My colleague here at NCR, and fellow Nutmegger, Rev. Richard McBrien has beat me to the punch with a fine commentary in Saint Charles Borromeo, and the profound influence he had on Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII, who edited the "acta" of Borromeo's apostolic visitations of his archdiocese. The great reformer of Trent directly influenced the great reformer of Vatican II - heaven forfend. Do I discern a hermeneutic of reform?!!!
The USCCB Media Blog has a post up aboput a recent talk by Bishop Danuel Flores of Brownsville. Bishop Flores discusses the way immigration patterns are changing due to the endemic violence in Mexico. Before, a father would come over first to make money to bring over the family. Now, the wife and kids are sent first to escape the violence and the father often stays in Mexico working to pay for himself and his family. Given the differences in wages on either side of the border, you can imagine the increase in poverty such arrangements occasion.
When will we finally get a humane immigration policy in this country? And why are Cubans the only Latinos allowed to get virtually automatic documents when the violence in Mexico has far outstripped the violence in Cuba?
Our culture is drowning in rights. Everyone thinks they have a right to everything and some take rights they do enjoy to excuse truly abhorrent behavior. Women have a right to free contraception. Bar customers claim a right to drink one too many. Wall Street sharks, take the right to private property that is justly theirs, and turn it into an excuse to rig the game and rip off the economy and the taxpayer. A customer spills his coffee on himself and thinks he has a right to sue McDonald's for producing too-hot coffee. And, of course, once the Supreme Court went mucking around in the penumbra of the Constitution, they found constitutional rights that, for some reason, had never occurred to the authors of that document.
Greg Erlandson, editor of Our Sunday Visitor, as a very clarifying post up about conservative reactions to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace's "Note" on the financial crisis. "Snarky" is the word he uses to describe them.
What is good for the liberal goose is good for the conservative gander, Erlandson suggests, and conservatives have shown the limits of their loyalty to Rome by their dismissive and often rude comments about the Pontifical Council and the document it issued.
In his latest blog posting, Archbishop Timothy Dolan invites us to consider what we used to call "the last things," you recall, death, judgment, heaven and hell. And, quite rightly, Dolan points out that there is nothing morbid or even depressing about thinking about death and dying for the Christian.
I think we need more of this ole time religion in our pulpits. Yes, we have work to do on this earth, but we remain destined for a better world than this one, and that vision of that better world helps to keep both perspective on our travails and encouragement towards the goal. Keep it coming Archbishop Dolan!
My interview with Sally Steenland at the Center for American Progress has been posted. It can be found here.
Molly Redden, at the New Republic, looks at the short-lived prospect that evangelicals would start caring about the environment.
Yesterday, I noted that I am not much of a fan of the cast of mind which warns darkly about “cultural elites” out to attack the Catholic Church, but that there were two exceptions. Yesterday, I looked at the world of legal scholarship which I believe really has adopted an attitude towards freedom and justice that is antithetical to the Catholic Church, even though I think most of the legal scholars who adopt this attitude do not think of themselves as hostile to the Church. It is more the case that they view the Church as some weird historical leftover, the Easter Bunny with real estate, certainly not an institution possessed of a coherent worldview.
David Gibson tells the tale of efforts by the Episcopal Church in Atlanta to overturn the condemnation of Pelagius rendered by the Council of Carthage. Pelagius denied the doctrine of Original Sin which has long been considered the one doctrine of the Church that required no faith, only observation, for its confirmation.
Original Sin is the most obvious part of the human inheritance. It is our birthright you might say. Felix culpa. Shame on these folks in Atlanta who wish to rob us of it.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Thomas Melady, released a statement signed by a host of prominent Catholics “of different political persuasions,” today calling for a renewed commitment to religious tolerance in American politics at a press conference held at the National Press Club.
‘Two hundred and twenty three years ago our Founding Fathers established through our Constitution, a high ideal for religious tolerance and understanding,” the statement begins before going on to note that “Catholics are particularly sensitive to the history of anti-Catholic bias that surfaced in the election of 1928 and in 1960.” The statement was prompted by recent comments by Pastor Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, at the Values Voter Summit, in which Jeffress suggested voters should prefer Christian candidates for office and called Mormonism “a cult.”
“The word ‘cult’ in its technical sense is unobjectionable,” Melady said at the press conference. “But in common usage it usually is filled with ridicule and sarcasm.” Melady added that “As Catholics, we have felt the sting of anti-religious bias in past elections.”