I one of the news stories this morning, last night’s debate was described as “scintillating.” Were we watching the same debate? What the nation witnessed last night was a Republican Party that is so out-of-touch with the American people, it felt at times like we were watching the Onion’s version of a Republican debate. Everyone played true to form, but the forms are mostly ridiculous.
Today is the anniversary of the death of Blessed Pope Paul VI. Despite the chatter about "John Paul the Great," I think history is already beginning to show that it was Montini who was the great pope of the twentieth century. Fr. Tom Rosica has a lovely reflection on today's feast and Paul's legacy at Salt & Light.
When the Olympics begin, the Opening Ceremonies conclude with the lighting of the Olympic flame. The campaign for the GOP presidential nomination begins in earnest tonight, with the first debate, but the flame has already been lit and its name is Donald Trump.
Today is the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. It is one of the most beautiful churches in Rome, and Pope Francis often stops there en route to and from his papal trips outside Rome, to pray the icon of Mary, "Salus Populi Romani," The current archpriest is Cardinal Avril y Castello. Happy feast!
At First Things, a fine article by Peter Berkowitz on Michael Walzer's new book.
Two news items came to my attention this morning that both point to an issue that will doubtlessly stalk the Holy Father’s visit to the United States next month. First, Pope Francis himself spoke in one of his morning sermons against those who turn the Gospel into an ideology.
At Cardus' Comment public theology blog, an interesting commentary by a self-described eco-skeptic on Laudato Si'. I am not sure I agree with all of the points the author tries to make, but at least he is engaging the text and not dismissing it out of hand. If more eco-skeptics do the same, all the better.
The reaction to the undercover videos of physicians at Planned Parenthood discussing the dismemberment of unborn children with a view toward being able to harvest their organs shows the potential to reframe this nation’s debate about abortion. But, last night’s vote in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood shows how the political reaction betrays a flawed strategy that risks missing the opportunity to reframe that debate.
A new poll from Celinda Lake, commissioned by labor and faith-based groups, shows that Pope Francis is plenty popular - and he is even more credible than Oprah! Even!
Charles Koch wants your shackles. In a speech to his Donor Summit this weekend, opened to the press for the first time, Politico reports that Koch claimed, “we aim … to remove the shackles preventing all Americans, especially the disadvantaged, from pursuing their dreams.” He likened his efforts to those of the civil rights movement’s leaders, to the suffragettes, to the abolitionists, and, of course, to the generation of patriots who fought the Revolutionary War.
At the USCCB website, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, chair of the Pro-Life Committee has a very well done statement on the controversy surrounding the Planned Parenthood videos. It really is possible to defend life while respecting women and not attacking our opponents. Cardinal Sean shows the way.