Over at First Things, Catholic University's Michael Gorman asks if Catholics will comply with the HHS mandate if we lose in the courts. He rightly points to the danger of using strong language in making our case but, then, astonishingly, suggests that we should shutter our Catholic institutions rather than comply. This is a strange stance coming from a philosophy professor whom, one would hope, had a sense of proportion and balance.
Over at Daily Beast, Christopher Dickey has a great article on Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Pope Francis, and specifically the plight of immigrants. It is fascinating to see the Church generating such positive press. Who would have thunk it?
Yesterday, in advance of next week’s spring meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I looked at the future of the bishops’ quadrennial document on the responsibilities of Catholics in political life, Faithful Citizenship. Today, I would like to look at another item on next week’s agenda, whether or not to extend the life of the ad hoc committee on religious liberty.
I do not anticipate that the bishops will pull the plug on this ad hoc committee, but they should.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops holds its spring meeting next week in New Orleans. Sometimes, the spring meeting carries a light work load, with an emphasis more on the bishops getting together for a sort of retreat. But, this year, there are some real agenda items facing the bishops.
It is rare that one encounters a book that is seminal, well written and important, all at the same time. But, Lost Classroom, Lost Community: Catholic Schools’ Importance in Urban America, by Margaret Brinig and Nicole Stelle Garnett is such a book.
Over at Aleteia, George Weigel has a review of a new book by Margaret Brinig and Nicole Stelle Garnett on the relationship of Catholic schools to the social capital in the neighborhoods they serve. I will be reviewing that book tomorrow. But, what is strange about Weigel's review is that he uses it to bring up an old proposal of his that the authors do not advocate. Weigel wants to shut down the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and turn it into a campaign to save Catholic schools.
In yesterday's Outlook section of the Washington Post, Walter Russell Meade offered a very fair assessment of Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State. Meade gets past the shouting about Benghazi and provides a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses Secretary Clinton brought to her work, what she achieved, and what she did not achieve. Definitely, worth a read.
Voters will go to the polls in several states tomorrow to cast ballots in primary elections. In California, my friend Doug Kmiec is running as an Independent candidate for Congress. He has built his campaign on the belief that campaign financing is ruining our democracy as well as a much needed reminder that "both parties have let us down." The observation is so obvious yet, how is one to create change when third parties are at such a disadvantage?
Over at HuffPost, C. J. Reid on "Brains, guns and preventable murder."
Robert Blair Kaiser has taken issue with the excommunication of an Austrian couple, Martha and Gert Heizer, because they held Eucharistic celebrations without a priest. Kaiser’s column is one of the most muddled, ill-considered articles I have read in a long time and it warrants a response.