Commentaries

Chance for school choice might not come again

The Catholic community across Pennsylvania rose up to demand that their state legislators support school choice. Catholics with school-age children and those without sent letters, made phone calls and personal visits in the thousands with one message: we’re your constituents, and we want you to pass school choice legislation, especially in the form of vouchers. […]

Abortion statistics released — Where’s the outrage?

About a year ago, when news was released about the Philadelphia abortion clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, words like “house of horrors”, “shocking”, “murder”, and “intentional killing of babies” graced the headlines. The stories told of charges filed against Gosnell and others stemming from the death of one woman and the murder of seven newborn […]

Get ready for necessary changes of 2012

In a week’s time, Jan. 6, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will issue its long-awaited report. A year in the making, the report is expected to recommend significant and possibly large numbers of closures and consolidations of parish elementary and high schools in the region. The numbers are […]

Inaction on voucher program ‘disappointing’

In the final days of their 2011 session, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives did not take up the issue of vouchers to the great disappointment of school choice proponents across the state. Senate Bill 1, The Opportunity Scholarship Act, passed the Senate in late October by a vote of 27-22. School choice supporters were hopeful […]

A Renewed Apostolate

“And with your spirit.” Most of us will need some practice to be comfortable with these words. As we stumble to catch on to the new translation of the Mass, lay Catholics are reminded that we are an important part of the Church. We have a “special and indispensable role” to play, not just in […]

President Obama denies trafficking victims grant to Catholic Bishops over abortion

A little over a decade ago, I authored the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TPVA) of 2000—the landmark law that created America’s comprehensive policy to combat modern day slavery. Among its many mutually reinforcing provisions designed to prevent trafficking, protect victims and prosecute those who reduce people to commodities for sale — the three Ps — […]

Amid plenty, hunger

Christmas is all about the spiritual: Christians recall the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and welcome him into our hearts. Of course there is the other side, which advertising won’t let you forget. Once a year, Christmas (and Hanukkah) opens a flood of gift-buying for loved ones. The National Retail Federation projects Americans will […]

Will school choice hurt public schools?

Thousands of Catholic students attend public schools all over Pennsylvania. Supporting families in educating their children no matter where they go to school is part of our obligation to promote the common good. School choice should not be viewed as an “us vs. them” debate between public and non-public schools. Pennsylvania’s public schools and their […]

Parishes part of immigration opportunity

On a warm Monday afternoon in early September, there was a Mass in the Cathedral Basilica to welcome our new Archbishop. The Mass was followed by a cookout at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center. It was a beautiful day. Tables were set up outside and the grills were fired up. Many archdiocesan employees gathered outside and […]

A personal reflection on the Roman Missal revision

I remember sitting in the common room at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary during my second year in the theology division when a fellow seminarian posted on the board the notice that Pope John Paul II had just approved a new instruction for the implementation of the liturgical renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council. […]