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Solidarity & Accountability


Solidarity is a tired word. We almost immediately associate it with the brave Polish workers who formed an independent union, a key step in the dismantling of the Soviet empire. In some circles, as Pope Francis has said, solidarity is almost a bad word, but he went on to affirm “it is our word,” a word without which Catholics can scarcely explain themselves or the Church’s social teachings.

The Encyclical Cometh


In case you haven’t heard, Pope Francis is releasing his encyclical on the environment this week. I suspect you have heard. Never has a text that no one has yet seen generated so much attention! I have not seen it either but prognostication is part of an analyst’s brief, so at the risk of proving myself a fool, here are my predictions about “Laudato Si.”

Naptime at the USCCB


The first day of the USCCB meeting in St. Louis appeared somnambulant. The bishops might as well have been catching a nap, as no activity was required. They sat and listened to a series of reports, most of which had all the enthusiasm of a dentist explaining why that tooth must be pulled. The whole thing could have been done by email.

The Accountability of Bishops


The Holy Father’s approval of a new procedure and process for holding bishops accountable if they fail in their responsibilities to protect children, and to assign this task to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is an enormous step forward in the Church’s long effort to rid itself of the scourge of clergy sex abuse and to create a culture that sees the protection of children as one of its highest duties.


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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015


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