Catholic America has moved
Catholic America is moving to a new format and a new page. Follow Anthony Stevens-Arroyo at his new online home, here.
Go to washingtonpost.com/onfaith for the latest religion news and commentary from around the world.Continue reading this post »
Will all popes after Benedict XVI abdicate?
How does one explain why the conservative Pope Benedict XVI finishes his papacy with an almost radically liberal act of abdication, something not done for more than 600 years? Without dismissing politics entirely, I would observe that the Roman Catholic Church has endured for millennia partly because it can subordinate ideological issues to make paramount the survival of the church. Pope Benedict XVI, I believe, announced his retirement from the papacy for the good of Catholicism.Continue reading this post »
Immigration as redemption for U.S. bishops
Washington’s 2013 effort at comprehensive immigration reform offers a chance at redemption to the United States bishops.
For what I judge all too long a time, the USCCB and its member bishops have projected opposition to the Obama presidency. Witness their rejection to the Affordable Care Act. Health care for all had been a celebrated cause of America’s Catholic bishops since the last century. But instead they departed from nearly a hundred years of Catholic advocacy, to officially oppose Obamacare. Their rejection was partly based on nit-picking Obama’s executive order prohibiting federal funding of abortions. Thankfully, key Catholic organization engaged in health care refused to follow the bishops in denying the greater good in search of perfection. Will this happen again as Washington prepares legislation on comprehensive immigration reform?Continue reading this post »
Are institutions Catholic enough?
The number of agencies calling themselves big-C “Catholic” will shrink. That is the inevitable result of De Caritate Ministranda , delivered December 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI as a motu proprio (a decree from the pope himself). As analyzed by John L. Allen, Jr., this ecclesiastical legislation establishes new regulations for any charitable agency that wants to include “Catholic” in its name. Ironically, the papal mandate may play a role in deciding current court battles between the bishops and the Obama administration over the obligation to provide health insurance plans that include contraceptive services.
The motu proprio makes a local bishop the ultimate arbiter of organized Catholic social justice ministry. While Catholic individuals are still free to volunteer time and money to secular organizations, as for instance the Red Cross or the YMCA, sponsors of specifically Catholic relief efforts are not. The local bishop must now provide written authorization for any agency to dispense charity in the name of Catholicism. That authorization may be withheld or withdrawn if the organization fails in any of several areas.Continue reading this post »
Interfaith is a state of mind
The interfaith service held to heal the wounds of tragedy in Newtown, Conn., demonstrated America’s religious exceptionalism. The nationally televised event left little doubt that religious differences are imprinted in this country’s culture in ways found few other parts of the globe. While the passage of time will unfold the effect the service had on people’s psychology, Newtown’s social interactions, and the politics of gun ownership, the theology of the moment deserves immediate comment.
This event exhibited a welcomed interdenominationalism because the moment celebrated -- rather than ignored -- the differences in faith, prayer and ritual. The program integrated different faiths into a coherent panoply of the varieties of American religious experience. The service also let nonbelievers join in the search for solace, if not in faith, at least in solidarity with a virtuous public culture.Continue reading this post »
By 11:47 AM ET, 12/31/2012 |
Tags: Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo; Sandy Hook; Newtown, Conn.; interfaith; prayer