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Friday, May 01, 2009



Giuseppe Fiorentino seems to have fallen for the rhetoric and missed the facts. President Obama is really adept at saying he is not doing precisely what he is doing, particularly in areas that have deep moral implications. Hey, Kmiec fell for it, along with many others.

Giuseppe Fiorentino needs an update from some of the American Bishops. In fact, Archbishop Burke is handy. He might ask him for some input.

Ed Peters

Bravo George.


I wonder what is going on over at L'Osservatore Romano, and where they get their information from.

Brian J. Schuettler

Did Fiorentino hijack papa's paper???

NW Clerk

It would be helpful if some intelligent and well-known American Catholics wrote to the paper and asked, "What's up?" I am a subscriber but they won't listen to a nobody.

In last month's TRACES, the magazine for Communion and Liberation - which for those who do not know, has nothing to do with liberation theology but rather is a very faithful, orthodox movement close to the hearts of both JPII and B16 - there was a gushing article on Obama as well, by a European Catholic. Strange.....


The Catholic News Service item about the article in L'Osservatore Romano had the heading "LOSSERVATORE-OBAMA".

Recently a number of changes in the newspaper's format and content were made. That may be its new title and thus would explain the puff piece.


I'm wondering how Neumayr is concluding what he does about the guidelines for research. He says, "The guidelines [1]forbid reproductive cloning but permit the cloning of embryos for research. And [2]the research can go beyond “surplus embryos.”

His first claim seems to be contradicted by II.B.4,6 of the draft guidelines, and IV.B seems quite unambiguous about it. His second claim, I suppose, depends on what he means by "surplus embryos"... II.B.1 clarifies that they are surplus from fertility treatments, but no, there doesn't seem to be a limit to pre-existing lines.

This critique seems quite wrong-headed to me. The original editorial isn't trying to paint Obama in rosy terms; the point about embryonic search (and it is only a fraction of what the editorial talks about) isn't to say that everything's just fine, but rather to say that the decisions aren't as extreme as some have feared. As far as I can tell from the NIH guidelines commissioned by Obama, that's the case.

Am I reading the guidelines incorrectly? Where is Neumayr getting his claims from?

Ed Peters

" [ESCR] is only a fraction of what the editorial talks about."

Quite true, and L'OR should be grateful GN did not take the rest of it apart as well. L'OR editorials don't sway people, of course, the way US editorial pages are meant to, but they do reflect the caliber of thinking going on at State. Saints preserve us, they're still thinking in Euro-left cliches (indeed writing in cliches: "rivers of ink", anyone? LOL)


"Quite true, and L'OR should be grateful GN did not take the rest of it apart as well."

You mean talk about anything other than abortion? I don't think we need to worry about that. ;)

And before anyone responds... I know, I know, that's an exaggeration. But the fact remains that Neumayr doesn't care to talk about anything except paragraph 8 (of 9), that Carl's most recent post about the Pregnant Women Support Act is more concerned to point fingers at Obama or the party instead of highlighting the Democrats for Life of America (has this pro-life organization ever been discussed on the Ignatius blog? Or do you just talk about the "party of death" and leave it at that?), etc. etc.

Not that we should be saying nothing about abortion; this is a significant injustice of which we should bear witness. But the tunnel-visioned approach is just counter-productive beyond words. For instance, what was being blogged about when the nation was abuzz over torture this past month? Lemme see... a post about Georgetown University covering up a monogrammed rock. Really?! Now, abortion is a more heinous moral evil than torture, I'd be the first to grant. But surely there's some room on the spectrum between non-substantive culture war skirmishes and the abortion holocaust to speak moral truth about something like torture!

The critique of pro-choice politics here would not bother me so much if it adhered more convincingly to what Carl wrote on the 24th: "The Catholic Church is a "single-issue institution" in this sense: her focus is life. Not just physical life, but spiritual life, both of which are gifts from God, are sacred, and are objectively good and worthy of protection and respect." There are just too many holes and blank spots where life issues are not discussed.


btw, Ed, as someone more adept at reading legal guidelines, could you shed some light on Neumayr's apparent errors that I pointed out in the above post? While he's throwing around words like "ignorant" at L'OR, I don't see where he's getting his own facts from. Am I misreading this?

Carl E. Olson

Evan: I'm failing to understand why you bother to even read this blog. It sounds as though it's a waste of your time. And I hate to waste people's precious time.

Carl E. Olson

There are just too many holes and blank spots where life issues are not discussed.

Well, this blog has never pretended to be completely comprehensive in its topics and focus. It simply cannot be so, and it isn't so. There are a lot of significant topics that are rarely discussed or mentioned here. If the posts here are redundant or imbalanced, in your judgment, then I'm sure there must be other blogs that better suit your interests.


"Evan: I'm failing to understand why you bother to even read this blog. It sounds as though it's a waste of your time. And I hate to waste people's precious time."

Quite the contrary! I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. Is it my disagreement that makes you think I find this a waste of my time? I take it that this is one of the great benefits of lively discussion. And, as in the present L'Osservatore-Neumayr case, disagreement is a good way to correct errors. Because likely, L'Osservatore was just honestly mistaken about some of the facts, just as it seems like Neumayr is on some other facts. No one could get to the bottom of that, however, if there weren't some conversational friction.

Believe me, I have dozens of RSS feeds in my google reader, and I most certainly don't bother reading what's a waste of my time. There's too much out there. Now, if I'm wasting your time, then that's another story, and there's always the comment moderation function that the administrator wields.

Robert Miller

Use of the term "surplus embryos" by ANY Catholic organ is truly chilling.

Consider the recent uproar that occurred when a de-excommunicated integrist bishop was reported to have doubted some facts about the elimination of what some folks (er, volk) considered "surplus lives" back in the 1930s/1940s.

I'm sorry, but I think the Vatican bureaucracy (not the Holy Father or his top appointees), like most Europeans, are tone-deaf to the mounting roar of the assault on life, family and the Church that BO and his henchmen are launching on the world. Europeans tend to be as enthralled with an America that can elect BO as they were with an America that could elect JFK. The results of the previous enthrallment should be a cautionary preface to the current enthrallment -- especially to Catholic Europeans.

They tend, unfortunately to the Goethian: Amerika, du hast es besser. But we, on the scene, know we have it "worser" -- and soon enough they will, too.


As far as I can tell this is the L'Osservatore Romana's email address.


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