National Catholic Register

A Thomist’s Guide to the 2020 Election

For many well intentioned Catholics, determining whom to vote for in the upcoming presidential election is a difficult decision. The Church has no official, clear criteria to aid in the decision. Yet, the fact is that Rome, the highest authority in the Church, has provided the faithful with contemporary, official teaching concerning political decisions. Pope [...]

Pro-life leader Bernard Nathanson dead at 84

Bernard Nathanson, an obstetrician who led the charge for abortion rights before having a change of heart and becoming a staunch pro-life activist, has passed away at 84 after a battle with cancer. The National Catholic Register remembers his life and dramatic conversion: He often admitted that he and other abortion advocates in the 1960s [...]

The case for ugliness

Simcha Fisher is popping up everywhere these days. In addition to her personal blog and her contributions here and at Faith & Family, she'll now be blogging at the National Catholic Register as well -- a lucky thing for those of us who think the world can always use more Simcha. And her first post [...]

May we use deception to fight abortion?

Over the past week, there has been a lot of disagreement in the Catholic blogosphere about the tactics pro-life group Live Action used to obtain sting videos of Planned Parenthood. The organization, run by student activist Lila Rose, released its first video showing a Planned Parenthood staffer who appears to give aide and advice to a sex [...]

Is It Time to Heckle the Driver?

We use so many metaphors for the Church: the Mystical Body of Christ, the People of God, the Ark of Salvation, the Bride of Christ. It's all too easy for these vivid, poetic images to vanish from our minds, or ring bitterly hollow, when our confidence is shaken a bit by crises in our lives [...]

Did the Vatican encourage Irish bishops not to report sexual abuse?

You might have seen the New York Times article yesterday that made a serious claim about the Vatican's response to the abuse scandal in Ireland -- namely, according to its original title, that it "warned bishops not to report child abuse." That incendiary title seems to have been changed today, but the charge is largely [...]

The Kicanas Problem

When the Catholic bishops meet in Baltimore this week, they will elect the next president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Usually, the chatter among Catholic punditry about who will be elected is minimal, given the longstanding tradition of elevating the vice president to the president's job. This year is different: Bishop [...]

Friday Free-for-All: November 12

Time for a few Friday morning links: Yesterday the pope released Verbum Domini, an apostolic exhortation on Sacred Scripture. It's a door-stop of a text -- the 208-page PDF can be read here, or you can read excerpts via Zenit here. A Christian woman has been sentenced to death in Pakistan for "blasphemy." Next week [...]

Further Adventures in Campaign Advertising

Well, this is charming: The ad is the brainchild of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, and Matthew Archbold at the National Catholic Register calls it "the most anti-Catholic political ad you'll ever see." Could be... but frankly I find it so confusing as a piece of advertising that I'm not sure it even rises to that [...]

Friday Free-for-All: September 24

Time for a few links to get the day rolling:  Teresa Lewis was the first woman put to death in Virginia in almost 100 years today. At the National Catholic Register, Danielle Bean says her case doesn't fit the Catechism's guidelines of when the death penalty is acceptable. What do people think of the GOP's [...]

“Do Not Trouble Deaf Heaven With Your Bootless Cries”

Christopher Hitchens, it seems, is dying of cancer. And he asks, in an article penned for October's Vanity Fair, that you do not pray for him. This is probably not news to many of you, if not most. I do not follow the man's career, and am in fact only vaguely aware of him as [...]

The Online Church

Over at the National Catholic Register, Matt Warner looks at a study of how churches (of all denominations) and their members use social media. A few of the findings: 61% of churches use social media. 62% of churches post homilies/sermons to a website as text or audio (podcast).  28% of church pastors have a blog.  [...]

Reverend Kevin Gray and Me

The sordid story of Rev. Kevin Gray -- the Waterbury priest charged with stealing more than a million dollars from his parish to pay for a secret life of homosexual debauchery in New York -- is a scandal to Catholics and an opportunity for anti-Catholics. But the faithful must keep both the scandal and Connecticut's [...]

Friday Free-for-All

Friday is finally here, along with this morning's link round-up:   House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke at a conference yesterday where she said she wants Catholics to "play a very major role" in immigration reform. Bill Maher on Christianity: "The problem with faith ... is it kind of screws up your priorities. Your priorities shouldn’t be [...]

You May Kiss the Bridey

  My former editor at the National Catholic Register, Tom Hoopes, has done me a courtesy rarely afforded tradition-minded Catholics: He has stooped to address my arguments, instead of airily dismissing them as the sad obsessions of half-wits, bag ladies, and yellow-eyed anti-Semites with dirty fingernails. Sure, he did so in a blog post which [...]

‘The Mass is not a flag’

Our good friend Tom Hoopes of the National Catholic Register enjoyed John Zmirak's column on the Traditional Latin Mass from a couple of weeks back, calling it "hilarious, copiously linked to supporting material, clever"...and also wrong. John argued that, while the form of the Mass itself may be composed of changeable externals, "Inessential things have [...]

Please Allow Me to Humiliate You

We all know the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector in the Temple (Lk 18:9-14). "But then the tax collector, aware of his own deep humility, looked upon the Pharisee and said: Lord, I thank thee that I am not such as this man, who fasts and prays and gives alms unto the [...]

Why Catholics Will Not Get Abortion Out of the Health Care Bill

    The Congress and the White House have little to fear from the bishops' official statements opposing the abortion provisions in the health care bill. Unlike with President Barack Obama's appearance at Notre Dame, there is no chorus of bishops' voices rising in protest against the bill; most of the Catholics in Congress support [...]

President Obama Meets with Catholic Journalists

Yesterday, President Obama held a 45-minute meeting in the Roosevelt Room at the White House with some members of the Catholic press. According to the Catholic News Service, those present included writers from National Catholic Reporter, America, Commonweal, Catholic Digest, Vatican Radio,as well as a (non-Catholic)religion writer from the Washington Post. Rev. Owen Kearns was [...]

Blood from a Stone

  This has been a tough month for Catholics. I'm keenly aware of the time, because I have been straining at the leash wanting to write about the Legionaries of Christ. In lieu of articles, I've subjected my friends on the phone to fully formed paragraphs of commentary till they cried uncle -- and devoured [...]

The Dark Backward: Demons in the Real World

"The lunatic is on the grass."   It was an hour before midnight. Ten-year-old James was in his bedroom, alone, when he was suddenly gripped by terror. A Pink Floyd song rang out through the empty room. The radio turned on by itself.   "The lunatic is on the grass. The lunatic is in the [...]

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