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Pontifications

Pontifications

March 2009 Archives

Notre Dame outrage update: Cardinal George, Archbp Quinn, et al

posted by David Gibson

America magazine, as promised, has the official, redacted version of Fr. Cleary’s letter to President Obama here. It is much more successful, I think, largely thanks to editing. Better still, from my point of view, FWIW, is a commentary on the […]

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Holy Cross head writes to Obama re Notre Dame

posted by David Gibson

When I first saw the text of the 13-page letter from U.S. Father Hugh W. Cleary, Holy Cross superior general in Rome, to President Obama, regarding Obama’s scheduled commencement address at Notre Dame, I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. It […]

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Full text of Holy Cross head’s letter to Obama

posted by David Gibson

Here is the full text of the 13-page letter (click at the end of this page for the rest) to President Obama from the Rev. Hugh W. Cleary, C.S.C. Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross, which oversees Notre […]

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No “Capitol punishment” on communion

posted by David Gibson

There have been a growing number of reports that Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann has asked Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington (and Bishop Paul Loverde of nearby Arlington, Va) to bar former Kansas governor and future Health and Human Services chief Kathleen Sebelius […]

The pope on condoms: What he could have said…

posted by David Gibson

And it’s already been said, quite well, by the U.S. bishops, in their 1987 statement “The Many Faces of AIDS.” Father Tom Reese points to it in his post at “On Faith,” when he writes: “After clearly stating that the […]

Pope: Investigate the Legionaries of Christ

posted by David Gibson

The Vatican has officially launched an investigation of the Legionaries of Christ, the controversial, scandal-ridden order whose late founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, was last year found to have fathered a child out of wedlock. He is also suspected of […]

Equal opportunity bishops: RNC’s Steele is boycotted

posted by David Gibson

Michael Steele, the ostensibly pro-life Catholic and, also ostensibly, the new hope of the GOP–though that’s dimmed considerably since he won election as head of the RNC–is being boycotted by Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger of Evansville, Indiana. Steele is to be the keynoter at the local […]

“Who painted it?”

posted by David Gibson

Hillary’s first major gaffe as Secretary of State! It’s not fair, but this is a blog. And the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most famous miracles in the church, the pride of Mexico (and beyond) and […]

Catholics skew liberal–even the churchgoers

posted by David Gibson

That’s the upshot of a Gallup Poll analysis just released here hooked to Obama’s upcoming Notre Dame commencement address. On the “moral acceptability” of abortion and embryonic stem cell research, Catholics mirror the wider populations, with 4 in 10 saying abortion can […]

Ayres and Obama, together again…sort of.

posted by David Gibson

The former Weather Underground activist/terrorist/educator/paller-around was invited by a student groups to speak at Boston College–but the event was canceled, as The Globe reports. At First Things, they see irony–in their inimitable way (and really, don’t try to imitate it)–as […]

Really early warning on abusers: “Even an island is too good for these vipers”

posted by David Gibson

That is just one of the remarkable and poignant quotations from Tom Roberts’ new story at NCR on a old topic–clerical sexual abuse–and an even older warning, from back in the 1950s. In correspondence Roberts dug up between Fr. Gerald […]

Three saints of the day: Climacus, Rahner, Bowman

posted by David Gibson

Or would-be saints, perhaps “will-be” saints, in the case of Karl Rahner, who died 25 years ago today, and Sr. Thea Bowman, the African-American Franciscan, who helped to found the Institute of Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans. […]

Villanova beats Duke: There is a God…

posted by David Gibson

And he is obviously Catholic. But the proof of her existence will come tonight if Gonzaga beats North Carolina. Read it and weep. Brackets here…

Superstition and Religion: My take at the WSJ

posted by David Gibson

From today’s “Houses of Worship” column, which is titled “Is One Man’s Faith Another’s Superstition?” I try to explore the difference between religion and superstition, or witchcraft, an issue that the pope raised in Angola last week. An excerpt: The […]

“Ressourcement” or “Aggiornamento”? A final note on condoms

posted by David Gibson

Well, let’s hope it’s final. Just as a bit of housekeeping, it seems that after editing and changing some of Pope Benedict’s comments on condoms when he was in Africa–and prompting an uproar–the official text is back to what the pope […]

A shout-out for “Shouts in the Piazza”

posted by David Gibson

Many of you know Rocco Palmo’s “Whispers in the Loggia.” Well now you can visit Fr. Guy Selvester’s “Shouts in the Piazza,” which he has resucitated by popular demand. Father Guy in a parish priest in my native New Jersey […]

The Archbishop regrets…

posted by David Gibson

“Never mind.” That seems to be Archbishop Burke’s take on his explosive interview with Randall Terry of Operation Rescue in which he took Obama voters and his brother bishops in the U.S. to task for being softies. Rocco has the […]

Phoenix Bishop says Notre Dame prez “disobedient”

posted by David Gibson

A remarkable development in the Obama-to-Notre Dame saga, via Thomas Peters, the “American Papist”: Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has sent Fr. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, an email saying his invitation to Obama to speak at the May 17 […]

Archbishop Burke to Terry: Be liberal in denying communion

posted by David Gibson

That’s the thrust of Archbishop Raymond Burke’s message to Operation Rescue’s Randall Terry, who released video of his interview this week. Terry, who is leading one of the more eye-popping campaigns against Obama’s Notre Dame appearance, had promised “candor and clarity” […]

Notre Dame’s exit strategy: Invite Gingrich instead

posted by David Gibson

Hey, the former House Speaker, pro-death-penalty, thrice-married, GOP comeback kid is making it official and becoming a Catholic this Saturday at St. Joseph’s Church, the venerable Capitol Hill parish. The WaPo’s Chris Cillizza has The Fix. Media Matters details Gingrich’s […]

Terrible beauty

posted by David Gibson

I saw this photo while flipping through The Times this morning, and at first I thought it might be a new installation by the artist Richard Serra. Instead, it is an image, beautiful yet terrible, of a recently completed section […]

Obama’s stem cell qualifiers…clarifying?

posted by David Gibson

In his press conference last night President Obama took a question from The Washington Times’ John Ward about his controversial stem cell decision last month–an announcement that left me, and many others, rather cold. Obama’s response was intriguing in that he […]

Bishop D’Arcy to boycott Obama at Notre Dame

posted by David Gibson

Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, which includes Notre Dame, has released a statement on the university’s invitation to President Obama to deliver the main commencement address and receieve an honorary degree on May 17. (Full […]

Text of Bishop D’Arcy’s statement on Obama at Notre Dame

posted by David Gibson

Here is the text of Bishop John M. D’Arcy’s has released a statement on Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama to deliver the main commencement address and receive an honorary degree on May 17: Concerning President Barack Obama speaking at Notre Dame graduation, […]

The turtle [tortoise] stays in Africa

posted by David Gibson

But I think they finessed it pretty well. John Thavis has a blog post, and auto-corrects that it is a “tortoise” not a turtle. If you don’t know the difference, you are probably not interested in this story anyway. At […]

Notre Dame and Obama: Of Absurdities and Ayatollahs

posted by David Gibson

Father Tom Reese, SJ, a well-known commentator and savvy political scientist of the church, makes the pointed point that objecting to the Obama invite on the grounds that it violates the bishops’ document “Catholics in Political Life” is “absurd. He […]

“Casting the first stone”

posted by David Gibson

That’s the title of the latest column by Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl, in which he laments the polarized state of discourse in the Church–and begins to sketch a remedy by using an effective illustration: At a recent clergy gathering, the principal celebrant […]

Notre Dame students (heart) Obama

posted by David Gibson

While the CNS (Cardinal Newman Society, not Catholic News Service) starts a petition against Obama delivering the commencement address at Notre Dame in May, and while commenters at this blog and elsewhere vent that this is the end of support […]

Religion or Superstition?

posted by David Gibson

In his homily Saturday in Luanda, the pope confronted the delicate question of superstition in African culture: Today it is up to you, brothers and sisters, following in the footsteps of those heroic and holy heralds of God, to offer […]

Obama to give commencement address at Notre Dame

posted by David Gibson

This should get the Irish fighting, along with lots of other Catholics. Or am I wrong? Via The South Bend Tribune: Obama will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree at the university’s […]

Benedict connects with Africa

posted by David Gibson

That seems to be the upshot of coverage. Having dispensed with condoms, he has spoken strongly and movingly about the great social problems facing the continent, and the specific countries he has visited–first Cameroon and now Angola. NCR’s John Allen […]

He got a turtle!

posted by David Gibson

The pope gets treated, well, like a pope. A group of Pygmies showed up as Benedict XVI was leaving Cameroon in an unscheduled visit with an unexpected gift: a live turtle to take back to the Vatican. John Thavis of CNS reports: The […]

Brazil church officials defend approach to child rape victim

posted by David Gibson

The excommunications surrounding the abortion resulting from the case of a 9-year-old girl raped by her abusive stepfather and impregnated with twins were correct and the pastoral care of the child caring and sensitive…And the Vatican official who publicly criticized […]

Pope in U.S. dominated religion coverage in 2008

posted by David Gibson

Nothing else was close. Benedict’s April visit to the U.S. took up 37 percent of the religion newshole, while religion stories from the campaign accounted for 21 percent, according to an analysis of the mainstream media in 2008 conducted by […]

The Feast of St. Joseph

posted by David Gibson

As noted before, I’ve developed a great affection for St. Joseph, whose feast day is today. It is also, of course, Joseph Ratzinger’s name day (or onomastico, in Italian), and Benedict XVI, as we now call him, took note of that […]

Natasha Richardson dies at 45

posted by David Gibson

It had seemed inevitable for some hours, but still terrible now that it is confirmed. The New York Times coverage is here, the WaPo here. Prayers for Liam Neeson and their two sons and the family.

UDATE on pope-condom comments

posted by David Gibson

THURSDAY UPDATE: John Thavis has a good look at the whole Vatican “redaction temptation” issue as regards the pope’s “official” comments.  It’s called, “There they go again…” PREVIOUS ENTRY BEGINS HERE: As the pushback against the pope’s statements about condoms worsening the spread of […]

Benedict in Cameroon, Day 1: Pope Leo?

posted by David Gibson

Not to worry–unlike the feisty cub the pope sported with in the Vatican last month, this one at right (AP foto via Rocco) isn’t going to hurt a bit. Such are the marvelous incongruities of a papal visit to a […]

An evangelical supporter’s disappointment in Obama

posted by David Gibson

David P. Gushee, a well-known and widely-respected ethicist and evangelical voice who supported Barack Obama, expresses what sounds like some buyer’s remorse in a March 16 column at USA Today titled, “Mr. President, we need more than lip service”: “I […]

Study: Believers fight death to the last

posted by David Gibson

But is it fear or faith that makes them do it? A new study from The Journal of the American Medical Association does not go into the motivations, but its findings are drawing notice: As The Times account has it: Terminally ill […]

The Irish according to The Simpsons…

posted by David Gibson

“It always comes down to transubstantiation versus consubstantiation.” Leave it to Lisa to sum it all up. Last one for the day. Couldn’t stop myself. Tip to the Dish. Erin Go Bragh!  

Pope and condoms: The Full Monty

posted by David Gibson

As usual, CNS’s John Thavis has the fullest and best account in this analysis: YAOUNDE, Cameroon (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration that distribution of condoms only increases the problem of AIDS is the latest and one of the strongest […]

Natasha Richardson injured skiing, and rumors abound

posted by David Gibson

 Actress Natasha Richardson apparently suffered some sort of head injury while skiing north of Montreal, but after dire reports that she was in critical condition or worse, it seems she’s now taken a plane back to New York with her […]

The Cardinal blasts, then meets, the President

posted by David Gibson

Chicago Cardinal Francis George, leader of the U.S. bishops conference, yesterday warned that Obama’s move to lift a last-minute Bush “conscience clause” regulation for health-care workers would be “the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism.”   […]

Was the Pope right about condoms and AIDS?

posted by David Gibson

Following up on the previous post about Benedict saying condom distribution aggravated the AIDS epidemic, here are a few references: Richard Owen’s Times of London report on Benedict’s comments today note that when a Vatican official made similar claims a […]

Pope: Condoms make AIDS epidemic worse

posted by David Gibson

During the in-flight newser to Cameroon for his first African trip, Benedict XVI responded to six questions, one regarding the urgent issue of AIDS in Africa. His response, via CNS: “One cannot overcome the problem with the distribution of condoms. […]

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day–without a hangover!

posted by David Gibson

At BustedHalo, Mike Hayes–son of Irish immigrants, he knows from Irish, tells you how, with five ideas. Before anything, of course, avoid green beer. But who would drink that anyway? You’d be sure to wind up driving the porcelain bus like the […]

St. Patrick: Did he exist? What did he look like? Does it matter?

posted by David Gibson

At America magazine, author Jon M. Sweeney examines what we know of the Saint’s life, and what is fanciful–but perhaps just as important. Both the hard facts and the fanciful legends about Patrick have the power to fascinate and instruct; […]

Christine Quinn: Not Irish enough–or too gay?

posted by David Gibson

The speaker of the New York City Council, a pretty powerful and savvy lass, is also about as Irish as they come. But she’s openly gay, too. Which means she can’t march in New York’s annual March 17 Eire-extravaganza up Fifth Avenue […]

More excommunications miscommunication

posted by David Gibson

Another coda to the terrible story of the 9-year-old girl in Brazil whose serially abusive stepfather impregnated her with twins, leading her mother to take her for an abortion on the advice of doctors who said her life was at […]

Rock and a hard place: Pope says laity can’t fill priest vacuum

posted by David Gibson

Benedict XVI today announced a “Year for Priests”– a fine idea, though one that apparently also comes with a tough message for lay people dealing with a shortage of priests, and the Eucharist. First, the announcement. According to the Vatican […]

“Cheney Asserts Obama Has Raised Security Risks”

posted by David Gibson

That’s the headline on the Times story regarding Cheney’s remarks on CNN on Sunday. Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday that President Obama had made the country less safe, asserting that the new administration’s changes to detention and interrogation programs […]

SSPX leader (heart) Pope Benedict

posted by David Gibson

I may not have loved the pope’s letter explaining his views and action regarding the SSPX controversy (as many have noted here) but the SSPX gave it two thumbs-up. Via Zenit.org, here is the full text of the statement from the superior-general […]

Stem cell decision: “People need a fairy tale.”

posted by David Gibson

That is one quote that Peter Steinfels cites in his excellent column today, “In Stem Cell Debate, Moral Suasion Comes Up Short,” about Obama’s stem cell decision. (My critique here). A taste of Peter’s focus: The more challenging objection — again, not […]

The conservative future…?

posted by David Gibson

The second story from the Sunday Styles is “Little Mr. Conservative,” about 14-year-old Jonathan Krohn–the hot-ticket on the conservative circuit after his thrilling three-minute performance at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Bigger than Rush? Jonathan, a slight, home-schooled only child […]

The liberal past…?

posted by David Gibson

The “Sunday Styles” section of the NYT had two stories out front, which present stark contrasts, both unsettling. One is “Where to pass the torch?” about 70s-era abortion rights activists seeing the ambivalence or indifference of the younger generation of women, […]

The “invisible hand” of market-based morality

posted by David Gibson

Newt Gingrich wants to pay pregnant teenagers to take prenatal vitamins and stay healthy so the government avoids expensive costs when babies end up in neonatal intensive care units.He also wants to pay poor children to read, and says the […]

Vatican spokesman on the SSPX letter

posted by David Gibson

Here is the official account of the statement by Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, that accompanied the pope’s letter of explanation on his remittance of the excommunications of the SSPX bishops: FR. LOMBARDI: POPE FEELS HIS RESPONSIBILITY AS PASTOR […]

Michael Steele, RNC chair–and pro-choice Catholic?

posted by David Gibson

GOP chairman Michael Steele has had his share of woes in the weeks since he was elected with the aim of re-making the party. He bowed down to Rush, got skewered by Comedy Central (and has yet to show up […]

New NYT op-ed columnist: Young, Catholic, and really smart

posted by David Gibson

He’s Ross Douthat, erstwhile Atlantic editor and blogger and a serious upgrade from William Kristol, who started badly–not entirely unexpectedly–and went down from there during his year-long stint, which ended–not entirely unexpectedly–a couple months back. I’d hoped that Douthat would get […]

Cardinal Egan on celibacy: “A perfectly legitimate discussion.”

posted by David Gibson

New York’s Cardinal Edward Egan a closet liberal? Who knew?! Well, he’s out now. In a 30-minute interview with a NY radio show–part of Egan’s valedictory tour as he prepares to leave office–His Eminence did indeed say that celibacy is “a […]

Pope on the defensive…and it’s not pretty

posted by David Gibson

Benedict XVI’s letter to the world’s bishops (official text released today) was a good idea and probably inevitable, as no one was happy and the furor was not going away, inside the church from the highest echelons to the lowest. Did […]

Pope’s letter on SSPX excommunications: The official text

posted by David Gibson

The official text, published today by the Vatican: LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH concerning the remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre Dear Brothers in the […]

“Assisted suicide” or “Assisted homicide”?

posted by David Gibson

In Georgia, a sting operation snares members of the “Final Exit Network.” The Times has the story, and it doesn’t sound like euthanasia. On emotional issues like this, an over-the-top case can change the national discourse is this such a […]

Coulter v. Maher: The Blond leading the Blind

posted by David Gibson

Or is it vice versa? I guess we’ll have to wait for video of the 2009 Speaker Series, which features right-wing harridan Ann Coulter against left-wing God-baiter Bill Maher. Now there’s a choice. The NYT has a story (and photos […]

Obama’s stem cell flop

posted by David Gibson

How many ways did Barack Obama go wrong in yesterday’s policy change on stem cell research? Here are a few of the larger themes, and some able dissections of them: ONE: Why didn’t Obama say more about the promise of […]

Brazil abortion story update: “We are killing childhood”

posted by David Gibson

Catholic News Service has the best coverage I’ve seen (no surprise) that clears up many of the confusions of the previous coverage (and in my post) about the nine-year-old Brazilian gril who was raped by her stepfather, impregnated with twins (she […]

Portrait of Shakespeare? Funny, he doesn’t look Catholic…

posted by David Gibson

Is this the only image of the Bard from life? Time magazine reports on the portrait, unveiled today in this newly-discovered–or rather attributed–portrait of William Shakespeare, whose likeness had heretofore never been rendered. (The NYT has a news update.) Shakespeare is […]

Obama as a Nazi? Bill Donohue goes there…

posted by David Gibson

The Catholic League statement was prompted by today’s stem cell research order. According to League president Bill Donohue: “Obama has stepped on a slope so slippery that many of his supporters may eventually regret he did so. It is not […]

GOP chairman Michael Steele (sort of) on SNL…

posted by David Gibson

…He gives an answer to the earlier question, “Whose party is it, anyway?”   Hat tip: dotCommonweal

Obama splits the baby. And denounces cloning.

posted by David Gibson

So in the earlier thread on Obama’s stem cell order today, “Reaganite” took me to task for wondering about the possible paths Obama would choose: “Please don’t pretend to us that there is any doubt or suspense in your mind […]

ARIS 2008: Americans are faith freelancers–Catholic adherence in decline

posted by David Gibson

“Believing without belonging” has been the American religious mantra for years, and the real-time effects of that anti-“religion” (or anti-institution?) bias was never so apparent as in the latest American Religious Identification Survey. ARIS 2008 surveyed more than 50,000 Americans […]

A Purim spiel

posted by David Gibson

Monday at sundown marks the start of the Jewish festival of Purim, drawn from the story of Queen Esther and recounting the deliverance of the Jews from disaster at the hands of the Persians. As The Jewish Encyclopedia notes, this is […]

Stem cells: WWOD?

posted by David Gibson

What will Obama do Monday morning when he announces a lifting of the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research? He could add some conditions, which would perhaps mitigate some of the blow-back from the Christian (not Mormon–they […]

Nine-year-old girl raped by step-dad, has abortion: He is spared, excommunications for everyone else

posted by David Gibson

That’s the upshot of a story that is roiling Brazil, as a nine-year-old girl who was raped by her stepfather and became pregnant with twins received an abortion. There are conflicting reports as to whether the girl was excommunicated–this Irish Times […]

Faith as Stress-buster? See, Lent is good for you!

posted by David Gibson

The latest neuroscientific study (such research may be the economy’s lone growth industry) indicates that religious faith can help people chill when things go wrong–and that they will go wrong is one of life’s few guarantees these days. According to this story […]

Why Catholics fast–and why others do, too…

posted by David Gibson

An article in the Arkansas Catholic, the paper of the Diocese of Little Rock, talks to Scripture scholars and others on why we fast and what we gain from the practice. It is called “Fasting out of love: God doesn’t want a fulfilled […]

Thoughts for this Friday in Lent:

posted by David Gibson

I gave a parish talk last night on conversion, and what it means–to me as a convert, to us as Catholics (especially during Lent), to the modern world, and what it meant to the first Christians of Jesus’ day. Conversion […]

Vatican on Sebelius? Pax Romana…

posted by David Gibson

The Holy See doesn’t seem to be getting its rochet in a twist–yet–over Kathleen Sebelius. Religion News Service’s man in Rome, Francis X. Rocca, writes in an RNS blog post titled “Vatican [heart] Obama?” that items in L’Osservatore Romano on […]

Naumann v. Sebelius: The Battle of the Kansans heats up

posted by David Gibson

Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann devotes his weekly column to Obama’s choice of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a pro-choice Catholic, to be secretary of Health and Human Services. The column pretty well summarizes his disappointment and the history of their […]

Now here’s a real stimulus package…

posted by David Gibson

David P. Goldman says we need to procreate ourselves back to prosperity. At First Things, Goldman chides Republicans for all the failed and weak-kneed responses to the outrage that is (in his view) the Obama economic program. The cause of […]

Conservatives are a crackup!

posted by David Gibson

Well, only if you’re not a real conservative…For everyone else, it’s a bit like watching–well Comedy Central. The Rush-Steele matchup (Rush by TKO in the first, if you were out getting a snack) is the driving narrative, thanks also to […]

Mahony: Williamson is persona non grata in LA

posted by David Gibson

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles has announced that Richard Williamson, the Holocaust-denying bishop of the right-wing SSPX sect, is “hereby banned from entering any Catholic church, school or other facility, until he and his group comply fully and unequivocally with […]

Welcome, Amy Welborn

posted by David Gibson

Okay, so we got (or are getting) Newt Gingrich, we lost (or are losing) Lindsay Lohan, but the day finishes with the biggest free agent signing of the off-season as Beliefnet snares blogger extraordinaire Amy Welborn. Amy’s longstanding site, “Charlotte […]

Win some, lose some: Lindsay Lohan, born Catholic, to become Jewish

posted by David Gibson

So we get Newt, and now lose Lindsay. I’m still trying to weigh the merits of the swap. Here’s the story via The Daily Mail: Lindsay Lohan is converting to Judaism in a bid to prove her devotion to Jewish girlfriend […]

Saint Newt? Gingrich to swim the Tiber

posted by David Gibson

It’s one heckuva parenthetical aside buried in the NYT Magazine’s lengthy profile of Newt Gingrich. But here it is, in its entirety: (A Baptist since graduate school, Gingrich said he will soon convert to Catholicism, his wife’s faith.) Wow. I’d […]

Whose party is it, anyway?

posted by David Gibson

The new RNC chairman Michael Steele got into a smackdown with Rush Limbaugh over who is the de facto leader of the GOP. Guess who backed down? Mr. Steele bristled after a questioner on CNN referred to Mr. Limbaugh as […]

Saint Barack?

posted by David Gibson

  Hey, they’ll help cut down on the utility bills we can’t pay… Andrew Sullivan has the “Face of the Day”: An image of U.S. President Barack Obama depicted as a saint is seen on a ten inch tall votive […]

Designer Babies: Beyond “Octo-Mom”

posted by David Gibson

Signs of the Apocalypse: The LA fertility clinic that is advertising its ability to give you the baby you’ve always wanted. Blond hair? No problem? Blue eyes? No sweat. Well, maybe they can’t do anything about sweating. But the owner […]

Catholic conundrum: Conservatives like Obama

posted by David Gibson

Obama’s choice of Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius to be HHS secretary was long-rumored after Tom Daschle’s withdrawal. But now that it’s a fact it is likely to set off another round of the Catholic Culture Wars, since Sebelius is a […]

The Fall of Rome? NY and sex abuse payouts

posted by David Gibson

Behind all the justifiable hosannas for Archbishop Timothy Dolan as he prepares to take over as leader of the Archdiocese of New York is a looming financial crisis in the form of a bill in Albany that would lifte the […]

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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!!!  

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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 means, in short, that I'll have to sign off from blogging h

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 the new look Calvin in an essay at PoliticsDaily, "Patr

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, hence the long absence. Apologies to those who have chec

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 contribution in developing countries" were key topics of discussio

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

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