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The Midterms: Is There a Catholic Angle?

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Is there a Catholic angle on next week’s midterm elections? There has not been as much focus on the role of religion in this election cycle as there has been in recent years. Still, the issues the candidates have chosen to run on is interesting and points to what might, repeat might, be a positive long-term development not just for Catholic concerns but for a diminishment of ideological extremism in both parties.

The Church & the Media

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Elisabeth Dias, writing at Time magazine, correctly notes that much of the mainstream media showed an almost willful lack of knowledge about the Catholic Church's long-standing teaching on the compatibility of the scientific theory of evolution with the Christian doctrine of creation. NBC was the worst, calling Pope Francis' recent comments "a theological break from his predecessor Benedict XVI, a strong proponent of creationism." Yeesh.

Understanding Francis: Saint Cicero and the Jesuits

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Pope Francis’ frequent references to the history of the Church to explain current challenges, such as when he refers to neo-Pelagians, are a key to the Holy Father’s worldview. If he looks to history to discern the situation of the Church today, perhaps we should look to that same history to better understand his own thinking. And, as I have noted before, one frame for interpreting this first Jesuit pope is to see him as battling the Jansenists of our time as previous Jesuits did in the late sixteenth century.

Abp Forte, Call your office

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According to this report at Patheos, the Archbishop of Monrovia, Liberia, declares that Ebola is God's punishment for homosexuality. He should re-read the Catechism on the innate dignity of all human persons. Blaming people for a dread disease is not exactly an expression of respect for the dignity of gay people, nor an indication of respect for the intelligence of everyone else. 

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