Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone - except those in the great state of Missouri charged with the administration of justice and who are about to execute a severely mentally disabled man. Tobias Winright, at CatholicMoralTheology.com, analyzes the injustice.
Ross Douthat at the New York Times has an interesting, and detailed, commentary about Pope Francis’ critics the other day. I am not sure why he started by citing a recent article in The New Republic that was, like the magazine as a whole these days, superficial. Nonetheless, Douthat invites us to distinguish the different groups that resist this pope and he is mostly on target, with a few important qualifiers.
President Obama was really funny at this weekend's Gridiron dinner, especially his takedown of Gov. Scott Walker. (h/t to Fr. Imbelli)
The Holy Father on God's ability to change us if we have faith and how hard we find it to believe that God really loves us.
It is tempting this morning to focus on the bracketology of the NCAA basketball tournament, like the rest of the country. Alas, one of the fundamental problems our nation faces is that so many people think entertainment is more important than civic engagement, and powerful economic interests want it that way: While the people are busy watching sports or Real Housewives or something to do with the Kardashians, those economic interests are gaining control of the government. Besides, my UConn Huskies did not make the cut this year.
Emily's List pulls the leash and congresssional Democrats obediently heel. If, in the process, a bill on human trafficking is stopped, so be it. Emily's List and the other pro-choice groups are making it harder and harder to be a Democrat.
One of Pope Francis’ first acts was to go to the Church of St. Anne, the parish church for Vatican employees, and say Mass there. At the end of the Mass, he stood outside the vestibule, greeting the parishioners at the door. The pastor at my church here in DC grabbed me as I walked into church later that morning. “Did you see him?” he asked excitedly. “He could have been any parish priest, greeting the people as they leave Mass.” One of the most foundational changes in this pontificate is that Pope Francis is re-fashioning the job description: He is the world’s parish priest.
At an immigration discussion in Illinois, Archbishop Blase Cupich challenged Republicans on the issue, reminding them that the best way to get around President Obama's executive order would be to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The GOP congressmen dodged a bit, but the truth is that they could have signed a discharge petition to force a floor vote.
Tomorrow will be the second anniversary of the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis. If, on the 12th of March 2013 you had told me the cardinals were set to elect a man who would revolutionize the Church in two years, I would have scoffed. Not anymore.
Let's call the next round of campaign finance measures McCain-Feingold-Bergoglio: Pope Francis calls for elections that are not funded by private sources. He just keps trying to endear himself to American conservatives in advance of his visit.
Distinctly Catholic: It's shocking to see Sen. Tom Cotton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and city employees of Ferguson fail to realize the significance of communication.