Yesterday, I looked at the internal, managerial, staff-related issues that face the USCCB in advance of their plenary next week. Today, I would like to look at the attitudinal, dare one say ideological, challenges facing the conference. And, to be clear, while I think the bishops must take the lead in resolving the managerial issues, the bishops need to take some long looks in the mirror if they wish to address the attitudinal issues I will discuss today.
In this morning's Washington Post, Fred Hiatt takes an important look at the way affluent families have college tuition subsidized while opportunities remain small for children of poor families. Here is the kind of issue you would think some sound bipartisan consensus could emerge.
Cardinal Raymond Burke's latest assertion that, under Pope Francis, the Church is like a ship without a rudder, is appalling. In every pontificate, the rudder of the ship is the Gospel. But, in Cardinal Burke's twisted view of the world, his interpretation of canon law is the rudder.
Next week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will gather for their annual fall plenary in Baltimore. This will be their second full meeting since the election of Pope Francis and their first full meeting since the Holy Father gave us a particular glimpse of his vision for the Church in Evangelii Gaudium, as well as the first meeting since the recently concluded Synod on the Family.
File this one under "the times they are a changing." Gustavo Guttierez will receive an honorary degree next week from St. Paul's University in Ottawa, a pontifical university. Archbishop Prendergast will be present as chancellor and smart money guesses he checked with the authorities in Rome before deciding to award this degree. Expect conservative meltdowns to be forthcoming.
The Catholic News Agency needs a brush up course on journalism. This post takes issue with Mark Silk's posts at Religion News Service. CNA quotes Archbishop Charles Chaput's spokesman, Kenneth Gavin, saying of Silk and other bloggers "Some blogs are like videogames; they invent their own reality." The underlying issue that Silk raised is pretty straightforward.
In this morning's Washington Post, Harold Meyerson on the fault line within the Democratic Party that runs through Wall Street.
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.
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.
In this morning's Washington Post, E.J. Dionne on the stakes in the Kansas Governor's race.