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A Press Release From America’s Venerated Institutions

“Is it accurate that Coach Paterno quickly said to you, ‘I don’t want to hear about any of that kind of stuff, I have a football season to worry about?’” the man’s lawyer asked him in 2014.

“Specifically. Yes . . . I was shocked, disappointed, offended. I was insulted. . . I said, is that all you’re going to do? You’re not going to do anything else?”

Paterno, the man testified, just walked away.

A (Long) Musing On The New Contraception Rule

There’s been a long and somewhat intense discussion going on in the comments over at Kyle’s sub-blog about the Obama administration’s rule requiring Catholic institutions to provide coverage for contraception in their health care plans. There are a number of interesting threads I’d like to pull out here and state explicitly in a post that’s…

Some clarifications and further thoughts on new atheism and the Church

I’ve gotten some good pushback on my new atheist post, and probably – quite likely even – my thoughts on the matter were not quite clear enough going in to craft as cogent a piece as I would have liked. To be clear: the victims of sexual abuse in these cases are indeed victims of…

New atheism and the cult of victimhood

[updated] ‘Odious as the physical abuse of children by priests undoubtedly is, I suspect that it may do them less lasting damage than the mental abuse of bringing them up Catholic in the first place.’ ~ Richard Dawkins Two people have emailed me this article by Brendan O’Neill today. I’m glad they did, too, because…

Andrew Sullivan spins and spins

In yet another misleading and emotionally driven post, Andrew Sullivan attempts to spin the decision to suspend the canonical trial of Father Lawrence Murphy into a cover-up by then Cardinal Ratzinger. This despite the fact the trial was suspended only when it was learned that the priest was nearing death and that a trial would…

Surely only theocons would dare support Benedict

“[T]his basic truth remains: the moral authority of Catholic church’s central authority is over. The only two options are denial and defensive p.r. (the current knee-jerk response) or open repentance and total transparency, led from the top. As average Catholics, this seems to me something that we have to try and insist upon. Because once…

A brief defense of the Pope

[updated] “I read the coverage of the Pope every day in the newspapers and listen to the BBC news and as a Catholic and a journalist I feel like crying out pathetically: “This is not fair!” And it isn’t fair, or reasonable. Intelligent journalists who are normally capable of mental subtlety and of coping with…

gay marriage and the catholic church in maine

[updated] Maine proponents of gay marriage rights woke to defeat today, which is a shame and another signal that the country is still bitterly divided on this issue.  The New York Times reports: “The Catholic Church was a leading supporter of the repeal campaign, even asking parishes to pass a second collection plate at Sunday mass…

Tradition and Ideology

J.L. Wall, writing in response to Scott’s treatise on 21st Century Conservatism, writes: There’s a danger in a self-conscious tradition, and a tradition in which it’s acceptable to toss off a limb for the sake of the whole — traditions, in addition to being billion-headed rabbis (not letting that analogy go, folks), are like starfish:…

Of Maus and Men

Last night, which happened to be International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I attended a lecture by Pulitzer prize winning comic book artist (or graphic novelist) Art Spiegelman.  It was supposed to be a talk on tolerance and art, but he self-deprecatingly waved away these weighty subjects.  “Everything I know I learned from comic books,” he said. …