JFK's Last Rites Remembered

11/22/2013 Comments (1)

StoryCorps offers this brief account of President John Kennedy receiving his last rites after he was shot on  November 22, 1963. The scene at the hospital emergency room is recounted by Glenda Rike, the wife of Aubrey Rike, an ambulance driver who was there when the president was brought in.

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A New USCCB President, but Bishops Won't Budge on HHS Mandate

New statement expresses "resolve to resist" the mandate.

11/13/2013 Comments (8)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the outgoing president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, won't be spending so much time in the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the nation's largest religious body. Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville, KY is now in the top spot. But one thing hasn't changed: the bishops are still fired up about the HHS mandate. 

On Nov. 13, as the bishops wound up their annual meeting in Baltimore this week, they released a "special  message" on the HHS mandate. The statement linked the bishops' continued resistance to the federal law to Pope Franicis' call for a deepened commitment to serve the needy and those damaged by sin and spiritual alienation.


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Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Kurtz on the "Francis Effect"

Female cardinals and a jump in parish collections are addressed on the CBS morning show.

11/13/2013 Comments (1)

Female cardinals and Vatican-ordered surveys of lay Catholics?

Cardinal Dolan of New York, the outgoing president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., the newly elected USCCB president, marked the change of guard at the nation's largest religious body with a Nov. 13 appearance on "CBS This Morning."

Charlie Rose acknowledged Archbishop Kurtz's new role at the helm of the USCCB, but most of the conversation was about the "Francis Effect." Cardinal Dolan confirmed reports of an increase in mass attendence, confession and (maybe this was wishful thinking) collections ...

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Pope Francis Made Me Do It

Pope's remarks cited by Illinois lawmakers to justify vote for same-sex marriage.

11/07/2013 Comments (22)

Pope Francis’ comments about “gays” have been cited by some Illinois lawmakers to explain their decision to back the passage of same-sex marriage in the state.

The Chicago Tribune noted the intense struggle to secure passage of “marriage equality” in Illinois, and said that the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that overturned part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act was key. But so was Pope Francis — at least that is the argument floated by some lawmakers to explain a controversial vote that could have repercussions when they come up for re-election. According to the Tribune: 

Advocates soon received additional help from Pope Francis, who warned that the Catholic Church...READ MORE

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130 Catholic Scholars Denounce Common Core in Letter to U.S. Bishops

11/05/2013 Comments (5)

Gerard Bradley, an expert on constitutional law at the University of Notre Dame law school leads a group of about 130 scholars who have called on the U.S. bishops to reassess the Common Core curriculum standards, which are reportedly being implemented in about half  of the nation's  K-12 Catholic schools. 

Bradley's letter was issued in advance of the the U.S. bishps' annual meeting in Baltimore next week, and it offers a broad critique of the new federal standards on philosophical grounds, describing them as a sharp departure from the hoslistic framework of Catholic education, which seeks to form the whole person with deep respect for the nature and dignity of the human person and...READ MORE

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PBS Compares Catholic Identity on two Campuses: Georgetown v. Ave Maria

11/01/2013 Comments (44)

Here's an interesting, balanced presentation of two universities that both call themselves "Catholic"--one in the "Jesuit tradition. This recent PBS show contrasts Georgetown's accomodation of LGBT pride events with Ave Maria's efforts to transmit Catholic teaching, in part, by preparing its students to respond to challenges posed by same-sex marriage.  Check it out here.

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HHS Secretary Sebelius Addresses Transparency on Abortion in State Exchanges

10/30/2013 Comments (8)

[UPDATE 11/1: NPR confirmed today that state health exchanges do not provide informaiton about whether specific plans cover elective abortions. While PBR suggests that both pro-life and pro-choice Americans might want to know whether a prosepctive plan offers that coverage, it also notes that  abortion rights advocates have opposed a proposed bill requiring clear notification. The reason for their opposition? It might "stigmatize" particular plans.The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has also endorsed Congressman Smith's proposed legislation to require information about whehter a plan covers elective abortions.]

During a House Energy and Commerce hearing today, Oct. 30, Congressman...READ MORE

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Syria at the Abyss: Not Our Problem?

The Washington Post editorial board proposes that Obama threaten a U.S. military strike to force Assad to allow the flow of aid to starving and sick children.

10/29/2013 Comments (5)

The Washington Post editorial board has denounced the Obama administration's refusal to intervene in the Syrian civil war, noting recent media reports alleging that the Assad regime is withholding vital emergency relief from internallly displaced people. The editorial board notes Secretary of State Kerry's public denunciation of Assad's

"systematic denial of medical assistance, food supplies and other humanitarian aid to huge proportions of the population.” The regime’s tactics, he said, “threaten to take a humanitarian disaster into the abyss.” They are “intolerable,” and “the world must act quickly.”

So what does the Obama administration propose to do to stop this barbarism?...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.