June 2015


Cincinnati mayor John Cranley, a Democrat, touts his Catholicity every election cycle. A proud graduate of St. Xavier (Jesuit) High School, he campaigns at local parishes during festival season and reminds everyone that he is pro-life on the issue of abortion. Last Friday he hosted a post-Obergefell “celebratory same-sex marriage ceremony” for five couples on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square, replete with cheers, multi-colored rainbow confetti, and a pronouncement from Cranley. (See local press coverage here and here.) The bishops have had months if not years to prepare responses to predictable scandals such as these. It will be interesting to see what response Archbishop Schnurr has in store.

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The Catholic Courier of Rochester links to a CNS story on the record number of Catholic candidates running for U.S. president in 2016. The closing comments of Mark M. Gray, director of Catholic Polls at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, caught my eye:

“There are some teachings of the church that align with either party platform,” he said. “The church fits in neither party, therefore it is easy to be a Catholic Democrat or Catholic Republican.”

Pope Benedict XVI famously taught that there three “not negotiable” principles Catholics should take to the public square: (1) the defense of human life from conception to natural death, (2) the protection of traditional marriage, i.e., between and man and a woman, and (3) the right of parents to educate their children in the faith.

Easy-peasy for either party, right?

From H.V. Morton’s account of his trip to the catacombs in his classic travelogue A Traveller in Rome, which I review briefly for Amazon:

“One’s first feeling of dismay at finding oneself in this dusty maze of death is soon replaced by an affectionate fellow feeling for those who had lived so long before us and had trodden out the first paths of faith. They must have been much like ourselves. Who can see without emotion the words they wrote when they closed the eyes of those they loved, the words we still use: not the hopeless pagan ‘Vale,’ but ‘Vivas in Deo’ and ‘In pace Christi.'”

Does anyone know the budget for the Catholic Social Action office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati?

Because they evidently are so flush with cash that they’ve decided to help local Catholics build birdhouses and butterfly sanctuaries in their backyards.

“We had a separate track for parishioners we called the household track. Basically, after some general understanding about church teaching on caring for God’s creation, we split everybody up into facilities track and household track groups,” Stieritz said.

“The folks in the household track took people on a ‘tour of the Joneses house’. They created this scenario where the Joneses made a decision to try to be more environmentally friendly. We walked through their yard and we had a speaker from the Marianist Environmental Education Center who talked about native plants and ways you can create a home for birds and butterflies in your yard. Then we moved into the house — the kitchen, the utility room, and different areas – and talked about how best to conserve energy,” he said.

“Actually, I learned something for myself.” Stieritz said. “I’m currently trying to spruce up my yard in places and I actually found that the native plant talk was very helpful. I’m planning a rain garden for some areas in my yard that puddle up when we get these never-ending rains. There are things you can do that are environmentally sound and that can help you.”

As a side note, you could make a drinking game out of the number of times the words “sustainable” and “carbon footprint” show up in a Catholic Telegraph article these days.