What Common Ground?

05/31/2009 Comment

USA Today‘s blog laments that it sees no common ground on abortion — even in “a roomful of people who already agree that ‘abortion is an unspeakable crime’.”

That’s a particular room full of specific people ... a National Press Club meeting with Harvard’s Mary Ann Glendon, Princeton’s Robbie George and ... Pepperdine’s Douglas Kmiec.

Blogger Cathy Lynn Grossman sighs: “It turns out that the definition of ‘common ground’ between those Catholics who are relentlessly opposed to the policies of the Obama administration on all life issues and those who support President Obama on efforts to reduce the demand for abortion is that everyone insists their ground is the only place to stand.”

...READ MORE

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The Personable Pope

05/30/2009 Comment

Pope Benedict XVI. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

AP and Reuters today report more evidence that Pope Benedict XVI is the personable Pope, capable of candor and informality.

Like his great Communion and confession advice, it came in response to a child’s question about his childhood.

He said he was an “ingenuous, small town boy,” according to AP.

Reuters rendered the same quote with more poetry: “a rather naive boy in a small village very far from the center, in a forgotten province.”

In the AP story, the Pope said he and the other altar boys were “no saints,” getting into fights occasionally.

Reuters quoted his childhood thoughts on the papacy. First, he noted that he and his friends didn’t spare much thought for the world outside...READ MORE

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'National Treasure' vs. 'Angels & Demons'

05/30/2009 Comment

Angels & Demons is basically National Treasure, set in Rome ... which could have been so much cooler than National Treasure. But it was so much worse.

Jerry Bruckheimer’s work may have been derivative, commercial and silly. But as it turns out, that works better for a treasure hunt story than ponderous, arrogant and overblown.

My wife and daughters reviled me for paying money to see Angels & Demons and propping up the anti-religious culture with Hoopes dollars. They pointed out that I “othercotted” The Da Vinci Code. All Hoopeses saw Over the Hedge on opening night.

But when I saw Angels & Demons, it wasn’t opening weekend, and I had told Gus Lloyd’s listeners I would see it, so I had...READ MORE

Filed under movies, weekend commentary

Fr. Flanagan Warned Ireland

05/29/2009 Comment

Boys Town founder Fr. Flanagan (CNS/Lisa Schulte, Catholic Voice)

Father Edward Flanagan warned Ireland that their reform schools were “a scandal, un-Christlike, and wrong.”

He also told them the secret behind his successful “Boys Town” approach.

So reports Irish Central today.

With Boys Town a movie success, he brought Ireland his message: “There is no such thing as a bad boy.”

But after touring reform schools, he said the Christian Brothers at that place and that time had lost their way.

Reports the paper:

Speaking to a large audience at a public lecture in Cork’s Savoy Cinema, he said, “You are the people who permit your children and the children of your communities to go into these institutions of punishment. You can do something about it.” He...READ MORE

Filed under irish abuse

What About Cutie's Sacraments?

05/29/2009 Comment

CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz

As we report below, Father Alberto Cutié has decided to join the Episopal Church.

Some questions arise ...

1. What will his status be as a Catholic?

2. Is he excommunicated?

3. Will he still be a priest?

4. Will his sacraments be valid?

I put them to canonist Msgr. Jason Gray, judicial vicar of the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., by e-mail.

1. What will his status be as a Catholic? HE IS IN SCHISM.

2. Is he excommunicated? YES

Said Msgr. Gray:

“Fr. Cutie is a Catholic priest joining a non-Catholic Christian denomination. This is a public act of schism (c. 751). The punishment for schism is excommunication (c. 1364), and he can also lose any rights he had to his last assignment (or...READ MORE

Filed under alberto cutie, excommunication, weekend commentary

Is the Abuse Irish?

05/27/2009 Comment

Did persecution play a role? (wiki)

Damian Thompson has a tough question to ask about the Irish abuse scandal. “How much of the abuse was Irish and how much of it was Catholic?”

“Journalists noticed (but scarcely dared point out) that” the worldwide abuse scandal “seemed concentrated among the Irish Catholic diaspora.”

He said a prominent American priest scholar agrees.

Thompson reports in the Telegraph that he had dinner with the priest (whom he doesn’t name) and raised the question about the disproportionate number of Irish involved in abuse stories “rather nervously. To my surprise, he agreed immediately.”

He said that the Irish didn’t leave their legacy of domestic violence and alcohol behind them when they arrived...READ MORE

Filed under irish abuse, weekend commentary

Sotomayor's Catholicism

05/27/2009 Comment

Obama and Sonia Sotomayor (CNS/Jim Young, Reuters)

Steven Waldman at Beliefnet reports: “Another White House official elaborated slightly, ‘Judge Sotomayor was raised as a Catholic and attends church for family celebrations and other important events.’”

What will her presence as the sixth Catholic (albeit a lapsed one) mean to the court?

Cathy Lynn Grossman at USA Today‘s Faith & Reason Blog has compiled a rundown of quotes on the Catholicism of Obama Supreme Court Pick Sonia Sotomayor.

William Donohue of the Catholic League is taking no position “at this stage,” reports Grossman. However, he astutely points out:

Let’s face it: Left-wingers would gladly accept nine Supreme Court Catholics if they were reliably liberal before they would...READ MORE

Filed under sonia sotomayor, weekend commentary

Boys Won't Be Girls

05/27/2009 Comment

photo: flickr/missnae

We never reported on the Omaha, Neb., Catholic elementary school that barred an 8-year-old boy because his parents — following the advice of an “expert” — refused to dress him as a boy.

In “Boys Will be Girls?” the Register reported on just that brand of bad advice.

In this case, “The child is welcomed to come, but it would not be acceptable to change the child’s gender and present as a girl,” said Omaha Archdiocese’s chancellor, Father Joseph Taphorn.

After being a student there for three years as a boy, it would be distruptive to return as a girl, he said.

WPTZ.com spoke to the the girl’s mother, who it called a devout Catholic, and she said: “She’s been a girl since the...READ MORE

Filed under lgbt, theology of the body, transsexual

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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.