Some historians have a knack for imparting a sweeping interpretation of events in their books, but they fail to actually detail those events for both readers and future historians, and so their work has a strictly limited value: It may be brilliant, but it will always need to be checked to make sure the interpretation is more than plausible. Other historians get bogged down in a catalogue of the events they survey, producing works with no analytical significance, books that read like a grocery list.
The deal reached between Iran, the United States, and other powers, not all of them allies, had already been engulfed in controversy before it was reached. Some, like Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and certain conservative U.S. members of Congress, had been denouncing the deal for weeks. On the other hand, members of the Obama administration were not only quick to praise deal but offered an interpretation of its provisions that was somewhat at odds with the interpretation being offered by Iranian officials.
Alleluia. Here is Mascagni's exquisite setting of the Regina Caeli.
Here are three songs which fill my heart with dread on this most dread day. First, the Taize chant, "All you who pass this way, Look and See," captures our reluctance to actually gaze upon the suffering of our Lord, which gaze is the only means to really accept our own sufferings. And the answer to the question - Is there any sorrow like unto His sorrow - would be "No."
The Indiana bishops' statement is a model of moderation, albeit a bit vague in the circumstances. A friend called my attention to a particular item of Church teaching that is more clear on this subject, and might usefully be considered by those who thing we should keep digging in, #422 from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Today, the Church enters liturgically into its greatest mystery, the Sacred Triduum, in which we celebrate the events that, together, have brought about our salvation. Here, in these days, is the answer to all varieties of Pelagianism for these days are about God’s great deeds. In the accounts of the Passion, the humans do not come off very well and we are all kidding ourselves if we think we would have done any better if we had been there at the time.
At Crisis magazine, Patrick Reilly, head of the inappropriately named Cardinal Newman Society, on Notre Dame, same sex marriage and Indiana law. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Reilly is wrong on the facts AND wrong on the law. The only thing Reilly proves is the myopia on the right which, this week, got a great big wake up call to return to reality.
I think we were all surprised at the news this morning that Bishop Robert Finn, citing his conviction for failure to report sex abuse, had decided to resign as Bishop of Kansas City. But, even more surprising was his decision to accept a position as National Spokesman for the Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). This takes the whole Nixon to China meme to an entirely new level. We here at NCR wish Bishop Finn well in his new post.
New numbers from Quinnipiac show that Hillary Clinton is in trouble, even in some blue states like Pennsylvania.
At RNS, Mark Silk on what it will take to "clarify" the new RFRA law in Indiana. Most of what is being published on this issue is silly nonsense, including the editorial from the NYTimes. Silk is the exception.
Two essays crossed my desk recently, both of which in different ways focus on the issue of income inequality and both of which, somewhat strangely, seem unaware of the religious and moral frameworks with which Americans have traditionally discussed the issue of social equality. At a time when the most visible religious leader in the world, Pope Francis, has made inequality such a central theme of his pontificate, this absence is bizarre.