InsideCatholic.com’s Predictions for 2008

InsideCatholic.com asked prominent Catholic leaders, writers, and commentators to offer their predictions for 2008. There were some surprises…


InsideCatholic.com asked prominent Catholic leaders, writers, and commentators to offer their predictions for 2008. They run the gamut from the humorous to the serious, from the likely to the merely hopeful. Obviously, the prognostications expressed are strictly those of the individuals making them.
 
Once you’ve read the list, be sure to add your own predictions in the Comments section at the end of the article!
 
Without further delay, here’s what 2008 might bring…
 
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A seat on the Supreme Court will come open that will determine the future of the abortion battle in America and around the world.
 
Senator Sam Brownback
 
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It’s Hillary Clinton v. John McCain in November. Whoever wins the Catholic vote is the next president of the United States.

Ray Flynn
Former Mayor of Boston

 
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Mike Huckabee’s candidacy will go down in flames, if not in Iowa then soon thereafter. The media and talking heads will attribute the fall to his Christianity in general, and his Fundamentalism specifically. They will warn us of both the dangers of bringing religion into politics, and the fact that the American public is becoming increasingly secular. As the campaign continues on, the media will grow even more vitriolic on the subject of religion as the candidates try to walk the fine line between not offending either the Christians or the secularists. The result will be a wider divide between the Evangelicals and the rest of the GOP.
 
Alfred S. Regnery
Publisher
 
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A Republican will win the Presidency.
 
The global warming firestorm reached its boiling point in 07 and 08 will begin to see some cooling of the public’s warm embrace.
 
Rick Santorum
Senior fellow
 
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The visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States will strengthen the movement toward dynamic orthodoxy in the Catholic Church in America. It will elicit enthusiastic responses among the faithful. However, it will draw out the last gasps of aging dissidents within the American Church. The media will attempt to cast him as "conservative" and "hard line." However, his message will emphasize that the Church cannot be cast in such political labels.
 
Pro-life and pro-marriage Catholics and evangelicals will ensure that the Republican nominee supports the right to life and defends marriage. However, the wide variance on other issues will signal the failure of the "religious right" and foment new political alliances.
 
Deacon Keith Fournier
Editor in Chief
 
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The effort to reform secularizing Catholic colleges and universities will get a major boost from Pope Benedict XVI when he addresses the college presidents at the Catholic University of America in April. Based on public statements made by Archbishop Michael Miller, C.S.B. — who until June was the Secretary for the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education — the Vatican may be prepared to require public identification of theologians who receive the mandatum, insist on the distinction between genuine theology and "religious studies" courses, repeat its call for periodic self-assessment of Catholic identity according to measurable "benchmarks," and reassert the authority of the bishops over matters of Catholic identity and doctrine, thus encouraging the bishops to "prune" wayward colleges when necessary by declaring them no longer Catholic.

Patrick J. Reilly
President

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The United Nations will use the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to pursue a human rights orthodoxy designed to establish the UN as the world’s leading moral authority on economic and social affairs.

Jim Kelly
Director, International Affairs
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies

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No Frenchman will win the Tour de France in 2008, unless Nicolas Sarkozy decides that we’ve been waiting since 1985 to restore national pride in this vital domain, and that it’s time to either runs himself or make a rule that no foreigner can compete, because they’re all doped. (Or maybe just better at it than the French.)
 
Jean Duchesne
Professor of English at Condorcet College, Paris, and Saint-Marie, Neuilly, and a special advisor to the archbishop of Paris.
 
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Because of the Huckabee and Giuliani candidacies, Catholic moral issues will be spirited debate topics in the coming campaign. And that is good. There will be no gentlemanly willingness to let rest those uncomfortable issues of life, traditional marriage and medical research that can prick candidates of either party.
 
Frank Keating
Former governor of Oklahoma
 
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The media will attempt to frame the April visit of Benedict XVI to the United States around the question of whether he can repeat the success of his predecessor, John Paul II. The media will then proceed to conclude that his visit failed on two fronts: In failing to elicit the same enthusiasm from U.S. Catholics and connecting with President Bush for reasons of the Iraq War, Israel-Palestine, and the environment (Global Warming).
 
Deal W. Hudson
Director
InsideCatholic.com and the Morley Institute for Church and Culture
 
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The election of a president will further polarize a polarized country. The new chief executive will come to office promising to bring people together but incapable of finding ways to heal the huge differences that now exist on abortion and other social issues at the heart of the culture war.
 
Meanwhile…
 
The Catholic Church in the United States will suffer further declines in Mass attendance, numbers of priests and religious, and other indices of health. Liberal Catholics will call for faster implementation of the liberal agenda that’s largely dominated American Church life for the last forty years.
 
Russell Shaw
Catholic writer and journalist in Washington, D.C.
 
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The Cold War was a period of competitive decline — who would collapse first, the decadent West or the impoverished Communists? The ‘victory’ of the West in the Cold War temporarily masked its decadence. Now it is being brought to the fore by the Islamist challenge, and is most apparent in Europe. The first sign of recovery in 2008 will be our willingness to acknowledge that nature of the threat and therefore lay the basis for our own recovery of faith, the only antidote to this perennial challenge.
 
Robert R. Reilly
Former senior advisor to the Ministry of Information in Iraq and a former director of the Voice of America. He is currently a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.
 
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The 2008 presidential campaign will be a four-person race. In addition to the Democratic and Republican nominees, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will run on the Unity ticket and Representative Ron Paul will run under the Libertarian banner. The political class will compare the race to that of 1968. But the result will be more similar to that of 1948: the candidate from the majority party, in this case the GOP, wins the election.
 
Mark Stricherz
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2008 will see more pro-chastity, pro-family clubs at colleges throughout the United States, following the examples of the Anscombe Society at Princeton and MIT and the True Love Revolution club at Harvard. I predict this partly because Anscombe Society founder Cassandra DeBenedetto is working to encourage the development of such clubs, and partly because my experiences speaking at numerous colleges in the past year have shown me that a growing number of students wish to promote traditional values.

These students are dissatisfied with a campus culture that defines personal responsibility down to wearing a condom. They want to develop their character, to build a world based on a genuine respect for human life and dignity, one that goes beyond "tolerance." They want to be challenged to be better human beings, and, if their colleges do not challenge them, they will create their own opportunities for fellowship and growth with like-minded students.

With crystal ball in hand, I would also predict that more prominent elected officials with ties to the abortion-rights lobby will be exposed for corruption. This has already happened with Paul Morrison, who, in the wake of scandal, is set to resign his position as Kansas Attorney General, and with New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, who is under various investigations for wrongdoing. I believe it will continue because such officials’ acceptance of money from abortion-rights groups reflects deep moral failings that cannot help but extend to other areas of their lives and careers.

Dawn Eden
Author, The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On

 
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In 2008, Democratic leaders and many in the mainstream media will provide the following insight into the Republican presidential nomination:
  1. Opposition to Romney is due to evangelical and traditional Catholic bigotry against Mormons.
  2. Opposition to Huckabee is due to bigotry against evangelicals by traditional Catholics, and an anti-Southern bias among northern Republicans.
  3. Opposition to Giuliani is due to evangelical anti-Catholic bigotry, and/or intolerance by traditional Catholics against a loose Catholic.
  4. Opposition to McCain is due to evangelical and traditionalist bigotry for an as-yet undiscerned reason, but one peculiar to bigots.
The real story of elitist bigotry in America against Mormons, evangelicals, traditional Catholics, and Southerners will go largely unreported.
 
Arthur C. Brooks
Louis A. Bantle Professor, Maxwell School of Syracuse University

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A shake-up in the pro-life movement will continue to emerge leading up to, and after the 2008 Republican National Convention. Grassroots pro-lifers, long frustrated in their attempts to move the pro-life ball down the legislative court, have begun to challenge the established national pro-life leadership’s limited agenda of regulation and restriction of abortion. They want to see legal abortion ended and justice restored to our land. Stay tuned!

Colleen Parro, Executive Director
Republican National Coalition for Life

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The hottest selling item of 2008 will be one the demise of which has been predicted for a decade: physical books. A vast personal library will be the new luxury good. Meanwhile, public and university libraries will become ghost towns, visited only by those in search of a free broadband connection.
 
Jeffrey Tucker
Editor of www.Mises.org
 
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I cannot tell you the predictions I have in my heart. Only that I feel a very strong desire to meditate on Gen. 37-50 and Divine Providence.
 
Fr. John Solana, L.C.
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Chesterton used to speak of the Real Absence that Catholics — who were used to praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament — would experience in Protestant churches. There is a similar Real Dissonance that Catholics exposed to Gregorian Chant and Palestrina have been experiencing at the hands of parish music committees. My prediction: Benedict XVI’s call for a renewal in sacred music is the beginning of the end of the Real Dissonance.
 
Mary Jo Joyce
President
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Human Vitae will once again capture headlines. This summer will mark 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s landmark encyclical and the media will again attempt to use the encyclical as "proof" of the Church’s supposed "animus" towards human sexuality. However, many will be surprised at the receptivity of some in the "hook-up" generation to its perennial message of moral sanity.

The Sacrament of Penance will continue to rebound as the renewal of catechesis stemming from the Catechism of the Catholic Church slowly continues to gain ground.

Church-State controversy will be centered over the "freedom to serve" of Catholic hospitals as the government places greater restrictions on funding of Catholic health and social agencies.

Most Reverend Thomas Wenski

Bishop of Orlando

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  1. Hillary Clinton will use "whatever means necessary" to crush Obama and the trial lawyer.
  2. Bill Clinton will lose the 2008 election for the Democrats.
  3. The GOP will recapture the House of Representatives.
Grover Norquist
President
 
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A Supreme Court vacancy will occur. President Bush will nominate a pro-life judge. The Democrats will fight and delay, and the seat will be open yet in November. This will galvanize pro-life voters, who will elect a Republican president.

J. C. Willke, M.D.
 
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We can lay money on two things happening this year:
  1. Evidence will continue to come out that research involving adult stem-cells and cord blood stem-cells actually have real prospects of curing disease, and the mainstream media, in its drive to encourage us to cannibalize our unborn young, will continue to ignore that evidence.
  2. Pope Benedict will publicly celebrate Mass according to the Extraordinary Form (formerly known as the Tridentine Rite), and this will lead to a renewed chorus of lamentation and cries of the abandonment of "the Spirit of Vatican II" from America Magazine, the National Catholic Reporter, and others keeping alive the flame of 1975.
Fr. Rob Johansen
Pastor in the Diocese of Kalamazoo and frequent writer for Crisis Magazine and other Catholic publications.
 
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The chorus of dissent-friendly Catholic and religiously interested media will cast the forthcoming visit and book tour of Archbishop Piero Marini, former Papal liturgical maestro, as a "major blow" to Pope Benedict’s attempt at a "traditionalist" restoration of the Sacred Liturgy.

The nomination of any of the current field of GOP candidates, short of those on the margins, will result in the pronouncement of the diminishment, and perhaps even the death of the "values voter" (read the influence of radical pro-lifers is now irrelevant)!

Fr. Phillip W. De Vous
Pastor of Divine Mercy Parish, Bellevue, KY and St. Bernard Parish, Dayton, KY.
 
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We will see another vacancy on the Supreme Court this year. It will impact the 2008 elections.
 
The Republican Party is going to have a "sorting things out" sort of year in 2008. In the end, I think it will stay true to the party platform, which means Giuliani will not be the nominee.
 
Hollywood will continue to realize that children and family oriented films are the real money makers and will produce more movies that appeal to that crowd. Watch for the second installment of the Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian, to be a huge box office hit.
 
Drew Ryun
Director of Government Affairs
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  1. Oil hits $120 a barrel before November election, yet the market will remain curiously stable in the U.S. due to election apprehension.
  2. Iranian President Ahmadinijad will decrease in popularity, but don’t look for any liberalization as the Supreme Council has a dog in the fight and will continue to create instability in the entire Middle East region.
  3. Speculators will short-sell Red shirts in Venezuela.
  4. Russia will release "USSR Version 2.0" in the fall.
  5. The consumer market will be saturated with marquis brands…"made to order" with "social responsible" labor picks up.
  6. A Republican Senator will win the White House.
Laurance Alvarado
InsideCatholic.com blogger
 
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Pope John Paul II will be beatified. And Pope Benedict XVI will announce that the next World Youth Day will be in the United States.

Mother Assumpta Long, O.P.
 
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I predict that 2008 will see all Christian churches that support traditional marriage — but particularly the Catholic Church — under increased pressure to recognize the grant of full rights to homosexuals, including same-sex unions and adoptions. There will undoubtedly be numerous new civil lawsuits brought against religious organizations that continue to "discriminate" by not offering full employment opportunities and benefits to openly practicing homosexuals at private schools and universities, etc.
 
There will also be a loss of government contracts and licensing of religiously affiliated organizations such as adoption agencies, health care facilities, etc. There will be hate speech charges brought against pastors, bishops and priests that preach the biblical view of human sexuality and marriage. Finally, there will be a threat to the tax-exempt status of churches that do not recognize same-sex unions, and even the potential loss of the right of churches to issue marriage licenses if they refuse to marry same-sex couples.

Charles S. Limandri

West Coast Regional Director
Thomas More Law Center

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Brad and Angelina will stay together. So will Tom and Katie. Charlie Sheen will continue to have problems.
 
Marion Cotillard will win an academy award for best actress in motion picture musical for La Vie En Rose… or else, Ellen Page will win for Juno… or maybe Helena Bonham Carter for Sweeney Todd. Diablo Cody, who wrote Juno will win for best screenplay. Javier Bardem and Philip Seymour Hoffman will continue to be two of the finest damn actors on the planet.
 
It will be McCain vs. Hillary. And yes, Bloomberg will run.
 
Zoe Romanowsky
Blogger and development consultant for InsideCatholic.com

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The 2008 presidential race will be decided by domestic economic concerns as geopolitical turbulence takes a back seat to economic recession in the U.S.

The global warming issue will also heat up the presidential race, fueled in part by Pope Benedict XVI’s address to the UN on climate control which will be a subject of controversy between Catholic conservatives and liberals (as will the pope’s sharpening message during his U.S. visit on the character and mission of Catholic higher education in our time).
 
And on both the domestic and foreign policy front, the press will ‘discover’ and promote a new generation of social justice intellectuals, policies, and activism in the run-up to the November elections. Politically, Barack Obama will be a fellow-traveling standard-bearer of such a movement and will press a McCain-Romney ticket which will ultimately prevail and be elected.
 
Happily in November, the Detroit Tigers — led by their Catholic manager Jim Leyland — will win the World Series.
 
Jeffrey O. Nelson
President
The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (Merrimack, New Hampshire)

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Here are ten things that won’t happen in 2008:
 
1. The presidential frontrunners on New Year’s will not ultimately receive their party’s nomination.
2. America will not win a gold medal in diving, gymnastics, or synchronized swimming at the Beijing Olympics.
3. Mother Assumpta Long will not have enough room in her motherhouse for all her new postulants (not an altogether bad thing).
4. I will not get change back from my $50 bill when I fill the tank of the family minivan (now that is a bad thing!).
5. Bishop Bruskewitz will not be named an Archbishop, despite several U.S. vacancies.
6. The Church will not change her official teaching on contraception, homosexuality and "gay marriage," women’s ordination, or other established, immutable doctrines — reports and/or wishful thinking notwithstanding.
7. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will not admit to knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs.
8. The U.S. bishops will not speak with a unified voice in this year’s presidential election, and those who identify themselves as "Catholic" in the polls will mirror the general population in their vote for the next president.
9. In a related prediction, whoever happens to be reviewing movies for the USCCB in 2008 will not publish a favorable review of the next notorious, anti-Catholic Hollywood film — even if he happens to like it.
10. No Boston sports team will win a championship. Not the 16-0 Patriots. Not the revitalized Celtics. Not Red Sox nation. Not even the Boston Bruins (is there still an NHL?). The rest of the country has had enough of this madness. It’s time to begin a new curse.
 
Leon Suprenant
Commentator on Catholic matters and the former president of Catholics United for the Faith and editor of Lay Witness magazine.
 
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In Cuba, many Catholics believe in a prediction attributed to St. Anthony Marie Claret, Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba (1851-1857) and founder of the Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: A young man with a beard, using the name of Our Lady of Charity of Cuba, would come down from the mountains, seize power in the name of justice but bring Cuba to chaos, poverty and oppression. The man of the beard would die peacefully in his bed, and after a short, bloody struggle, Cuba would regain democracy, peace and prosperity.
 
My prediction: Claret’s alleged prediction will begin in 2008.
 
Hint: keep an eye on Oswaldo Payá, founder of the Varela project. He is my candidate to become the first elected president of Cuba of the 21st Century.
 
Alejandro Bermudez
Director
 
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The brave people of Burma will unite and rise up like never before. There will be an explosive revolution, bringing together the Buddhist monks, all the ethnic nationalities and the ordinary Burmese people in a movement which will topple the brutal military dictatorship.

Militant Islam will rise to the fore with renewed terrorist attacks which will shake — and wake — the world. As a result, political correctness will be abandoned and those in the world who believe in liberal democratic values — of all shades — will unite in the face of this evil ideology.

George W. Bush will do something that will completely confound his critics, overturn his bad reputation, and lead to him winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Benedict Rogers
Human rights activist
 
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Stem cell research will more clearly separate into two camps: service and product. The service camp will be powered by a genuine effort to offer cures for various diseases with the use of non-embryonic pluripotent stem cells obtained from safe and licit procedures. The product camp will push forward its attempt to place the human embryo as a commodity on the shelf of speculative consumable goods for monetary gain and production.
 
By the grace of God and great human effort, the reality of these two camps will be brought to light before every American and the human embryo will be removed from the market place, returned to the womb and treated as a patient.

Jennifer Kimball
Executive Director
Culture of Life Foundation

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Family radicals worldwide will continue in their attempt to de-institutionalize marriage using same sex marriage/civil unions as their wedge issue. If they achieve ‘equal rights’ for same-sex partners, the next step will be to demand all the rights of marriage for everyone no matter what form of family they find themselves in. If they succeed in this, then heterosexual marriage will have been completely de-privileged and reduced to one family among others.


David Quinn
Columnist for The Irish Independent and frequent commentator on Catholic matters.
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Pope Benedict will continue to confound his critics by looking younger and more energetic at 80 than he looked at 70.

Rich Leonardi

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