Yesterday, I gave some initial impressions of the Instrumentum laboris for the forthcoming Synod on the Family, highlighting different strengths and weaknesses in the document. Today, I propose to take a step back and look at the document as a whole and what it portends both for the synod and for the Church in this privileged, albeit challenging, moment.
Fouad Ajami, the great scholar of the Muslim world, died this past weekend. Leon Wieseltier has a moving tribute to him which you can find here.
In his concession speech, in which he failed to concede, Chris McDaniel showed some serious "bruta figura." But, just as remarkable is the fact that he displayed the quality that Tea Party types usually associate with the GOP establishment, and indict them for it, namely, a sense of entitlement. McDaniel seems angry at the fact that people exercised their right to vote and they voted for his opponent.
In case you missed it on the homepage, my review of Stephen Smith's The Rise and Decline of Religious Freedom has now been posted here.
The Holy See released the Instrumentum laboris for the upcoming Synod on the Family today. The document is long and will require more in depth analysis to be sure. But, a quick reading of the text this morning suggests that the document is uneven. Parts are provocative, parts are stale, and much of it could have benefited from greater input from the people being discussed.
For example, in paragraph #31 we read this:
Not sure how I missed this essay when it was first published, but I am reminded of how far above the average cultural critic Leon Wieseltier is yet again in reading this takedown of Alain de Botton's call for a "Twitter sabbath." Just brilliant.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York gave an interview to two students at Fordham, Michael Menconi and Ken Ochs, in which the students asked him about the ethical questions young people have. The cardinal's opening response, calling for young people to cultivate the virtue of generosity, shows +Dolan at his best.
The Mississippi Republican primary last night threw another monkey wrench into the narrative about the Tea Party. Two weeks ago, when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary contest to a Tea Party opponent, the storyline was that the Tea Party is back. Now, with incumbent Senator Thad Cochran winning narrowly against Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel, the establishment is back.
Michael Sean Winters is having computer troubles, so he is taking the day off. He'll be back tomorrow, hopefully with a computer that works.
Mozart's classic, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. How better to celebrate Corpus Christi?