

McCain rocked the house

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

If you missed it, his hilarious appearance with Tina Fey last night on Saturday Night Live.

Sign of the times

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A Wisconsin Catholic school principal found himself in hot water this week for posting a sign supporting Barack Obama in his yard: The heated reaction to a Barack Obama sign appearing in the Catholic Memorial High School principal’s yard “reflects […]

So many dead trees. Does Al Gore know about this?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A friend in Florida sent me this e-mail, from his diocese. Evidently, it’s being circulated to all the parish priests: The 2008 Election is only a few days away and parish parking lots offer an easy target for outside organizations […]

And now, Zubik

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The bishop of Pittsburgh has added his voice to the chorus this election season — and he’s not telling people anything they haven’t heard before. From KDKA: Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik says he isn’t telling anyone who to vote for […]

The vanishing “Catholic vote”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Rocco has dug up this fascinating nugget from the LA Times, regarding the “Catholic vote”: National polls have shown for some time that, although Catholics are personally opposed to abortion, they believe it ought to be legal in nearly identical […]

Confused? No wonder

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A few weeks back, I posted on the multiplying voter guides for Catholics that are blossoming this autumn. And now CNS is wondering if they’re just leaving people scratching their heads: If a group of Catholics were to sit down […]

Abortion and church teaching: “The short answer is: Biden is right” — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Here’s a real eyebrow-raiser: the author of the Encyclopedia of Catholicism, Dr. Frank Finn, says that on the subject of abortion and church teaching, Joe Biden has a point: Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden is telling the Catholics in […]

“Pelvic theology”?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

When John Paul penned his “Theology of the Body,” I’m not sure he had this anatomical notion in mind: Bill Roth, president of the Catholic Democrats political action committee, recently spoke about pro-life Catholics who strongly oppose the idea that […]

Catholics who are “politically homeless”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Over at the National Catholic Reporter, John Allen hits a homerun, with a trenchant and clear-headed column about politics, the election, Catholics and those among the electorate (that would include Your Humble Blogger) who feel “politically homeless.” Take a gander: […]

More Catholics swinging toward Obama

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Is Obama gaining among Catholic voters? This latest poll seems to indicate as much: The bigger news is Obama’s jump among white Catholics, where he’s totally reversed McCain’s lead. Last month, McCain led 48-percent to 41-percent among white Catholics. Now, […]

America, 2008

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The video below shows what happened when some Muslim McCain supporters encountered another McCain supporter who was distributing anti-Muslim, anti-Obama literature. H/T to Rod Dreher.

Another “intrinsic evil”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

While abortion gets most of the press — and the lion’s share of attention from the nation’s bishops — there is another hallmark issue of this particular election that has gone largely undiscussed by the hierarchy. Until now. Writing in […]

Give the GOP credit for this: they know how to laugh at themselves

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

If anybody missed the two hilarious bits Sarah Palin performed on SNL last night, you can find the story and the video right here. You betcha. BTW, re: SNL, The A has a roundup of reaction.

Finally, the subject nobody wanted to talk about

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I speak, of course, of abortion. It finally came up during last night’s debate — very deftly moderated, I thought, by Bob Schieffer, who showed how an old hand does these things — and Michael Paulson has a summary at […]

Catholic voters split on key issues

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A new survey is out about Catholics and the upcoming election — and this one may of particular interest because it was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. From USA TODAY: U.S. Catholic voters are split on the issues of […]

106-year-old nun endorses Obama

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It turns out one of the oldest Americans who will be voting this November is a nun. She’ll be exercising her own Faithful Citizenship — but not in a way that some bishops might like. From Reuters: A 106-year-old American […]

Barack’s bishop

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Yes, there is one who is a fairly vocal supporter of the Illinois senator. But he’s not an American. He’s Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, in Africa. Rocco has the scoop, and this quote: “Of course I believe that abortion […]

Sarah Palin’s bully pulpit

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

As the election heads into the home stretch, the Associated Press dug up these interesting nuggets about Sarah Palin’s tenure in Alaska, particularly in the realm of religion: The camera closes in on Sarah Palin speaking to young missionaries, vowing […]

“Those pandering mannequins”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This item in the Wall Street Journal — describing how a lot of voters are still undecided — reminded me of some conversations I’ve had recently with observant, faithful Catholics. These are people from different parts of the country, with […]

“Conscience trumps hierarchy”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Hot on the heels of this item – wherein one American bishop compares supporting pro-choice candidates to endorsing homicide — a retired priest, Fr. Emmett Coyne, has penned a short opinion piece on the importance of conscience, and he takes […]

Scranton bishop: “Pro-choice candidates support homicide”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It’s now less than 30 days to what may be the most critical election in decades — and the Catholic Church is kicking it up a notch. From Sunday’s New York Times: As the Roman Catholic Church observes its annual […]

Palin v. Biden on Roe v. Wade

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What the candidates think about one of the defining issues of our day. Watch CBS Videos Online

10 things to remember about voting — and the last one is most important

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Deacon Scott Dodge links to a timely piece in America, which includes a list of 10 things to remember this fall when it comes to voting and the Catholic conscience. Drumroll, please: 1. Not all issues are equal- Life issues […]

Flash: Katie Couric didn’t interview Sarah Palin after all

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It was Tina Fey. It had to be. That’s the only explanation. As one blogger put it: “Please, please make it stop.”

Almost heaven: West Virginia’s two Catholic candidates for governor

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

From West Virginia comes this news of a significant piece of history being made. Two Catholics are running for governor. And their religion is being greeted with little more than a shrug. From the Huntington Herald-Dispatch: Quietly, discreetly, with practically […]

Obama’s “Faith, Family and Values Tour”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

How does Barack Obama plan to woo voters of faith? David Gibson found out: Obama’s two top lieutenants in faith outreach came out to address dozens of reporters at the annual Religion Newswriters Association conference in Washington late this afternoon […]

“More Catholic than the Pope”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That’s the bemused headline of this well-thought-out argument from the editor of First Things, Joseph Bottum. A snip: Do they think this is a debate they’re actually going to win? Do they imagine the Catholic theologians of America–from Avery Cardinal […]

Bishops to candidates: can we talk?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The answer, for now, seems to be…maybe. From the Catholic News Agency: Leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have invited both major party presidential candidates to meet with them before the election, reportedly to discuss social issues. […]

Pssssst? Want a free iPod? Read this

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Only hours after I blogged about the U.S. bishops’ voters’ guide, I stumbled across this bit of news. They’re trying to entice people to read it — and using a decidedly unorthodox (ahem) way to get attention: In an effort […]

What’s it feel like to be denied communion? — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Douglas Kmiec knows, and has posted this account of a day he’d rather forget: It was time for Communion. Notwithstanding the indictment of the homily, I did not think of myself as unworthy of receipt of the sacrament–at least no […]

The split

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A lot of Catholic voters are finding themselves torn by the issues involved in this presidential election — abortion being only one of them — and the New York Times offers this snapshot of people in the pews in Joe […]

The answer is “Yes”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This week’s Time magazine asks the rhetorical question: Does Joe Biden have a Catholic problem? Take a look: On Wednesday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops publically called out Biden for comments he made about abortion on NBCs Meet the […]

Biden’s new bishop responds

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The new bishop of Wilmington has just weighed in with his own statement about the Bungling of Biden. He basically points to the USCCB statement on the affair and says, “Yeah, what they said.” And then he appends this little […]

Bishops blast Biden

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Late yesterday, the U.S. bishops released their weekly smackdown of a prominent American Catholic pol. And Washington’s Archbishop Wuerl added his own voice, in a letter to his priests: Our Catholic faith proclaims what is already written in our human […]

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz ...

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives! ...

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below. ...

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The ...

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy. ...

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

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