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Pontifications

Pontifications

September 2008 Archives

Catholic Bishops offer a Five-Point Bailout Plan

posted by David Gibson

A strong statement from the head of the U.S. bishops domestic justice committee offers five conditions to guide any rescue/bailout package. In the Sept. 26 statement (it didn’t get much press; I just found it now via ZENIT), Bishop William […]

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American in Rome: Democrats are “Party of Death”

posted by David Gibson

Former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, recently promoted to the Vatican as head of the Apostolic Segnatura (a kind of church Supreme Court, only more complicated) wastes no time making waves on the other side of the pond. In an […]

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Eugenics lives! Louisiana lawmaker wants to sterilize the poor

posted by David Gibson

Rep. John LaBruzzo, a Republican from Metarie (David Duke’s old haunts) wants to pay poor women $1,000 to get sterilized. Why? Because people receiving food and housing assistance “are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated residents.” The […]

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The Vatican’s “Midas touch”

posted by David Gibson

The Catholic Church may be the only institution doing well during the economic crisis. According to an exclusive from The Tablet’s Rome correspondent Robert Mickens, the Vatican may finally have learned (after decades of deficits and fiscal mismanagment and even […]

Vatican newspaper: “New economy” is a “sham”

posted by David Gibson

Looking for a Catholic–some would say traditionally Christian–point of view on the economic meltdown? The  church has long-standing teachings and resources that I think could be useful–and an antidote to some of the idolatry and fatalism of unfettered free-marketeering. (“Hey, stuff […]

How do you create a true “Culture of Life”?

posted by David Gibson

Here are some possible answers, and some food for thought–or debate. One comes from Thomas Reese, Jesuit priest and political scientist, writing at the WaPo’s “On Faith” blog on “Abortion: Rhetoric or Results?” Reese has the best roundup I’ve seen […]

Miami Archbishop: We’re not “party bosses”

posted by David Gibson

That is the bracing message from Miami Archbishop John C. Favalora in a Sept. 12 column that is the best rendering I’ve yet seen of how the church–and the bishops–can approach the elections. The statement is titled “Why we don’t take […]

Questioning Celibacy: VOTF calls for a debate

posted by David Gibson

Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), the grass-roots Catholic group that sprang up after the sexual abuse scandal, has always focused its mission on “structural change” and largely avoided hot-button doctrinal disputes. But VOTF is now raising the issue of priestly […]

“Otherizing” Obama: Strange face welcome in a crisis?

posted by David Gibson

The Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof had a piece on Sunday, “The Push to ‘Otherize’ Obama,” that perfectly sums up the efforts to key in on fears of Obama’s race and persistent (unfounded) doubts about his faith, and how that plays […]

Inside Obama’s God Ops

posted by David Gibson

Barack Obama is not giving up on faith-based voters. While polls seem to show voters stuck in same pattern as 2004, despite the Democrat’s persistent outreach and God talk, the campaign is redoubling its efforts and rejecting suggestions that the […]

Abortion? Gay marriage? It’s the (stupid) economy!

posted by David Gibson

Do the hot-button culture war issues like abortion and gay marriage matter? If you read only blogs or the news coverage (such as this NYTimes story, “Abortion Issue Again Dividing Catholics”) you might get the impression that these are the […]

Among the Unbelievers: New poll shows secularist strength

posted by David Gibson

Results from the huge American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) of 2000 stunned many and led to heated debates when it showed some 14 percent of Americans embracing some form of secularism. Preliminary numbers released today from the upcoming 2008 ARIS […]

Sorry, no “Father” Brad Pitt. How about Philip Seymour Hoffman?

posted by David Gibson

A couple of weeks ago I picked up on the entertaining news, via Jim Martin at “In All Things,” that Brad Pitt would be playing Father Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit scientist, in the film version of Mary Doria Russell’s “The […]

Did you hear the one about the Pope and the Prophet?

posted by David Gibson

Joking about the Holy Father isn’t always funny, or a wise idea in Italy. An Italian comedian, Sabina Guzzanti, said nasty things about the Holy Father at a recent rally in Rome and according The Times of London account is […]

Abortion & Catholics: Big wedge–small impact?

posted by David Gibson

The furious division in Catholicism over abortion and the presidential election grows wider. But to what end? A front-page story in today’s New York Times is titled, “Abortion Issue Again Dividing Catholic Votes,” and yet evidence of how that is […]

Christian-omics?

posted by David Gibson

The turmoil on Wall Street is continuing, and even though it is closer to me than even Russia is to Alaska, I understand less than little about economics. And yet the human toll of the crashes and crises is poignantly […]

Orthodox: Right belief–wrong word?

posted by David Gibson

Has the term “orthodoxy” lost its meaning? It means “right belief,” or “correct doctrine.” But among Christians it has become a fighting word, and the media has misconstrued it–especially in the contested Catholic context–as a pejorative or, worse, a secular […]

Bishops v. Politicians: An abortion alternative

posted by David Gibson

Fallout over controversial remarks on abortion by Joseph Biden and Nancy Pelosi are continuing. And not just in the political sphere. The U.S. Bishops announced yesterday that in light of the conflicts and debates they will address the topic at […]

From 9/11 to 9/12…and beyond.

posted by David Gibson

Thursday is the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the crashed airliner in Shanksville, Pa., an observance that will bring renewed focus on relations between Islam and the West. But […]

“Biker chicks” was one thing. But “Nuns on Hogs”?

posted by David Gibson

Yes, Catholic News Service has the story: MILWAUKEE (CNS) — Don’t let their veils and name — Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida — deceive you. Members of the Milwaukee order aren’t just brides of Christ. They’re biker girls. […]

“When does life begin?” Interesting question. But it doesn’t stop there…

posted by David Gibson

For all the wilful disparaging of the MSM by the GOP and its allies on the Christian right, there is a good argument to be made that the “media” (whatever that is, today) is reading straight out of the McCain […]

Teen pregnancy: Is there a faith-based program?

posted by David Gibson

Whether Sarah Palin’s family, or Sarah Palin herself, should be a subject of commentary and scrutiny has itself become a much-debated topic. But let us agree that the issues raised by her candidacy, notably the revelation of her 17-year-old daughter’s […]

Jumping the shark? Frog on a cross is one animal the Pope doesn’t care for…

posted by David Gibson

Pope Benedict XVI is quite an animal lover (as we noted here). But he is also quite the esthete, and this sculpture, in a museum in Bolzano, the northern Italian town near where the pontiff vacations, apparently went too far […]

“Miss Understanding”! Sorry, but the nuns’ beauty pageant is a bust…

posted by David Gibson

I got the news–and that headline (well, the first half)–via RNS, which reported that the beauty contest for religious women that I wrote about the other day has been cancelled. “My superiors were not happy. The local bishop was not […]

“Palin’s pregnant!” Easy, easy…It’s only her unwed 17-year-old daughter.

posted by David Gibson

I had thought the terrifying onslaught of Gustav and the efforts by the GOP to dodge the Katrina bullet–or turn it to McCain’s benefit–would be the story of the day, but the bombshell news that Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter Bristol […]

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Thank you for visiting Pontifications. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!   ...

posted 2:38:01pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Moving on, and many, many thanks...
So...my recent vacation and related absences also coincided with an offer from PoliticsDaily.com to cover religion for them, as editor Melinda Henneberger announces here in her roundup on the site's very successful first 100 days. That ...

posted 8:29:24pm Aug. 02, 2009 | read full post »

Calvin at 500, Calvinism 2.0
If you thought you knew John Calvin--who turned 500 last week--you probably don't know enough. For example, that he was French, born Jean Cauvin. And if he was in fact scandalized by dancing, he was also a lot more complex than that. I explored ...

posted 11:53:35am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

Apologia pro vita sua...Kinda
 In my defense, I've had computer outages and family reunions and a few days of single-parenthood, which is always a bracing reminder of what many parents go through all the time. And this weekend it's off for a week's vacation. Anyway, ...

posted 10:51:36am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

When Benny met Barry: "I'll pray for you!"
The first word via Vatican Radio and first image (that I saw) via Rocco: Speaking to Vatican Radio, Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi said "moral values in international politics, immigration and the Catholic Church's ...

posted 12:54:28pm Jul. 10, 2009 | read full post »

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