And so the Holy Father was asked for his view about President Trump’s recent suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This is getting to be a common occurrence: Pope Francis takes questions from reporters in flight, a controversial question is proffered, the pope answers said question, and the answer itself makes news.


There are certain partisans who wish that he would not speak so extemporaneously, and it cannot be denied that remarks to reporters are far more subject to subsequent pundit manipulation than words in an encyclical. On the other hand, the words of encyclicals don’t get quite the media dispersal that are afforded direct comments in front of reporters. Thus we observe people, including many Catholics, who think that Pope Francis represents some radical departure from Church teaching, when, in fact, the things that he says, both in official writings and on airplanes, are completely rooted in the Catholic teaching that preceded him. 

Racism Is Actually Really Bad (in Case You Were Wondering)

At first it seemed there would be nothing to write regarding the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia; that there would be little approaching insightful commentary to be offered. The death of Heather Heyer was plainly an unmitigated tragedy; the actions of the driver who caused her death were clearly of sufficient recklessness to constitute manslaughter, if not murder; and there is no moral high ground to be seriously claimed by neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, white nationalists, or other white supremacists. More...




How Should a Catholic Vote After All?

We should be chary of trying to enlist God on behalf of our partisan politics. This used to be common sense. But nowadays not everyone is restrained by such reticence. In recent years it has become common to hear the assertion that Catholics are bound to vote for the most anti-abortion candidate available between the two major parties. I don’t say the most pro-life candidate available, because similar claims aren’t generally made about other forms of illegitimate killing. 

Now that approach would make the voting decision for a Catholic a simple one if, in fact, it was a position with magisterial support. But it is not. More…



The Case for National Gratitude
Amir Azarvan

America is a relatively free and prosperous land.  That we’re citizens of this country - and not of one in which such qualities are less manifest – ought to produce in us a sense of gratitude.  But whether we’re also justified in displaying national pride is a question that is often over-looked, and one that is particularly relevant to America’s Christian majority (as is the question of whether the struggle for independence from Britain was a direct violation of Romans 13:1-7 – but that’s for another discussion).  What does our faith teach us about pride?  Can we infer God’s position on pride, according to the Scriptures? More...


Out of Many Hearts, Thoughts May Be Revealed: a Reflection on the Spadaro Figueroa Article in La Civilta Cattolica

During the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, Simeon famously said to Mary, “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:35) The sword that pierced the heart of the Mother of God is often depicted in paintings of the Blessed Mother, reminding us of the sorrows she endured in the Passion of her Son.


But why was it necessary for Mary to endure such suffering? Simeon gave one answer. It was so that “out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” More...





Charlie Gard and the Usurpation of the Family 

As of this writing, the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London is reconsidering its decision to turn off the life support of 11-month-old Charlie Gard, and will seek a court order “to decide whether it is in the baby’s interests to be given an experimental drug.” Charlie “has a rare and debilitating genetic condition that has no cure, and the hospital had” previously “said that letting him die was the only humane option to end his potential pain and suffering.” The hospital had “won a series of court rulings, most recently last week, authorizing it to withdraw life support.”  More... 





Implementing Rerum Novarum in Seattle


Three years ago, Seattle raised its local minimum wage to $15 per hour. Under the plan, employers with more than 500 employees who do not provide them with health insurance would have to reach $15 per hour level by this year. Employers with more than 500 employees who do provide health insurance would have until 2018. The new minimum would “be phased in through 2021 for smaller employers.” Tips would count toward the required minimum at first, but that would be “phased out over time.” More...


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