National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Distinctly Catholic

Biden's Decision Not to Run


Vice President Joe Biden’s decision not to seek the presidency is understandable and regrettable. Events, most especially the untimely death of his son earlier this year, seemed to conspire against his seeking the top job. As Biden said yesterday, the window had closed on the opportunity of mounting a viable candidacy. The window metaphor is accurate about more than the timing of a potential bid this year: The window has been closing for some time on politicians like Biden. His departure turns the page from one type of politician to a different, and to my mind, far less likeable kind.

Links for 10/21/15


A very, very important explication of the discussion of conscience at the synod can be found at Co-authored by Jana Bennett and David Cloutier, they examine conscience and the related issue of practical versus theoretical knowledge. And, they work in one of my favorite of John Henry Newman's quotes: "We walk to heaven backwards." Newman is here describing what the zelanti sneer at, the law of gradualism. 

Speaker Ryan?


Congressman Paul Ryan announced last night that he would be willing to run for Speaker of the House, provided certain conditions were met. It was a brilliant turning of the tables on the Freedom Caucus, the forty or so arch-conservative members of the GOP caucus who had thought they would be the ones presenting a list of demands. Ryan beat them to the punch and if they fail to rally around him now, they will expose themselves as even more extreme than we had previously thought – which is saying a lot.

The Synod and the "great et, et"


The work of the synod enters into its final stretch this week, with the thorniest issues at the center of the discussion. It is time for the synod fathers to come together and engage in the hard work of reconciling their divergent opinions. In the past few days, we have seen some of the dividing lines become public, and it is worth looking at some of them to understand how steep a road the synod fathers face.

Team Valjean Steps Up To the Plate


Team Valjean at the Synod has apparently decided that they have had enough of Team Javert dominating the news coverage. “Basta!” they said this weekend, first in a presser given by Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich on Friday, then in the Holy Father’s comments at the ceremony marking the anniversary of Pope Paul VI establishing the Synod of Bishops, and, lastly, yesterday in two interviews by Washington’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Let’s looks at these in reverse chronological order.


Subscribe to Distinctly Catholic


NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.