There is a lot to think about in this article from the NYTimes this weekend, comparing Red States v. Blue States, in terms of cost-of-living, different sources of economic growth, etc. Most startling may be the rise in inequality in the blue states, a clear consequence of the financialization of the economy, as New York and Connecticut top the list now in terms of income inequality. The money quote:
This article at The Hill suggests that Pope Francis and the GOP will be at odds in the coming year. Of course, there is plenty in the Holy Father's words to rile Democrats too, but at least there now appears to be some equal opportunity riling going-on, which we have not seen in the stateside Church for some time. For 35 years, if you did not agree with the way the 'i's" were dotted or the "t's" crossed in Humanae vitae, you were labeled a bad Catholics.
Wow. I looked at the list of new cardinals yesterday morning and had what I assume was the reaction that most people did: Who are these guys? And that, I suspect, is the most important thing to realize about the list, that this pope of surprises is using his surprises to upset the sense of predictability that the conferral of red hats once entailed.
The New York Times had a good primer on Pope Francis and his anticipated encyclical o
20125 began the way I should like every day to begin, with a great sermon from the Holy Father. And, I think his sermon has a lot to say to those of us who range ourselves on the Catholic Left and hope that we shall take up the challenge.
Yesterday, I looked at what I thought were the top seven stories about the Catholic Church in the United States during 2014. Today, let’s look ahead to 2015 and the stories I anticipate will be generating a lot of buzz and getting a lot of attention here at Distinctly Catholic.
Over at Catholic World Report, Michael Severance looks at Pope Francis' economic vision. His quotes are almost entirely from those on the pro-free-market side of the ledger. But, what really irks is the repeated attempt to privatize the pope's vision. Severance writes:
2014 was quite a year for those of us who write about the Catholic Church. Looking back at the most important stories of the year, many of them are tied in with Pope Francis but in this column, I will confine my retrospective to events in the United States. So, here are the top stories of the year, ranked in no particular order.
A couple of media appearances over the holidays by US bishops are worthy of note. Cardinal Donald Wuerl appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and gave an enthusiastic endorsement of Pope Francis' vision and accomplishments and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz did the same on CBS. Isn't it nice to see American prelates praising the pope without reservation or trying to trim his words.
Check out the chart in Kevin Drum's essay at Mother Jones on income inequality. Truly frightening. This is the kind of thing Catholic business schools - to say nothing of the Democratic Party - should be addressing, yes?