EPPC Briefly: The Catholic Church, President Obama and Notre Dame

Published May 21, 2009

EPPC Briefly


Parsing the Vatican Newspaper
“No matter what foolishness finds its way into the pages of L’Osservatore Romano,” writes EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel, there is no reason to think that “the Pope and his most senior advisers have drunk the Obama Kool-Aid.”

Obama and the “Real” Catholics
EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel assesses President Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame: “What was surprising, and ought to be disturbing to anyone who cares about religious freedom in these United States, was the president’s decision to insert himself into the ongoing Catholic debate over the boundaries of Catholic identity and the applicability of settled Catholic conviction in the public square.” (Mr. Weigel’s own commencement speech to Mt. St. Mary’s University is available here.)

Obama’s Case Against Obama
According to EPPC Hertog Fellow Yuval Levin, President Obama’s Notre Dame speech “actually offered pro-lifers some causes for optimism by unintentionally clarifying the profound and growing weakness of the case for America’s radical abortion laws.”


SUPPORT EPPCEverything seems up for grabs these days. Fundamental American ideals — of individual freedom and responsibility, justice, the rule of law, and limited government — are under assault.The Ethics and Public Policy Center is working harder than ever to make the case for sound public policies that are faithful to American ideals and to the Judeo-Christian moral tradition that underlies them. We need your support to sustain our work and to be even more effective in these challenging times.


Writing in National Review, EPPC Fellow James C. Capretta explains that by recognizing that many Americans want to stay with their current insurance and turning that fact to their advantage, conservatives can both prevent President Obama’s government-centered approach and advance sensible reforms.

Stop ObamaCare
“President Obama and his congressional allies are pursuing a mammoth, complex, hugely expensive, ill-designed reform that is not likely to be popular when understood,” write EPPC Fellow James C. Capretta and EPPC Hertog Fellow Yuval Levin in the Weekly Standard. “Conservatives have a very real chance at stopping it if they highlight its key weaknesses and supply a superior alternative.”

Kemp Brought America Back from 1970s
EPPC Visiting Fellow Jeffrey Bell celebrates the enduring legacy of Jack Kemp: “There were two big ideas that changed the world in the 1980s: Supply-side economics and a bold strategy for winning the Cold War. One was the handiwork of Jack Kemp, the other of Ronald Reagan.”

A Welcome to the Party
EPPC Senior Fellow Rick Santorum EPPC Senior Fellow Rick Santorum disputes the conventional wisdom that Senator Arlen Specter “has left the small-tent GOP for the broad-minded, tolerant Democratic Party”: Voting records show that the Senate has “one doctrinaire, narrow, intolerant caucus, and Specter just joined it.”

By Your Fruit Ye Will Be Known
“Eventually President Obama will be judged by the fruits of his labor. And if the conservative critique on economics is correct, the emerging fruit will be bitter, and the public will eventually realize it,” observes EPPC Senior Fellow Peter Wehner.

Pope Benedict XVI in the Holy Land

Parsing the Pontiff
Writing for Newsweek about Pope Benedict XVI’s travel to the Holy Land, EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel explains that “[w]hile pundits and partisans will interpret Benedict’s comments and actions according to the varying political winds and their own agendas, a real understanding of his pilgrimage must start at the true source of Benedict’s own thinking: Scripture.” (See also Mr. Weigel’s interview with the Italian daily Il Foglio.)

Give Him a Fair Hearing
Papal watchers predicted that Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Holy Land was bound to provoke controversy no matter how peaceable his message. “Sure enough,” observes EPPC Fellow Colleen Carroll Campbell for the New York Times, “just a few days into his pilgrimage, Benedict already has endured an onslaught of harsh, hair-trigger criticism.”

Challenging America’s Me-First Culture
EPPC Fellow Colleen Carroll Campbell reflects on a study that shows a corrosive narcissism afflicting many teenagers and young adults: “if ever we hope to transform our me-first culture into one that better serves our children, now is the time to start.”


EPPC’s annual Tertio Millennio Seminar in Kraków, Poland on Catholic social doctrine is now accepting applications for this summer’s session. The seminar’s faculty includes George Weigel, Russell Hittinger, Fr. Maciej Zieba, OP, and Fr. Raymond J. de Souza. To learn more, visit the seminar’s homepage: TertioMillennioSeminar.org.

The views expressed by EPPC scholars in their work are their individual views only and are not to be imputed to EPPC as an institution.

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