What Does God Have Against Haiti?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 1:54 PM Comments (41)

Port-au-Prince today. (CNS/Eduardo Munoz, Reuters)

Haiti’s shocking poverty was already enough to make people wonder at what seemed a radical unfairness at the center of the universe.

Now, after the devastating earthquake Hatians are pulling bodies from their destroyed shacks and lining the streets with them so passersby can lift the sheets to see if they knew them.

Does God hate Haiti?

The answer is “Of course not,” but man oh man it can sure look that way. Here are three brief answers to the problem of suffering. As the Register has pointed out during disasters past, none is adequate, but together they point to hope.

First: This world is not all there is.

The massive destruction of a hurricane or earthquake can look random...READ MORE

Filed under haiti, suffering

FOCA's Triumph

Senate Health Bill Is a Regulatory 'Freedom of Choice Act'

Monday, January 11, 2010 2:15 PM Comments (5)

It looks like FOCA really was an Obama priority after all.

You remember FOCA. “Well, the first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act” — FOCA — said Barack Obama on July 17, to a roar of Planned Parenthood rally applause.

Catholics and others, in a tsunami of postcards to Washington, begged he not push FOCA. Obama clarified, saying FOCA “is not my highest legislative priority.” Health care was.

But, ahem, look at the health care bill in the Senate and see if you see what I see: On abortion, it accomplishes nearly all of what FOCA wanted.

Here are the U.S. bishops’ warnings about FOCA vs. the Senate health bill specifics.


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My Goodbye Column

Sunday, August 02, 2009 8:13 AM Comments (0)

The Register and Me

BY Tom Hoopes
August 9-22, 2009 Issue

I have been writing for the Register for 20 years — and hope to make it 30 or 40 before I’m done. I will continue to write for the Register. Not, however, as its executive editor.

I have been offered, and have accepted, a position at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. I will be the director of strategic communications in their advancement department, as well as writer in residence, teaching a couple of classes and getting ready to do more. As Register readers know, Benedictine takes its academics and campus life seriously. It is clearly becoming one of America’s great Catholic colleges.

One of my duties will...READ MORE

Filed under weekend commentary

Heading West

Monday, July 27, 2009 11:32 AM Comments (0)

I have happy news — that’s also sad news.

I have been offered, and have accepted, a position at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. My last day at the Register (as an editor) will be Aug. 7.

This is difficult because leaving the National Catholic Register and Faith & Family magazine feels like leaving family. I have written for the Register for 20 years. My first paycheck as a published writer came from the Register. I’ve been its executive editor for 10 years. Six years ago, April and I became editorial directors of Faith & Family magazine. These have been the most professionally satisfying of my career. I love the work these publications do and hope to be more visible in them...READ MORE

Filed under weekend commentary

Popes Wilt Doubts

Sunday, July 26, 2009 10:10 AM Comments (0)

A WSJ article about one failure of the Church in Ireland ended up becoming an article about the power of the Church — and of Peter.

This time, it’s Angela’s Ashes author Frank McCourt. After becoming disenchanted with (and antagonistic to) Catholicism, “Mr. McCourt felt it was impossible to fully divorce himself from the Church.”

In July 24’s “The Faith of Frank McCourt” Peter Duffy explains:

“So when he stood before Pope John Paul II in 2002, accompanying a delegation of 40 mayors from around the world, the little Irish-Catholic boy in him took over. He knelt, took the pontiff’s hand and kissed his ring.

“’I got up and he’s looking at me with his dazzling blue...READ MORE

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Obama: Divide and Conquer?

Sunday, July 19, 2009 8:33 AM Comments (0)

Does Obama have a conscious “divide and conquer” strategy with Catholics?

University of Alabama political scientist professor Michael New thinks so (in our news story on Dr. Benjamin).

Appointing pro-abortion Catholics “has the political advantages of showing that 1) there is disagreement among Catholics about sanctity-of-life issues and that 2) Catholics who support legal abortion can be successful politically.”

Remember what President Clinton did: He pitted others against each other, then “triangulated” above them, getting what he wanted by staying out of the fray.

Obama has positioned himself as the classy guy who’s above the fray: the Notre Dame speech giver, the president who met...READ MORE

Filed under president obama, weekend commentary

Jackson in Light of Benedict

Saturday, July 18, 2009 11:00 AM Comments (0)

I’m back from a long vacation and an evil virus ... Here’s an easy post: This week’s editorial.

To Resist the Thriller
July 26-August 8, 2009 Editorial

Two events captured the attention of a worldwide audience on July 7. One was the publication of Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI’s Augustinian encyclical on economics. The other was the memorial of Michael Jackson, marking a life that seemed to shriek the Augustinian lesson: “Our hearts are restless unless they rest in you.”

The two events, of course, have nothing to do with each other.

Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) is Benedict’s 30,000-word, densely written, deeply thoughtful third encyclical. Its arrival has...READ MORE

Filed under michael jackson, pope benedict xvi, weekend commentary

How to Get More Priests

Sunday, June 21, 2009 3:56 PM Comments (0)

A last resource for the Year of the Priest ... our 2007 list of what works for dioceses that get vocations.

Six Habits of Highly Effective Dioceses

Why are some dioceses better at attracting vocations than others? In Tim Drake’s recent story “Vocations Surge,” the Register provided some answers to that question.

Based on what we learned, here are six questions successful dioceses all answer “Yes.”

1. Is the Eucharist the center of vocation efforts?

We found that the promotion of Eucharistic adoration for vocations is a decisive factor in attracting candidates. The reason is simple: It’s a vocations strategy that came from Christ himself, when he told the apostles to “ask...READ MORE

Filed under year for priests resources

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About Guest Blogger/Tom Hoopes

Tom  Hoopes
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Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.