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Bad News from France

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In this morning's Washington Post, there is an article about the decision by UNESCO to recognize lunch in France as part of the "intangible cultural heritage" of the world, along with flamenco dancing and Peking opera.

But further down in the piece, we read this: "In fact, the traditional French meal has been meeting with growing indifference on its home ground as the demands of a modern economy encourage quick, alcohol-free lunches, partilcularly among the young." The article noted that sandwich consumption is up by 10 percent per year.

Whenever conservative cultural critics extol the free market and traditional values, watch your wallet. Here is another example, a small one admittedly, of the modern economy tearing away at the fabric of culture. And there is no way to blame this new phenomenon on the 60's or gays or drugs. The "acids of modernity," about which Walter Lippmann warned in 1926, have begun eating away at the way the French eat. Here is cause for some new evangelization.

What happened in Baltimore

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ANALYSIS

Back in the day, the apostolic nuncio, then-Archbishop Pio Laghi, who was determined to re-make the hierarchy in a more conservative fashion, would say about his episcopal appointments, “One for us, one for them.” By “us” he meant men like Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, and by “them” he meant men in the mold of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Laghi’s method had one undeniably unfortunate consequence: He bequeathed a bishops’ conference that is very, although not deeply, divided.

More B'More Live: Other Elections

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Bishop Michael Bransfield has been elected Treasurer of the USCCB.

Archbishop Timothy Broglio has been elected Chair of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance.

Bishop Joseph McFadden was elected Chair of the Committee on Catholic Education -- by a two vote margin, the closest race so far.

Bishop Dennis Madden, Auxiliary of Baltimore, won as Chair of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

Bishop David Ricken, of Green Bay, was elected to be Chair of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.

Winning the nod for Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, was Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of Baltimore.

Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of Steubenville was elected as Chair of the Committee on Child and Youth Protection.

Live in B'more: Testing 1,2,3...

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Good morning from Baltimore.

The bishops are testing the new electronic voting system. The test question: "Will you play golf between now and the end of the year? Vote 1. for Yes, and Vote 2. for No." (Only 25 voted yes to 207 No!)

Soon the fireworks will start. Some bishops reported receiving text messages urging them to vote against Bishop Kicanas, the current vice-president. He is opposed by a variety of right wing groups.

Stay tuned.

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September 26-October 9, 2014

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