Weigel on Lumen Fidei

The "autonomous Self," writes Weigel, passes through a "wilderness of mirrors."

Friday, July 12, 2013 12:49 PM Comments (3)

Once again, George Weigel offers a brilliant analysis of Pope Francis' first encyclical and its gentle but stirring diagnosis of modern secular ideology:

Here's what Lumen Fidei says about the self-referential mindset that keep secular humanists on a path to nowhere. 

The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: In a word, it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love.  ... Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of...READ MORE

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Lawless? Attorney General in Pennsylvania Won't Defend State Ban on Same-sex Marriage

Thursday, July 11, 2013 2:23 PM Comments (9)

In the first indication that the U.S. Supreme Court's June 26 rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8 will have immediate consequences for state constitutional bans on same-sex "marriage,"  Pennsylvannia's attorney general announced that she would no longer support the state law that barred "marriage equality."  On July 10, the Washington Post reported:

Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane announced Thursday afternoon she will not defend the state in a federal lawsuit filed this week challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, calling the prohibition “wholly unconstitutional.”

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Tuesday on behalf of 23...READ MORE

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Catholic Health Association Backs Final HHS 'Accommodation'

U.S. bishops have not issued a formal response to the final rule.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 2:45 PM Comments (39)

While the U.S. bishops continue to "study" the 110-page final rule for an "accommodation" for religious employers that object to the HHS conraception mandate on moral grounds,  the Catholic Health Association signaled its approval of the White House's deal. 

On July 8, Sister Carol Keehan, the president and CEO of CHA issued a memorandum stating:  

We are pleased that our members now have an accommodation that will not require them to contract, provide, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage.

We also recognize that this resolution has not been what some organizations, including the Bishops' Conference, asked for on behalf of a wider group. Our contribution to the process has...READ MORE

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What Jane Knew: Cohabitation Is Not Courtship

Rand sociologists find that men and women take a different view of cohabitation.

Monday, July 08, 2013 6:04 PM Comments (3)

 In Pride and Prejudice, the gentle reader is reminded, “A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”

Jane Austen made that observation during an era that kept romantic young ladies under the close supervision of their parents. Only the most foolish, such as Lydia Bennet -- the Pride and Prejudice character who runs off with a knave, George Wickham -- would move in with a man before marriage and still expect a happy ending.

Today, however, young women are likely to be sexually involved with the man of their dreams well before they even meet his parents. So it should come as no surprise that wishful thinking propels many...READ MORE

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Archbishop Lori Digs In: Open Letter on HHS Mandate Demands Broad Exemption

U.S. Bishops, Southern Baptist Conference Issue "Open Letter" calling for expanded religious exemption and conscience rights for religious institutions and family businesses.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 2:46 PM Comments (9)

Last week, the Obama adminisrtration rolled out the latest and final iteration of its so-called accommodation for relgious employers that object to the HHS contraception mandate on moral grounds. The U.S.bishops did not issue an immediate response outlining how church-affiliated institutions should respond. The stakes are high, and there has been a great deal of speculation about whether  U.S.dioceses and Catholic institutions are likely to adopt a unified position.

Just watched a  July 2 Capitol Hill  press conference on the HHS mandate that outlined religious groups on-going concerns about the federal law. Panelists included  Archbishop Lori of Baltimore, Russell D. Moore of the...READ MORE

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HHS Issues Final Rule on Contraception Mandate

"Safe harbor" extended to Jan. 1, 2014.

Friday, June 28, 2013 1:58 PM Comments (6)

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services released the final rulemaking on the contraception mandate and religious organizations.

Legal experts are sifting through more than 100 pages of rulemaking to see if there is any breakthrough on the dispute between the Obama administration and religious employers that object to the mandate on moral grounds. The Becket Fund's website that provides updates on legal challenges to the mandate by for-profit and nonprofit plaintiffs is here

So far, today's news appears to offer only one limited reprieve that many anticated: The "safe harbor" deadline for compliance by religious employers that object to the mandate has been extended from...READ MORE

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Are We Rome -Yet?

Thursday, June 27, 2013 4:20 PM Comments (6)

A while back I read Cullen Murphy's Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America. which examined the similarities between the 21st century United States' overextended global role and ancient Rome's embitious effort to sustain its control of an unruly empire. Murphy also discussed the internal decadence that pervaded both empires, but that subject was not his primary focus.

Now, in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and Justice Kennedy's majority opinion that attacked the "animus" of lawmakers that would deny marriage rights to same-sex couples, Victor Davis Hanson returns to this theme in a June 27 post on National...READ MORE

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Digesting the SCOTUS Rulings on Marriage

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 6:24 PM Comments (21)

Catholics who care about marriage and what it means for children and our culture are struggling to understand the future ramifications of the Supreme Court's rulings on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage. 

At present, legal experts say that the rulings will have no immediate impact on state constitutional amendments barring same-sex "marriage." But Justice Scalia, in his sharply worded dissent to the majority opinion in DOMA argued that Justice Kennedy's opinion lays the foundation for future challenges to such laws. 

Hadley Arkes, a professor of jurisprudence at Amherst College and author of First Things, among other works, noted Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion in DOMA and...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.