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Q & A: Bishop Gabino Zavala

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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?
Bishop Zavala:
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
the pews.

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.

Leaving Iraq

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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.

Yahoo Watch: Sarah Palin

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Yesterday, driving home from Mass, I listened to the radio, specifically to Sarah Palin’s interview on Fox News Sunday. Freed from the delight of watching the compelling way she caresses the camera (a skill in which her only rival is Bill Clinton), I listened to her voice and realized something about it, something which explains some of her popularity. She speaks the way a letter to the editor reads.

If you grew up in a small town, you know what I am talking about. Unlike the major newspapers which only publish a few erudite letters, small, local newspapers publish many letters from their readers. These letters share several characteristics. They tend to focus on one fact, devoid of context or nuance. They tend toward the manifesto style, filled with calls for what “we must” do. They make sweeping claims, most enough about the U.S. Constitution. Often they are a little kookie, filled with simplistic “solutions” like returning to the gold standard or ending the popular election of U.S. Senators. Most especially they are earnest, painfully earnest.

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