My colleague Joshua McElwee has the story. The Holy See will establish a new commission to look at pastoral practices relating to the protection of children. Obviously, having a special commission tasked with this one issue will result in better and faster action. That is how bureaucracies work.
The Holy Father has spoken frequently about what he terms the “globalization of indifference,” the way all of us can too easily resign ourselves to the current state of affairs, unsure how to even proceed in meeting the injustices of our day and, so, preferring to ignore them. It is a powerful, and a specifically spiritual, indictment. Alas, here in the U.S., this indifference is not only global in its reach, it is becoming thoroughly domesticated in our politics.
It has been awhile since we have bestowed another What Pope Francis Meant To Say award. This essay by John-Henry Westen at LifeSiteNews certainly warrants it. But, the real problem here is not tendentiousness but defensiveness.
I confess I have not delved deeply into the controversy about whether or not Catholic schools should use the "Common Core" curriculum in its schools. But, this posting by Paul Moses raises some interesting questions that both sides should consider.
Regular readers will know that I am not usually a fan of Ross Douthat, but his column on the challenge Pope Francis poses to liberal Catholics is spot-on. It is not easy to stand up to the rest of our progressive allies on a neuralgic issue like abortion, but if we don't, why should we be surprised if we are dismissed as mere fellow travelers?
Jacques Bahati, at the Africa Faith & Justice Network, writes about the deteriorating political situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It makes for sad reading.
Here is another beautiful Advent hymn that captures the need to be freed by God, the need for a savior:
If Christmas is around the corner, that means Fox News is busy ranting about the “war on Christmas.” This year, Sarah Palin has a book out on the topic and it is found on the New York Times best-seller list. The whole business about a war on Christmas illustrates some of the most acute pathologies of American religiosity.
Paragraph 172 from Evangelii Gaudium presents a pastoral model that, well, might suggest holding an exorcism to demonstrate one's opposition to same-sex marriage is probably not be the best pastoral methodology. These are words for all to live by, but especially the Church's pastors:
One of my favorite Advent hymns is "O Come Divine Messiah." I was unable to find a good recording of this in English, but came across this recording in French which starts with a wonderful organ improvisation. It perfectly captures the sense of pent-up, exuberant expectation that makes this such a wonderful hymn.