Friday Free-for-All

Good Friday morning! A few links to get the day started: The school-reform debate gets serious: When one low-ranked school in Rhode Island couldn't agree on a plan for improvement, the school board sacked all 75 teachers at once. That's one way to get their attention... Woman live-tweets her experience taking RU-486 to abort her [...]

Reform of the Reform

  Since the beginning of his pontificate, it has been widely understood that Pope Benedict XVI is working on a "reform of the reform" of the Catholic liturgy. The pope's statements suggest that his intention is to clear up many of the distortions of Vatican II with regard to the liturgy, to combat widespread liturgical [...]

Obama Fails to Seize the Opportunity of His Big Night

President Barack Obama gave his first State of the Union address last night. With his popularity in a steady decline over the past six months, Obama needed his speech to rekindle the enthusiasm for his leadership that elected him in the first place. Thus far, there is no evidence to suggest he was successful. If [...]

Looking for a few good health care ideas

The Senate's health care reform bill is dead. So it goes. What next? Will Democrats attempt to pick off Olympia Snowe to restore their Senate supermajority? Unlikely, with moderate Dems uneasy and both liberals and moderates in the House spoiling for a fight. Will they go the "reconciliation route" and push through a scaled-down version [...]

CHA Ethicist Describes Health Care Critics As Addicts

The Catholic Health Association, readers will recall, recently insisted there was no “disagreement” between its position on abortion funding and the bishops' conference.  CHA had appeared to endorse the Senate version of the health care bill containing unprecedented federal funding for abortion but was forced to backtrack in response to criticism.   Now an article [...]

Friday Free-for-All

First Free-for-All of the new year! Let's see what 2010 has in store: Monsignor Guido Marini, the papal master of ceremonies, calls for a "reform of the reform" in the liturgy. The best and worst jobs in the country. In last place is...roustabout. Where do you fall on the list? Good news! Turns out you [...]

Tucker Tries to Fix Catholic Music

In the most recent edition of Dappled Things, Jeffrey Tucker -- a regular, lively InsideCatholic contributor and a must-read on all things related to Catholic liturgical music -- has a piece entitled simply "A Fix for Catholic Music." In it, he identifies the three "crucial" components he believes are missing in efforts to reform the [...]

The Health-Care Debate from Overseas

Knowing that I had spent the summer in England, a fellow law professor recently asked me whether "the Republicans" had hired me to advertise against the president's health-care plan. My response was, "No, but they could have." I would have done it for free. Watching the health-care debate from the other side of the Atlantic [...]

Obama Tries to Save Healthcare Reform… and His Presidency

With his popularity ratings plummeting and public resistance to his health-care reform proposals increasing, President Barack Obama spoke to Congress and a national television audience for 48 minutes last night. Though touted as his "health-care speech," the more important subtext was the future of Obama's presidency itself. He has let it be known that his [...]

The Problems with Government-Run Health Care

  As the White House backs away from the so-called public option in health-care reform, Catholic experts are hopeful that the proposed government control of the nation's medical care will be put aside. They argue that rejecting the public option will better serve a culture of life, maintain the present high quality of health care, [...]

A Workable Alternative to Government-Run Healthcare

The newly launched USCCB Web site on health care tackles the question: "Are the bishops promoting socialized medicine by advocating for universal access?" That's a good question, since the prospect of a government takeover of health care has created a growing chorus of complaints about the present bills before the Congress.The bishops' answer to the [...]

Why Are the Bishops Forcing the Issue of Health Care?

  If ever there were a time when Catholics should not trust the United States government, it is now. The president, his administration, and the congressional leadership are removing all the abortion restrictions put in place since Roe v. Wade. And yet, the bishops are backing a proposal to give the federal government complete control [...]

Roadblocks to Reform

  What's the biggest obstacle to positive reform in the Church? Reactionaries in the Roman Curia? Conservatives in the conference of bishops? The Code of Canon Law?   The correct answer is none of the above. The biggest obstacle to reform is the roadblock thrown in its way by self-styled reform groups themselves. By advocating [...]

Do the Nebraska Bishops Want Open Borders?

Early in the morning of December 12, 2006, 25 unmarked cars filled with federal agents pulled up in front of the Swift & Co. plant in Grand Island, Nebraska, to arrest illegal immigrants. "Operation Wagon Train" was part of a six-state effort to crack down on Swift, which was known to be employing undocumented workers [...]

August 1968: The Roots of the Liberal Coup

  "What Goldwater was to Reagan, McGovern was to Obama," New York Times writer Sam Tanenhaus wrote about the 2008 election, in reference to the two fathers of America's modern political movements. The first story, about the conservative ascendancy in the Republican Party, has been told. The second, covering the liberal ascendancy in the Democratic [...]

Losing Our Religion: The Crisis in Catholic Education

  Early in 2007, the Washington Post heralded the remarkable academic and financial turnaround of twelve inner-city parochial schools in Washington, D.C., operating as the Center City Consortium (CCC). But the hard-won triumph for the consortium's administrators and donors was short-lived: By late summer, eight of the CCC schools were on the block, part of [...]

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Economics

Joseph Pearce's Small Is Still Beautiful is one part commentary on and one part updated application of E. F. Schumacher's famous Small Is Beautiful. The constant reference to a book that many consider a minor classic is both a strength and a weakness of Pearce's own book. Imitating Schumacher, Pearce wants to return us to [...]

Illusions and Realities: The “Rich” and Tax Reform

The tax reform of 1981 was far less sweeping than tax reform in 1986 promises to be. Nonetheless, a top advisor to the U.S. Catholic bishops has said the 1981 tax law can "in no way" be characterized as fair. Monsignor George G. Higgins so advised the bishops in his regular column last spring in [...]