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Bury the Dead

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One of the corporal works of mercy is: Bury the Dead. My colleague John Allen has a report on a discussion in Rome about whether or not a Nazi war criminal, who never repented his actions - and, indeed, continued to deny the Holocaust even in a statement issued after his death! - should be given a Catholic funeral. The answer is not an easy one, but it is inescapable: Yes, this man should receive a Catholic funeral if that is what his family wants.

GOP's Hispanic Problem

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The Public Religion Research Institute has a wonderful graph that indicates the problem the Republicans have with Hispanic voters. When asked how they would describe the Republican Party, only 11 percent used positive adjectives. 42 percent, chose neutral terms. The remainder, 47 percent, chose negative terms such as "rich, corporate" (15 percent), "racist, intolerant, anti-immigrant," (11 percent) "old-fashioned, out of touch," (5 percent) and "obstructionist," (3 percent).

Shocked, Shocked To Find Gambling Going On

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We all remember the scene in Casablanca when Captain Louis Renault, played by Claude Rains, pronounces him "shocked, shocked" to find that gambling has been going on at Rick's cafe, just before he collects his winnings. I thought of that scene when reading Janet Smith's article at First Things in which she asks who Pope Francis could be speaking about when he suggested that some Catholics are obsessed with certain moral issues to the exclusion of the fundamental proclamation of the Gospel.

The GOP's Moment of Truth

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Sometime today, maybe tomorrow, the fate of the Republican Party will be decided. GOP House leaders met with President Obama yesterday for negotiations to extend the debt ceiling and, hopefully, end the government shutdown. The President’s protestations that he would not negotiate notwithstanding, the meeting was a negotiation. It was not a White House tour. The tours are cancelled because of the shutdown.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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