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Election Time: CA-Senate

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UPDATE (10/25): The Real Clear Politics Polling average has Boxer leading Fiorina by 2.5 percent, with almost all polls showing a slight lead for Boxer. But, most polls are within the margin of error and the Cook Political Report and RCP both rate the race as a "toss-up." Nate Silver's model at fivethirtyeight.com nonetheless only gives Fiorina a 19% chance of taking the seat based on both the large number of polls conducted in this race and the nearness to election day.
Neither candidate has run a particularly noteworthy ad, nor produced a defining debate moment, and it is difficult to think at this late date any news would affect this race in particular. California is a blue state that, despite being hit hard by the recession, would need more of a reason to vote Republican this year.

Q & A: Rocco Palmo

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As mentioned, all this week at Q & A, Rocco Palmo, whose blog Whispers in the Loggia is a must read on both sides of the Atlantic, is answering questions about the state of the Catholic Church.

The question: Who is an up-and-coming bishop we should keep an eye on and why?

Rocco Palmo: Picking just one “up and comer” among the bench’s new crop is kinda like the potato chip ad -- “you can’t have just one.”

Being accustomed to its sprawling nature, many of us tend to give it short shrift, but globally speaking, the US church is an immense enterprise -- only Italy and Brazil have more bishops, and given the scope of the turf here, it’s impossible boil the situation down into a single column because, well, the culture of Catholicism in New England and New Mexico are two drastically different things.

Yahoo Watch: Alan Grayson

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The Democrats' strongest card in this year's election is that they are serious about the nation's problems while the GOP is beset by birthers, those concerned about repealing the 17th Amendment, and various other esoteric issues such as self-pleasuring. But, Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson is a walking counter-argument to the proposition that liberals are intellectually serious.

Tonight in DC: Abp DiNoia

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Tonight, at St. Matthew's Cathedral, Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P., will be giving the annual John Carroll lecture on "Why Catholics Go To Mass." Archbishop DiNoia, who celebrated his 40th anniversary as a priest this past Sunday at a beautiful Mass at the Dominican House of Studies where he taught for many years, is one of the most gifted speakers in the Church today, a master not only of theology but the English language. His talk will not disappoint. It begins at 6:45 p.m. Archbishop DiNoia is also slated to give the homily at the Red Mass this coming Sunday.

Silk on Chaput

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As always, Mark Silk has some highly intelligent remarks about Archbishop Chaput's recent comments about the coverage of religion in the media. He is spot-on about how the media, appropriately, considers hypocrisy an aggravating factor as opposed to a mitigating one, in its coverage of religion. The only other thing about Chaput's address that jumped out at me was the sheer defensiveness of his speech. Coming on the heels of the media's coverage of Pope Benedict's successful trip to the UK, almost all of it favorable, that defensiveness seemed more than a little odd.

Beauty From Britain

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I don't know if the producers of "PipeDreams," the radio show dedicated to organ music, were mindful of Pope Benedict's trip to the UK when they chose to highlight the sounds of the organs of Great Britain and Ireland in this week's show. Whatever the motivation, the result is beautiful. There is something about these great English organs that is so satisfying, the sound is so big and full and round, it is like chocolate cake for the ear.

Election Time: NV-Senate

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UPDATE (10/25): This race has seen mountains of spending, a single debate, and much national attention since I first looked at it. All of the prognosticators rate it as a toss-up and it will be very instructive to see if Nate Silver's model at fivethirtyeight.com is correct: He gives Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle a 68% chance of winning. What baffles me is that every poll in the past two months is within the margin of error, so I do not know how statistically Silver reaches his conclusion.
I stick by my prediction that Latino turnout will put Reid over the top.
Also check out this commentary on the race from Catholic University Politics Professor Matthew Green.

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March 27-April 9, 2015

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