Planned Parenthood Prez Lauded at Georgetown for Defending Abortion

04/21/2016 Comments (11)

The rooftops of Georgetown University and Rosslyn and Washington, DC beyond it. Taken from the roof of the Reiss Building. (Image Credit: “Patrickneil”, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

[Editor: This post was updated at 8:30 p.m. Pacific time, to include coverage of Cardinal Wuerl's homily at a "Mass for Life" for university students at a parish church in Georgetown.]

Georgetown University had defended Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards' April 20 speech on campus as evidence of the Catholic institution's commitment to the "free exchange of ideas."

But take a look at Richards' speech here, and it is clear that election year politics brought her to Georgetown. She gave a plug for Hillary Clinton, attacked congressional efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and targeted recent legislation in Texas designed to raise standards at abortion clinics.

The Cardinal...READ MORE

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Government Concedes That HHS Contraceptive Accommodation “Could Be Modified”

04/13/2016 Comments (6)

(Photo Credit: Farragutful, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

After years of litigation over the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate, the Obama administration signaled yesterday that it could make further changes to the controversial accommodation it provided the Little Sisters of the Poor and many other religious nonprofits.

Could this new admission undermine the government's case? That's the question now.

When March 23 oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell revealed weaknesses in the government's case, the justices unexpectedly issued a March 29 order that directed the both sides to offer fresh solutions to the impasse.

The plaintiffs and the government were each told to provide a formal response to  the following question:

Whether and...READ MORE

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Supreme Court Offers Surprising, Hopeful Twist in Little Sisters' Case

03/29/2016 Comments (14)

Religious sisters show their support of the Little Sisters of the Poor outside the Supreme Court where oral arguments were heard on March 23, 2016 in the Zubik v. Burwell case against the HHS Mandate. (Addie Mena/CNA)

Just days after eight justices heard oral arguments for the legal challenge to the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor, and six other cases, the Court asked both the Obama administration and the plaintiffs to provide fresh solutions that addressed their moral objections, while serving the needs of their employees.   

“This is an excellent development. Clearly the Supreme Court understood the Sisters' concern that the government's current scheme forces them to violate their religion,” said the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty's Mark Rienzi, in a press release.

“We look forward to offering alternatives that protect the Little Sisters'...READ MORE

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Rubio Halts Campaign, Kasich Takes Ohio, Trump Rolls On

03/16/2016 Comments (8)

Sen. Marco Rubio

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Catholic, has suspended his presidential campaign after his chief rival, Donald Trump, won the Republican primaries in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina.

When Rubio announced the end of his run for the presidency and congratulated Trump for winning the Florida race, his supporters booed.

“No, no, no,” he responded, quickly. “Guys, we live in a republic and our voters make this decision. We respect this.”

It is hard to predict whether such soothing words will have much effect on the estimated 44% of GOP voters who say they won't vote for Trump. Yet his political victories tonight have brought him much closer to his goal of 1,237 delegates.  

That news will...READ MORE

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6 Judges On President Obama’s Shortlist for U.S. Supreme Court

03/10/2016 Comments (8)

Would President Obama actually nominate a “moderate” jurist to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died unexpectedly last month?  

Activists on both sides of the partisan divide may question that possibility, but when the White House released a shortlist of nominees, media outlets from Fox News to the Washington Post described them as “moderates.” Yet, as the Post notes, the nominees have almost no record of ruling on hot-button issues, so its tough to know for sure how they will vote, if confirmed.

“The White House is considering nearly half a dozen relatively new federal judges for President Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court, focusing on jurists with scant dis­cern­ible ideology...READ MORE

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Downton Abbey Creator Says Finale Rewards “Decent People Doing Their Best”

03/07/2016 Comments (10)

(Photo Credit: garybembridge, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

[SPOILER ALERT! Readers: please be aware that this post discusses the long-awaited final episode of Downton Abbey.]

After the last episode of the final (sixth) season of Downton Abbey, Louis Bayard, who writes for the New York Times’ Arts Beat Blog, declared:

I think it’s fair to say that Julian Fellowes has given us an American happy ending. And why shouldn’t he? Haven’t we loved these foolish Granthams with all the fervor of their countrymen? 

Over the years, Bayard has provided a hilarious running commentary on Downton's plot twists. Here’s part of his amusing summary of the show’s finale: “Robert accepts the fact that he’s married to a high-powered health care chief executive....READ MORE

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Oscar-winning “Spotlight” Producer Tells Pope to “Protect the Children”

02/29/2016 Comments (32)

At the Oscars last night, “Spotlight”, the critically-acclaimed film about the Boston Globe's investigation of clergy sexual abuse of children, won Best Picture

 “This film gave a voice to survivors and this Oscar amplifies that voice which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said producer Michael Sugar, who accepted the award with his co-producers. “Pope Francis, it is time to protect the children and restore the faith.”

That message will resonate with Catholics across the nation. They have been deeply shocked by the cascading series of revelations regarding the problem of clergy sexual abuse and administrative cover-ups that surfaced in the wake...READ MORE

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At Father's Funeral, Fr. Paul Scalia Proclaims Jesus Christ to Entire Nation

02/22/2016 Comments (15)

(Image: YouTube)

These days, preaching on the Four Last Things—death, judgment, heaven, and hell—is almost as rare as a homily on Humanae Vitae. As a result, many Catholics now view a funeral Mass as a vehicle for “celebrating the life" of the deceased. Yet the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that a funeral homily must “avoid the literary genre of funeral eulogy and illumine the mystery of Christian death in the light of the risen Christ.”

With this modern tendency in mind, mourners who gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception had reason to believe that Father Scalia was extolling his father, when he began his homily with these stirring words:

We are gathered...READ MORE

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About Joan Desmond

Joan Desmond
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Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..