Over at Vatican Insider, a story about a documentary filmmaker giving Pope Francis two of his documentaries about the lives of immigrants to the U.S. Let's hope the pope watches them and, even more, let's hope that when he comes to the U.S. Papa Francesco makes a stop at the border and says Mass there for all those who have tried to cross it seeking a better life, only to encounter death or exploitation.
Over at Millennial, Dan DiLeo anticipates the pushback we will likely hear from some conservatives when Pope Francis released his much anticipated encyclical. We need some ecclesiastical climate change.
One more relic of the Cold War was torn down yesterday as the governments of Cuba and the United States announced they were resuming diplomatic recognition and undertaking an exchange of prisoners. The changes announced yesterday also take down a few bricks in the wall of the U.S. embargo against the island nation, but most of that wall will remain in place pending congressional action.
Over at CatholicMoralTheology.com, David Cloutier on the "libertarian default" in our culture. Powerful.
It was C. J. Reid, law professor at St. Thomas University in Minnesota who first proposed the meme of the older son in the parable of the prodigal to describe who some Catholics are reacting to Pope Francis' call for mercy. The meme has made it was to Vienna, according to this report at Vatican Insider.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll should be a source of reflection for every Catholic, especially those in leadership. The poll indicated that among white Catholics, 44 percent thought torture was sometimes justified, and an additional 24 percent thought it was often justified. Only 17 percent said it was rarely justified and 12 percent said torture could never be justified.
As David Gibson has pointed out, it was Pope Paul VI, not Pope Francis, who said, “One day we will see our pets in the eternity of Christ.” The statement was not an exercise in the official magisterium of the Church, but it did not have to be. The sense of the faithful, at least those faithful who have dogs, knows this to be the case.
The University of Notre Dame has a journal, Church Life, that was recently called to me attention and which is worth paying attention to. Here is a link to an article by Robert Christian entitled, "Catholic Liberals and Conservatives and the Church's Personalist Communitarianism" that gives some flavor of the high quality of articles being published there.
For several years now, conservatives have been complaining about the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the U.S. bishops' anti-poverty campaign, joining in coalitions with groups that also support pro-choice and pro-gay marriage causes. I have never thought the critique had merit - it is fine to work with a group on, say, immigration reform if they hold other views with which we disagree, with very minor exceptions. Never a good idea to join forces with Holocaust deniers.
In this morning's homily, the Holy Father had some strong words for the Pharisees of our day. It is one of his best sermons yet. Pope Francis did not mention anyone by name, but I am guessing he might have this interviewee in mind. For the record, and contra Cardinal Burke, divorce is not like pedophilia. That is only one of several outrageous comments.