A Very Long Lent

As Catholics and Americans, it's clear from recent events that we have just embarked upon a long and dangerous Lent. It's a secular Lent, with no resurrection promised, with tempting spirits aplenty, and no guarantee we will refuse their bread transformed from stones, their angels to cushion our fall, their kingdoms on offer for kneeling [...]

Liberty Forgotten

Let me begin by confessing that I am one of those conservatives who take comfort in Plato's devastating critique of Athenian democracy. I believe that civic liberty is not an end in itself, but is a tool that man finds fit for his nature as a reasoning being, a tool to be judged by the [...]

Last Safe Haven for Iraqi Christians Taken by Al-Qaeda

"Now the last safe haven for Christians is gone," said Canon Andrew White, the vicar of St. George's church in Baghdad. During the past week, twelve Christians have been killed and more than 3,000 have left the city of Mosul, once considered a safe zone for persecuted Iraqi Christians. Mosul, on the plain of Nineveh [...]

Obama’s Military Judgment

Although a Democrat, I have no intention of voting for Sen. Barack Obama in November. My primary objection has to do with his position on abortion, an extreme leftwing position. Not only does he have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record in the U.S. Senate, but when he was in the Illinois Senate he voted [...]

The Presidential Debate

InsideCatholic is headquartered in Washington, D.C., but I write from Oxford, Mississippi. Oxford has a population of about 14,000, which approximately doubles when the University of Mississippi students are in town. So, as you might imagine, the presidential debate here at Ole Miss tonight -- assuming it comes off -- is a big deal. The [...]

Why Abortion and the Iraq War Are Not Equivalent

The intricacies of Catholic moral theology have never been my strong suit. Rather than use the law to nitpick and condemn people, I'm far too inclined to be on the side of the sinner and give people the benefit of the doubt. For those who quibble over the morality of a particular action, I'm too [...]

Saving the Christians of Iraq

Last month, I reported on the persecution of Christians in Iraq and the continued vulnerability of their remaining communities. Extortion and violence by Muslim extremists have driven 500,000 Christians out of Iraq -- about one quarter of the 2,000,000 Iraqis who have left the country since the beginning of the Iraq War. And another 2,000,000 [...]

Will the Iraqi Constitution Protect Christians?

Two weeks ago I spoke with Bishops Mar Sarhad Jammo and Mar Bawai Soro about their plan to protect Iraqi Christians from violence and ensure religious liberty. The bishops expressed hope that one day the provisions of the Iraq Constitution protecting all religious minorities from discrimination and persecution could be implemented. In speaking with Manny [...]

Iraqi Bishops Ask for Help Protecting their Flock

The numbers are stark, and the situation is getting worse. Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there were 1.2 million Christians living there. Over 400,000 Christians have left the country since the war started. Many others have been kidnapped and killed; some have been crucified; a priest was beheaded, and an archbishop was kidnapped and [...]

Can Obama Use Iraq to Win the Catholic Vote?

► This column was updated with Maryknoll's response at 4:45pm, April 9, 2008. Their letter follows the original piece.   An editorial in the Jesuit's America magazine recently predicted that Sen. Barack Obama will profit by the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States. The moment the Holy Father denounces the war [...]

The Archbishop Vanishes

Speaking with Church leaders and lay Christians on the ground in the world's hot spots leaves a lasting impression. During a recent interview with Pakistani Bishop Theodore Lobo, I was reminded that Christians are called to a truly radical way of life -- a kind of forgiveness not shared by Muslims or Jews. Christians in [...]

Barack Obama’s Catholic Problem

In early January I wrote a column arguing that Barack Obama "will not win the Catholic vote." Although Obama has won eleven primaries in a row, his "Catholic problem" is emerging in voting patterns and early media skirmishes. Catholic-vote expert Steve Wagner predicted two months ago that Clinton would beat Obama among Catholics. Clinton's advantage, [...]

Nation’s Top Pro-Life Judicial Activist Speaks Out On John McCain

Manny Miranda is recognized as the leading national activist for conservative judicial appointments. He surprised people by endorsing Sen. John McCain for president, in spite of criticism of the Arizona senator's role in the "Gang of 14," a bipartisan effort to deal with the Senate backlog of Bush's judicial nominees. As a staffer in the [...]

Foreign Policy, Then and Now: A Conversation with Thomas Woods, Jr.

Brian Saint-Paul speaks with Dr. Thomas Woods Jr. about isolationism, non-interventionism, the foreign policy of the Founders, and how we got where we are today. ♦ ♦ ♦ Brian Saint-Paul: In the realm of foreign policy, what's the difference between isolationism and non-interventionism? The terms are often used interchangeably -- and incorrectly -- in the [...]

Bring the Troops Home

On the Feast of the Annunciation in 2003, Military Archbishop Edwin O'Brien wrote: "Long after the [Iraq] hostilities cease, the debate likely will continue as to the moral justification for the armed force recently initiated by the United States and its allies. It is to be hoped that all factors which have led to our [...]

Holding the Wolf by the Ears: Why We Must Stay in Iraq

Everyone has an opinion about Iraq and whether we should let go or hang on. But who is taking the longer view? The presidential election beckons. Where is the right leader to move us forward? Islamic extremists are not just guided by their history -- they are entrenched in it. They are still enraged over [...]’s Predictions for 2008 asked prominent Catholic leaders, writers, and commentators to offer their predictions for 2008. There were some surprises... 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 [...]

The Iraq Debate: Russell Shaw’s Closing Statement

This is the fourth of a four-part debate between Robert R. Reilly and Russell Shaw on the question, "Was the Iraq War just?"   Five quick comments: 1. My thanks to Bob Reilly for making my point: UN weapons inspectors were back in Iraq months before the U.S.-led invasion. That Saddam Hussein wasn't happy is [...]

The Iraq Debate: Robert R. Reilly’s Closing Statement

This is the fourth of a four-part debate between Robert R. Reilly and Russell Shaw on the question, "Was the Iraq War just?"   It simply will not do to demote the importance of enforcing treaties at the end of wars to some kind of adolescent "need to save face." After World War I, the [...]

The Iraq Debate: Robert Reilly’s First Response

This is the third of a four-part debate between Robert R. Reilly and Russell Shaw on the question, "Was the Iraq War just?" Russell Shaw is an eminently reasonable man, so I am not surprised that he acknowledges that the differences between our two positions are based not on principles but on the wisdom of [...]