An announcement on the beatification of Pope John Paul II could come from the Vatican as early as tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 14, sources said today. Most observers expect the beatification ceremony to take place in Rome sometime this year, potentially as early as April for the six-year anniversary of the late pope’s death.
Sometimes there's that thing, that trend we all know is true -- and it just takes someone to piece it all together, call it by its rightful name. If the 1970s were famously dubbed "The Me Decade," is America just now waking up from a hangover caused by "The Age of Excess?"
Daniel Akst is very sure the answer is yes.
He's written a book that has its flaws, but it getting attention for the way it synthesizes all those threads in our society that have knitted together to form this particular moment. The book is called We Have Met the Enemy: Self-Control in the Age of Excess.
Akst looks at American obesity, reckless debt, the housing bubble, and the vast array of "addictions" we keep coming up with -- then he calls it what it plainly is: a loss of self-discipline.
President Obama was eloquent last night, solemn when he needed to be, uplifting when called for, and all the time thoughtful. He was as much priest as president in what was essentially a spiritual reflection on how people should conduct their lives and care for each other.
Said the president: "If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let's make sure it's worthy of those we have lost. … Let's make sure it's not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away in the next news cycle."
On this day seventy years ago James Joyce died.
To hear his beautiful voice, click here. (Click the first link under his picture: James Joyce MP3.)
He's reading from Finnegans Wake. To follow on the printed page, click here. (He starts at the first full paragraph on p. 213, the one beginning with: "Well, you know or don't you kennet . . .")
Obama to Americans: 'We can be better' President appeals for national unity, soul-searching after Tucson shootings
Boston Archdiocese amends school admissions policy does not "discriminate against or exclude any categories of students." See, Distinctly Catholic, for Commentary on Boston's Decision.
Jesuit Father Dean Brackley, speaking at a Celebration conference in San Antonio, Texas this evening said something both profound and radical, especially given the times.
He said: "Want a truly Catholic perspective? The principle of the destiny of all God’s People and all Creation take precedent over national laws."
Cause for meditation.
Among the victims of Saturday’s horrific shootings in Arizona were Christina Taylor Green and U.S. District Court Judge John Roll.
As Catholics and Americans, we should pray for all those who died -- Gabe Zimmerman, Dorwin Stoddard, Dorothy Murray, and Phyllis Scheck as well as Green and Roll -- and who were injured, the most well-known being U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
They can make even the most peace-loving pacifist’s blood boil. And that’s the point.
The Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, whose congregation consists primarily of the extended family of Pastor Fred Phelps, is notorious for feeding off of the deepest and most painful wounds of mourners. They are known for protesting the funerals or soldiers hoisting signs that declaring all of the things that God apparently “hates.”
The catastrophe of Mexico’s current narcotraficante violence has diverted attention away from a travesty that began years ago: the Femicide, as it is known -- the murder and torture of young women, mostly maquiladora factory workers -- near the U.S.-Mexico border. Now an opportunity has arisen to refocus U.S. citizens on the women’s fate, thanks to the work of Valerie Mart'nez, a New Mexico author who gives us a book that is at once a lyric poem in 72 parts and an organizing tool for activists.
Concluding that the system is broken and cannot be fixed, a majority of elected representatives in Illinois have voted to ban the death penalty in the state. The House passed a death penalty ban bill last week, and the Senate approved it yesterday, in part in reaction to the exoneration of several people on death row in recent years.
But will Gov. Pat Quinn (a Catholic) sign the bill into law? During his campaign last fall, he said he supports "capital punishment when applied carefully and fairly," but also backs the 10-year-old moratorium on executions, according to this Chicago Tribune article.
This is a momentous prolife victory, so I wondered what various prolife groups around the state were saying. After the House vote last week, the Catholic Conference of Illinois released a statement commending the historic vote and urging the Senate to pass it.