More on the mandate

America’s flagship Catholic university, Notre Dame, couldn’t get an injunction against the contraception mandate and has moved to implement the portion of Obamacare that Catholic officials love to hate. No word yet if they’ve asked President Obama to return his 2009 honorary degree. Speaking of contraception, is it really about contraception, or is about an effort by men to control women? Jacob Lupfer has some thoughts on the matter. Look for more action on the contraception mandate from Justice Sonia Sotomayor later today (probably).

Rabbi Shaul Shimon Deutsch poses with lion cubs at his museum. "Judah is a lion's cub. From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he crouched as a lion, as a lioness. Who will rouse him up?" Genesis 49:9. RNS photo by David Gibson

Rabbi Shaul Shimon Deutsch poses with lion cubs at his museum. “Judah is a lion’s cub. From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he crouched as a lion, as a lioness. Who will rouse him up?” Genesis 49:9. RNS photo by David Gibson

What if Noah’s Ark ran out of room, or money?

Rabbi Shaul Shimon Deutsch has collected some 350 stuffed animals into a Brooklyn rowhouse — all of them examples of Torah taxidermy. Now he needs $1 million to keep Torah Animal World open or he’ll have to decamp to the Catskills. No animals were harmed in the making of this menagerie. Bonus points if you can answer this question: Penguins. Kosher or not?

When the boss calls, you’d better answer …

The cold-calling pope strikes again, this time leaving a message on the answering machine of a group of Spanish nuns: “What are the nuns doing that they can’t answer [the phone]? I am Pope Francis, I wish to greet you in this end of the year, I will see if I can call you later.”

Unless he’s calling you about this …

Sound familiar? Bishop buys an eight-bedroom mansion, complete with in-ground pool and five-car garage. No, it’s not the Bishop of Bling over in Germany, but Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden, N.J. I mean, I guess if you have to live in Camden there’s got to be some kind of consolation prize, but we can’t imagine that Pope Francis is going to be too excited about this one …

‘My mother’s girlfriend doesn’t love me.’

The Vatican released an extensive back-and-forth between Pope Francis and members of religious orders. I’ll let RNS alum (and current CNS Rome Bureau Chief) Frank Rocca sum it up:

Things you’ll probably hear but won’t see in church

If you’ve ever been to a Catholic funeral you’ve no doubt heard the hymn “On Eagle’s Wings.” People tend to either love it or hate it. The Twin Cities priest who penned the song in 1979 discusses the death of a friend’s father that led him to write it. One thing they haven’t written a hymn about yet: breast-feeding in church, which our own Lauren Markoe reports is still a taboo. Jana Riess, for one, is glad that Mormons can finally discuss the “P-word” in church.

Passages …

The largest single donor to the Archdiocese of New York? A gay atheist hedge-fund manager who police say leapt to his death on Monday. Robert W. Wilson gave $30 million to New York Catholic schools for a fairly simple reason: he thought they were more efficient than the public system.

Bob Nugent, a Catholic priest whose outreach to gay and lesbian Catholics drew the ire of the Vatican has died at age 76. Nugent and Sister Jeannine Gramick were silenced by the Vatican in 1999 and again in 2000 for questioning church teaching on homosexuality; Nugent largely abided by the order (from the future Benedict XVI) while Gramick did not.

Also, retired Episcopal Bishop Otis Charles of Utah, the first bishop in mainline Protestantism to come out as gay (he was still in the closet when elected), has died at 87. Friends say he was happy to have lived long enough to see gay marriage come to Utah.

Officials in Belize confirmed that a body found near the Guatemalan border belonged to Canadian missionary Brian Townsend, who was reported missing on Christmas.

Miscl from Israel

Former combative Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is likely in his “final days” after being in a coma for nearly eight years. Eight years!  Meanwhile, officials have lifted the ban on Israeli (minor league) soccer players wearing a kippah, or yarmulke, during games. It’s not clear what the status of major league players is. And the government has also started paying the wages of five non-Orthodox rabbis, which is actually a fairly big deal.

And with that, it’s on to the weekend. If you haven’t signed up to receive the RNS daily Roundup by email, make sure you do by clicking on the box below:


  1. I was hoping that the “journalist” who brought us the fact about the Camden bishop would have delved into the reasons for the purchase of the large dwelling. We don’t get that part of the story because, perhaps, it would destroy the reason to write a smarmy couple of sentences.

    As I’ve noted a couple times already, there’s plenty of liberal bias that enters the world of RNS.

    • Not Duane Lamers

      I would like to know what good reason a bishop would need, or rather how he could afford such a house before I pass judgement as well.. Could it have been a gift? Do they only get paid from the church? Is not the spread of fair earned wealth a good thing? Or must it only be to: those who won’t, from: those who say they have done and do, with wealth taken from me and you? Is not the labor of the established worth keeping established as keeping corn for next years planting? Or should the demand for fairness cause us to lay down our pursuits in the fairness in that those who don’t struggle, and strive for anything should now support me and you? It would only be “fairness” for me to starve to death in my waiting to be fed by them…

      Get used to the Liberal Bias. It’s only going to get worse, now that we have a Latino – Jesuit for a Pope. A Pope who seems to be running for Mother Teresa, rather than just being Pope. We must all conform to the social justice dialogue, and self-sacrifice ourselves to death in order to satisfy those who would not sacrifice even the contemplation. This all can only end very badly for us all.. “Please God, Save the common man.. So I may do your work through mine own..” The man who has absolutely nothing has more than I. Without even a shirt on his back, as Zero is way more, and less risk than what I owe..

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