Catholics celebrate (and learn) in White Plains

I couldn’t be at the Archdiocese of New York’s Bicentennial Catechetical Convocation on Saturday at the Westchester County Center.

But I understand that it was a great success.

Close to 2,300 people came from all reaches of the 10-county archdiocese — from Sullivan and Ulster counties down to Staten Island.

Sister Joan Curtin, director of the archdiocese’s Catechetical Office, must have been quite pleased.

The conference, which featured nationally known Catholic speakers and teachers, was one of the major events celebrating the upcoming 200th birthday of the archdiocese (April 8, 2008).

John McCain more Christian by the day

Here’s a stunner: Jewish groups don’t like Sen. John McCain’s description of the U.S. as a “Christian nation.”

McCain told “Beliefnet.com”:http://www.beliefnet.com/ that the “Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.”

tjndc5-5grgu5om35e1005s6ayg_layout.jpgA press release I received moments ago from the “ADL”:http://www.adl.org/ asks McCain to withdraw his comment:

“Senator McCain’s statements were disappointing and disturbing to say the least,� said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We would have thought that a senator as experienced and respected as John McCain would place himself above such divisive appeals to religious intolerance. His remarks were inaccurate and ill-advised for any candidate seeking to lead a nation as religiously diverse as ours.�

And the “American Jewish Committee:”:http://www.ajc.org/site/c.ijITI2PHKoG/b.2818289/apps/nl/content2.asp?content_id={894C355D-7DDC-4DC5-BD3D-27DCE5798732}&notoc=1

“We urge Senator McCain to withdraw his troubling remarks,â€? said Jeffrey Sinensky, AJC’s general counsel. “Our individual rights cannot be secured if the government promotes one religion over others.â€?

“It is no accident that the Constitution explicitly seeks to avoid favoring religion, much less a particular faith,� Sinensky said.

Way back in 2000, McCain denounced the “Religious Right” and its influence on the GOP. This time around, he’s going in a, well, different direction. McCain recently took some flak for describing himself as a Baptist as decades of claiming to be an Episcopalian.