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The Trade Bill Gets Even Worse; GOP Spits in Pope Francis's Eye

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The Senate will be returning to the issue of trade this week, after a revolt among Democrats in the House made it difficult to perceive a way forward in the lower chamber. The Democrats refused to support assistance for workers whose jobs are lost on account of the trade pacts, making the whole a poison pill. But, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks he has found the silver bullet, re-inserting the worker assistance as an amendment to an essentially unrelated bill to promote trade with sub-Saharan Africa.

Laudato Si' - Magistra No

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There is something a little endearing about watching some conservative Catholics wrestle with the fact that they are dissenting from papal teaching. They are a bit clumsy at it. Perhaps, here at NCR, we could offer a symposium or something. What has become abundantly clear in the last twenty-four hours is that these conservatives are dissenting, and not just from one item in a long papal document, but from the very foundations of Catholic Social Teaching.

Solidarity & Accountability

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Solidarity is a tired word. We almost immediately associate it with the brave Polish workers who formed an independent union, a key step in the dismantling of the Soviet empire. In some circles, as Pope Francis has said, solidarity is almost a bad word, but he went on to affirm “it is our word,” a word without which Catholics can scarcely explain themselves or the Church’s social teachings.

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