The Catholic Church and Same-sex Marriage: Time for Retreat?

Jody Bottum, the former Editor-in-Chief of First Things, argues that the battle against same-sex marriage has been lost, and the bishops are turning off young people by continuing the fight.

Monday, August 26, 2013 4:19 PM Comments (270)

Is it time for Church leaders to retreat from the public debate on same-sex marriage? 

Jody Bottum, the former editor-in-chief of First Things, believes that the time has indeed arrived for the U.S. bishops to call a truce, at the very least, and re-focus their energies on evangelizing Asia and preparing the faithful for marytrdom.  In a lengthy Aug. 23 post in Commonweal, The Things We Share: A Catholic's Case for Same-sex Marriage, apparently timed to coincide with a New York Times story on  about his change of heart, and the launch of his latest book, Bottum  states the following

We are now at the point where, I believe, American Catholics should accept state recognition of...READ MORE

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Do Opponents of Same-sex Marriage Need "Rehabilitation"?

Oregon's labor commissioner suggests that bakers who refused to supply cake for lesbian wedding need "rehabilitation."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 5:57 PM Comments (310)

"Rehabilitation," a term once associated with charitable programs designed to help social outcasts change course, got a bad rap when Chairman Mao ordered millions of Chinese to leave their homes and jobs in the city and take up hard labor in isolated rural villages.

Now, the term has resurfaced in Oregon, after the Christian owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to supply a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.  The state's Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian told the Oregonian that he didn't want to shut down the bakery, whose owners have been accused of violating a state statute banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Acakian sought to present the intention's of the state in a...READ MORE

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Christie Signs New Jersey Bill Banning "Gay Conversion Therapy."

But Christie also raised concerns about "whether the government should legislate the therapy," trumping therapists' right to free speech and parents' right to approve treatment for their children.

Monday, August 19, 2013 1:46 PM Comments (17)

Update: Christi issued a statement after he signed the bill that sought to present his views on reparative therapy and homosexuality as in opposition to Catholic teaching. But the statement released by the governor's office wrongly suggested that the Church viewed same-sex attraction as a sin. In fact the Church has called on the faithful to respect all persons, irregardless of sexual orientation, and it distinguishes between sexual orientation and sexual acts. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357-2359, outlines this teaching in detail 


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation banning  the practice of providing “gay conversion therapy,” also known as...READ MORE

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Breaking Bad—What Happens When a Man of Science Gets a Death Sentence?

James Bowman on Walter White--the Enlightenment’s “Worse Nightmare”

Thursday, August 15, 2013 6:45 PM Comments (2)

Mayhem and death ensue after a high school science teacher receives a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Film critic, James Bowman, tackles the final season of Breaking Bad, the hit television series,  in a piece for The New Atlantis, the excellent journal published by the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Bowman writes

All of us are uneasily aware that beneath the good civilizational order in which most readers of these pages and viewers of the show continue to live their lives there is a dark alternative where old rules dominate, the Enlightenment’s recurring bad dream just waiting for the opportunity to reassert itself. Ironically, it is Walt’s Enlightenment credentials as a man of...READ MORE

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Peter Flanigan's Legacy Should Spark a Revolution in School Choice

Monday, August 05, 2013 9:00 AM Comments (5)

The death of Peter Flanigan, a great visionary in the school-choice movement, was marked by the Wall Street Journal.  The editorial noted the remarkable commitment of Flanigan, who founded the Student-Sponsor Partners, aprivate voucher program that has provided financial assistance and mentoring for over 5,000 children in New York's inner city who were eager to attend great Catholic schools but didn't have the money to cover the tuition.

Here is what the Journal wrote about Flanigan, who was a personal friend. 

An important pioneer and giant of the school-choice movement died earlier this week. Peter Flanigan, an investment banker and influential aide to President Nixon, was 90....READ MORE

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Cardinal Dolan on the Today Show: Pope Francis Reminds Us We Can't Judge Souls, Only Actions

Pope Francis' remarks about gay priests get additional context from the New York cardinal.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:32 AM Comments (35)

Here is Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York on the Today show. He was one of many Church leaders beseiged by a media frenzy following Pope Francis's remarks on "gay" priests that were taken out of context. Several bishops I spoke with on Tuesday had conducted back-to-back media interviews on the issue, and one told me:"It's unfortunate that some newspapers will have a photo of the millions of young people at the final mass on the beach in Rio, but they all have front-page stories on the news about "gay priests." Yet,  it seems likely that the pope has managed to stir things up in a way that could prove fruitful. At least some curious people will be reading what he actually said, including...READ MORE

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Time to Switch Off TV Antiheroes Like Breaking Bad's Walter White?

White, Tony Soprano and Don Draper make us feel morally superior -- while getting our entertainment from watching characters make bad choices over and over again.

Monday, July 29, 2013 11:35 AM Comments (10)

A couple of years ago, friends gave my husband and me an unexpected Christmas present -- the first season of Mad Men, the Emmy-award winning television series about postwar  Madison Avenue advertising executives. Mad Men's protagonist, Don Draper,  attains success in this flashy, often sleezy world that has a knack for making consumers lust for products they don't need. Don is unfaithful to his wife, who is unaware of a dark secret that shadows his professional success. The first season, and the many others that have followed, charts the fits and starts of his moral descent. The first season makes this point clear when the credits roll out, showing the figure of  a man falling into the...READ MORE

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Media Watch: The Royal "Fetus" Has Arrived: It's a Baby!

Friday, July 26, 2013 11:54 AM Comments (4)

The New York Times' jarring habit of employing the term, "fetus," to describe all pre-born children testifies to its ideological commitment to abortion-rights without restriction. Yet the Times, along with other news organizations, has reported on the "royal baby" throughout Kate's pregnancy.

Now, following the long-awaited arrival of George Alexanber Louis, Owen Strachan, a professor of theology and history at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky, writes in The Atlantic  about  the media's practice of using the word "fetus"---except when it involves the royal baby---to withhold the rights that accompany full personhood from pre-born children. Strachan takes note of the profusion of...READ MORE

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About Joan Frawley Desmond

Joan Frawley 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.