Sports Illustrated has named Serena Williams its "Sportsperson of the Year." The tennis phenom is undoubtedly worthy of the honor. I spent a fair amount of time this summer watching her matches, and often found myself catching my breath at her sheer athleticism. The SI award used to be called "Sportsman of the Year" but there were no biological males in competition this year. I could have voted for the USA women's soccer team, or the UConn women's basketball team, or even for American Pharaoh.
The Climate Talks outside Paris ended in what could be an historic achievement, an agreement backed by 196 countries to fundamentally change the way we human beings harness the energy we use. The accord is significant, most especially for its realism, which came in two forms, one scientific and the other political.
At PoliticalTheology.com, Dan DiLeo on the Paris climate talks.
At RealClearPolitics, Peter Berkowitz on the four subsets of today's GOP and what it will take to get a majority of GOp primary voters.
Sunday will be Gaudete Sunday, when the Church in this season of repentance and anticipation ramps up the focus on the anticipation and takes a slight break in the repentance, signaling the change of focus with a change of vestments, from the purple we associate with penance and mourning, to the rose, hinting at the white vestments that will be worn at Christmas Mass. Among all the many great Advent hymns that communicate this sense of anticipation, one of my favorites is “O Come, divine Messiah!”:
O come, divine Messiah!
At Commonweal, Michael Peppard looks at the document on Catholic-Jewish relations released today.
Who would have thought that a light show could cause such a stir! Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who oversees the Council on the New Evangelization, made the decision to use the façade of St. Peter’s basilica as a projection screen for a show about “our common home,” as Pope Francis termed the earth and the environment in his encyclical. The show was timed to coincide with the Paris climate change talks which continue to inch towards some hopeful agreement to reduce toxic emissions.
At Millennial, an interview with John Gehring on his new book The Francis Effect.
At the National Catholic Register, an article to be filed in the "more Catholic than the pope" file. This fellow is a prof at the seminary in Denver. Hmmmm.
The attacks in San Bernardino, following on the attacks in Paris, have forced Americans and our allies to question how we combat ISIS, and other terrorists, without sacrificing the very freedom of our societies that we rightly prize.
Mark Silk at RNS on the President speech about terrorism, and about the need for groups like CAIR - and others - to wrestle with the complicity of regimes like that in Saudi Arabia, that may be our strategic allies but who have sowed the ideology that drives ISIS, and keeps pace with the terror group when it comes to denial of religious freedom and beheadings of those it deems enemies.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council. Compared to the four sessions of the council, nothing else was more significant in the entire twentieth century life of the Church. It would take a year of blog posts to share my thoughts upon the council, but today I would like to look at the reception of the council over the past fifty years and touch on what I perceive as some of the major challenges in the on-going reception of that seismic, historic and grace-filled event.