USCCB

Islamic Center

Taken for a Ride? Islam and Religious Liberty

President Erdogan, who is rapidly turning Turkey into a Caliphate, once said that “Democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination.” Is religious liberty also a train that Islamists ride until they reach their stop? That’s an increasingly urgent question now that mosques are popping up all over the landscape of Europe, [...]

Bishops Ignore Laws of Probability, Chase after Red Herring

“Only a blind man can deny that there is great confusion in the Church.” ∼ Carlo Cardinal Caffarra Cardinal Caffarra was speaking about the confusion surrounding Amoris Laetitia and the Church’s teaching about marriage and divorce. But much the same could be said about the Church’s position on Islam. The discrepancy between what Church leaders say [...]

A Critical Look at Some Gun Control Proposals

The Missouri legislature recently passed (over a veto) some new gun laws. These laws clear the way for “Constitutional Carry”: anyone legally permitted to own a firearm can now carry it concealed in public without a permit. (The term means, in effect, “I don’t need a permit to carry—the Constitution is my permit.”) Also included [...]

Disarming America

Donald Trump is catching some heat for saying that Hillary Clinton’s bodyguards should set aside their weapons, after which we’d “see what happens.” Was he inciting violence against Clinton? If so, I sure don’t see it, but leave that worry aside. Regardless of what else he might have meant, he surely meant to criticize Clinton for [...]

Applying Catholic Social Teaching is the Duty of Laymen

In baseball, there are “unwritten rules.” They cover things like how you react after hitting a home run, what you do after your star player is hit by a pitch, and whether you can bunt in the late innings of a no-hitter. As the name suggests, these “rules” are vaguely defined; fans will debate what [...]

Feeling Good vs. Doing Good

How do you explain the fact that so many people support disastrous public policies? According to polls, a majority of young people want Bernie Sanders to be the next president. Yet socialist policies of the type advocated by Sanders reliably lead to basket-case economies such as in Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea. Likewise, the welcoming [...]

The Biggest News Story Never Told

What’s the biggest news story of our time? What has been the biggest story for the last decade and one-half? Answer: the resurgence of Islam, and, in particular, the rapid spread of Islamic jihad. But, with a few exceptions, you would never know it from reading the Catholic press. If you look through the list [...]

An Assessment of the New USCCB Document Faithful Citizenship

The U.S. bishops recently issued an updated version of their 2007 document on the political obligations of Catholics, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (FCFC). While an in-depth analysis of it cannot be undertaken in a short column, I offer some thoughts and an assessment of its main points and try to put it into the [...]

Holy Days of Obligation: A Defense

With the approach of the Solemn Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, American Catholics can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to the work of the USCCB. For this year, the Assumption, a holy day of obligation, falls on a Saturday. Ordinarily, this would mean—horrors!—that the faithful must attend Mass on the [...]

Faith-Based Negotiations with Faith-Based Fanatics

When Church leaders comment on international events they show a remarkable propensity for explaining those events in more or less the same way that secular liberals do. The flip side of this penchant is a tendency to ignore what their own theological training might tell them about important issues. Take the recent Vatican endorsement of [...]

Parental Guidance and Offensive Movie Favorites

“I shall not today attempt further to define [hard-core pornography], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.”  ~ Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart “How about we go see the new Mad Max movie,” I suggested to my almost-twenty son, Ben. It hit a nerve. “I haven’t even [...]

The Reception of Holy Communion in the United States

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Francis has decided to mark the occasion with the “Year of Mercy.” Despite much happy-talk and positive papal press, it is a time of foreboding in the Church. The anxiety over the coming Synod on the Family is substantial and growing, [...]

The Bishops’ Fateful Decision Respecting the Unborn

In 1973 the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion. It was projected that the decision would not just replace illegal abortions with legal ones, but that the total number of abortions would dramatically increase (it turned out by approximately a million a year). It was clear that there were only two remedies: the [...]

Bishops, Bigots, and Ben Affleck

An exchange about Islam that took place recently on Real Time with Bill Maher helps to crystallize what’s wrong with many discussions about Islam and terrorism. Maher and fellow atheist Sam Harris took one side of the debate. Actor Ben Affleck, columnist Nicholas Kristof, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele took the other. [...]

Telling the Truth About Islam

Why has it become so maddeningly difficult to make judgments about other people? About the actions especially of people who want to kill us? Indeed, whose stated aim is to bring the Great Satan (i.e., America) to its knees, and then to cut off its collective head? Is it too much of a stretch to [...]

The Downside of Dialogue

Dialoguers say the darndest things. The conclusion to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document, Revelation: Catholic and Muslim Perspectives, contains the following: “Both Jesus and Muhammad loved and cared for all whom they met, especially the poor and oppressed.” Would that include the seven hundred men of the Qurayza tribe who were beheaded [...]

Islamophobia-phobia and the Rotherham Rapes

“Prelate rues rising Islamophobia in wake of Islamic State atrocities.” The headline caught my eye. It seems that Auxiliary Bishop Denis Madden, who chairs the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, has expressed concern that “Islamophobia in America is on the rise” in the wake of atrocities committed by [...]

Hobby Lobby and Employment Discrimination

Editor's note: The following statement was issued by the USCCB and published on its blog July 17, 2014. In the image above, President Obama signs executive orders July 21, 2014 meant to protect homosexual employees from federal workplace discrimination. (Photo Credit: AP) The Washington Post reported July 8 that the American Civil Liberties Union and [...]

Intelligence Failure

U.S. government officials were caught off guard by the recent rapid rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and its plan to establish a sharia-ruled caliphate state. Either they weren’t getting enough intelligence from their agents in the field, or else they lacked the framework for processing the information. Since the American Embassy in Baghdad [...]

Christianity and Islam: A Common Heritage?

Recently two prominent American bishops joined two leading Shiite Muslim scholars in Iran in issuing a statement on weapons of mass destruction. According to the statement, “Christianity and Islam cherish a common heritage that emphasizes, above all, love and respect for the life dignity, and welfare of all members of the human community.” It went [...]

Consider Gun Ownership for Family Protection

The American Constitution guarantees citizens the right to bear arms. According to the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision, District of Columbia vs Heller, this right extends not only to the military and law enforcement officials, but also to private citizens who wish to own firearms for lawful purposes. Guns play a significant role in American history [...]

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