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Shall the Weak Inherit the Smurfs?

  Ten thousand difficulties may not make one doubt, if Newman is right. In that case, what I had last week was a difficulty, but a tricky one. It happened during daily Mass — a habit I can’t manage to acquire, partly because I find the liturgy so moving that it is enormously draining, and … Read more

Dealing Cynically with the U.S. Constitution

It’s funny the things that sometimes irritate you. At the moment I am greatly — some might say unreasonably — irritated by a bill that passed the United States last week. If this bill becomes law, it will expand the number of seats in the United States House of Representatives from 435 to 437 — … Read more

A Bishop in the Tradition of Cardinal O’Connor

  Recently I’ve begun to notice a resemblance between Scranton’s Bishop Joseph Francis Martino and another Philadelphia-born bishop, John Cardinal O’Connor. Bishop Martino is outspoken, and his direct, almost pugnacious, criticism is reminiscent of the late cardinal of New York.   Both Martino and O’Connor attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary before seeking graduate degrees — … Read more

With Catholic Help…

When the U.S. bishops hold their annual meeting in Baltimore next week, one item on the agenda will be approval of the new Order for the Blessing of the Child in the Womb. The blessing, according to the USCCB, “was prepared to support parents awaiting the birth of their child, to encourage in the parish … Read more

Our Faustian Bargain: Catholics Caught Between Parties

In following the presidential contest this year, I have been at times amazed and disgusted at the kabuki theater our political discourse has become. The two major party candidates have presented themselves as both more and less than what they really are—trying to capture voters by simultaneously promising that they will solve our problems and … Read more

The Unpopular Vote: Choosing the Third Party Option

On Saturday, I headed off to the early absentee voting booth, where, for the first time in my life, I voted third party. Though I don’t need to explain myself, I will anyway: I’m a former Republican who voted third party because I’m tired of the issues I care about — all of them — … Read more

Why I Will Vote for John McCain

My support this election for John McCain has been no secret, as regular readers know. But while I’ve offered my reasons here and there, I’ve never put them all together in a single piece. I try to do that now. Some of my case for McCain comes from agreeing with positions he holds, and some … Read more

Will “Faithful Citizenship” Win the Catholic Vote for Obama?

If Obama wins on November 4 with the help of Catholic voters, the biggest factor in his favor will be the bishops’ own document and Web site, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” I never thought it likely that Catholic voters could be persuaded to support a candidate with both the most extreme record on abortion … Read more

I’m Catholic, Staunchly Anti-Racist, and Support David Duke

The following is a tongue-in-cheek reply to Nick Cafardi’s article, “I’m Catholic, Staunchly Anti-Abortion, and Support Obama.” I believe racism is an unspeakable evil, yet I support David Duke, who is pro-racism. I do not support him because he is pro-racism, but in spite of it. Is that a proper choice for a committed Catholic? … Read more

Racial Prejudice in the 2008 Campaign

Racism has raised its ugly head in the presidential campaign. More exactly, talk about racism has raised its ugly head. Given that it’s a Democratic year — or, at least, should be a Democratic year — the difficult question has presented itself: Why isn’t Sen. Barack Obama way ahead of Sen. John McCain in the … Read more

Dear Bishops, Now Is the Time

The statements made by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Joseph Biden on Meet the Press have provided a wonderful, even providential, opportunity to present the Church’s teaching on abortion and explain its foundational importance to Catholic moral and political teaching in general. Already many bishops have issued clear and courageous statements correcting … Read more

How the Enemies of the Normal Are Destroying Obama

It is an old fact of Christian theology that concupiscence “darkens the intellect” — or, as I prefer to put it in more colloquial terms, “Sin Makes You Stupid.” The visceral reaction to Sarah Palin by the Enemies of the Normal in the Obama camp is a picture-perfect illustration of this. From the instantaneous embrace … Read more

In Case of Rapture, This Executive Office Will Be Vacant

By adding Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain made his presidential ticket a whole lot more attractive. (See my own endorsement: “Me Vote Pretty This Time.”) Of course, Palin’s presence is no guarantee that McCain will keep his word and appoint solid choices to the U.S. Supreme Court — any more than doting husband Al … Read more

Fighting the New Tyranny

America, though a wealthy nation, is nevertheless becoming socially stratified — so much so that those at the fringes of life have lost touch with those at the top. The rich refer to the “poverty problem,” and the poor, in turn, blame the rich for all their woes. This rift opens a door for the … Read more

Catholic Left Hangs Itself

The Catholic Left is hanging itself right before our eyes. Having never come to grips with the Church’s teachings on sexuality, they are now tightening the noose on themselves in public. It is not a pretty sight. This month alone they have embroiled themselves in a debate with three separate archbishops, with no end in … Read more

A Psychological Impossibility

In Victorian England, Thomas Henry Huxley was the most determined and ardent defender of Darwinism, thereby earning himself the nickname “Darwin’s bulldog.” By parity of reasoning, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League might be called “the pope’s bulldog.” Hardly an insult, let alone an injury, is aimed at the Catholic religion without Donohue’s nipping at … Read more

Catholics Organize to Elect Barack Obama

► Note: This column has been corrected, 7:30pm, Thursday, April 3, 2008. See letter following this column. Lately there’s been much talk about the endorsements for Sen. Barack Obama made by two Catholic leaders: Republican pro-life jurist Doug Kmiec and Democratic pro-life Senator Bob Casey Jr.of Pennsylvania. But these endorsements are just the tip of … Read more

A Memo to the Obama Campaign

I am writing this unsolicited memo to help the Obama campaign understand the Catholic vote. It has been the practice of Democratic presidential candidates, including former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry, to enlist the help of well-known Catholic dissenters as advisers to their campaigns (no need to name names). As a result, … Read more

The Gospel of Barack Obama

The Beginning of the Gospel of Barack Obama, the Son of God (According to Mark Shea) 1:1 As it is written in the AP Manual, “Behold, I send my press corps before thy face, who shall prepare thy way.” And so it came to pass that pundits went forth into all that country, preaching a … Read more

Sorry, Doug Kmiec, But This Catholic Isn’t Buying Obama

There must be something about February that brings out the weird, the unusual, and the strange in politics. That was my reaction when I read Douglas Kmiec’s article in Slate, claiming that Barack Obama is a “natural for the Catholic vote.” Now, I know and respect Doug as a brilliant legal mind and a good … Read more

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