The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Few Tidbits

Just some interesting news I spotted while browsing the web this morning...

Pope Benedict's third encyclical to be released on July 7. The Vatican made it official: the Holy Father's latest encyclical, "Caritas in veritate," will be released on Tuesday. More info here,

Cardinal Newman, the great English prelate, on road to sainthood. Pope Benedict has promulgated a decree which attributes a miracle to Servant of God John Henry Newman (1801-1890), English cardinal and founder of the Oratories of St. Philip Neri in England. This is wonderful news for those of us who have been praying for for the cardinal's canonization. Cardinal Newman was a prolific writer and much of his work is accessible online. If you're interested in reading him, try this site:

More on St. Paul's Remains. Not long ago I posted information on the archaeological work done at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and the Holy Father's announcement that the Apostle's remains had likely been found. Well, a few days ago, Vatican officials held a press conference on the subject at which they confirmed that while the remains cannot be definitively be identified as St. Paul's, the findings have certainly increased the likelihood that they are. To visit the Basilica's website and learn more about St. Paul's tomb, click here. To read the Vatican's release on the press conference, click here.

President Obama promises conscience protection. At a meeting with members of the Catholic press, the president stated that he supports a robust conscience clause in any abortion-related legislation. "I can assure all of your readers that when this review is complete there will be a robust conscience clause in place." the president said. "It may not meet the criteria of every possible critic of our approach, but it certainly will not be weaker than what existed before the changes were made." Hmmm...we shall see. Of course, the best case would be a lack of support by Congress for any legislation that looks to encourage more abortions. And the only way to ensure that happens is to vote for solidly pro life legislators. Read about the president's meeting with the Catholic press here.

President calls for universal access to abortion. One day the president is telling Catholics that "I would be surprised if those who believe abortion should be legal would object to language that says we should try to reduce the circumstances in which women feel compelled to obtain an abortion. If they took that position, I would disagree with them." And the next he's calling for the UN to ensure universal access to abortion and other family planning "services." (Click here for details.) Don't you just love it? Just tell 'em what they want to hear and go on to the next group. In addition to the condemnation that will surely come from the Vatican and, I would hope, from the US Bishops, I suspect that the president will also encounter strong resistance from the Islamic nations. Should be interesting.

That's enough for today. I have some steaks to grill and some adult beverages to prepare.

Once again, Happy Independence Day!

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