Bumper-sticker message gives a man ideas

I pulled up behind a four-wheel-drive vehicle at a stoplight near our home the other day. Across the rear bumper, the driver had stenciled, in quite large red letters, "Driver Has No Money." At first, I thought it might be a pizza delivery vehicle, but when it turned left in front of me I could see that there was no pizza logo on the top or sides. Apparently, I had just come upon someone who 1) emphatically did not want to be robbed, and assumed that notifying would-be bandits possessed of literacy skills might help in that regard and 2) felt compelled to share his or her financial status with the world. The more I thought about it, there were plenty of times when that particular "Driver Has No Money" message would have been appropriate across the back of my car, too. The years 1970-77 and 1989-91 come to mind, in particular.

On immigration, common sense from the court

Given all of the attention that followed the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act -- attention that was certainly warranted -- there's a chance that the high court's ruling on the draconian Arizona immigration law may not have received the attention it deserved. The ruling came down from the court on June 25 -- three days before the monumental health care decision. And in case you missed it or lost details of the immigration decision in the large shadow of health care reform, here's what happened:

From food banks to porches, needs persist in summer

My golden retriever is sprawled on the cool vinyl of the laundry room floor, unwilling to make her usual dash to the window to bark at the mailman. Obviously, this strange behavior, if not a sign of the apocalypse, is at least a sign that it’s way too hot. My friends in Alaska think it’s […]

Congress should fix ‘fundamental flaws’ of health care law, not repeal it

Responding to editors’ requests for a regular sampling of current commentary from around the Catholic press, here is an editorial titled “The health care decision” from the July 6 issue of The Criterion, newspaper of the Indianapolis Archdiocese. It was written by John F. Fink, editor emeritus. Chief Justice John Roberts surprised everyone when he […]

Advocates celebrate school choice success

School choice advocates are celebrating a victory in Harrisburg! Governor Tom Corbett signed the tax code bill that expands the existing Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, eliminates the delay for some companies that wish to contribute, and creates another category of tax-credit supported scholarships called EITC 2.0 targeted at students in neighborhoods with perpetually […]

Fortnight for Freedom: Time for Catholic witness

By now most Catholics are aware of the mandate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requiring employers to provide health services such as contraception and sterilization, even if such services violate the employer’s deepest moral principles. The health care reform measure of the Obama administration also so narrowly defines a religious organization […]

The ‘troublesomely urgent’ advocate

I read the Catechism of the Catholic Church with a dictionary close at hand. The section about prayer (CCC 2613) uses the word “importunate” to describe two parable characters: The first, “the importunate friend,” invites us to urgent prayer: “Knock and it will be opened to you” (cf. Luke 11:5-13). The second, “the importunate widow,” […]

Parish mergers a painful reality

The plan announced last month to merge 12 parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was the result of months of discussion and review by parishioners, pastors, deans and regional bishops on up to Archbishop Charles Chaput, who gave final approval. As thoughtful and inclusive as the process was, no one is happy with the result, […]

Death penalty perpetuates violence in society

Two hundred and five Pennsylvanians currently sit on death row. In Pennsylvania, even though hundreds of people have been sentenced to death, only three people — those who waived their right to appeal — have been executed since 1978 (the year the General Assembly reinstated the death penalty). Further, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on […]

How to help Catholics come back to church

Why do Catholics leave the Church? It’s a fair question that occupies the minds of Church scholars and leaders. It also occupies the hearts of people sitting around kitchen tables because almost every Catholic knows another Catholic who does not practice his or her faith. A son or daughter, sister or brother, parent, loved one, […]