Over at Religion & Politics, Tracy Fessenden looks at the forthcoming possible outcomes of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby case, which challenges part of the HHS contraception mandate. This is a fine summation of the different points of view and I suspect Fessenden is right, that the Roberts' Court will look for a "save" on the most limited grounds possible, instead of seeking an over-arching opinion on religious liberty cases.
The Massachusetts Catholic Conference weighs in on the need to raise the minimum wage. I am sure the crazies who have spent much time attacking Fr. Bryan Hehir these past few years will be having a field day. The bishops of the bay State are to be commended: This is Catholic Social teaching 101.
At America magazine, noted economist Jeffrey Sachs on why Pope Francis has got it right on the economy.
At the end of this month, the USCCB Committee on Migration will hold its annual March meeting, but not at the USCCB headquarters here in Washington. Instead, the committee will travel to the U.S.-Mexican border, make a tour, and say Mass at the border itself. They hope to raise awareness of the human suffering that occurs as a direct result of our broken immigration system. I admit I like the fact the bishops are doing this in part because I suggested they do this several months ago.
As I noted the other day, Pope Francis doubled down on his "who am I to judge?" question in a recent sermon at the Domus. His sermon, at least what we gleaned from the excerpts, was another example of his so very needed exhortation to the followers of Christ to stop wagging our fingers at people, to love people, to accompany people, and a pastor's recognition that severe judgmentalism is one way to break the bond between pastor and flock and a theologian's recognition that judgment is reserved to God. The sermon was deeply moving. But, it moved me differently from the way it moved Fr.
Rocco has the video of Cardinal Sean O'Malley's talk on Pope Francis at Loyola in Baltimore last night. Key insights from the man who knows the pope best on these shores. And, he is really funny to boot.
It is with great reluctance that I confess I found Paul Baumann’s recent essay in Slate about Pope Francis deeply disappointing. Baumann is a serious Catholic intellectual, and a far more gifted writer than I am. But I fear he has succumbed in this essay to the media’s relentless desire to be contrary, to make a counter-intuitive argument when common intuition might be a better guide.
For example, Baumann writes:
Mark Silk, at RNS, hits a new high in finding a silver lining. That said, I dare say Silk is right.
In a sermon at the Domus, Pope Francis gave a deeper explanation of his now famous comment, "who am I to judge?" The question, he notes, tells us less about the person being or not being judged, than it does about us. This is the key thing most people missed back when he first said it.
Last week, I published my review of Molly Worthen's book on the intellectual life of modern evangelicals. Today, there is an interview at the Southern Blog on the subject of biblical inerrancy with R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological seminary.