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Post date: 10/03/2019
In 2014, Elaine and Jonathan found themselves at a dead end. Having journeyed through the legal system, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear their court case. Elaine and her husband, Jonathan, owned a small business, Elane Photography. In 2006, Elaine was asked by Vanessa Willock to photograph a “commitment ceremony” between her and...
Post date: 10/03/2019
The eminent sociologist Peter Rossi was a world-class punster whose scholarly accomplishments fed a sometimes-whimsical view of the human condition – in which, Rossi memorably observed, “there are many ironies in the fire.” That’s certainly true of the interaction between Catholicism and cultural, social, and political modernity over the last 250...
Post date: 10/03/2019
The last couple of months I’ve written about racism. I would like to touch on the subject once more because my effort has been, as with several of my other columns recently, to show where we agree as Americans. But the problem with the question of racism is that while we almost universally agree that racism is bad, we don’t agree about when we can...
Post date: 10/03/2019
Should doctors and nurses be forced to take part in procedures that violate their conscience? It’s a timely question. New federal regulations to enforce existing conscience protection laws are being challenged in federal courts. This question is the subject of a public opinion poll commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The...
Post date: 09/20/2019
If it weren’t already obvious enough, Planned Parenthood again tipped its hand in recent weeks to reveal its true character: an organization hell-bent on the killing of unborn children, willing to sacrifice any person or program that challenges their relentless focus on abortion. Two sets of recent headlines, both in the national news, have...
Post date: 09/20/2019
Consider this sequence of events, familiar to some but evidently not to others: March 2013: Prior to any credible reports of misbehavior being made against Cardinal George Pell, police in Australia’s state of Victoria launch “Operation Tethering,” a sting aimed at the former archbishop of Melbourne (who by this time is prefect of the Vatican...
Post date: 09/20/2019
“We ate our honey. We ate a lot. Now we have no honey in our honey pot.” With those 17 words, averaging just three letters in length, Jan and Stan Berenstain launched their legendary book series. They were using the methods Dr. Seuss had coached them on: rhyme, repetition, short sentences. As head of Random House’s new publishing house for...
Post date: 09/20/2019
We have now begun the four-and-a-half month span – between the solemnities of the Assumption (Aug. 15) and Mary, Mother of God (Jan. 1) – into which all the holy days of obligation (in most U.S. dioceses) are now compressed. Canon law sets the number at 10, but it allows episcopal conferences to adjust the number. The Vatican can overrule them,...
Post date: 09/09/2019
Last month I started to write about racism and the difficulty that arises as we seek common ground on the matter. I’ll never forget the day I was in first grade and an older boy ran up to me on the playground during recess and yelled, “Spick, go home.” For readers who don’t know, that’s a racial slur. I didn’t know that at the time. I was just six...
Post date: 09/09/2019
In 1969, the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC) was formed. According to one historical account, it entered the public policy scene “with a yawn.” At the time, it was unclear what a Catholic Conference was, what it was intended to accomplish, who its leadership would be, and what, if any, influence it would ultimately have on policy and politics...

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