J. Peter Nixon

By this author

Do the bishops really need to close hospitals?

In their dispute with the Obama Administration over the HHS contraception mandate, a number of U.S.bishops have suggested that they will have to close hospitals, schools and Catholic universities if the mandate is not modified or withdrawn.But would the bishops really be required to do this?

A Right to Be Healthy?

The other day, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput was interviewed by the National Catholic Register regarding the U.S. bishops ongoing struggle with the Obama Administration over the definition of a religious employer. He was asked about the statements of the U.S. bishops in favor of a right to health care. This was his response:

Farewell, Cantuar

Rocco Palmo has posted Archbishop Rowan William's wonderful address to the Synod on the New Evangelization. Early on, Williams highlights how Henri de Lubac's theology influenced the Christian anthropology of the Second Vatican Council:

The Rise of the "Nones"

The new Pew Forum study is getting a lot of publicity for its finding that one American in five now responds none when asked about their religious affiliation. This is up from around 15 percent in 2007. The future of organized religion in the United States may look even bleaker because almost a third of individuals under 30 can be classified as nones.Numerous press reports have covered the study so Im not going to describe it in detail.

The Synod Begins

Rocco Palmo has posted the full text of Cardinal Donald Wuerls opening address to the Synod on the New Evangelization. Like much of what Cardinal Wuerl writes, it is thoughtful, well-organized. and covers the terrain well. Any summary is unlikely to do it justice. But let me just highlight a few points.I was particularly interested in Wuerls discussion of the theological foundations of the New Evangelization, where he highlights four important elements.


The Synod for the New Evangelization begins tomorrow inRome. John Allen has a helpful FAQ on the Synod here. Ive been reading through the instrumentum laboris, the working document for the Synod and found a passage I particularly liked. It reminded me of Karl Rahners suggestion many years ago that we needed new short formulas of Christian Faith:

New Pew Poll Tool

The folks over at the Pew Forum have a new interactivegraph that allows you to look at support for the two presidential candidates by religious affiliation and degree of religious practice.I know, you're dying to know what the Catholic numbers are, right? Among all Catholics, Obama has a 15 point lead. Since he's essentially tied with Romney among White Catholics, I suspect Obama is running up very large margins among Latino Catholics, but the tool doesn't provide that breakdown.

What Wasn't Said

One of the most well-received speeches at last weeks Democratic National Convention was the one given by Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby founded and supported by American women religious.

Whose voice?

The weblog Democratic Strategist has posted a document entitled "A Letter to a 'Middle of the Road Moderate' non-Latino Friend about the Moral Difference Between Democrats and Republicans." The letter, written by James Vega, is a response to a comment from a friend that "I don't believe the people who dominate the Republican Party are really any less emphatic to

Back to School?

Scarcely a week after comments from Archbishop Lori that suggested he had forgotten the distinction between formal and material cooperation with evil, we now have another bishop who appears to need some remedial education in moral theology.In a column published this week (HT: In All Things), Bishop Robert Morlin