December 25, 2011
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My friend Austen Ivereigh, writes in his book, "People won’t remember what you said as much as how you made them feel.” Can you think of a better illustration of this than the still unfolding story of the papal transition in the Catholic Church?
‘The only way to survive here is to become a drug dealer. The lucky ones drive cabs and don’t have to,” Donovan explained to me. He is groundskeeper at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I thought of Donovan as the first American pope greeted millions in Rio for World Youth Day.
I confess I’ve been doing some yelling at the TV. I keep hearing that we have to have a “national conversation on violence” in the wake of the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. We’re having no such conversation, at least one that means anything, until we confront who we are as a nation today.
I made the mistake of walking away from my computer after hitting “play” on a Youtube video. All of a sudden, the room was filled with hails to ... Satan.
I’ve been spending the better part of the last week among Catholics who communicate. They’re people of varied backgrounds and politics who love their church. We’re at the annual meeting of the Catholic Press Association, where I’ve been asked to speak a few times. But what I’ve been doing more of is listening.
Maybe it’s different for you, especially if you’re reading this in an actual newspaper. But if you’re online with me right now (trust me, I am at the computer as you’re reading — that’s what I do), you’re probably in need of some silence. Desperate for it, and maybe even terrified of it. Like the end of “The Social Network,” where Jesse Eisenberg just keeps hitting “refresh.” As if there were really anything rejuvenating about the act.
‘We love you.” The words warmed the chill during the first of two days of Supreme Court oral arguments on the future of marriage law in the United States. The scene outside the Court building, where most of the media was camped out, reminded me of the story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible. Only here, everyone was using the same word, but couldn’t quite agree on what it meant.
Recently, a group of women gathered to insist that expanded abortion access be a legislative priority in New York. Why they would feel the need to do so is a good question, one with disturbing overtones.
When did “women’s health” become reduced to just contraception and abortion? So much so, that all knees bend at the altar of Planned Parenthood, which works hard to ensure that this remains the case.
There was a young man — 23 at most — quietly saying his morning prayers on Capitol Hill on the third day of 2013, and it seemed for a moment like a warm ray of light in the midst of a blistering cold spell.
Frank O'Brien, a St. Louis distributor, is one of more than 42 plaintiffs suing the federal Department of Health and Human Services over its mandate that forces employers to provide health insurance that includes access to contraception and abortion services. This controversial Obamacare regulation threatens the religious liberty of not only Catholics but also evangelicals and others with objections of conscience to any of these policies.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always thought about waking up obscenely early the morning after Thanksgiving, to check out the goings-on at the toy or department store. Not because I wanted to shop, but to visit the safari — it’s always struck me as quite the exotic mystery, why anyone would want to walk away from a calm morning with family or friends to fight for a parking spot. Of course, now indelibly imprinted in our brains are news images of packed stores on Thanksgiving night itself.
‘Before there were houses in this land, there were altars.” A timelier reminder you could not get, as we confront realities about immigration and secularization in the United States. It’s a point made by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose H. Gomez, as he tries to morally educate, animate, and challenge.
"I expect to be judged by results ... If stuff hasn't worked and people don't feel like I've led the country in the right direction, then you'll have a new president."
When New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan offers a benediction at the Republican Convention in Miami on Thursday, he will appear as a pastor, not a politician.
What does back-to-school season have to do with the recent "contraception rule" from the White House?
The mid-July rumor that Mitt Romney might pick former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as his running mate was a fun Matt Drudge scoop for those in the country who live off political-campaign gossip. It was candy for junkies looking for a pre-convention news high, this one a natural coming after Ann Romney's offering that the former governor of Massachusetts might be eyeing a woman to fill the slot.
The warmth with which elderly Catholic nuns have been greeted on their cross-country bus tour to protest Republican cuts to the federal budget is hugely encouraging.
I turned on my television Thursday morning and heard a beating heart.
They call it a war -- mainly, to dismiss it. As in: There go the Democrats again, fanning the flames of the culture wars, dividing Americans to win an election.
The speculation regarding the eventual Republican vice-presidential candidate has begun. Will it be Marco Rubio, the upstart senator from Florida?
"We have to get beyond the damn rhetoric," Dr. John Bruchalski tells a group of medical students on a recent stop in his second annual National Medical Students for Life Tour. He's talking about the a-word, abortion -- the one many of us just don't want to have to talk about. Including in med school.
“This is what a feminist looks like.” So proclaimed Barry Lynn, president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He proudly held up a T-shirt bearing the declaration at a feminist forum a few blocks away from the White House. It was really a political pep rally,
That this land that tells the story of the greatest peace would have precious little of it — as you’re reminded when you wait on line at the security checkpoints, the wall dividing Israel and the West Bank, which includes Bethlehem, or the Palestinian policy office in the Church of the Nativity — couldn’t more vividly remind us of life’s challenges. The key is to live in the world and its daily requirements but also to rise above them. To “hear what the Lord God has to say, a voice that speaks of peace, peace for his people and his friends, and those who turn to him in their hearts” (Psalms 85:8). How might that be, for a change?
In reality, the answer to the question: “Where are the women?” — was: on the following panel. Those who asked the question loudest, in an act of political showmanship, didn’t stick around long enough to meet Dr. Laura Champion, who runs Calvin College’s medical services. And the more long-term answer is: They are the young leaders at Notre Dame, who have a lot to teach those who have been suppressing or denying reality for all too long about who we are and what we need and want.
To hear much of the American media tell it, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the breast-cancer charity that recently cut its ties with Planned Parenthood before (sort of) backing down, should simply be no more: It has gone from being a women’s health charity to becoming anti-woman, as the National Organization for Women’s president, Terry O’Neill, explained. She predicted to MSNBC host Ed Schultz that within five years or so it will cease to exist, and good riddance.
Americans are “looking for a president who believes in them,” Rick Santorum said on the first day of his campaign for the Republican nomination for president, and he’s repeated it many times since.
When I see images of the Virgin Mary in Nativity displays, I can’t help but think of a young girl in Pakistan who was killed right after we celebrated Thanksgiving here in the U.S.