USCCB Election Roundup

From First Thoughts

As news of Archbishop Dolan’s precedent-shattering election as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ricochets around the Catholic blogosphere, pundits on all sides are having their say, and more comments and analyses are sure to follow. Some of those already heard from . . . . Continue Reading »

The Next Catholic Speaker of the House

From First Thoughts

Rocco Palmo of Whispers in the Loggia provides an interesting sidebar this morning to last night’s election returns: Since the first Congress sat in 1789, only four American Catholics have been entrusted with the gavel as Speaker of the House. Until now, though, they’ve all been . . . . Continue Reading »

Halloween Memories

From First Thoughts

Each year, as the month of October draws to a close—and late-afternoon shadows grow longer earlier, and there’s a chill in the wind, and bright leaves swirl down into a carpet of red and gold beneath bare branches—my thoughts turn not just to Halloween, but to Halloweens long past. . . . . Continue Reading »

Socrates in the City

From First Thoughts

It’s always good news when Socrates in the City opens registration for its latest “Conversation on the Examined Life.” Already this fall, SITC has presented an evening with British journalist Peter Hitchens (“The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith”) and the . . . . Continue Reading »

Spain Protects Bulls, But Not Babies

From First Thoughts

As Wesley J. Smith said this past Thursday in a post on Secondhand Smoke, the fact that the government of Catalonia has voted to ban bullfighting in that region of Spain starting in 2012 is a good thing. As Smith pointed out, bullfighting “is like dog fighting . . . . It is cruelty for sport . . . . . Continue Reading »

The Godfather and the Holy Mother

From First Thoughts

According to a report in Britain’s Telegraph , Bishop Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini of the Calabrian Diocese of Locri-Gerace has written an open letter to the bosses of the ’Ndrangheta—the Calabrian Mafia—“imploring them to stop using holy shrines for their initiation . . . . Continue Reading »

“Our Survival Depends on This”

From First Thoughts

According to a story on ucanews.com , the website of the Union of Catholic Asian News, Christian leaders in Pakistan are urging their followers not to engage in discussions of Islamic doctrine with their Muslim neighbors. This warning came after the arrest of two Pakistani Christian brothers on . . . . Continue Reading »

The Happy Prince Comes to New York City

From First Thoughts

This September, when strollers along New York’s Fifth Avenue reach the southeast corner of Central Park, at 60th Street, they will come across a ruined monument. The glass-reinforced concrete sculpture, brand-new and all of a piece despite its jumbled and scattered appearance, is called The . . . . Continue Reading »