Thursday, April 16, 2009


Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House Request [] - April 15, 2009

( - Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS”--symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ—because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there.

“In coordinating the logistical arrangements for yesterday’s event, Georgetown honored the White House staff’s request to cover all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols behind Gaston Hall stage,” Julie Green Bataille, associate vice president for communications at Georgetown, told

“The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they’ve done for other policy speeches,” she added. “Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn’t high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context.”

1. What exactly was the policy that Obama was speaking on?

2. If setting is important to the point of asking host institutions to cover up all signage and symbols, what's the point of even giving speeches outside of settings where the White House can control everything according to its whim?

3. Was this little talk by the president scheduled before or after the Notre Dame thing came up? Can we say, 'PR disaster?'

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Christ is Risen!

At the Vatican.

The English greeting:
May the grace and joy of the Risen Christ be with you all.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Downward Slide

The Gallup poll:

PRINCETON, NJ -- According to Gallup Poll trends on church attendance among American Christians, weekly attendance among Protestants has been fairly steady over the past six decades, averaging 42% in 1955 versus 45% in the middle of the current decade. However, attendance among Roman Catholics dropped from 75% to 45% over the same period.

Most of the decline in church attendance among American Catholics occurred in the earlier decades, between 1955 and 1975; however, it continued at a rate of four percentage points a decade through the mid-1990s, and church attendance has since leveled off at 45%.

Whatever the causes, it is clear that U.S. Catholics' once-nearly uniform obedience to their church's requirement of weekly mass attendance has faded, and Catholics are now no different from Protestants in their likelihood to attend church. This has occurred among Catholics of all age categories, but is most pronounced among those under 60. The good news for the Catholic Church is that the drop in attendance seems to have slowed or abated altogether in the last decade, spanning a most difficult period for the church around 2002, when attendance did suffer temporarily.

Unless something else happens, have we reached our 'smaller, more pious' Church, at least in the US, as suggested by Benedict? Of course, nowadays, Mass attendance doesn't exactly correlate with following Catholic doctrine...