At Politico, a report on the Koch Brothers investigative apparatus. These guys just seem creepier and creepier to me.
Distinctly Catholic: Looking back over the last two days, four moments stand out: two moments demonstrate what is good about the bishops’ conference, and two moments highlight real problems.
Distinctly Catholic: Disaster #2 is taking shape as the bishops vote by paper ballot on Faithful Citizenship. Based on the tenor of the debate, it is surely going to pass.
Distinctly Catholic: In the Faithful Citizenship debate, Cardinal DiNardo presented the amendments to the Introductory Note that the drafting committee accepted and the body voted to accept them.
The votes were all conducted by paper ballot, so the results are coming in slowly.
They just announced that in the contest for General Secretary, Msgr. Brian Bransfield was elected. They did not disclose the vote total. In coffee break conversations, there was a great deal of discussion about this contest, interestingly, not along ideological lines. As predicted last week, look for a significant percentage of the staff to head for the exits. It is difficult to explain what a first class disaster this is for the conference.
Archbishop Peter Sartain, of Seattle, presented the strategic plans and priorities to the body, noting the degree of consultation involved in drafting the priorities. He noted that the National Advisory Council was consulted but based on the presentation yesterday, I am guessing there was not much challenging coming from that quarter.
The electronic voting mechanism failed so the bishops will be voting for a new Treasurer and committee chairs by paper ballot. Ugh! Results by noonish.
Distinctly Catholic: There is a question hanging over this plenary meeting of the U.S. bishops: Did Pope Francis come here two months ago?
The body just heard from Edward Mechmann, who spoke on behalf of the National Advisory Council, a group of lay people who advise the bishops. His comments were not exactly what you would call challenging. He spoke about how much the NAC agreed with everything the bishops say and do, how closely their concerns track with the concerns of the bishops. He applauded their draft statement on pornography.
Distinctly Catholic: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano delivered what is expected to be his last address to the bishops this morning. The papal nuncio hits 75 on Jan. 16.