Most of the commentary on Senator Kennedy’s Catholicism has focused on the issues he espoused. Most note approvingly his many positions that advocated long held aspects of Catholic social teaching such as his efforts to alleviate poverty, his support for universal health care and his defense of workers’ rights. A minority, and a nasty minority at that, focuses on his pro-abortion rights position.
A religious delegation recently returned from a week-long visit to Honduras and issued as statement calling upon the U.S.:
- to be unequivocal and very public in denouncing the brutal human rights violations committed by Honduran military and police forces;
- to cancel diplomatic as well as tourist and business visas for a broader group of those implicated in orchestrating or leading the coup;
- to freeze the accounts in U.S. banks of these same coup leaders; and
- to follow the example of other nations by recalling Ambassador Llorens until the legitimate president of Honduras is restored to office.
Over on PoliticsDaily.com, David Gibson has one of the more interesting critiques of Ted Kennedy's life and times -- especially as it relates to his Catholicism -- that I have read. A teaser:
Yet conservatives shouldn't be too quick to bury the past and proclaim their own orthodoxy as the true heir of the American Catholic future. Surveys of young adult Catholics over recent years have shown that, in many respects, the younger generation resembles Kennedy's approach to faith and politics, with social justice and equality for women and gays as public markers of their religion, and devotion to the sacraments the lodestar of their private devotion.
Read the full column here: Camelot Catholicism: The Once and Future Church?
The globalization of information is something we live with every day, so much so that we take it for granted. But every once in a while, some thing happens that draws one's attention to the fact that news, information, is global and that diverse people have common interests
As a case in point, take a look at this sampling of sources and headlines for the last two days or so:
From NewsOK.com: Tulsa Bishop to no longer face congregation during Mass
From InfoCatólica: El obispo de Tulsa, Oklahoma, reinstaura la posición «Ad Orientem»
From RKnieuws: Amerikaanse bisschop draagt mis weer op 'met rug naar het volk'
From Le Nouvelliste: À Tulsa (Oklahoma), l'évêque célèbre désormais « ad orientem »
From Agenzia di Stampa Asca: Vescovo usa celebrera' messa con le 'spalle al popolo'
From La Vie: Au Far West, la messe passe à l'Est
From TTX Công Giáo Vi?t Nam: Thánh L? Quay V? H??ng ?ông (Ch'nh trong chi?u h??ng ?y, ??c Cha Edward Slattery, ...)
I guess that it just goes to show you that a good story has legs.
The Scranton Times-Tribune reports today that Bishop Joseph F. Martino is moving out of the traditional downtown residence for Scranton bishops at the rectory of St. Peter’s Cathedral to a rural retreat center that once served as a diocesan seminary.
Yesterday in this space I reported that in an interview I had with Ted Kennedy in 1981 he said that nuclear disarmament was the greatest challenge we faced as a nation, indeed, as a world family.
Not surprisingly, others are similarly reporting Kennedy's support for ridding the planet of these immoral weapons (Immoral, yes, because, by their very nature [size and contaminants], they cannot discriminate between combatants and noncombatants.)
Want to age more slowly? Try mindfulness. At least one study links staying young with being mindful. When I was reading about the study I was, well, er, mindful about a book Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister wrote recently in which she essentially argues that one's biological clock can be influenced by one's spiritual or psychological clock. She calls it aging gracefully. I like that too.
I had two personal encounters with Ted Kennedy. The first was in Saigon in 1967 when I met him for dinner. We talked about war refugees. The second was almost 15 years later. We met in Washington. We talked about nuclear war and global poverty.
During the Vietnam War, I was a volunteer working for a nonprofit organization called International Voluntary Services in the province town of Tuy Hoa in central Vietnam. I had been in Vietnam for less than a year and had been working, as the only American, in the Dong Tac refugee camp. It was a god-forsaken place, home to some 20,000 refugees, mostly the elderly, women and children. Their homes had been destroyed in the fighting; their men were warriors for one side or the other. These refugees had been “resettled” on the sandy beaches along the coast and were living in unimaginable poverty in tin huts, with almost nothing to eat and no means of earning money for food. The war was creative a living hell for the peasants farmers of Vietnam.
The WSJ reports that "High-school students' performance last year on the SAT college-entrance exam fell slightly, and the score gap generally widened between lower-performing minority groups and white and Asian-American students, raising questions about the effectiveness of national education reform efforts.