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Remembering 9/11


This morning brings a crisp, slightly cool breeze and a cloudless sky to Washington, D.C., just as it did eleven years ago today. FDR said of December 7th, that it was a day that would live in infamy, and it has to a degree, although I wonder how many Americans still associate that date with its historic significance. But, “9/11” no longer refers to a date, but to an event, a searing event, and the nation’s reaction to that searing shows how different we are from the days of 1941.

In both instances, America was attacked and caught off-guard. In both instances, thousands of Americans died, 2,400 at Pearl Harbor, almost all of them military men, and some 3,000 in New York, Washington and Shanksville, almost all of them civilians and first-responders. In both instances, America went to war as a consequence of, and response to, the attack. There the similarities cease.

Franciscans Call for More Focus on Climate Change


The Franciscan Action Network has called for both President Obama and Governor Romney to focus more on the need to confront global climate change in their on-going campaign. “This presidential election has critical implications not just for our generation but for generations to come," said Sister Marie Lucey, OSF, Director of Advocacy for the Franciscan Action Network. "What kind of Earth are we going to leave our children and future generations? Do we love them enough to put care for God’s creation ahead of our individual and corporate interests?”

More on Dems' Abortion-palooza


Writing at the new online journal Millennial, where young Catholics are finding their voice, Sarah Christian shares her thoughts as a young woman watching the Democrats' celebration of abortion rights. I am not sure she is right that the issue will hurt Obama's election chances, but Christian's essay is more evidence that many Millennials lack the kind of commitment to the orthodoxy of Roe that previous generations have evidenced.

Election 2012: Medicare


The general state of the economy, and especially the lingering high unemployment rate, will be the central focus of the campaign for the next two months. That debate is important, and as I have tried to argue, even while budgetary issues do admit an obvious role for prudential judgment, there are deeper, more philosophic and theological issues at stake in that debate. Over the next few weeks, I will be using my Monday column to look at some of the issues in this campaign through the lens of Catholic social teaching.

Obama's Speech


President Obama’s acceptance speech was certainly better than Mitt Romney’s last week, but that is a pretty low bar. It was not as good as Joe Biden’s which preceded it last night. It was most definitely not as good as President Bill Clinton’s the previous night. And, yet, it had all the hallmarks of a classic Obama speech: The uplifting oratory, the well-turned phrases, and the emphatic delivery. What was different was the circumstance. The magic is gone. It is 2012 not 2008. Americans were content with rhetoric four years ago but now they want results.

Cardinal Bergoglio Hits \"Neo-clericalism\"


Vatican Insider has the story of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires' efforts to instruct his own clergy on why they are wrong to deny baptism to children out of wedlock. Next month, we start the Year of Faith. We are all focused on the New Evangelization. Kudos to Cardinal Bergoglio for recognizing that some of the evangelization needs to take place with the clergy!

The Voice Vote in Jerusalem and God


The most awkward moment of the Democratic Convention - thank God, so to speak, it was not in primetime - came when the chair of the convention called for a voice vote on amending the Democratic platform to reinsert the party's commitment to Jerusalem's status as the capital of Israel and to mention the Godhead. Many people shouted "no."

In the case of Jerusalem, what to say? Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish state even when there was no Jewish state. Through the millennia, Jews did not pray, "Next year, in Tel Aviv" at Passover. Of course, the final status of Jerusalem is subject to negotiations with the Palestinians. Perhaps some arrangement can be made to accommodate the Palestinian desires. But, one thing is clear. If you get into a cab at David Ben-Gurion airport and say to the driver, "Take me to the parliament," he will not drive you to Tel Aviv. So, why the shouts of "No"? Because there is a growing hostility to Israel on the left. It is ugly. It is uninformed. But, it is there.


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In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


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