The news that Iran reached an interim agreement with the United States and other nations regarding its nuclear ambitions is news, period. It is way too soon to say this is good news. It may be dreadful news if Iran uses the next six months to put the finishing touches on its nuclear bomb or, as is more likely, plays along for a bit until the West distracts itself, and then completes its goal of building a nuclear weapon. For the moment, then, clear thinking people are well advised to view this deal with skepticism.
Vatican Insider reports on the Holy Father's message to a Festival on Catholic social doctrine. They quote the Holy Father as saying:
Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik had to leave the USCCB meeting last week to testify in court where the diocese was seeking a preliminary injunction against the HHS mandate. Yesterday, the diocese won the injunction - and a bit more.
Fr. Robert Imbelli has a fine post remembering the day John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot at L'Osservatore Romano.
Something remarkable happened yesterday in the United States Senate: The filibuster died. Yes, the vote yesterday only applied to executive branch and non-Supreme Court judicial branch nominees, but it is hard to believe that a future Senate majority leader, facing obstruction over routine legislation or a nominee to the Supreme Court, will not follow the path trod by Senate majority leader Harry Reid. It is no time for celebration but also no time for tears.
One expects a fair amount of hypocrisy when dealing with politicians. But, Congressman Trey Radel takes the cake. Rep. Radel yesterday pled guilty to a charge of possessing cocaine. Earlier this year, Rep. Radel supported legislation that required all recipients of food stamps to go through a drug test. Maybe he was high at the time he voted. Let's hope the voters in Florida are stone sober when they toss him out of office next year.
Over at America, John Gehring of Faith in Public Life, has a timely article on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Most parishes will hold their annual CCHD collection this coming Sunday. I hope everyone will give as generously as they can to this vital work of mercy.
The press release below from Democrats for Life indicates that the health care exchange set up in Rhode Island has failed to abide by one of the much-debated provisions of the Affordable Care Act, namely, that each exchange must offer at least one plan that does not include abortion coverage. As I have noted before, I think there are plenty of circumstances in which a family might want a plan that covers abortion, even though they never intend to use it, but because other provisions of the given plan meet their needs.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois held his service of “Prayers in Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage” yesterday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
The London-based international Catholic weekly The Tablet has launched a new website and, to promote it, all content is now free. I have some skin in this game: I am the U.S. correspondent for the Tablet in addition to my duties here at NCR. Those who care about the Church and the world of ideas should, of course, have subscriptions to both.