Saturday night, I was in New York City to celebrate the memory of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete with his friends at Communione e Liberazione. They had a wonderful piano and violin duo that began the evening, followed by tributes to Lorenzo by his friends Professor Robert Pollack and documentary producer Helen Whitney. Helen also showed a video that brought together some of Lorenzo's commentary on her shows. They also invited me to speak. Here is the text of my remarks which I reprint here because I hope they speak to people who did not Lorenzo too.
At Commonweal, Jackson Lears on the liberal arts versus Neo-liberalism. This is an important, important essay. The reach of scientific positivism, especially when it comes dressed in economicist drag, tears away at the very foundation of what we mean when we say "civilization."
Ross Douthat’s article in Atlantic sounded an alarm bell he has struck before, the idea that Pope Francis could provoke a schism if his revolutionary impulses turn out to be more than rhetorical devices or symbolic gestures. But, Douthat both underestimates the revolutionary quality of what is transpiring at the Vatican and overestimates the degree to which it might provoke a new schism of any size.
Take for example this paragraph. Douthat writes:
At National Journal, veteran reporter Ron Fournier dissects the Clinton's MO in the face of media scrutiny over potential scandals. In the process, he perhaps unintentionally demonstrates why they are such darned effective politicians.
In many ways, today’s Republican Party faces greater ideological divisions within its ranks than do the Democrats. On immigration reform, on prison reform, on whether and how to focus on middle class incomes, on expanding Medicare, the GOP is divided. Even on the most basic questions of the role of government and of elected officials, the “blow it up” mantra of the Tea Party wing conflicts with the desire of both Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to actually govern. On most issues, for good or ill, the Democrats are basically united.
At Millennial, Alessandro Rovati has a beautiful reflection on Pope Francis' Bull Misericordiae Vultus.
Speaking of millennials, Robert Christian, who edits that journal, has an article at Notre Dame's "Church Life" calling for a new progressive era in our new gilded age. Well worth a read.
Yesterday, I wrote about the news that Bishop Robert Finn had resigned as the Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph. I mentioned that the accountability of bishops is especially important when it comes to the issue of clergy sex abuse, but that issue does not exhaust the issue: Bishops can fail in many ways, as can we all, but they are in positions of leadership, with enormous power over the people they are supposed to serve. How can and should the Church deal with bishops who are simply not working out?
From RNS, a look at how the abortion issue is playing out in the early stages of campaign 2016 - and it ain't pretty - and how the debate could become more consequential.
Distinctly Catholic: This is no time for popping champagne. Everything about the situation is the stuff of tragedy. But it is tragedy of a specific kind.
With the official news that Fr. Serra will be canonized in September when the Holy Father comes to the U.S., permit me to call your attention to an event this coming Wednesday that is being sponsored by the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies called "Founding Padres." The event will feature experts on the three priests whose statues are placed in the U.S. Capitol building: Fr. Serra, Fr. Kino, and Fr. Marquette.