Today is the Feast of St. Augustine. Apart from the writers of the books of Scripture, no single person has had a great impact on the development of doctrine in the Latin Church than Augustine. As a theologian, only Aquinas really warrants a mention in the same breath, and for all the differences in their method, recent Thomist scholars have drawn out the many ways that Aquinas depended upon Augustine, or at least was swimming in the wake he created. Augustine was a giant and anyone who writes about religion today knows that, compared to the great Bishop of Hippo, we are pygmies.
At The Atlantic, Paul Vallely writes about Pope Francis and where he learned humility. I am not sure I buy his these about the significance of then-Fr. Bergoglio's exile, but I liked the quote in the penultimate paragraph.
At First Things, George Weigel wonders if it is time to head to the catacombs. It isn't. I gotta kick out of his last sentences. He writes:
Run, Joe, run!
The political world knows that Vice President Joe Biden is seriously considering a run for the Democratic presidential nomination. No one knows which way he is leaning. But, even the exercise in speculation has had a tonic effect on Democratic Party thinking.
At Philly.com, a great story about the prison inmates who carved the chair Pope Francis will use at the Mass on the Ben Franklin Parkway.
The last five days, I have been running curtain raisers for the Holy Father’s visit to the U.S. I organized them in a way that I thought made sense but now I realize that there are a few key points that I was not able to fit into the narrative that nonetheless warrant some attention, and so I will set those forth this morning.
New polling data from the Public Religion Research Institute shows that Pope Francis is more popular than the Catholic Church as an institution. The poll also shows that U.S. Catholics continue to differ sharply along partisan lines regarding what issues the Church should focus on in the public square. The solution? Focus on ALL of them.
Yesterday, I looked at three ways that Pope Francis challenges the Catholic Left. Today, I would like to examine three ways he challenges the Catholic Right. Both commentaries are undertaken with a view towards the Holy Father’s upcoming visit and, so, focus on the situation of the Church and socio-political reality in the United States.
We saw, yesterday, a criticism of the left that the Holy Father delivered in his closing address to the synod last year. The first item on his list of problems, however, pertained to the right. He said he detected in the synod discussions:
At the Mass in Chicago where the pallium was imposed on Archbishop Blase Cupich, the newly invested Metropolitan gave a barnburner of a sermon. You can click on the text or watch the video.
On September 15, I shall be participating in a panel discussion of Pope Francis' economic vision at - wait for it - the CATO Institute! Boom! You can sign up here. Carthago delenda est!
Many articles have been written about how Pope Francis is challenging the Catholic Right in the United States. I will give my two cents on that topic tomorrow. But, Pope Francis also challenges the Catholic Left in important ways and the Catholic Left should allow itself to be challenged.