religious freedom

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 [...]

Will the Blaine Amendments Fall at Last?

Imagine there was a program to help fund alternative schooling including religious schooling, and even the costs of homeschooling, that was not under the control of the U.S. Congress. Not possible, right? Wrong! I was at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday for oral arguments in the landmark case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. [...]

The Urgency of Religious Freedom

The Religious Freedom Institute honored Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., at its annual dinner, November 9, for his decades-long commitment to religious liberty. The following is adapted from his remarks. As I was getting ready for tonight, I remembered a line from the Israeli peace negotiator who said that pessimists are simply optimists [...]

Meriam Ibrahim and Contemporary Liberalism

On Thursday, July 31, the United States welcomed Meriam Ibrahim, refugee from Sudan, into our country. This story, as others regarding the treatment of Christians overseas, was under-covered by the media.  However, in a sort of carefully subdued and vague way, it was celebrated by freedom loving Americans of all political loyalties. Not wanting this [...]

Obama’s “Right to Worship” Ushers in New State Religion

The constitutions or laws of many nations provide for what is called “religious liberty.” In practice, this liberty is under severe restrictions in numerous countries, if it exists at all. The fact is that no one can really talk about religious freedom without examining what the “religion” holds. Grace builds on nature but does not [...]

“Same-Sex” Marriage Legislation: What’s at Stake?

At the beginning of the New Year, 2013, a law is being proposed in the General Assembly to change the legal definition of marriage in Illinois to accommodate those of the same sex who wish to “marry” one another.  In this discussion, the Church will be portrayed as “anti-gay,” which is a difficult position to [...]

The Latest Homosexualist Assault on the Catholic Church and the Need for a Counter-Offensive

Franciscan University of Steubenville, where I have been a long-time faculty member, recently found itself again in the national news involving the culture wars—as it was during the summer when an aggressive atheist organization pressured the City of Steubenville, Ohio to remove a depiction of the University’s chapel from its logo—when a group of its [...]

Barack Obama, Władysław Gomułka and the Attack on the Catholic Church

This July at a conference at Mundelein Seminary I heard Cardinal George state that the Church is in a more perilous position in this country then it has ever been. In February he said the Church is being despoiled of her institutions and that the new HHS mandate is nothing short of a demand for [...]

The Urgency of Rebuilding a Culture of Religious Freedom

If we want a culture of religious freedom, we need to begin it here, today, now. We live it by giving ourselves wholeheartedly to God with passion and joy, confidence and courage; and by holding nothing back. God will take care of the rest. Adapted from remarks delivered yesterday at the Napa Institute’s 2012 annual [...]

Burke’s Wise Counsel on Religious Liberty and Freedom

Edmund Burke, the eighteenth-century British statesman, has long been a popular figure for political conservatives to cite. But his views on religion get relatively little attention. This is a shame, because Burke has a lot to offer those concerned about matters of religion, morality, and politics in contemporary American life.

Authority and Its Discontents

The Church’s response to the ObamaCare Mandate calls to mind this journal’s original name, Catholicism in Crisis. Today the Church confronts a crisis – “an invasion of our religious freedom,” Donald Cardinal Wuerl calls it -- and the outcome is far from certain. The Mandate is only one in a flood of attacks that will [...]

Why Religious Freedom?

When the Witherspoon Institute’s task force on religious freedom released its monograph, Religious Freedom: Why Now?, earlier this month, the answer to the question in the title seemed obvious.  The controversy occasioned by the Obama Administration’s mandate that all health plans pay the cost of contraception was in the front of the news, and the [...]

A Rally Without Faith

"God if you're there, we're here in Washington, come down now," atheist Comedian Eddie Izzard shouted mockingly during Saturday's Rally for Reason. "If you're there, this is a pretty good time to show up. I'm sure folks here would love it." "He never comes down," Izzard added with a laugh before launching nearly an hour [...]

Religious Freedom: It’s not just Pakistan and China

Thirty-some years ago, I spent a fair amount of time on religious freedom issues: which meant, in those simpler days, trying to pry Lithuanian priests and nuns out of Perm Camp 36 and other GULAG islands. Had you told me in 1982 that one of my “clients,” the Jesuit Sigitas Tamkevicius, would be archbishop ofKaunasin [...]

Religious Freedom and the Triumph of the Therapeutic

Religious-freedom infringement occurs quite a bit in American legal practice, and it makes sense that it does; for, those in charge of securing the common good of the community, as well as the rights of individuals, have the right and obligation to ban practices that are a direct and serious threat to it.

Victory for Rights of Catholic Organizations

Only a week after Catholics nationwide completed a campaign protesting the Obama administration’s violation of the religious liberty of Catholic institutions, the Supreme Court let stand a key federal ruling that upholds the rights of religious employers. The national protest, encouraged by parish bulletin inserts from the U.S. bishops' conference and appeals from at least [...]

9/11, Benedict XVI and Regensburg

In the flood of commentary surrounding the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I found but one reference to a related anniversary of considerable importance: the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg Lecture. That lecture, given the day after the fifth anniversary of 9/11 at the pope’s old university in Germany, identified the two key challenges [...]

Faith of Our Fathers

  In 1776, at the time of the Declaration of Independence, there were no more than twenty-five thousand Catholics in all of the thirteen colonies, mostly located in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York -- 1 percent of the two-and-a-half-million total population. There were only twenty-three priests in all, and the next highest authority was the [...]

Clarifying ‘Double Effect’

The recent controversy over the termination of a pregnancy at Phoenix's St. Joseph's Hospital, which Phoenix bishop Thomas Olmsted determined to have been a direct abortion and thus a grave moral evil, has generated a secondary controversy over the meaning of the Church's traditional moral principle of "double effect." Some have argued -- mistakenly, in [...]

Pope Benedict makes himself even more popular abroad

Pope Benedict addressed a gathering of diplomats to the Holy See yesterday, urging them to encourage religious freedom in their home countries: The Pope asked the representatives of 178 countries, as well as of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the European Community and the Knights of Malta, to examine how well their own countries respected the [...]

A New Knighthood

The world is full of talented failures -- people who either didn't live up to their abilities, or who did, but in a way that diminished their humanity and their character. God made us to be better than that. And our nation and our Church need His people to be better than that. Scripture tells [...]

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