The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a summation of their position regarding the HHS Mandate yesterday. The position paper dispels any rumors, reported in some media outlets, that the Catholic Bishops of the United States are weakening in their resolve to resist the mandate.
The summation provided by the USCCB is a succinct summary of their concerns that is well worth reading. The document makes it clear, contrary to memes promulgated by the Obama Administration and repeated throughout the mainstream media, that the Bishop’s resistance to the mandate is not an attempt to restrict access to contraception or seek legal restrictions in regards to its use. Nor is the Church forcing government to comply with their demands (in fact, it is an agency of the Federal government that is compelling the Church to act contrary to its beliefs and practices) or an example of the resistance of the Church to a comprehensive health care strategy for all Americans...
Is America anti-Catholic? Well, the precedent set at its founding and beyond sure say so. Father Steve Grunow explores the history of anti-Catholic sentiments in the U.S. and where it leaves us today, on the Word on Fire blog.
In a February 24th article in the Huffington Post, professional provocateur Larry Doyle alleged that the Catholic faith of presidential aspirant Rick Santorum was a cannibalistic Jesus-eating cult and tactical arm of NAMBLA. Further, Santorum, like all Catholics, “takes orders from the pope” and as such if he was to win the presidential election “our real president will be Benedict XVI.”
Doyle’s strategic move to garner attention for himself and the Huffington Post worked quite well, as a firestorm of controversy was almost immediately sparked. He later responded to outraged readers with a chastening correction for all those who had, it seemed, made the mistake of taking his words literally. The piece had been intended as a satire. The anti-Catholic tropes that Doyle had employed should have been interpreted as the equivalent of Jonathon Swift's essay on the proper approach of the British Empire to the Irish Famine of 1729. I guess that interpreted as a satire, Doyle's commentary was actually intended as calling out the anti-Catholicism of Santorum's detractors. Go figure!
How could the Church’s supporters have been so dim to not understand Doyle’s intentions when they read into his screed the associations used for centuries by the Church’s detractors to marginalize and impugn the Catholic Faith? Maybe they were just numb after years of enduring the real experience of anti-Catholicism and could very well identify expressions of the longstanding ambivalence of American culture in regards to the Catholic Church. They weren't as dim as some might have thought, and had good reason to be concerned.
The history of anti-Catholicism in relation to the American experience is one of the most under-examined cultural dynamics in the United States. Perhaps the worst case scenario in this regard happened across two days in August of 1834. An Ursuline Convent in Charlestown Massachusetts was placed under siege, and then sacked and burned to the ground in what was remembered by some as one of the most egregious examples of anti-Catholicism in our country's history...
Notre Dame Professor of Law and Theology and Commonweal Magazine contributor Dr. Cathleen Kaveny recently called Father Barron and the "New Evangelization" to task in her post on the "dotCommonweal" blog. Today, Rozann Carter addresses her concerns with a few statistics and a strategy for the future.
On February 20th, Notre Dame professor of Law and Theology and regular contributor to Commonweal Magazine, Dr. Cathleen Kaveny, posted on the dotCommonweal blog. In her post, she linked to a video clip from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show personality, Jon Stewart, and contrasted his assertions and accusations against the Catholic Church amidst the aftermath of the HHS Mandate with a clip from Father Barron on the issue. Asserting that the Church should be positioned to counter “Stewart’s take among young people,” Kaveny’s subsequent statements implied that Cardinal Dolan and Father Barron’s efforts were sermons geared toward an inconsequential choir, “heremetically sealed” from the culture. The post’s title revealed Kaveny’s position and tone, “So, how’s that ‘New Evangelization’ goin’ for ya?”
Speaking as a Catholic young woman (and fellow Domer) directly involved in the New Evangelization, “With all due respect, Professor Kaveny, I am glad you asked. Pretty good so far”...