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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Politics And Politicians Archives

Smear?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A little-known congressional race is starting to attract some attention, with some charging that anti-Catholicism is rearing its ugly head. Check out the Washington Post’s coverage: Democrats seeking to take over a Republican-held congressional seat in Northern Virginia are hammering […]

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Sarah Palin, book-burner? Not so much

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

All you Sarah Palin groupies out there — those who love her and those who don’t — should flock over to Newsweek. The good people at Factcheck.org have just done a little fact-checking on the GOP vice presidential candidate, separating […]

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Backing Barack: a young Catholic explains why

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I stumbled across this essay this morning and thought: “Well here’s something you don’t see every day.” It’s about how a Steubenville pro-life EWTN-watching, daily-mass-attending young Catholic came to support Barack Obama: I started my freshman year at Franciscan University […]

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Being Catholic now: “A lot of Catholics are having lovers’ quarrels with the church”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A Kennedy is in the news again — this time, with a new book exploring her own Catholic faith. Michael Paulson has the scoop at the Boston Globe: Catholicism ran deep at the home of Bobby and Ethel Kennedy. Prayers […]

Madison’s bishop takes aim at Pelosi and Biden in his homily — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is really something: the improvised homily yesterday of Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin. He chucked his prepared remarks to deliver this measured, thoughtful, but unwavering attack on the continuing confusions of Speaker Pelosi and Senator Biden. You owe […]

Biden on abortion: “For me to impose my judgment is inappropriate”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

First, Pelosi, now Biden. Another prominent American Catholic politician is wading into deep — and hot — water over the issue of abortion. And it happened, once again, in remarks made on “Meet the Press.” This time, it was Delaware […]

The Speaker accepts: Pelosi to meet with her archbishop

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Hours after San Francisco’s Archbishop published a letter, inviting the most prominent member of his flock for a friendly chat about abortion, the Speaker of the House accepted. This, from the AP: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, under fire from U.S. […]

Seeing Sarah Palin as Esther: “God has given her the opportunity serve”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What sort of a Christian is Sarah Palin? We know she was baptized Catholic as a baby, but is now an ardent and practicing member of the Assembly of God. And, with every passing day, we’re seeing what that means […]

A bishop prays at the GOP convention

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It didn’t get much attention, but Wednesday night the Bishop of Orlando, Thomas Wenski, delivered a prayer at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Take a look at what he had to say:

Niederauer on Pelosi

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Better late than never: Nancy Pelosi’s archbishop has finally weighed in with his response to her controversial and much-criticized appearance on “Meet the Press.” Near the end of his long statement, after pointing out the mistakes, misstatements and outright falsehoods […]

What Sarah Palin really has to worry about

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This writer knows whereof she speaks: “Palin’s friends should be less immediately worried about what the Obama campaign will do to her than what the McCain campaign will do. This is a woman who’s tough enough to work her way […]

MIA: one sentence from GOP abortion plank

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The organization Catholics United has noticed something missing from the GOP platform — one sentence about reducing abortions. They point out: The draft platform, which the party will vote to ratify in St. Paul today, originally contained the following language: […]

Dissecting the “party faithful”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Over at The New Yorker this week, Peter Boyer has a long and interesting look at the Democrats’ struggle to capture religious voters, and plant their flag squarely on their turf. But it’s just as much about the Republican toe-hold […]

Kmiec: “How could a Catholic not support Barack Obama?”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I plan to spend this Labor Day doing as little labor as possible. But I wanted to post this nugget from Saturday’s New York Times. It’s an interview by Peter Steinfels with Douglas Kmiec, the now-notorious Republican lawyer who, despite […]

Sarah Palin’s Catholic roots–UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Multiple sources say John McCain’s running mate was baptized Catholic, but after that it gets murky. One blogger put it this way: Like most Pentecostal denominations, going all the way back to the Azusa Revival a century ago, the Assemblies […]

Sarah’s choice

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Now that the McCain candidacy has become the McCain-Palin ticket, more attention is being focused on the compelling personal story of Sarah Palin. Most inspiring of all: her devotion to her Down Syndrome son, born just this past April. This […]

Meet Sarah Palin

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Alaska’s governor is reportedly John McCain’s pick to be his running mate. What do we know about her? Wikipedia has the scoop. In a nutshell: She’s 44 and was elected governor two years ago. When she was a teenager, she […]

Ouch!

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Trolling around the ‘net, doing my usual morning reconaissance for Catholic news nuggets, I found this review of Barack Obama’s speech last night, from a Catholic priest: The Obama speech was tedious, verbose, unoriginal. I thought I was at Confirmation […]

Sr. Catherine Pinkerton’s benediction

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A reader generously sent me this link. Take a look.

Biden and the dignity of work

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

While the casual observer — or even the casual Catholic — might think we are one-issue voters,it’s instructive to remember now and then that we aren’t. Joe Biden’s speech last night was a bracing reminder of that. My own father […]

Pelosi “showcased the Peter Principle — and it has nothing to do with St. Peter”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It hasn’t been a very good week for Nancy Pelosi. Further proof: her theological arguments defending abortion are now the subject of a long critical piece by the Associated Press: Politics can be treacherous. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walked […]

Another Casey, another convention — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Opposition to abortion was mentioned from the podium at the Democratic Convention Tuesday night — if only fleetingly. It came when Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey delivered his speech. If you blinked you might have missed it. Here’s the highlight: The economy […]

Pelosi volleys back — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This back-and-forth is starting to look like the U.S. Open. After being strongly criticized for her remarks on television Sunday, the Speaker of the House has now fired off a response. I’m not sure it’s cleared the net: “The Speaker […]

The GOP’s Jesuit

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Democrats may have their sister, but the Republicans can now lay claim to a Jesuit. From James Martin at America comes this tidbit, from the Republican National Committee: Father Edward A. Reese, S.J., president of Brophy Prep in Phoenix, […]

Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks boldly, and badly — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Evidently, Joe Biden isn’t the only Catholic in the Democratic Party who is grabbing headlines today. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared on “Meet the Press” yesterday and showed her profound, almost incredible ignorance. And Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput has taken […]

Cardinal Mahony’s moment

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Democrats open their national convention in Denver tonight. This is a good opportunity to look back at another Democratic convention, where a Catholic archbishop appeared before the delegates, and prayed. Thanks to Curt Jester, I was able to dig […]

Just asking

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Over the last few days, the absence of Archbishop Charles Chaput from the Democratic Convention roster has gotten a lot of attention, but has a Catholic bishop ever been invited to speak or pray at a Democratic convention? Was Cardinal […]

Biden his time at mass on Sunday

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Over at MSNBC, they have the only comprehensive account I’ve read so far about how Joe Biden spent the morning after his selection to be Barack Obama’s running mate. He went to mass: One day after debuting as Barack Obama’s […]

Biden’s Catholicism: a roundup — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

As you might expect, there’s a lot of attention now being focused on Joe Biden’s religion. You can get a good sampling of ideas below: David Gibson has his thoughts over at his Pontifications blog. He points out the interesting […]

A Catholic on the ticket

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

To the surprise of almost no one, Barack Obamaa picked Delaware Senator Joe Biden for his running mate. Last summer, I linked to a Christian Science Monitor piece about Biden and his faith. (The article is perhaps the definitive glimpse […]

Nun to deliver prayer at Democratic convention

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Denver’s Archbishop hasn’t been invited to speak, but someone else has. This from the Cleveland Plain Dealer: An 86-year-old nun from Cleveland who works for a Catholic anti-poverty lobbying group has been selected to deliver the closing prayers one night […]

New poll: churches should stay out of politics

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The results of a new Pew Research Center poll point to a subtle but discernible shift in how Americans view the intersection of politics and religion. Take a look: Some Americans are having a change of heart about mixing religion […]

McCain’s cross

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

While no one is saying it’s not true, at least one prominent blogger is having trouble finding an accurate and consistent account of John McCain’s now-famous “cross in the dirt” story from his days as a P.O.W. Andrew Sullivan was […]

Who will be giving the closing prayer at the Democratic convention?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The answer might surprise you. This comes from Steve Waldman at Beliefnet: One of the most interesting evangelicals these days is Joel Hunter, senior pastor at Northland Church in Florida. He does not consider himself a part of the religious […]

Walking the plank: the Democrats and abortion

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

When I looked over the proposed new language about abortion in the Democratic party platform, I shrugged. That’s it? Is that the best they could do? The plank still “strongly and unequivocally” endorses Roe v. Wade and the right to […]

Catholic vote? What Catholic vote?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

After the New York Times’ John Broder took a hard look at Barack Obama and the Catholic vote, Mark Silk — a blogger who’s been following the election and religious issues — took exception to it. And, I have to […]

Quote of the day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Do you feel like there’s a way in which God is disappointed with you now? Yes, absolutely. Every day. Every day. Because I am like anyone else. I revert to bad, selfish behavior. I try to make myself not do […]

Casey at the bat: will he solve Barack Obama’s “Catholic problem”?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Will Barack Obama’s stand on abortion split Catholics? The New York Times ponders that very possibility: Sixteen years ago, the Democratic Party refused to allow Robert P. Casey Sr., then the governor of Pennsylvania, to speak at its national convention […]

Nancy Pelosi, communicant

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This news item didn’t get much attention — probably because of the vast (cough) audience (cough) of C-SPAN — but it’s noteworthy: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she, unlike other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, has not clashed […]

Bobby Jindal’s journey

posted by deacon greg kandra

He’s been mentioned on the short list of John McCain’s possible running mates. And now Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is getting closer scrutiny from the media. The Wall Street Journal recently looked at his remarkable faith journey: In 1988, 16-year-old […]

A Catholic running mate for Obama?

posted by deacon greg kandra

That could happen, if Virginia Governor Tim Kaine joins the ticket. Kaine’s biography describes him as being active in his local church, and he spent a year after college working as a missionary with Jesuits in Central America. He’s also […]

An ex-Catholic for veep?

posted by deacon greg kandra

That could be the case if John McCain ends up selecting Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty as his running mate, as recent media rumblings suggest. His official biography makes no mention of his religion. But Wikipedia has this posting: With Polish […]

Finally, a candidate I can vote for

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

McCain visits Guadalupe

posted by deacon greg kandra

The effort to win the Catholic vote continues apace, as this report indicates: Republican presidential hopeful John McCain visited the Basilica of Guadalupe, home to Mexico’s most revered icon, a stop likely aimed at Roman Catholics and Mexican-Americans voters in […]

Catholic voters appear to give the edge to Democrats

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A new report has some intriguing factoids about Catholic voting patterns — and what may lie ahead later this year. Like almost every other poll and projection, it bodes well for Obama: lthough Catholic Democrats outnumber Catholic Republicans in the […]

Pfleger returns

posted by deacon greg kandra

Obama’s controversial priest, who tore into Hillary Clinton a few weeks back and ended up suspended as a result, is back. Fr. Michael Pfleger returned to the pulpit at his home parish yesterday, and the Chicago Tribune was there: Comparing […]

On priests, politics, and the pulpit

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Sifting through my “in” box, I found this very good piece by Fr. James Martin, picking up on a theme that was blazing hot when I left here: the notion of priests preaching politics from the pulpit. I don’t know […]

Another priest crosses the line

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Elsewhere, I posted about the priest who spoke at Barack Obama’s church last Sunday, and the furor that’s causing. But get a load of this: Msgr. Jim Lisante, former head of the Christophers, and a pastor in the Diocese of […]

Obama’s priest – UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

You have to see this to believe it. From the Chicago Sun Times, a video of Fr. Michael Pfleger preaching at Barack Obama’s church last Sunday. There’s a very good response to Pfleger’s fuming over the America blog, courtesy Jim […]

Campaign ’08: “Conservative Catholics are very much in play”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This could be troubling news for the McCain campaign, since the voters in question are a sizable — and sometimes decisive — bloc. From the WSJ: For the first time since the presidential election of 1988, the observant white Catholic […]

Praying for Kennedy

posted by deacon greg kandra

A few days ago I mentioned some of the debate raging over Ted Kennedy, and the conflicts some are facing when it comes to offering up prayers for him and his family. Now Elizabeth Scalia (a.k.a. The Anchoress) has provided […]

“You want me to do WHAT??”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Back on Ash Wednesday, I preached a little homily about penance, and suggested some things we might do during that penitential season of Lent besides simply giving up chocolate. I mentioned praying for strangers, praying for those we don’t even […]

Hagee: nevermind

posted by deacon greg kandra

A high-profile preacher who threw his support behind John McCain — and who, not insignificantly, has referred to the Catholic Church as a “whore” — now says, in effect, “My bad. Sorry.” From the AP: John Hagee, an influential Texas […]

Altar-ed state

posted by deacon greg kandra

As some have reported, President Bush’s wedding gift to his daughter was a limestone altar, which will remain at the ranch (aptly named “Prairie Chapel”) after the wedding. Below is a picture, provided by the White House, that shows most […]

Why Catholics form key part of Clinton’s base

posted by deacon greg kandra

If it’s Tuesday, that means it’s primary day in an election season that is increasingly feeling like “Groundhog Day.” And Catholics, according to this report, are playing a huge role in one of the campaigns: White Roman Catholics have become […]

Communion and politicians: Wuerl weighs in

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl, has now joined Cardinal Egan in discussing the controversy over communion during the pope’s visit. From the Catholic Standard: A decision regarding the refusal of Holy Communion to an individual is one that should […]

What makes Giuliani different

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Those who lump him together with the likes of Nancy Pelosi or Ted Kennedy may be mistaken. Or so suggests Elizabeth Scalia, at Inside Catholic: As a politician, Giuliani has never been a legislator or a judge; he has neither […]

Mary and Hillary

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, ain’t this something: Hillary Clinton is wearing faith on her sleeve. Or her wrist. The American Papist has the scoop. But the pictures speak for themselves. Interestingly — or not — it also appears that Hillary captured the Catholic […]

No hard line from the pope on communion for pro-abortion pols

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

John Allen over at NCR confirms what I suspected after I spied Rudy Giuliani in the communion line at St. Patrick’s Cathedral: At least three times during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States, a prominent pro-choice Catholic politician […]

Anybody else catch this?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Watching the mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral this morning on EWTN, I got a glimpse of Rudolph Giuliani. In line. For communion. Maybe he just got a blessing. I dunno. He also popped up at the end of the mass […]

“A joyous time for Catholics, and it wasn’t such a bad week for Methodists, either”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Leader of the Free World had some warm words today for the Vicar of Christ, at the Catholic Prayer Breakfast: It was a privilege to welcome Benedict XVI to the United States, President George Bush told the crowd at […]

Bush to Benny: “Awesome speech!”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The president is a fan. H/T to Fr. James Martin, SJ from The Good Word, the preaching and scripture blog of America magazine.

Communion confusion

posted by deacon greg kandra

People on both sides of the Great Communion Debate will find much in this story to ponder and quarrel over: Catholic members of Congress who publicly support the right to abortion will trek to Nationals Park Thursday for a Mass […]

Barack Obama’s Catholic “kitchen cabinet”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Everybody wants the Catholic vote, and now Barack Obama has even formed a Catholic advisory committee, according to the blog at America magazine: Here’s Obama’s Catholic Kitchen Cabinet: National Co-Chairs Senator Bob Casey; Representative Patrick Murphy (PA-08); Former Congressman Tim […]

George W. Bush, “closet Catholic”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A pal sent this my way: a fascinating piece on George Bush and Catholicism from the Religion News Service, reprinted in tomorrow’s edition of the Washington Post: Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI’s election in 2005, President Bush met with a […]

Understanding Pennsylvania’s Catholics

posted by deacon greg kandra

My father was a Pennsylvania Democrat, from the coal mines of Scranton, back in the day when it meant supporting people like Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy. So it’s with no small amount of interest that I read today about how […]

McCain’s Catholic problem

posted by deacon greg kandra

It would seem like a natural fit: Catholics and John McCain. But the presumptive GOP nominee may have his work cut out for him to woo that critical voting bloc. This, from U.S. News and World Report: When Sen. John […]

Catholic swingers

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’m referring, of course, to swing voters. Much has been made of how Catholics are voting this year — and now Tim Rutten has offered some intriguing secular analysis in the Los Angeles Times: Today, one in four Americans is […]

Catholic League: a “bigot” is backing McCain

posted by deacon greg kandra

Presumptive GOP nominee John McCain got slammed the other day for accepting the endorsement of someone who’s not exactly friendly toward the Catholic Church: The president of the Catholic League blasted John McCain on Thursday for accepting the endorsement of […]

Vote for Obama = go to hell?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A Catholic journalist in the Washington Post is asking the question that may be on a few Catholic minds these days: is voting for Barack Obama a sin? Like most Maryland Democrats, I voted for Sen. Barack Obama in the […]

The debate over Catholics backing Obama

posted by deacon greg kandra

Can a Catholic support Barack Obama for president? Recently, the conservative Catholic law professor Douglas A. Kmiec raised that question online at Slate — and he caught considerable flack for it from, most notably, Deal Hudson. Kmiec decided to tackle […]

Bill Clinton: “If you were really pro-life, you’d want to put every doctor in prison”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is a remarkable piece of political theater: President Clinton blows up at a pro-life heckler at one of his wife’s rallies. You can read more details at this link, and there’s a brief MSNBC field report right here. h/t […]

Voting and the “hierarchy of values”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Across the country, bishops have been weighing in on politics and faith during this election year. And my own bishop has just added his two cents, as reported by CNS: A “hierarchy of values” exists, which means not all political […]

Clinton holds rally at Catholic college

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What are people thinking? It still surprises me that something like this is allowed to get this far, and actually take place: Archbishop Jose Gomez complained Wednesday about plans for a rally by Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, an abortion […]

Chaput: Catholics can sometimes “legitimately vote pro-choice”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Can a Catholic support a candidate who is pro-choice? Denver’s Archbishop has recently weighed in on the subject. This comes from the Rocky Mountain News: Archbishop Charles Chaput left the door open Monday for Catholics to support pro-choice politicians, saying […]

Voting for Sister Hillary

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, now here’s an interesting insight into Hillary Clinton’s popularity among Catholics. It’s all because of the most powerful and influential force in the lives of many middle-aged Catholics. I’m speaking, of course, of nuns. From The New York Times […]

The Super Tuesday Catholic vote

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some interesting numbers here on how Catholics voted in some of Tuesday’s big primaries: Catholic voters backed Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and Democrat Senator Hillary Clinton of New York in many Super Tuesday presidential primaries and caucuses for […]

Who will you vote for?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A deacon has performed a valuable service for his parish community, offering a workshop in Faithful Citizenship for those who will be voting in the Super Tuesday primary. This, from the Catholic Explorer in Illinois: With the Feb 5 primary […]

“Obama? Isn’t he the Muslim one?”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some rumors just won’t die. One of the most persistent ones floating around the blogosphere, and even in the mainstream press, is that a leading candidate for president is a Muslim. Details here from Busted Halo: Deb Geissler of Tuscaloosa, […]

Is Huckabee the most Catholic candidate on the ballot?

posted by deacon greg kandra

That’s the provocative question at the heart of this essay by Robert Stackpole, STD, from Catholic Online: Catholic voters find themselves just as bewildered as other Americans this election year. Faced with a more colourful line-up of candidates touting a […]

What happened to all those Catholics running for president?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Once, it seemed like every Catholic politician in America was running for president. But no more. An interesting summary of what happened, and why, from CNS: Less than a year ago, nearly a dozen Catholics — Republicans and Democrats — […]

Louisiana’s “brave new hope”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Louisiana got a new governor Monday: an immigrant from India, and a convert to Catholicism. Here’s one report: Another page has turned in the post-Katrina history of Louisiana. Bobby Jindal, the 36-year-old son of Indian immigrants, was sworn in as […]

Catholics for Huckabee — and some other candidates, too

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The candidate’s Catholic boosters have their very own blogsite now. McCain’s people don’t have a Catholic website, but his campaign did announce the involvement of several prominent national Catholics last month. For what it’s worth, there’s also a splinter group […]

George Bush’s Catholic pilgrimage

posted by deacon greg kandra

A friend sent this item my way with the question: “Do you think he’ll convert after he leaves office?” I suppose anything is possible. It does seem that the president enjoys hanging out with nuns and priests and assorted Catholics, […]

Domino’s delivers: Monaghan backs Mitt Romney

posted by deacon greg kandra

Zillionaire Thomas Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and the new Ave Maria University, has thrown his support to Mitt Romney for president: “It is an honor for me to endorse Governor Mitt Romney for President,” Monaghan said. “He is a […]

Catholics for Clinton

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Yes, it seems that’s the way it went down in New Hampshire. The New Republic has some factoids: Here are Clinton’s groups: women, particularly married women, voters over 40, voters making less than $50,000, voters without a college degree, union […]

Is Huckabee striking a chord with Catholics?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Apparently not. The man who won the Iowa caucus appears to have a bit of a Catholic problem, according to this interesting analysis in the blogosphere. A color coded map at the link tells the stark story: This suggests that […]

Huckabee’s curious Christianity

posted by deacon greg kandra

The only minister running for president may be running into a little religion trouble, even as his candidacy continues its astonishing rise in popularity. First, there’s this curious choice of venue, which reminds me of George Bush’s visit to Bob […]

Faith and politics: “Things seem to be getting out of kilter”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Is any candidate good enough? These days, maybe not. Peggy Noonan has some thoughts this morning on the impact that Christian conservatives have had on American politics: The Republican race looks–at the moment–to be determined primarily by one thing, the […]

Hushed Huckabee

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is what happens when you have a minister running for president. Mike Huckabee undoubtedly has what might be called a “pulpit trail” — but he won’t let anyone see it. This, from Mother Jones: Before beginning his political career, […]

“Are you there, God? It’s me, Rudy”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Does Rudy Giuliani have a religion problem? This piece from Salon seems to say: yes. And it’s not an insignificant one: Late last spring, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence opened his mail to find […]

Noonan on Romney

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the modern era’s great speechwriters has given an assessment of Mitt Romney’s “religion speech” yesterday: His text was warmly cool. It covered a lot of ground briskly, in less than 25 minutes. His approach was calm, logical, with […]

Why Romney is no JFK

posted by deacon greg kandra

While the media watches and wonders what Mitt Romney will have to say tomorrow in his “religion speech”, at least one person is taking the time and trouble to remind us that there are significant political and theological differences between […]

Flashback: Kennedy’s “religion speech” of 1960

posted by deacon greg kandra

Amid reports that Mitt Romney is poised to give his own “religion speech” — perhaps trying to dispel any lingering misgivings about his Mormon faith — The Boston Globe has just reprinted John F. Kennedy’s own “religion speech” from 1960. […]

Huckabee the Catholic?

posted by deacon greg kandra

I confess a certain affection for Mike Huckabee — from his name to his unassuming Gomer Pyle-ish demeanor to his clear-headed values and Mark Twain-ish wit. So I was especially intrigued by this item in the Washington Post’s On Faith […]

Appreciating “the beginner’s mind”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

While everyone picks apart last night’s GOP debate, and ponders what lies ahead in Iowa, the Wall Street Journal takes a wider view. This is one to clip and hang on your refrigerator. Or, maybe, in your cubicle. Key snippet: […]

Rudy’s priest

posted by deacon greg kandra

This story has been floating around for a while, but Deal Hudson over at Inside Catholic has decided to shine a spotlight on it: Rudy Giuliani’s close friendship with an accused pedophile who just happens to be a Catholic priest, […]

Noonan: “Faith is important, but it’s also personal”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Being more or less out of the loop for a few days — indulging in pheasant (okay: turkey) and all that goes with it — I didn’t catch up with Peggy Noonan’s column on the candidates and faith until Sunday. […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Barack Obama campaigning in Iowa, nine weeks before the caucus. Photo by Eric Thayer, New York Times

Being pro-life: “The Church does not view abortion in isolation”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer has a few words on what it truly means to be pro-life, from the always-compelling Boston theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill. Not everyone will agree with what she has to say, but it’s worth pondering. Key snip: […]

Lay Catholics release statement on “divisively partisan” politics

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

With the political season heating up, and the U.S. bishops planning to meet next week, some American Catholics are clearing their throats and asking for “civility”: A bipartisan group of American Catholics has issued a call for “civility in political […]

“It is time for this nation to heal”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A political tragedy seems to be unfolding, even as I type: MCPF Stephen Colbert has reached into the ring and taken back his hat. The race is over. Or so claims the traditionally-hostile-to-Catholics-and-other-nice-people liberal media: Stephen Colbert has dropped his […]

Kerry: “I can’t take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it”

posted by deacon greg kandra

John Kerry — remember him? — popped up the other day and spoke to a group of reporters about religion, faith, and some of the controversy over abortion that dogged him in the 2004 presidential campaign. This, from Catholic News […]

The bishops and the ’08 election

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another election year is coming, and you know what that means. Yes, that’s right: another document from America’s bishops. After the communion controversy of 2004, will we have another “wafer watch” in 2008? The New York Times’ Peter Steinfels ponders […]

Anti-abortion AND pro-choice?

posted by deacon greg kandra

A pal sent this my way, and I’m tossing it out for general perusal and discussion — particularly as it applies to a certain Catholic (or two) running for President. Can you be anti-abortion, but also pro-choice? See what Michael […]

Winning the Catholic vote

posted by deacon greg kandra

With election season now in full swing — and just over a year until Decision Day 2008 — the “Catholic vote” has suddenly become a compelling issue. And the New York Sun has spoken to a few people who know […]

Jindal wins

posted by deacon greg kandra

Following up on my post the other day about Bobby Jindal, here’s the AP write-up on his election triumph: U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal became the nation’s youngest governor and the first nonwhite to hold post in Louisiana since Reconstruction when […]

The remarkable rise of Bobby Jindal

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s hard not to like the story of this (as the New York Times puts it) “improbable” candidate for governor in Louisiana — a Catholic convert who could could give a completely new face to politics in the American south: […]

Rudy’s Kerry problem

posted by deacon greg kandra

Jacques Berlinerblau, from the Washington Post’s On Faith section, has been taking a hard look at the Giuliani candidacy this week — and draws interesting parallels and contrasts with another pro-choice Catholic who ran afoul of some bishops, John Kerry: […]

The Colbert effect?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I’m not sure that this news didn’t have something to do with it…but there’s word this morning that pro-life Catholic candidate Sam Brownback may drop out of the race for the White House: Republican Sam Brownback will drop out of […]

Is the S-CHIP bill pro-life?

posted by deacon greg kandra

There’s been a lot of discussion and debate lately about the controversial S-CHIP plan to provide health care for low-income families. Now, a group of Catholics has weighed in on the subject, and Ryan Anderson at the Weekly Standard has […]

Scalia: “There is no such thing as a ‘Catholic judge'”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Recently, Clarence Thomas has been making headlines with his new autobiography. Now, another Supreme Court Justice has stepped into the limelight — and he’s talking about faith: Devout U.S. Catholics like himself may stand apart from much of the nation […]

Catholics for Hillary?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The always thought-provoking Deal Hudson is provoking thought this week on the subject of Hillary Clinton and Catholics. He wonders who is to blame if Hillary collects the Catholic vote next year: “If Giuliani and Clinton are the nominees, then […]

Nancy Pelosi, prayer warrior

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at Beliefnet, David Kuo has posted this snippet from the Sunday talk shows. It’s House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the subject of prayer: WALLACE: You said the other day that you were praying for President Bush to change his […]

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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