The American Papist is reporting that Holy Mass will be offered in the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite during the MfL.
The Papist also has a wealth of valuable information and useful links to other web resources for the March.
Regarding the FOCA - nationally-known Catholic personalities such as Prof. Douglas Kmeic, and other lesser-known figures have recently argued that the FOCA has slim chance of passing, and therefore need not be contested as vehemently as, e.g., the USCCB has and would contest it, as concrete expressions of the Church's commitment to work for the real good of society, a commitment rooted in Her duty to proclaim, teach and advocate a rightly ordered understanding of the human person (Cf. CIC 1983 c.747.2)
It is true that the bishops' opposition to the FOCA, while rooted in their duty to teach truth and judge matters of basic concern to the good of society, is a prudential one - and therefore its opportunity is in principle open to criticism, in a way that the bishops' decision to teach the truth of Catholic faith is not.
The following remarks aretherefore designed to explain why the bishops' opposition to FOCA makes perfect political sense.
I begin from a few basic points of fact, points the bishops themselves have articulated, and about which I have written in these pages, to wit: the election was basically about the economy; Catholics' support of Obama on election day was, in the main, given not because of, but despite his position on abortion.
Given these facts, the Catholic bishops are right to say that to interpret the election as a referendum on abortion would be to risk permanently alienating millions of voters who are happy to support the bulk of his legislative agenda.
Still, in his campaign speech to Planned Parenthood, the president-elect promised to sign FOCA into law. He cannot really back away from this promise without exposing himself as an insincere political panderer. The terms of the promise, however, do not bind the president-elect to push for FOCA's passage. The president-elect will be less likely to press legislators for passage of FOCA if he sees the strength and breadth of opposition to it among the citizenry.
Principled, responsible, organized and vocal opposition will help the president-elect see which way the wind is blowing, so to speak, and make it more attractive for him to let the FOCA live or die in the legislature, without his influence.
The preceeding remarks point to another important group of people: legislators. The likelihood that lawmakers will support FOCA will decrease in direct proportion to Catholics' outspokenness on the issue. Lawmakers, no less than the president-elect, are anxious to keep their support base, and many lawmakers rely on, or benefit heavily from, the Catholic vote. No intelligent lawmaker can be indifferent to it.
Finally, in pressing their opposition to FOCA, the bishops create a situation in which the president-elect can stick to his guns insofar as his promise to sign the FOCA, letting the chips fall where they may in the legislature, and also offer some concrete gesture of good will to citizens who do not share his agenda. Concretely, the president-elect will be able to say to pro-lifers, "Look, I made a promise; when and if the time comes, I'll have to make good on it. I'll tell you what, though: remember the idea I had about releasing federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research? I'm beginning to think that I need to take time to get a better handle on all the issues involved, there. Get my drift?"
I am not saying the president-elect will behave this way. I do not have a crystal ball and I am just as concerned as the next pro-lifer over his agenda. I also know how the political game is played, and the bishops' opposition to FOCA, on this reading, looks like a good play.
Everything will depend on Catholics and others committed to the pro-life cause, though. We need to keep ratcheting up the pressure, not only on the president-elect, but also and perhaps even primarily on our Senators and Representatives.
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