My colleague, Tom Roberts, has written an important book. The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community’s Search for Itself presents a report about and, to a certain degree, the case for, liberal Catholicism, and I have not read a better presentation of that case anywhere. It is a case with which I have more than my share of disagreements, to be sure, but it is a case that needs to be considered and well-stated.
According to Cardinal Ravasi, the decision to invite four prominent atheists to Assisi for the prayer meeting later this month came direct from Pope Benedict XVI. Andrea Tornielli has the story.
Of course, if the atheists were invited to speak on a Catholic college campus in the U.S., I suspect the Cardinal Newman Society would be up in arms. Evidently, the Holy Father understands what the CNS does not, namely, that it is appropriate, even urgent, for Catholics to engage the culture not just shake our fists at it.
Zenit reports that Pope Benedict will preside at a Mass in St. Peter's to commemorate the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a papal first. But, will they get up at 5 a.m. and sing Mananitas?
Politico has the story. A newly elected member's most difficult race is his or her first re-election effort. And, according to their third quarter fundraising numbers, many of the newly elected GOP freshmen have not done much to protect themselves.
No one should rush to judgment regarding the indictment of Bishop Robert Finn on charges of failing to protect a minor. No matter what you think of Finn – and I confess I am glad he is not my bishop – he deserves all the rights our criminal justice system affords any defendant. The recent episode with Dominique Strauss-Kahn shows what happens when people rush to judgment.
I almost feel sorry for Bill Donohue. Is he really this clueless?
Donohue has rightly been attacking Pastor Robert Jeffress for his outrageous remarks about the Catholic Church. He warned that Governor Rick Perry's campaign would be in a heap of trouble if he did not disassociate himself from Jeffress's anti-Catholic comments. Now, Donohue reports in a press release that Gov. Perry gave him a call and said he did not agree with Pastor Jeffress that the Catholic Church has been infected by Satan. Donohue concludes his press release with the words: "Case closed."
At dotCommonweal, Father Joe Komonchak has some exquisite excerpts from an essay by John Courtney Murray, S.J., taking on Rienhold Neibuhr. You can read it here.
There was a time when I admired Charles Krauthammer. An article he wrote in The New Republic, in response to Mario Cuomo famous Notre Dame speech, helped me to see the error of my ways and turn away from my previous pro-choice stance. Back then, Krauthammer was precise and exact in his arguments and allowed himself to be exposed to arguments from serious liberals as well as serious conservatives. Now, he discusses policy on Fox News and the only one to challenge him from the left is the always predictable and never incisive Juan Williams. No wonder Krauthammer's intellectual gifts have become blunt and ill-used.
A group of St. Francis University students and faculty gathered this week to read some of Ellen Goodman's writings. You will recall that university officials cancelled a talk by Goodman because of her pro-choice views under pressure from the Cardinal Newman Society. Of course, it doesn't matter that Goodman was not intending to speak about abortion, only about civility. Such distinctions are lost on these modern day inquisitors.
Actually, comparing the Cardinal Newman Society to the Inquisition is a slur. Against the Inquisition. The Newman Society is more like Daniele de Volterra, the man brought in to cover up Michelangelo's nudes in the Sistine Chapel. Mind you, Ellen Goodman is no Michelangelo, but that isn't the point. Censoriousness is an ugly trait, sometimes imposed upon us by necessity to be sure. But, CNS, like de Volterra, picks the wrong fights and reduce the Christian faith to a kind of smug puritanism. I am no fan of Goodman, but I am even less of a fan of CNS.
The Holy Father today named Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle as the new Archbishop of Manila. The new archbishop gave a talk at the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec in 2008 where he obviously caught the attention of then-Archbishop of Quebec, Cardinal Marc Oullett, who is now the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. And, well he might. Thanks to Rocco for providing this extract from Tagle's talk: