US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Daily Links, Feb. 23: Santorum's faith, birth control, and those controversial Girl Scouts

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There was yet another Republican debate last night, and Rick Santorum continues to be the focus of attention, especially when it comes to his Catholic faith. Andrew Sullivan takes Santorum to task for his stance on torture, which clearly stands in opposition to the church's teaching on human dignity.

"It seems to me that Santorum can and should be free to defend this evil as he sees fit," writes Sullivan. "But his defense of torture is far, far more scandalous to the Catholic church than any liberal Catholic politician's views on, say, same-sex marriage or contraception."

Meanwhile, a Catholic priest also took issue with Santorum's faith, namely Santorum's now infamous Satan speech, in an appearance on Bill O'Reilly's show, of all places. But what do average Catholics have to say about Santorum? One Catholic offers their take: "You can share my views on abortion but be incompetent in every other way. I’m voting for president, not bishop."

As for the current president, we've all heard about how he's supposedly an enemy of religion, but Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune looks at the lesser told story of Barack Obama's support for religious organizations.

On to other controversial topics--A radio personality in Phoenix who has long supported Catholic causes was scheduled to emcee a Catholic fundraiser, but pulled out due to controversy over the fact that she was also involved with a local gay pride parade.

Then there are those trouble making Girl Scouts, who are yet again being attacked over their supposed links to Planned Parenthood, this time by Indiana Congressman Bob Morris. A parish in Virginia reacted by banning Girl Scout troops from meeting on its grounds, but South Bend, Indiana Bishop Kevin Rhoades is less concerned about the Catholic troops in his diocese. Well, those delicious cookies are pretty hard to resist.

Finally, it wouldn't be a day in Catholic news without talking about birth control, but do you know who I'd like to hear from? The people in the pews, because we've heard enough from the church leaders and experts. So here are a couple views from the laity:

James Harrington, an attorney in Austin, Texas, writes about his feelings on the bishops' letter concerning the contraception mandate being read at Mass, saying it "provides evidence that the bishops have become increasingly political rather than faithful prophets of the Gospel."

And Maura Casey gives a Catholic woman's perspective on birth control and issues a welcome plea: "We need to hear from the great, as yet untapped voices of sanity on these issues: the legions of Catholic women who disagree."

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