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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama

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The official website of Newman’s Cause responds to John Cornwell’s effort to debunk the miracle that will lead to the cardinal’s beatification in September.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is questioning the legality of Channel 4’s decision to broadcast an advertisement promoting abortion, the first of its kind in Britain.

Belgium’s Catholic bishops have asked sexual abuse victims for pardon in a pastoral letter issued after their ad limina visit to Rome (full text in French).

An Orthodox archbishop in Cyprus has warned critics of the Pope’s visit to the island on June 4 that they are placing themselves outside the Church.

Benedict XVI reflected on his trip to Portugal at his general audience yesterday (video, full text of remarks in English).

Pope Benedict will visit the Don Orione Centre in Rome to bless a statue of the Virgin “Salus populi romani” on June 24.

A survey finds that 66 per cent of Polish Catholics pray for the intercession of Pope John Paul II.

Jon Kraushar considers what President Barack Obama could learn from John Paul II.

Fr Ray Blake defends the “pre-emptive use” of the new English translation of the Mass.

Andrew Brown compares and contrasts Ireland’s two most prominent Catholic leaders: Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Cardinal Seán Brady.

And the people of Flint, Michigan, remember a feisty nun known as “Sister Bingo“.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster described Oscar Romero as “a preacher of astonishing clarity and power” during a Mass marking the 30th anniversary of his murder yesterday.

More resignations are expected to follow that of Bishop John Magee of Cloyne.

Pope Benedict dedicated yesterday’s general audience to St Albert the Great (video).

President Barack Obama signed a controversial executive order on abortion yesterday.

Ross Douthat expresses sympathy for the much-criticised pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak.

Archbishop Bernard Longley has formally welcomed the Pope’s visit to the Archdiocese of Birmingham in September.

Forbes reports on billionaire Catholic Albert Gubay’s “pact with God“.

And Rocco Palmo of Whispers in the Loggia will be contributing regularly to Brooklyn diocese’s cable station.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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John Paul II’s Cause has been delayed by a Vatican medical commission’s decision not to recognise an alleged miracle attributed to the late pontiff, the Rome daily La Repubblica has claimed.

Ruth Gledhill reports on the High Court challenge by the Catholic Care adoption agency.

William Crawley rounds up reports on the “militant atheist” found guilty of religious harassment at Liverpool Crown Court.

A Vatican chorister has been sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting.

Secular campaigners have handed in a petition to 10 Downing Street protesting Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain.

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor has said she would “help Jesus to burn down the Vatican“.

The Vatican is to send investigators to a German school facing allegations of sexual abuse by two of its priests.

The Catholic Bart Stupak and 11 Democratic allies in the US House of Representatives are prepared to block President Obama’s healthcare plan over abortion.

Malaysian officials have decided not to prosecute two Muslim reporters who deceived a Catholic church and received Holy Communion.

John Allen, inventor of the phrase “Taliban Catholicism”, goes in search of “Taliban Orthodoxy“.

USA Today profiles “pop culture priest” Fr James Martin SJ.

And comedian Frank Skinner says that, as a Catholic, he welcomes a bit of persecution.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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The bishops of El Salvador are pressing Pope Benedict XVI to canonise Oscar Romero.

The Anglo-Catholic blog has published the full text of the Traditional Anglican Communion’s 2007 petition to the Holy See.

Terry Sanderson urges secularists to “man the barricades” following the defeat of the Government over the Equality Bill.

Pianist Stephen Hough ponders the revelation that Pope John Paul II mortified himself with a whip.

The chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus has accused President Obama of being “obsessed with promoting abortion”.

And Kevin Clarke writes about the latest twist in the saga of the Apostolic Visitation of US women religious.

Written by Luke Coppen

January 27, 2010 at 11:54 am

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Benedict XVI is expected to declare John Paul II Venerable on Saturday.

Blessed Mary MacKillop, whose canonisation is also expected to be announced tomorrow, is hailed as the “patron saint of troublemakers”.

Lawmakers have voted to liberalise Spain’s abortion laws, despite strong opposition from the Church.

Author Philip Pullman says he is “very disappointed” by claims that Catholics prevented the translation of the whole His Dark Materials trilogy to the silver screen.

The Vatican explains why former archbishop Emmanuel Milingo is no longer a priest.

Zenit interviews Cardinal Cordes, the Vatican’s “charity crusader”.

Egypt’s Muslims denounce the Swiss minaret vote but prevent Copts from building churches.

Theo Hobson argues that faith schools are damaging religious identity.

Cranmer decodes our political leaders’ Christmas cards.

The Catholic News Service reflects on Pope Benedict’s momentous year.

Fr James Schall SJ applauds President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize address.

A German Shepherd is to guard Pope Benedict’s home in Bavaria.

And Andrew M Brown urges you to build your own Nativity stable.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Pope Benedict XVI returned to the theme of the “dictatorship of relativism” at his general audience yesterday. The Catholic News Service sums up his thoughts.

Barack Obama’s address to the Muslim world is voted the top religion story of 2009.

A study suggests that a third of the world’s nations suppress religious believers.

The US bishops write to the Senate to express their latest concerns about heathcare reform proposals.

The Vatican probe into the Legion of Christ will conclude in March.

A priest who campaigns against child abuse praises Pope Benedict for his efforts to combat priestly paedophilia.

Basque priests reportedly reject the Pope’s choice as the new Bishop of San Sebastian.

Barrister Neil Addison ponders the consequences for church schools of the JFS ruling.

George Pitcher explains why he’s not worried about Britain’s “lost Christians”.

Andrew Brown reflects on the apparent “generational decline” in religious faith in Britain.

The creator of a ballet featuring a pope who strangles a nun with rosary beads criticises the BBC for refusing to screen it.

The new Archbishop of Milwaukee takes on “Young Catholics for Choice”.

John Allen wonders why Catholics aren’t denouncing Uganda’s draconian anti- gay bill.

Philip Jenkins applauds Allen’s new book, The Future Church.

Headline Bistro profiles Dietrich von Hildebrand, a “knight for truth in a relativistic world”.

And AP explains where you can buy the best “Jesus junk” this Christmas.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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John Allen highlights the forceful environmental message in Pope Benedict’s World Peace Day message.

The Catholic News Service looks at the gulf between rich and poor countries at the Copenhagen climate summit.

Anna Arco invites a canon lawyer to interpret the new Motu Proprio, Omnium in mentum.

Canonist Dr Edward Peters offers another take on the document, as does Fr Tim Finigan.

Symon Hill argues that Christians should welcome the judgment against a Christian registrar who refused to perform civil partnership ceremonies.

SPUC criticises the Irish supreme court ruling on the status of human embryos.

Commonweal considers the “potentially dramatic consequences” of Anglicanorum coetibus.

Fr Michael Monshau, OP, professor of liturgy, homiletics, and spirituality at the Angelicum, suggests that good preaching is a vital part of the Anglo-Catholic patrimony.

Fr John Hunwicke SCC wonders where Anglicanorum coetibus leaves Apostolicae Curae.

Michael Czerny SJ recalls an HIV-postive Kenyan mother’s response to the encyclical Caritas in Veritate.

WaPo reports on Georgetown University’s efforts to be both authentically Catholic and welcoming to gay students.

And Mirror of Justice debates the concept of Just War in the wake of President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

Obama’s Nobel speech was theologically dubious, says critic

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James Kushiner of Touchstone magazine finds Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech theologically troubling.

In particular, he’s disturbed by the President’s claim that “we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected”.

He writes:

Clever, this. Yes, no one believes human nature is perfect. But can it be perfected? He’s not saying it can be. He’s saying the general human condition can be perfected. So who’s going to do that?

The only way to do this is for some arrangement of human affairs and institutions that in the aggregate allows for a perfection of condition in which imperfect human beings can live without spoiling that condition. And the only way for such a condition to be arranged is for people who are specially gifted to make those arrangements on the behalf of the imperfect, people who see and understand the complexity of the issues, wiser men whom we can trust. Mark well: “The human condition can be perfected.” If that isn’t a utopian dream, I don’t know what is. Those who disagree are obstacles to utopia and will be treated as they have been in the past.

This is an elitism that leads not to the abolition of war by a man of peace, but to the abolition of Man, which violates the Golden Rule, to put it mildly.

Written by Luke Coppen

December 14, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Obama, John Paul II and the duty of humanitarian intervention

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President Barack Obama listens to remarks during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in the Main Hall of Oslo City Hall in Oslo (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Many people have already commented on the theological content of Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

I was struck by this section, which seems to echo an idea of John Paul II (who was given a nod elsewhere in the speech):

I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later. That is why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace.

In the 1990s John Paul II argued that the international community had a “duty” of “humanitarian intervention”.

In an address to the International Nutrition Conference in 1992 he said:

[T]he idea is maturing within the international community that humanitarian action, far from being the right of the strongest, must be inspired by the conviction that intervention, or even interference when objective situations require it, is a response to a moral obligation to come to the aid of individuals, peoples or ethnic groups whose fundamental right to nutrition has been denied to the point of threatening their existence.

He returned to this point in his World Day of Peace message in the year 2000 he said:

In every case, in the face of such tragic and complex situations and contrary to all alleged ‘reasons’ of war, there is a need to affirm the preeminent value of humanitarian law and the consequent duty to guarantee the right to humanitarian aid to suffering civilians and refugees.

The recognition of these rights and their effective implementation must not be allowed to depend on the interests of any of the parties in conflict. On the contrary, there is a duty to identify all the means, institutional or otherwise, which can best serve in a practical way to meet humanitarian objectives. The moral and political legitimacy of these rights is in fact based on the principle that the good of the human person comes before all else and stands above all human institutions.

Written by Luke Coppen

December 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm

L’Osservatore: Obama prize ‘premature’

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In an interesting twist, the Vatican’s daily newspaper has criticised the decision to give the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama.

L’Osservatore Romano, which caused consternation across the Atlantic earlier this year with a series of pro-Obama articles, said the award was “premature”.

It said:

Obama ought to recall that in 1979 he was preceded by Mother Teresa, who had the courage to state in her acceptance speech that the harshest war with the greatest number of ‘fallen’ is the practice of abortion, legalised and facilitated as well by the international structures.

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 13, 2009 at 6:59 am

Posted in politics

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