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Pontifications

Pontifications

May 2009 Archives

Is it okay to kill an abortionist? Seriously…

posted by David Gibson

Not a rhetorical exercise, especially not today. And not for the theocon journal First Things, which took up the question in seriousness in 1994 following Paul Hill’s killing of an abortion doctor in Florida. Hill said in his defense, “Whatever force […]

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Tiller killing: Suspect may have right-wing ties

posted by David Gibson

Local TV reports are naming the 51-year-old suspect as Scott Roeder, and other reports indicate he may have been a member of the anti-government Freemen group who was arrested in 1996 after authorities found what were apparently bomb-making materials in his […]

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Abortion doc killed in church; pro-lifers decry shooting

posted by David Gibson

George Tiller, the Kansas abortionist whose willingness to perform late-term abortions made him especially anthema to pro-lifers, was shot and killed as he served as an usher this morning at his church, Redeemer Luthern. He was reportedly shot by a […]

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Kmiec-George Smackdown!

posted by David Gibson

Fellow pro-lifers, Catholic conservatives–and since the 2008 campaign political antagonists–Doug Kmiec and Robert George faced off in a “discussion” (not a debate) last night at the National Press Club in Washington. The discussion was titled “The Obama Administration and the Sanctity […]

Bill Donohue (hearts) Sonia Sotomayor

posted by David Gibson

If you didn’t know that the head of the Catholic League was an old softie at heart, then his email exchange with Steve Waldman will change your mind. Responding to a question from Steve, Bill wrote: “I like the fact […]

Do I disgust you?

posted by David Gibson

Then you’re probably a conservative. But if you would slap me, then you’re probably a liberal. I think… Nicholas Kristof has the latest science on how our political and cultural leanings are products of our neurons: Would you be willing […]

“Father Oprah” goes Episcopal: UPDATE on marriage

posted by David Gibson

Father Alberto Cutie’, a.k.a. “Father Oprah,” the hunky South Florida priest with a popular television minstry on relationship advice and–it turned out–a girlfriend of his own on the side, has joined the Episcopal Church. That was fast. The AP reports: […]

The Mary Heresy: Papal support for Co-Redemptrix?

posted by David Gibson

A lobby of hyper-Marianists sees signs that Benedict XVI is open to declaring the dogma that the BVM “corempetrix” of humanity with her Son–that’d be Jesus Christ. From the Vatican, RNS’ Francis X. Rocca reports this week: At least 7 […]

Obama names Vatican ambassador: Miguel H. Diaz

posted by David Gibson

A banner week for Latino Catholics, and Barack Obama. The new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See (replacing Mary Ann Glendon) is a Cuban-born, 45-year-old associate professor of theology at St. John’s College in Collegeville, Minn. As Fr. Jim Martin […]

Sotomayor gets it from the Right…and the Left

posted by David Gibson

Conservatives are honing strategies to take down Sonia Sotomayor, and are coming up with some of the usual beauts: After several conference calls to talk strategy with other conservative leaders, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said they […]

Esther, schmester: Carrie Prejean as Bible heroine

posted by David Gibson

Don’t see the connection? Check out my essay on the topic at PoliticsDaily. The lede: So why does it seem as though every prominent shiksa wants to be a Jewish queen? As in Queen Esther, a favorite heroine of the […]

Octo-mel: Gibson yuks it up over infidelity

posted by David Gibson

Okay, it’s one thing for uber-Traditionalist Catholic Mel to dispense with his marriage of 28 years and 7 children in private court proceedings. But what’s up with the talk-show parade to promote his latest squeeze, Russian musician Oksana Grigorieva, who […]

Sotomayor: Reax roundup

posted by David Gibson

Notre Dame law professor and Obama supporter Cathleen Kaveny tells the Chicago Trib’s Manya Brachear that Sotomayor’s “shows you that you can’t put Catholicism in the U.S. in a box.” Indeed, whatever the level of the nominee’s practice, she seems to […]

Is Sonia Sotomayor Catholic? UPDATE: Yes

posted by David Gibson

Steve Waldman has White House confirmation. But an administration official later elbaorated: “Judge Sotomayor was raised as a Catholic and attends church for family celebrations and other important events.” Sotomayor also served with Jesuit Father Joseph O’Hare, the retired president of […]

The new “Terminator” as a “sci-fi Nativity story”

posted by David Gibson

That’s the take from CT movie blogger Peter Chattaway on Terminator Salvation, which opens today: Regarding Terminator Salvation, director McG told mtv News that he and writer Jonathan Nolan were influenced by the stories of Luke Skywalker, Neo from The […]

Quote of the day: Synagogue bomb plotter’s sister

posted by David Gibson

    “Right now, to me he’s, like, the dumbest person I ever came in contact with in my life.”     –Wanda Cromitie, sister of James Cromitie, described as the leader of the foiled plot to bomb a synagogue in the Bronx. […]

Notre Dame: Have you no shame?

posted by David Gibson

I was okay with Obama. But now the Fighting Irish are in talks to be the first to play college football in the new Death Star, er, Yankee Stadium: Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame‘s athletic director, [told the New York Times […]

Vatican editor: “Obama is not a pro-abortion president.”

posted by David Gibson

That is the judgment of the editor of L’Osservatore Romano, Gian Maria Vian, whose paper’s rather neutral (neutered, to some) coverage of Obama has been in decided contrast to segments of the American church–and no small cause of consternation to […]

Saint Newt’s conversion: “Part of me is inherently medieval.”

posted by David Gibson

Many would agree, no doubt. But that line, from Dan Gilgoff’s conversation with Gingrich on his conversion to Catholicism, refers not to his political philosophy (that comes later) but to part of the appeal of the church for the former […]

Howdy, cowboy!

posted by David Gibson

Er, yer Holiness, sir… Must be spring in Rome, as Benedict brought out the saturno, so-called because of its resemblance to the planet. From today’s weekly general audience. [Photo via CNS/Reuters]

Barack Obama: The second Catholic president?

posted by David Gibson

At the Immanent Frame, the sociologist of religion Michelle Dillon sees a “Catholic sensibility” in Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame: “I am not thinking of Obama’s references to the “imperfections of man” and to “original sin,” or to the […]

PBS v. “Mass for Shut-Ins”?

posted by David Gibson

Do they really want to go there? The Public Broadcasting Service’s board is to vote in June on a  recommendation to “strip the affiliation of any station that carries ‘sectarian’ content,” as the Washington Post account has it. And apparently […]

Jesus in a Cheeto: Miracle or substantiation “con”?

posted by David Gibson

Yes, another “Cheesus,” and again in Texas. We had one here last July, though it was Christ on the Cross–more than blasphemous enough for me. (And what it means for Protestant theology on the Eucharist, God knows.) This week’s version […]

Notre Dame reaction roundup

posted by David Gibson

The Vatican newspaper (hearts) Obama at Notre Dame: The newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said the president also confirmed that pushing for a more liberal abortion law would not be a priority of his administration. The comments came in a L’Osservatore report […]

FULL TEXT: Judge Noonan’s Laetare remarks

posted by David Gibson

A brief and to-the-point reflection that I think bears reading–a real signpost for the day, and the era: Mr. President, Father President, Distinguished Faculty and Guests, Members of the Class of 2009, Families and Friends. Graduates, you know today is […]

The other Notre Dame speaker: Judge Noonan

posted by David Gibson

He was the last-minute replacement after Mary Ann Glendon’s last-minute cancellation. The federal judge and former Lateare Medal honoree (this was the first time since 1883 the medal was not awarded) was a very smart pick, and he did not disappoint. […]

ND reax: “Is it possible for us then to join hands in common effort?”

posted by David Gibson

That’s the challenge President Obama laid down. What is the answer? Powerful speech of genuine substance and gracious delivery that put hecklers to shame. Who will take up his challenge? Will any bishops step forward? Or who? Thoughts? What struck […]

Text of Obama’s Notre Dame speech

posted by David Gibson

Via the HuffPo: Below is the text of President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech, as prepared for delivery. Thank you, Father Jenkins for that generous introduction. You are doing an outstanding job as president of this fine institution, and your […]

Politics as Sacrament: WaPo story on the Church

posted by David Gibson

The title of my piece in Sunday’s “Outlook” section of the Washington Post is “Who Is a Real Catholic?” and it is already garnering some tough comments in reaction. That may be because in pointing to the assimilation/engagement trend in […]

Support for Notre Dame and Obama

posted by David Gibson

As cited below, retired Archbishop John R. Quinn, who wrote in support of the Notre Dame invitation earlier in America magazine, has sent a personal note to President Obama in which he says wants “to offer a different voice from […]

Text of Archbishop Quinn letter to Obama

posted by David Gibson

The text of Archbishop John Quinn’s letter of support to Barack Obama: The President The White House Washington, D. C. 20500 Mr. President, I am writing as a Catholic Bishop to offer a different voice from the often strident outcries […]

Angels & Demons: Read all about it right here

posted by David Gibson

So here’s the good news: It is safe to go see “Angels & Demons.” I didn’t think the novel of the same name was especially anti-Catholic, but director Ron Howard was apparently stung by reactions to “The Da Vinci Code” […]

The Pope in the Holy Land: Two verdicts

posted by David Gibson

At PoliticsDaily.com, Elizabeth Lev (the daughter of Mary Ann Glendon) titles her analysis “How Israel Could Have Been a Better Host to Benedict,” and as the title suggests, takes aim at Israel and some Jewish leaders for undermining that leg of […]

U.S. Catholics: Let Obama speak (and keep abortion legal)

posted by David Gibson

That’s the overwhelming verdict of the latest poll on President Obama’s invitation to speak this Sunday at Notre Dame’s commencement. The Quinnipiac University Poll shows that say Catholic voters favor keeping Obama on the program by a margin of 60-34–even […]

Obama’s commencement address

posted by David Gibson

This is it. Really. Only it’s the commencement at Arizona State–a university that decided not to give Obama an honorary degree, in contrast to what Notre Dame will do on Sunday. The honorary degree issue is becoming the favored talking point […]

Benedict as Reagan

posted by David Gibson

That is the trope taken from Pope Benedict’s words today in the Aida refugee camp. The full text is here. And as Cindy Wooden writes in CNS: While Israeli officials, citing security concerns, forced organizers of the event at the camp […]

Benedict among the Christians

posted by David Gibson

For me today’s events–in Bethlehem and the Occupied Territories–are highlights of this papal trip to the Holy Land. Much of the focus is, inevtiably, on the pope’s relations with Islam and Judaism–not the best, especially in the latter case–and it […]

Catholics FOR Notre Dame! Better late than never…

posted by David Gibson

It is more than six weeks since Notre Dame extended an invitation to President Obama to deliver the commencement address, sparking outrage from conservatives. And that address is now just five days away. BUT…Notre Dame supporters are just now officially out of […]

Ave Maria Town: Roman Catholic and…un-American?

posted by David Gibson

Ave Maria Town in southern Florida is the newly-constructed enclave of pure-land Catholicism founded and funded by former pizza magnate Tom Monaghan, and it has drawn its fair share of criticism since construction began in 2005. Even many conservatives are […]

Obama’s speech at Notre Dame: A sneak preview

posted by David Gibson

By great good fortune, or the designs of Providence, the text of President Obama’s commencement address this coming Sunday at Notre Dame has fallen into my hands. It is a powerful exposition of Obama’s approach to the most controverted aspect–for […]

The “anti-Mom” as a new anti-abortion icon

posted by David Gibson

Ayelet Waldman’s essay in the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column a couple years ago was even more irritating than the usual fare in that space–which of course makes you watch it, the way some people watch Fox News or […]

Hiking salvation: Lost, but how I’m found

posted by David Gibson

The tale of three-year-old Johua Childers, who was lost in the deep Missouri woods with wild things and no food or water for more than two days, riveted the public the way such stories do. As the parent of a […]

Forgive trespasses? Alan Keyes and 21 others arrested at Notre Dame

posted by David Gibson

The perennial fringe candidate of the Republican right, Alan Keyes, was arrested today along with 21 others who entered campus to protest Barack Obama’s commencement invitation and refused to leave. As Chicago Breakng News reports: Keyes was among a group of […]

FULL TEXT: Archbishop Raymond Burke’s speech at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

posted by David Gibson

  KEYNOTE ADDRESS OF THE MOST REVEREND RAYMOND LEO BURKE, D.D., J.C.D. ARCHBISHOP-EMERITUS OF SAINT LOUIS PREFECT OF THE SUPREME TRIBUNAL OF THE APOSTOLIC SIGNATURA NATIONAL CATHOLIC PRAYER BREAKFAST   “CELEBRATION OF THE TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH”   WASHINGTON, […]

The uses and abuses of Newman

posted by David Gibson

Cardinal John Henry Newman is, in death, and like Saint Paul in life, all things to all people. I am a great fan. But those who might see themselves as my polar opposite–say, the watchdogs of the Cardinal Newman Society–also embrace […]

Dom DeLuise, RIP

posted by David Gibson

Maybe I am of a certain age now, but Dom DeLuise was a favorite. And the testimonies of his colleagues–the likes of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner–is enough to guarantee his comedic legacy. But do they make ‘em like that […]

Women as Swiss Guards? They could make this look good…

posted by David Gibson

And they say the Catholic Church never changes…Which is why when the commandante of the Swiss Guards suggests women could be Swiss Guards–the all-male corps that has protected popes since 1506–opens the possibility, it makes headlines. VATICAN CITY (AP) — […]

Do you pray?

posted by David Gibson

The National Day of Prayer is today, Thursday, May 7, and though it is a thoroughly politicized event run out of Focus on the Family–read Dan Gilgoff’s USNews report on the maneuverings this year now that Barack Obama in the White […]

Obama=Hitler? A debate rages…

posted by David Gibson

The Obama-Hitler meme has been repeated ad nauseum during the Notre Dame commencement controversy, threatening to become a self-sustaining corollary to Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies. It is the verbal equivalent of the gruesome anti-abortion plane banners being flown around campus, […]

The Three-Minute Confirmation Stick

posted by David Gibson

All about Supreme Court nominees and the “A-word.” That word is not “awesome.” But this segment is. Hat tip to Cathy Kaveny at dotCommonweal, a “Daily Show” devotee. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c […]

Bishop Wenski’s Notre Dame “reparation” homily

posted by David Gibson

The homily from Sunday’s mass is posted. Here is the full text…(I’d pasted the wrong text before…mea culpa.) As Amy Welborn said, the reparation idea is kind of strange, and Bp. Wenski seems to try to finesse it. But it still […]

Obama supporters: Russell Shaw wants an apology

posted by David Gibson

Our Sunday Visitor’s Russell Shaw, a longtime conservative Catholic journalist and observer–and often trenchant critic–of the American scene says Obama supporters should apologize for saying Catholics could support Obama because the president has, and will, do nothing but expand abortion, […]

Notre Dame “reparation” Mass: Bishop Wenski explains

posted by David Gibson

The Mass of Reparation for sins against the culture of life, and specifically for the Notre Dame invite to Barack Obama, took place Sunday evening at the Cathedral of St. James in Orlando. [NB: I had the date wrong in earlier version […]

Pope in the Holy Land: “Keep your head down–in prayer”

posted by David Gibson

That’s my walkaway in this scene-setter for Benedict’s trip to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, which is being recognized as the most difficult and risky of his pontificate–not least because of some of the baggage he himself will bring. […]

Scottish Cardinal on the uses of controversy

posted by David Gibson

Cardinal Keith O’Brien has always had a knack for making headlines, and he recently explained why he likes to use “colourful imagery” in pronouncements on issues such as abortion and stem-cell research, as he has done lately: “Churchmen have been speaking out against […]

The Garden of Eden?

posted by David Gibson

According to a new genetic survey, DNA tracing indicates Eden–and the first humans–emerged somewhere along the border between what is today Namibia and Angola in southwestern Africa (pictured above). Maybe it didn’t look like that eons–or 6,000 years–ago. The New […]

If no FOCA, what now for the anti-abortion movement?

posted by David Gibson

The relevant text of Obama’s 100-day newser (excerpt below, from HuffPo) indicates that the dreaded FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act) is not in the offing, at all. When many of of suggested that was the case (as I did here) […]

“America” on Notre Dame: Beware neo-Donatists!

posted by David Gibson

In a powerful editorial just up on their website, the editors at America magazine decry the “sectarian Catholicism” that seems to be emerging, with the Notre Dame furor epitomizing the drift toward the insular self-righteousness of the Donatists of Saint […]

Abortion rights support falling, gun rights support rising

posted by David Gibson

The latest Pew survey shows a significant drop in the support for abortion rights, with the percentage of Americans saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases declining from 54 percent last August to 46 percent today: The […]

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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
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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 ...

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