When I first heard about "hate crimes" and proposals to enhance criminal penalties for certain acts if they could be proven to be animated by "hate," I was deeply suspicious. I have come to re-assess my initial skepticism in light of events like the shootings in Overland Park, Kan., this past Sunday when Frazier Glenn Miller Jr. killed three people at a Jewish Community Center and nearby Jewish retirement home.
Many diocese are holding their Chrism Masses either last night or today. One of the most beautiful hymns for the occasion, sung to the tune Abbot's Leigh, is "Lord You Give the Great Commission," here sung at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
In this morning's Washington Post, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the costs of implementing the Affordable Care Act will be significantly lower than anticipated because of lower premiums and, consequently, lower government-financed subsidies. Over the next ten years, CBO projects the government will spend $164 billion less than previously expected.
Yesterday, I began looking at Fr. Robert Imbelli’s new book Rekindling the Christic Imagination: Theological Meditations for the New Evangelization. I got no further than the introduction which provocatively brings Charles Taylor into dialogue with Pope Emeritus Benedict, so full is that introduction with insights that seem particularly keen as we approach Holy Week.
Each day this Holy Week, I will share a beautiful piece of music that helps to draw one into the mystery we celebrate. Yesterday, Palm Sunday, is the only day we get to sing one of the most beautiful hymns in the canon:
Over at Vatican Insider, Andrea Tornielli reports on the Holy Father's sermon yesterday at Palm Sunday Mass. It is obvious that some of Tornielli's longtime sources are grumbling about the pope.
In this morning's Washington Post, Anthony Faiola looks at the efforts of Martine Le Pen to forge a Europe-wide coalition of nationalist parties. This is as frightening a bit of news as I can imagine.
Distinctly Catholic: If you're looking for something to focus your prayer this Holy Week, pick up this little book by Fr. Robert Imbelli.
Everyone by now has seen the video of Fr. Ray Kelly singing a revised version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" at a wedding in Ireland. It's just great - not only does he make the wedding couple happy, he makes many liturgists disgruntled. A two-fer.
But, it is heresy to think that anyone, including Fr. Kelly, can sing Cohen's classic as well as k.d.lang, although I suppose she is unlikely to ever sing it at a Catholic Mass. In any event, here it is:
At Time magazine, Robert Christian on a spot of potential common ground between pro-life and pro-choice activists: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's "Opportunity Plan" to help young parents, especially young mothers, care for their children.