It is the day before Thanksgiving and so my thoughts, like the thoughts of many, turn to the many, many reasons to be thankful. Gratitude, for the Christian, must become a kind of second nature, a disposition of the heart, first, and later the head, to see past the veil of tears, kindle hope in the darkness, and not a generic hope, still less an optimism, but a sure hope in God’s providence over all creation. Today, in addition to being grateful for friends and family, I should like to concentrate on the ecclesial sources of gratitude.
At US Catholic, Stephen Schneck on Paris remaining the City of LIght, now set against the darkness of terror.
At Vatican Insider, Andrea Tornielli previews the Holy Father's trip to Africa.
And, on a lighter side, a video of Pope Francis laughing and making others laugh.
Distinctly Catholic: The debate over climate change is strange, first and foremost, because there really should not be much of a debate at all.
At Politico, a report on the Louisiana Governor's race. In one of the reddest states in the country, the Democrats won in large part by nominating a pro-life candidate. There are a dozen or so congressional seats that Democrats can only re-take if they field a pro-life candidate. Will Emily's List continue to exercise veto power or will the Dems get serious about re-taking key state houses and congressional districts?
Distinctly Catholic: Let's bring together three items: the pope's recent address to German bishops; the U.S. Catholic neo-conservatives' critique of the European Church; and, yesterday’s Feast of Christ the King.
I would like to use this space to address some issues raised on twitter. I do not tweet, but some friends were kind enough to send along tweets challenging the point I made on Wednesday regarding the misquoting of Pope Benedict XVI's 2005 address to the curia. Both Archbishop Leonard Blair and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo cited Benedict's "hermeneutic of continuity" in defending the draft text of Faithful Citizenship.
Distinctly Catholic: In Paris, many search for the right ways to confronting religiously inspired terrorism. In the U.S. that discussion has attained an ideological coarseness and fact-free arguments.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts delivered an emotionally powerful speech on the floor of the Senate, pushing back against those who wish to use the Paris terrorist attacks to curtail humanitarian assistance to refugees. HuffPost has the story and the video. It bears noting that the mastermind of the terrorist attacks in Paris, and all but one of the perpetrators, were not refugees but longtime residents or citizens of France and Belgium.
Distinctly Catholic: Today, I would like to look at two aspects of this week's USCCB meeting which are more ecclesial in nature.