Reader: Anti-Communist leader Vaclev Havel dies, Hitchens and abortion, Pope to canonize two Americans

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on. Vaclev Havel was a playwright, anti-Communist, and former leader of a free Czech Republic. He died yesterday at 75. http://is.gd/5xzOCB Brutal North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il dead at age 69. Pray for the people suffering in North Korea. http://is.gd/yrGU23 Christopher Hitchens: Abortion survivor, post... More

Reader: Democrat joins Ryan on Medicare reform, Newt drops 12 pts in Iowa, A new Doctor of the Church?

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR Bipartisan support, finally! Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, teamed up with Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden on a new plan to reform Medicare. Wyden said it was time for conservatives and progressives to come together and “deal with the costs and demographic challenges.” It won’... More

Reader: Pope to visit Cuba, Romney slams Newt, Pelosi calls bishops ‘lobbyists’

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on. The Catholic Church confirms Pope Benedict XVI will visit Cuba in the spring. http://cvote.to/9g The mitts come off: Romney slams Gingrich for attacking Paul Ryan’s Medicare reforms. http://cvote.to/9h Mitt Romney now says he wouldn’t recommend other states adopt Romneycare. That’s a shift from what he... More

Pope Benedict: Neither Power Hungry Nor Naive

Render unto Caesar ... Elsewhere here, Thomas Peters has one explanation of the Drudge Report headline, under a picture of the Pope, suggesting that the Vatican is ordering up a new world bank. I got a frightened e-mail from a friend who is a recent convert calling the article  “the most disturbing thing I have read in a long time.” As I told him, first of all, as with any Drudge scream-line,... More

Reader: Romney & Perry spar before debate, 3 Dems blast IL redistricting, Pope addresses German Parliament

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry scrapped just hours before the GOP debate in Orlando tonight on Fox News at 9 pm ET. Picking up on the concern that Perry might have a tough time winning suburban voters, Tim Pawlenty wrote an op-ed for Politico with the not-so-subtle title: “Romney is electable.” http://cvote.... More

The Pope and the disabled meet in Madrid

We welcome the following guest post from Leticia Velasquez, co-founder of Keep Infants with Downs Syndrome. Pope Benedict XVI reaches to kiss a disabled child at World Youth Day. Among the groups honored by an audience with the Holy Father during World Youth Day, was a group of sick and disabled youth from St Joseph’s Hospital. Like the seminarians, university professors, and women religious, t... More

Why Should We Care About the Atomic Bomb?

The debate comes up every once in a while in Catholic circles, and it comes up below. I want to take issue with Brad Birzer a little, but with Tom Crowe a lot more. Because our acts of destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not only wrong, they were monumentally wrong in a way that changed us. America hasn’t had the same moral force ever since. Vatican II The Second Vatican Council conde... More

The Pope’s Guide to Tweeting

Twitter and Facebook may be a godsend, helping us connect and deepen friendships that have been fractured by technology in the first place. Or they could be a tool of the devil turning us all into narcissistic self-promoters shouting at each other on multimedia platforms several times a day that we are the center of the universe. The Pope says Catholics are supposed to encourage Twitter and Facebo... More

Biden Meets Benedict: What’s Up?

Little noticed among even Catholics was a recent quiet visit to the Vatican by Vice President Joe Biden. Catholic News Agency learned about the June 3 visit, reporting that both sides had been tight-lipped on reasons and details. The visit wasn’t even listed on the pope’s daily public schedule. “I have no comment,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNA. “It was a totally pr... More

Circuit Judge strikes down Wis. collective bargaining law

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on. The controversial Wisconsin law signed by Gov. Scott Walker that dealt with collective bargaining rights for state employees was struck down by Dane County Judge MaryAnn Sumi, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. The law is effectively dead until the Wisconsin Supreme Court decides on it or if the Legislat... More

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