Archbishop Silvio Tomasi gave a very fine speech at the U.N. Conference of the Rights of Man in Geneva this morning. The archbishop, who is the Vatican's permanent observer to the U.N. agencies in Geneva, focused on religious freedom. Here is the text.
Ever since the Republicans took over the House, and the Tea Party took over the Republican Party, the prospect for comprehensive immigration reform has looked more grim than usual. As long as the recession continues and millions of Americans remain out-of-work, immigration reform is a tough sell: Provisions for guest workers aren’t popular when your wife or your uncle or your neighbor has been looking for work and can’t find any.
Next Monday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is sponsoring an all-day symposium on immigration with the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, the in-house “think tank” of Catholic University. The daytime panels are free and open to the public. In the evening, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles will speak on the topic of immigration as will the Archbishop of Tijuana, Rafael Munoz. This event is not open to the public because of limited seating, but NCR’s own Tom Roberts will be covering it.
Mark Silk gives his usually incisive take on the situation in Philadelphia, where, as he notes, the people are likely going to support zero tolerance for the chancery's foot dragging tactics as the Dallas norms imposed on pedophile clergy. Silk is also that rare breed of blogger, one who is deeply learned and, just so, recognizes that some of the questions we humans face are perennial ones, going back at least as far as Juvenal!
One of the great things about NCR is that it is home to many voices. Oftentimes I find myself nodding in agreement with what I read posted by other contributors and other times I find myself shaking my head.
But, it is not often that I find something that makes me feel sick to my stomach. Alas, Renee Schafer Horton's post about Israeli settlements was jaw-dropping.
Sometimes, I hate my own. Recently, this sentiment comes to me when I get an email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. They are in fundraising mode, and the issues that open leftie walets are, alas, not my issues. This just came into my inbox:
Speaker Boehner and House Republicans have gone way too far.
First, they tried to restrict access to reproductive health care. Then, they proposed catastrophic cuts to teachers, nurses, and researchers. Now the Republicans want to control the news.
In fact, House Republicans announced a vote for TOMORROW to cut all federal funding for National Public Radio.
That is the question posed today by Ruth Marcus in an op-ed at the Washington Post. Marcus decides it is better to be a panda and I agree, not least because King Fu Panda was my favorite movie of the past several years. There is a histrionic quality to the cries for deficit reduction. These out-year deficit predictions are not the stuff of alarmism. Ross Perot built his candidacy on the issue in 1992, and he garnered a significant percentage of the electorate, but of course it was Bill Clinton who got the nation's finances in order, and he achieved that without resorting to the kinds of drastic cuts being talked about by the Tea Party and their congressional allies.
University of Pennsylvania Professor Marie Gottschalk has a wonderful essay, reviewing a new book about the death penalty, that is well worth the read.
It remains a scandal that America continues to indulge this barbarism. Gottschalk helps explain why and what can be done.
So, House Speaker John Boehner could not corral enough Republican votes to pass the continuing resolution, and so avoid a government shutdown, after 54 Republicans, all of them taking marching orders from the Tea Party, refused to vote for the CR. He had to turn to the Democrats to provide the votes needed to pass the measure.
As America winds down its war in Iraq and tries to figure out what to so in Afghanistan, what are the moral principles that should guide us? As Egypt considers the corruption of its newly deposed regime, questions of restitution and justice must be faced, but how? And, in Libya, the situation grows desperate and one of the things that keeps the West from effective action there is the fear that we can’t control the outcome, that the chaos that might follow the deposition of Gaddafi might be worse his tyranny, but is that fear capable of bearing the moral weight we are putting on it by failing to help civilians who are being slaughtered by a madman?
This article by Peter Montgomery details how some evangelical pastors think God is four-square against taxes. Who knew? The article would be funny except that it is so frightening.