My sometimes sparring partner and always friend Rick Garnett has a post up at Mirror of Justice on the Catholic approach to governance per se. Now, if we can just convince him about the ACA!
Louis Cameli has written a very important book, Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality: New Paths to Understanding. Anyone who is honest enough to admit that our Catholic theology on homosexuality is inadequate, and it is, should consider this book a primer, the starting point for further reflection.
Distinctly Catholic: The USCCB has announced its top 10 candidates for presidency and vice presidency. Who will take the spots?
Over at Religion & Politics, the online journal of the Danforth Center, Michael O'Loughlin takes the temperature of U.S. reactions to the papacy of Francis. O'Loughlin is one of the up-and-coming young writers in the Catholic world with a keen eye and an adroit pen.
Like me, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, who writes a column at Patheos, did not much care for a recent essay by Cara McDonough. But, such nastiness from a man of the cloth as he displays in this article leads one to suggest this priest has some anger issues that would warrant his attention. When confronted with a fellow Catholic whose opinions a priest finds disturbing, I think the appropriate tone is one more or sadness than of anger for a priest.
The conventional wisdom within the Beltway emerged loudly and clearly this weekend: The Democrats, led by President Obama, should reconsider a grand bargain on budgetary matters, not a small bargain, in an effort to reach agreement with the Republicans. The definition of “grand bargain” seems to mean entitlement reform.
Over at Millennial, Meghan Clark has a thoughtful essay on the nation's mis-directed budget and fiscal priorities. She makes the case compellingly that it would be a tragedy to see the deficit hawks rule the day when so many unmet needs cry out for attention.
Over at RNS, Mark Silk encourages the Obama White House to find a real diplomat to takeover the post of ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Silk is right that Johnson Cook's tenure was uneventful to say the least, despite the fact that religious freedom is at the core of some of the world's most difficult challenges.
Pope Francis delivered a very important homily yesterday at daily Mass. Like many people, I find these daily Mass homilies very challenging and encouraging, truly pastoral, rooted in the Scripture but attuned to the world. Yesterday, he spoke about ideology and faith and how the two are incompatible. These are words that we in the U.S. especially need to hear.
Here are the relevant passages from the Vatican Radio synopsis of the sermon:
Over at the American Spectator, George Neumayr has a particularly vile column in which he attacks, well, just about everybody. He laments the decision of Cardinal Donald Wuerl not to turn the communion rail into a trench in the culture wars, writing: