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The Koch Brothers & CCHD

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For several years now, conservatives have been complaining about the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the U.S. bishops' anti-poverty campaign, joining in coalitions with groups that also support pro-choice and pro-gay marriage causes. I have never thought the critique had merit - it is fine to work with a group on, say, immigration reform if they hold other views with which we disagree, with very minor exceptions. Never a good idea to join forces with Holocaust deniers.

"But Lord, throw a banana peel in front of them...."

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In this morning's homily, the Holy Father had some strong words for the Pharisees of our day. It is one of his best sermons yet. Pope Francis did not mention anyone by name, but I am guessing he might have this interviewee in mind. For the record, and contra Cardinal Burke, divorce is not like pedophilia. That is only one of several outrageous comments.

+Chaput: Still a Culture Warrior

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Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has lately been trying to change his public image. He gave an interview to Vatican Insider and another to the Tablet in which he argued that he was not a conservative culture warrior. Austen Ivereigh, who conducted the interview for the Tablet reported: “When he tells me that the ‘left of the Church’ tries to ‘interpret him against the Pope’, he is clearly pained.

WPFMTS Syndrome is Back

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WPFMTS - What Pope Francis Meant to Say - Syndrome is back and, in this instance, prepping itself for next year's anticipated encyclical on the environment. Over at CatholicCulture.org, Dr. Jeff Mirus re-phrases Pope Francis' recent message to the Climate Change conference in Peru. He completely overstates the degree to which prudential judgment is a get-out-of-jail-free card for those who do not want to do anything about climate change and, of course, understates the certainty about the threat.

Is Pope Francis Right about the Synod?

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At his General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis spoke about the Synod on the Family. He thanked the media for their work but added that often the vision of the media was a bit “in the style of sports or political coverage,” and “they often spoke of two teams, pro and con, conservatives and liberals, and so on.” The Pope explained that, first of all he asked the Synod Fathers to speak frankly and courageously and to listen with humility. He noted there was no prior censorship and that everyone had the chance to say what was in his heart.

The Family & the Economy

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Per usual, Harold Meyerson hits a home run in his discussion this morning of the way some employers do not provide employees with the kind of regular work schedule that permits the worker to organize his or her family life. I am wondering if this is the kind of thing that will be discussed by Janet Smith at next September's World Family Meeting?  Or, if this will merit a symposium at the Napa Institute? 

Gov't Shutdown Politics at Its Worst

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The problem with “must-pass” legislation is that it must pass. So, as the deadline for passing a Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded looms at midnight tonight, congressional leaders are busy trying to cobble together enough votes to pass the CR in both chambers of Congress. The process is ugly and the results are ugly and, yet, our political leaders seem incapable of passing a budget in good time, with ample opportunity to debate particular legislative proposals.

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