By reputation, I had long been aware that the University of Notre Dame is a great Catholic university. This past weekend, for the very first time, I made the trek to South Bend and was able to assess that reputation first hand and, in the event, to confirm it. I have many impressions of my whirlwind three days on campus. Here are some of them.
On Yom Kippur, a synagogue in Spokane, Washington was defaced by a swastika. Bishop Blase Cupich issued a statement expressing his solidarity with the Jewish community and his sadness at this act of hate in the strongest terms. You can read his statement here.
Vatican Radio reports on the message the Holy Father sent to the Catholic Charities USA meeting. The comments speak for themselves. I would only note that he did not complain about the percentage of CCUSA funding that comes from government contracts.
What is the synod on the family going to achieve? How are they approaching these issues that have, in advance of the synod, led to such seemingly stark differences of opinion among leaders of the Church?
A window into this was provided by a video interview with Cardinal Donald Wuerl at Catholic News Service. Here is the video. Commentary continues after it.
At the first day of the Synod, an Australian couple told a story about friends of theirs who welcomed their gay son and his partner at Christmastime. They rightly noted that the couple in question summed up their attitude in a few words "He is our son." It is not only the appropriate Christian response, it is the only humane response.
The Holy Father opened the Extraordinary Synod on the Family at Mass in St. Peter’s on Sunday. We have grown accustomed to the Holy Father delivering powerful, precise, challenging homilies. These words could not be lost on the assembled synod fathers:
I am not the only person who has soured on President Barack Obama, but still, it does not seem fair that when the unemployment rate hits a six-year low, he gets almost no credit for that fact. The guy can't catch a break. And, the GOP charge that this recovery is still relatively anemic compared to previous recoveries misses the point: The downturn in 2008 was worse than previous recessions, economically and psychologically, so of course the recovery has been different.
The Holy Father opened the Synod yesterday morning, but he has been giving hints for some time about how he views this event in the life of the Church, hints that came to fruition over the weekend.