Obama's Plan to Stop ISIS: Too Little, Way Too Late

On the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, President Obama laid out his plan to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS.

09/11/2014 Comments (16)

Why does President Obama's latest iteration of his evolving policy for dealing with ISIS leave me cold? Maybe because it seems politically calculated, and not plain speech from the Commander in Chief,j and maybe because his clear reluctance to approve a full bore military campaign against ISIS raises questions about the likelihood that he will actually complete the mission.  

Equally,  I fear that he is not very interested in protecting the victims of ISIS, especially Christians. Iraqi Christians have never received much sympathy from him — at least not if you judge his public statements on ISIS. His supporters might argue that  a U.S. president must focus on national security threats,...READ MORE

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NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade to Include LGBT Group

Cardinal Dolan downplays decision to lift ban, and will serve as the parade's grand marshal.

09/03/2014 Comments (75)


Organizers of New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade announced today  that one LGBT support group, OUT@NBCUniversal, would be permitted to march under its own banner at the 2015 parade.

Parade organizers expressed support for Catholic teaching, and confirmed  that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York would be the grand marshal, according to a Sept. 3 story in The New York Times.

The New York Archdiocese quickly issued a statement  from Cardinal Dolan that appeared to downplay the significance of the news.

The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee continues to have my confidence and support.  Neither my predecessors as Archbishop of New York nor I have ever determined who would or...READ MORE

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In “Calvary,” One Priest Pays for the Crimes of Another

A clergy abuse victim vows to kill an Irish pastor precisely because he is innocent, in this film that offers an unrelenting examination of sin, forgiveness, redemption.

08/31/2014 Comments (4)

"Calvary” -- a new film, in theaters right now, by the Anglo Irish director and writer, John Michael McDonagh -- begins with an aerial view of Sligo, the Irish county that once inspired the poetry of William Butler Yeats. But in this movie, the rough  beauty of the coastline is quickly upstaged by the cramped, insular world of sin in all its familiar and poisonous forms.

The local pastor, Father James  (Brendan Gleeson), is no stranger to the human condition, and ministers to his damaged flock with care and a bracing dose of dark Irish wit. Sometimes his pastoral advice is spot on, some times not. He became a priest after the death of his wife, and still tends to his troubled daughter. 


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Consecrated Host for Satanic Mass in Oklahoma City Returned to Bishop

08/21/2014 Comments (37)

Yesterday, the Register reported that Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City had filed suit seeking the return of the consecrated host that was obtained for use at a black mass, scheduled to be celebrated at the city's civic center next month. 

Today, Archbishop Coakley confirmed that the host had been returned to him.

“This is a tremendous victory for decency and all people of faith,” Michael Caspino, one of two attorneys who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the archdiocese in Oklahoma District Court, told the Register. 

“The host has been returned and we have a written agreement that the group will not use a consecrated host at their ‘black mass.’ This takes all significance out of their...READ MORE

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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.

07/24/2014 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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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..