Why is it that a tragedy, such as the mass killing in Manchester, Connecticut yesterday, elicits a kind of morbid prurience in the news media?
The politicization of a tragedy is as predictable as it is unseemly. The tragedy is that Sister Denise Mosier was killed in a car crash caused by a drunk driver, Carlos Martinelly-Montano, who was in the country illegally and was facing deportation for earlier drunk driving charges. Two other sisters remain in the hospital. The event is fraught with just the kind of emotional content that appeals to the hate-mongers in our culture.
This week's Tablet has a story of immigrant challenges in the UK. What a difference a local church community can make in the lives of those who have no one else to whom they can turn! Bring Kleenex before reading!
At the conclusion of World War I, the nation was beset by labor strife. Few bishops were as engaged in the debates over social justice in the industrial age as was Archbishop Edward Hanna of San Francisco. An active collaborator with Father John A. Ryan at the National Catholic Welfare Conference, predecessor of the USCCB, Archbishop Hanna was frequently called upon to arbitrate labor disputes. This episode, recorded in his biography “An Archbishop for the People,” by Richard Gribble, CSC, details the force of his opinions and the foundation of Catholic social teaching. His remarks should earn him a spot on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard.
“In a sermon delivered at St. Mary’s Cathedral Archbishop Hanna also voiced disappointment in the local labor situation. Referencing Rerum Novarum, Hanna said, ‘The industrial question in the opinion of some is merely an economic question, whereas in point of fact it is, first of all, a moral and religious matter and for that reason its settlement is to be sought mainly in the moral law and in the pronouncement of religion.’”
If anything should be obvious to an economist, as opposed to a propagandist, it is that economic data can never be viewed in a vacuum. Yet, the American Principles Project presents Arthur Laffer, who never met a tax cut he did not like, making precisely this kind of fallacious argument.
This week at Q & A, we are following up on the coverage of the ordination of Bishop David O'Connell by interviewing American bishops about their role in today's Church. Yesterday we heard from Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans. Today, we hear from Bishop Gabino Zavala, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairmand of the USCCB Committee on Communications.
The question: What is the best thing about being a bishop in 2010?
As a Bishop, I live in a Church without borders -- my concerns
are universal! I have an opportunity to interact with a diversity of
people -- young, old, women and men, people of many diverse life
experiences, cultures, ethnicities, perspectives. In any given week, I
can meet with the condemned on death row, children in a parochial
school, government officials, celebrities, Church leaders and people in
As a Bishop, I reflect on and look at faith and the living out of
the Gospel in contemporary times, in the world today. I have an
opportunity to dialogue on topics that affect the common good. Being a bishop
challenges me to be a person of discernment, reflection and prayer.
Peter Berkowitz, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is one of the three smartest people I know. He is also one of the most incisive conservative commentators writing today so even when I do not agree with him, he is always worth reading.
This morning’s New York Times has an article on how the leveling of ethics charges against two long-serving, congressional giants, Rep. Charles Rangel and Rep. Maxine Waters, shows that the reforms adopted four years ago when the Democrats took control of the House are working. True enough.
President Obama’s speech in Atlanta announcing he was fulfilling his promise to bring combat operations in Iraq to a close was noteworthy first of all because it showed how thoroughly the political landscape has changed since 2008. In the Democratic primaries, Iraq was a frequent topic of debate, but it has not been on the front pages since. With relative stability in Iraq and relative instability in the U.S. economy, a fickle electorate has moved on.
This week, and following on our coverage of the ordination of Bishop David O’Connell, Blast From the Past will look at instances when American bishops were really doing something heroic.