There is an interesting debate going on over at First Things. Their editor, Rusty Reno, challenged conservatives to recognize what we on the left have long recognized, namely, that the free market economy needs regulation and that government has a role in redistributing wealth.
Welcome to Distinctly Catholic, a blog by Michael Sean Winters that examines politics, religion and the estuary where the two meet, all from a distinctively Catholic point of view. The blog is small "c" catholic as well as big "C" Catholic, examining a wide range of issues but always from the perspective of Catholic history and theology.
The Department of Labor announced this morning that the economy added 165,000 new jobs last month. Just as important, the DOL revised the figures for February and March upward. You will recall that last month, the number of new jobs added was shockingly low, at 88,000 new jobs. The DOL now estimates that 138,000 jobs were added in March. They also revised the number for February upward to 332,000 jobs. This is all very good news.
I have been chastising my fellow Catholics on the left for adopting a begrudging attitude towards Pope Francis, pointing out that I think it is wrong-headed to start our examination of this pontificate by creating a checklist to see if the new pope agrees with us. The process of conversion, which is at the heart of the faith, involves creating a checklist to see if we agree with the Church, right?
"Better late than never," goes the saying. But, as Michael Gerson points out in this morning's Washington Post, sometimes waiting limits one's options and so, in Syria, President Obama's inaction has created the situation he most wanted to avoid: more U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
At his press conference earlier this week, marking the 100th day of his second term, President Obama expressed his intention to try again to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. His political capital should be better spent.
Writing at Politico, Rich Lowry examines the euphemisms in the President's speech at Planned Parenthood and in the coverage of the trial of Dr. Gosnell. And, he calls out the NYTimes for not being willing to use the word baby in describing children who have been born and, therefore, no longer correctly called fetuses. (No word yet on whether or not Lowry heard the voice of God telling him to call out the Times.) Lowry does not use the word "Orwellian" but I will.
Over at CatholicCulture.org, they have the story about an upcoming conference on the sacred liturgy. "Among the speakers are Cardinals Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Walter Brandmüller, Malcolm Ranjith, and Raymond Burke; Archbishop Alexander Sample," they write. I am guessing my invitation got lost in the mail. Quick question: How many of these prelates own a cappa magna? How much did they spend on said cappas? And, the really key question: why would anyone spend that kind of money on a cappa magna?
My colleague Fr. Tom Reese, S.J. (still getting used to calling Fr. Reese a colleague but I sure like the sound of it!) has a new post up about the mind of Papa Francesco, focusing on the new pope's views about economics and capitalism. I am wondering what our friends at the Acton institute make of this? The unbridled capitalism and globalization that they like to champion does not seem to have captured Papa Francesco's heart.
The USCCB can cause quite a stir when it wants to. Last year, in the struggle against the
Vatican Insider reports on the meeting between Papa Francesco and Israeli President Shimon Peres. Like most of the world's Catholics, I am just beginning to get to know Papa Francesco and to admire him. Peres is a man I have long admired. Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall when these two men met? And, if you doubt the weight of history, evidently they spent a great deal of time discussing the Cenacle.