National Catholic Register


U.S.Notes & Quotes

From Selected Sources

BY Jim Cosgrove

October 17-23, 1999 Issue | Posted 10/17/99 at 2:00 PM


Cardinal Law Concerned About Anti-Catholics On Bench

THE PILOT, Oct. 1—In a personal letter to Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci, Boston's Bernard Cardinal Law expressed his concern that the governor's recent nominees to the Supreme Court, Judge Margaret Marshall and Judge Judith Cowin, had shown themselves to be anti-Catholic in the past. Both Judges “had evidenced,” Cardinal Law wrote, “a certain mindset which at times is open to the serious charge of anti-Catholicism.”

The cardinal provided Governor Cellucci with background material and asked him to look into the matter on his own. The letter was leaked to the Boston Globe and columnist Eileen McNamara used it as an occasion to criticize the cardinal for wrongfully meddling in state affairs.

Boston's diocesan paper, The Pilot, responded to McNamara in an editorial titled “Civics 101.”

“[McNamara] insists that ‘cardinals are not supposed to lobby.’ Where in civil law does it say that?

“Is Ms. McNamara aware of the fact that Protestants, through The Massachusetts Council of Churches, Jews, through their Community Council and Catholics, through their Massachusetts Catholic Conference, monitor every bill up at the state house that affects their constituents and institutions — or the general moral climate of the Commonwealth? And then give voice to their opinion?

“Does Mr. McNamara think for a moment that if Cardinal Law was given information which implied that some newly nominated judge was a racist or an anti-Semite, that he wouldn't share that concern with the governor? If she does, then Ms. McNamara doesn't know the cardinal.”

Congress Teams Up With Church in Fighting Porn

CNET NEWS.COM, Oct. 4—Lawmakers, church officials and Net access providers have been making strides to push the use of Web site blocking programs in schools, libraries and homes, the online news service reported.

In Congress, a sweeping juvenile justice bill could be the vehicle for a landmark requirement that schools and libraries block online pornography, obscenity and other material deemed harmful to minors to receive a federal Net access subsidy known as the “e-rate.”

Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate expect to agree on a plan for implementing the subsidy by the end of October, CNET reported.

But even if Congress fails to pass a filtering mandate, the Catholic Church is already working to promote voluntary Net screening programs within communities.

Joining religious-based filtered Net access services, such as and TrueVine, the Vatican Treasury Museum launched the Catholic Families Network on Oct. 7, which will include original content combined with a filtered Net access service provided by a New York start-up, iConnect, for $19.95 per month.

The company said the service will be marketed to millions of Catholics in the US and that it will share revenue from customer subscriptions and advertising rates with the Vatican Treasury Museum.