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The Mandate War

The battle for religious freedom between the Catholic Church in the United States and the Obama administration just entered the second quarter.
The first quarter was bureaucratic and rhetorical. The debate began with the January 20 announcement that th…

Ryan vs. Georgetown

There is snobbery, and then there is academic snobbery.
Snobbery is often instinctual and inadvertent, and if it’s cruel, it’s the cruelty of the unthinking. Academic snobbery is deliberately cutting, snarky, intended to wound, and usually …

The Vatican and the Sisters

In Chariots of Fire, two of the elders of Cambridge University invite the young Jewish runner Harold Abrahams to a formal, black-tie luncheon, during which they try to dissuade the upstart undergraduate from using a professional trainer to prepare for …

Framing the Religious-Liberty Issue

‘Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” the Easter Week statement by the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is the most developed statement on current religious-freedom controversies to emerge fro…

Benedict XVI in Cuba

Catholicism is not a “religion of the book,” but rather a faith built around word and sacrament — or, if you prefer, text and demonstration. Symbolic acts that convey the truths the Church teaches are of the essence of Catholic practi…

After ‘United for Religious Freedom’

On the night of February 17, I took a phone call from a senior Catholic official who was concerned about the pro-gay-marriage votes in the Washington and Maryland legislatures and the possible spillover effect of those defeats on the unity the U.S. bis…

No Compromise

In May 1953, the Polish government ordered the implementation of a decree giving the state the authority to appoint and remove Catholic priests and bishops throughout the country: The Catholic Church was to become a subsidiary of the Polish state; its …

Religious Freedom Is Social Justice

In his March 12 column, Washington Post writer E. J. Dionne Jr. attempts some fraternal intimidation of the Catholic bishops of the United States prior to the meeting of the bishops’ conference administrative committee on Tuesday and Wednesday. T…