Molly Worthen, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has written a truly important book. Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism is the kind of highly ambitious intellectual history that requires thorough familiarity with the sources, a keen eye for discerning intellectual undercurrents, a gift for telling a complicated, many faceted story, and, perhaps most importantly, an editorial aptitude for weaving it all together.
Distinctly Catholic: After one year in the papal office, Pope Francis has blown the narrative of essential and unavoidable religious decline to smithereens.
We knew Pope Francis was remarkable by the end of his first week in office. When he came out on to the loggia of St. Peter’s the evening of his election, and before imparting his apostolic blessing, Francis asked the crowd gathered in the square to pray for him, and bowed before them to receive their blessing. We knew he had a pope with a dialogical personality, a man whose humility was as strong as his convictions.
One week from today will mark the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. It has been quite a year and the anniversary invites us to look back and examine some of the narratives that have emerged, trying to discern the true significance of this extraordinary event in the life of the Church that is the pontificate of Francis.
I am on holiday for a week and, so, will limit my postings to my usual morning commentary. Please check NCRToday, our group blog, for links to other important stories.
In January, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor,
Among the principal findings of the report:
46% of all workers in Los Angeles, 811,000 workers, make less than $15 per hour.
More than half of those workers, 454,000, are full-time workers.
The crisis in the Ukraine has brought home how important the National Collection for the Church in Eastern Europe remains. This collection will be taken up tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. The Catholic Church in Ukraine has a long history of persecution. Like its Orthodox brethren, it was persecuted by the communists but it has also been on the receiving end of hostility from some of the Orthodox brethren.
Andrew Abela and Joseph Capizzi have just published “A Catechism for Business: Tough Ethical Questions & Insights from Catholic Teaching.” The book is much better than I feared. (More on the substance of the fears anon.) It consists of quotes drawn from the Church’s teaching on issues of business and economics and one can only hope that many Catholic businesspeople will better acquaint themselves with that teaching via this medium.
Vatican Insider is has an English language report on Argentinean theologian Victor Manuel Fernandez, who took on the idea of "non-negotiable" teachings of the Church in an interview with La Repubblica. It was Professor Robbie George who was the first and loudest proponent of this "non-negotiable" nonsense here in the States. I wonder if we will hear it again from his and his acolytes?
This report in the Inlander details the efforts of Catholic Charities in Spokane, Washington to help poor people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The story explains, powerfully, how the lives of those who need insurance are often chaotic, and they need help to access the benefits the ACA confers.