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It looks like a Republican sweep on Election Day


I was preparing my latest blog post, which was to be titled, "The Democrats still have a good shot at retaining the Senate." Let me share some of the reasons I felt this was so, even though pollsters and pundits were already giving Republicans more than a 60 percent chance of taking the Senate.

Republicans need to gain six seats to retake the Senate. It really all hinges on a number of very close races across the country.

Leon Panetta's family legacy


Leon Panetta, the son of immigrant parents, has had an incredible career in public service. He's been a congressman, White House chief of staff, director of the CIA, and secretary of defense. He recently published a new book, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace.

In the Oct. 14 Wall Street Journal, Panetta explains how a fruit stand on his family's California farm launched his career in politics.

When Listening Availeth Not


Listening can work wonders, as we've all found out. It's the only cure for confusion and misunderstanding. In the cacophony that surrounds us, in which hair-trigger attention spans spark snap judgments and freeze sound bites into treacherous misunderstandings, we can never have enough ears who are willing to hear.

'Power of Sisterhood' illustrates sisters' journey through apostolic visitation


On Dec. 22, 2008, the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life announced an apostolic visitation to investigate the lives of sisters in the United States. This announcement begins the book Power of Sisterhood: Women Religious Tell the Story of the Apostolic Visitation, a journey of sisters together across the United States.

Francis is asking us to take sides


When asked "Which side are you on?" — as the song goes — most of us feel uneasy and generally try to sit on the intervening fence.

However, that is the question Pope Francis asked Catholics in his closing address to the bishops and cardinals — and by extension all Catholics — at the extraordinary synod on the Family Oct. 18. Noting the "moments of tensions and temptations" that occurred during the synod, Francis asks us to be honest with ourselves and declare which side we are inclining towards: the "traditionalist" or the "progressive” wing of the church.

Fr. Tony Flannery preaches church reform with a brogue


It was a cool, rainy night Wednesday at Augustana Lutheran Church in Washington, D.C. But the drizzly weather did not keep more than 150 people from coming out to hear Fr. Tony Flannery, a priest from Ireland who has been ordered by the Vatican to sign a statement of orthodoxy and to remain silent. But Flannery -- unlike many theologians before him -- did not sign and won't keep quiet. In fact, this was the first stop in an 18-city speaking tour of the United States, sponsored by a coalition of U.S. church reform groups.

Preview: More work for LGBT and allies before next synod


In the mid-1990s, the U.S. bishops' Committee on Marriage and Family Life drafted a pastoral document addressed to parents who have lesbian or gay children. During the many revisions of the document, Bishop Joseph Charron of Des Moines, Iowa, who chaired the committee at the time, appeared before the 60-member Administrative Board of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to present the draft.


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