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...

As anticipated, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have completed an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017,” the Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), which was passed by the House of Representatives. The conclusion is that the “Senate bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026 relative to the number under current law,” which is “slightly fewer than the increase in the number of uninsured estimated for the House-passed legislation.” Specifically, by “2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.” More…





A Bishop’s Concern About the Senate’s Healthcare Proposal

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has weighed in with some remarks, preliminary to more detailed comments to follow. And he has pulled no punches, pointing out that it “is precisely the detrimental impact on the poor and vulnerable that makes the Senate draft unacceptable as written.” More...








Vatican II, Freedom of Religion, and the Senate Budget Committee

Dignitatis Humanae, Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Freedom, declared “that the human person has a right to religious freedom,” and that this “freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.” (Sec. 2) Since this “right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself,” the “right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.” (Sec. 2) More...




Should Catholics Follow the Pope on Climate Change?

President Trump once tweeted that the “concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” One year and one month later he tweeted that global “warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!” It is not surprising, therefore, that he was the lone holdout in the latest G7 summit on the issue of climate change, where he “refused to endorse a global climate change accord, saying he needed more time to decide.” More...


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The icon of St. Joseph the Worker is by Daniel Nichols. Editor: Jack Quirk. Please go like us on Facebook here Join the discussion on Catholic social teaching here.