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Is Pope Francis Right about the Synod?

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At his General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis spoke about the Synod on the Family. He thanked the media for their work but added that often the vision of the media was a bit “in the style of sports or political coverage,” and “they often spoke of two teams, pro and con, conservatives and liberals, and so on.” The Pope explained that, first of all he asked the Synod Fathers to speak frankly and courageously and to listen with humility. He noted there was no prior censorship and that everyone had the chance to say what was in his heart.

The Family & the Economy

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Per usual, Harold Meyerson hits a home run in his discussion this morning of the way some employers do not provide employees with the kind of regular work schedule that permits the worker to organize his or her family life. I am wondering if this is the kind of thing that will be discussed by Janet Smith at next September's World Family Meeting?  Or, if this will merit a symposium at the Napa Institute? 

Gov't Shutdown Politics at Its Worst

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The problem with “must-pass” legislation is that it must pass. So, as the deadline for passing a Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded looms at midnight tonight, congressional leaders are busy trying to cobble together enough votes to pass the CR in both chambers of Congress. The process is ugly and the results are ugly and, yet, our political leaders seem incapable of passing a budget in good time, with ample opportunity to debate particular legislative proposals.

More Francis Effect

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At Morning Briefing, NCR has a link to a story about a parish in Iowa hosting an open house for disaffected Catholics. The Francis Effect. My dad cuts out items from the local Connecticut papers and sends them to me along with the church bulletin from my home parish. This week's envelope contained two Francis Effect items. First, the church bulletin had an insert page with quotes from Pope Francis related to Advent.

Dems Pushback on Wall Street

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Politico reports that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire has joined Sen. Rick Durbin of Illinois and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in opposing the nomination of Antonio Weiss to the Treasury Department's # 3 job, undersecretary for domestic finance. Here is the emerging faultline with the Democratic Party - will they entrust the nation's finances to Wall Street or will they look to others for guidance?

The Immorality of Torture

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The release of the highly redacted Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture is a catalogue of horrors. While the report suggested that the CIA misled both Congress and the White House about the severity of its deeds, it is hard to believe that the CIA acted in a rogue manner and far more likely that key officials in the Bush White House – Dick Cheney comes to mind – were winking as fast and as often as they could. Still, as in any corrupt enterprise, and the torture of prisoners was certainly a corruption of the nation’s moral ideals, assessing precise responsibility is difficult.

RC Theologians on Racial Injustice

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More than 130 Catholic theologians have signed onto a statement on racial injustice in the wake of the decisions not to indict white police officers in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. It is very well done, not inflammatory but moving beyond the insufficient calls for calm and dialogue. We need calm and we need dialogue but we also need to acknowledge the racial elephant in the room. 

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In This Issue

December 5-18, 2014

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