Iraqi Children Die of Thirst, Obama Weighs "Passive Option"

BREAKING NEWS: U.S.Airstrikes on ISIS Positions Began Today

08/07/2014 Comments (33)

[UPDATE 8/7: The New York Times just reported that the U.S. is either conducting or assisting with airstrikes on ISIS positions close to Mount Sinjar, where displaced Yazidis and Christrians are stranded.. The U.S. has also begun airdrops of emergency supplies, including water ane medicine. Let's hope the White House debate about what to do in Iraq has moved decisively toward a holistic response that includes relieft, protection and resettlement of displaced Iraqis.  The "active option" of military assistance -- with the goal of helping the Kurds repell ISIS, and protecting religious minorities from further aggression -- must be part of a new Obama doctrine.]

The New York Times reported...READ MORE

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The Long Dark Night of Mosul's Christians—"Does Washington even care?"

BREAKING NEWS: Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Rafael Sako calls for Christians across the world to join together to pray for peace in Iraq on August 6.

07/31/2014 Comments (31)

[UPDATE 8/1: Just learned that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has marked August 1 as a day of prayer and adoration for the persecuted Christians of Iraq and Syria. Here is a link to livestreamed liturgies and other events organized for today. And Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Rafael Sako calls for Christians across the world to join together to pray for peace in Iraq on August 6.]

Today, Elizabeth Scalia posted  a rich, harrowing meditation that imagined the experience of Mosul's Christians, who have been treated with unimaginable brutality by militants from the Islamic State (IS) and forced into exile with nothing but the clothes on their back. Scalia begins her reflection this...READ MORE

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Archbishop Chaput on Pope Francis: It would be a mistake to describe him as a "liberal"

During an address at the Napa Institute, Archbishop Chaput examined the pope's views on economic justice.

07/26/2014 Comments (43)

is  Pope Francis a socialist, or even a Marxist? No, says, Archbishop  Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who tackled the pope's views on economic justice during an address at the 2014 Napa Institute this weekend. 

I think  it would be a mistake to describe him as a “liberal” -- much less a “Marxist.”  As I told the Italian newspaper La Stampa in an interview some weeks ago, words like "liberal" and "conservative" don't describe Catholic belief.  They divide what shouldn’t be divided.  We should love the poor and love the unborn child.  Service to the oppressed and service to the family; defense of the weak and defense of the unborn child; belief in the value of business and belief in...READ MORE

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White House Will Revise "Accommodation" for HHS Mandate

The Obama administration has offered no details, but it has filed a legal brief stating that it will offer a second option for religious nonprofits that oppose the HHS mandate.

07/23/2014 Comments (18)

It has taken two and half years, and an explosion of lawsuits , but The Wall Street Journal has reported that the White House will tweak the "accommodation" it provided to religious nonprofits that filed legal challenges to the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate.

The Journal's story, and another in the Washington Post odon't say what precisely  will change. But they credit the U.S. Supreme Court's July 3 reprieve for Wheaton College, an evangelical institution that also objected to the federal law, as the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. You can read my story about the  high court's ruling that provided a temporary injunction to Wheaton here. The Journal reported:...READ MORE

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Rubio Kicks Off GOP Social Justice Agenda at Catholic University of America

"I consider myself to be a child of privilege," said Rubio, "because I was raised by two parents who were married to each other."

07/23/2014 Comments (2)
Ed Pfueller/Catholic University

– Ed Pfueller/Catholic University

In recent months, the Republican Party and its intellectual braintrust have been debating how to offer a competing vision of social justice that promotes economic mobility, fosters  personal responsbility and maintains a safety net for the truly needy. In a widely-circulated article in Commentary published in February 2014, Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank, and a Catholic, called on conservatives to do more than take pot shots at President Obama:

[T]he administration’s failure to achieve the president’s stated goals is nothing for his opponents to celebrate. Few conservatives begrudge the wealthy their gains, and many are...READ MORE

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Stratford Caldecott, R.I. P.

07/19/2014 Comments (2)
The Caldecott Family

Stratford Caldecott with his family

– The Caldecott Family

Editor's Note: This post was updated July 20.

On July 17, Stratford Caldecott, the British Catholic theologian, author and editor died after a lengthy and painful struggle with cancer at age 60. With his wife, Léonie, he  was the founder of Second Spring, a journal of faith and culture, and also co-editor of Magnificat UK. A member of the editorial board of the International Theological Journal Communio, he was the author of a number of books, including: Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education, Beauty for Truth’s Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education and The Power of the Ring: The Spiritual Vision Behind the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Biographical details can...READ MORE

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More Good News from Supreme Court for Religious Nonprofits on HHS Mandate

When the high court provided an emergency reprieve to Wheaton College on July 3, the decision prompted an angry dissent from the three female justices, but also offered hope to religious plaintiffs in HHS cases.

07/04/2014 Comments (14)

Justice Sotomayor issued an angry dissent to the high court's July 3 ruling, which granted a temporary injunction to Wheaton College, one of many religious nonprofits that have filed legal challenges to the HHS contraceptive mandate. It is just possible that the justice's anger offers some hope that the high court is prepared to broker a solution that all the HHS religious plaintiffs can live with.

To provide some needed context, we must return, for a moment, to the U.S. Supreme Court's  more critical June 30 decision, which found that that the HHS contraceptive mandate violated the religious freedom of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. After the Court issued its ruling for  Hobby...READ MORE

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood in 5-4 Decision

06/30/2014 Comments (15)

UPDATE 7/1 : The Catholic University of America's Mark Rienzi,  who is also a lawyer for the Becket Fund, and won the McCullen v. Coakley "buffer zone" case in a unanimous decision from the U.S Supreme Court last week, offered some interesting points about yesterday's "landmark" decision on Hobby Lobby. Check it out here.

The Register will be providing breaking coverage of today's decision, as legal experts assess the ruling.

UPDATE:

The indispensable Ed Whelan at National Review's Bench Memos on the Hobby Lobby ruling here. 

Toward the end of his post, Whelan addresses the still unresolved issue of whether this ruling will apply, at least in part, to a future SCOTUS decision on legal...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 Menlo Park, Ca, in the San Francisco Archdiocese.