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Cutting Executive Pay


The Obama Administration’s “Pay Czar” has announced that the government will require several firms that participated in the bailout of the past year to cut the executive compensation for their top corporate executives. You can already hear the howling from the free marketers.

The funniest of the objections to the pay cuts is that these large Wall Street firms need to pay enormous bonuses in order to retain the best employees. Funny, you would think that people who ran their companies into the ditch and needed to turn to the government to bail them out might not be prime candidates for being re-hired. Human nature being what it is, and the effects of original sin being what they are, I suppose someone hired the architect of the FBI building after he designed that ugly blot on Pennsylvania Avenue. Some move directors still hire even when they have proven they can’t act their way out of a paper bag. So, maybe this concern is valid but I say – let’s put it to the test.

Others worry about excessive government interference in the free market. This is a concern that could have been raised before the bailouts. Now, it seems perverse.

John Roberts' Empathy


Chief Justice John Roberts expressed his chagrin that his colleagues declined to take up a Virginia drunk driving case in which the conviction of a drunk driver was thrown out because the arresting officer was acting on a tip, and had not seen the driver actually break the law. “The decision below commands that police officers following a driver reported to be drunk do nothing until they see the driver actually do something unsafe on the road - by which time it may be too late,” the Chief Justice wrote in an opinion joined by conservative stalwart Justice Antonin Scalia.

I have no opinion one way or the other whether or not there were sufficient grounds for the Supreme Court to take this case. But, I find Roberts’ argument intriguing because it sure sounds like he is expressing empathy for the victims of drunk driving.

Saint of the Day


A shout out to all Precious Blood community members, all sisters, priests, brothers and lay associates who trace their charism and spirituality to St. Gasper del Bufalo. Today is his feast day.

Never heard of Gasper? Here are what authors and EWTN hosts Bob and Penny Lord have to say about this 19th century Italian:

Little is known about Saint Gaspar in the United States, but he is the founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, which has communities all over the world. But one of his greatest traits was his bravery in standing up to Napoleon Bonaparte, who demanded an oath of loyalty of all priests in Italy. This young priest only ordained two years at the time, stood up and shouted "I cannot! I must not! I will not!" that led to prison sentences. He outlasted Napoleon and went on to become a great missionary for the Lord.

He was such a powerful Saint that when Pope John XXIII was about to convene Vatican II, he went to the shrine of St. Gaspar, near the Fountain of Trevi in Rome, and prayed for his intercession and protection for the Vatican Council.

CNN Calls Latinos 'Future' of the Church


CNN has posted on its homepage today an article highlighting that the future of the U.S. Catholic Church may be thoroughly Latino.

The article cites a new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that claims that one-third of all Catholics in the U.S. are now Latino.

Some of the consequences of this shift in demographics are explored. Things like the replacing of the traditional fish meal during Lent with chile rellenos and the need for parishes to expand the availability of Spanish language masses. Take a look.

Episcopal church responds to Vatican


Earlier today, NCR contacted the Episcopal Church to ask if its leadership had a response to the Vatican's announcement that it was establishing a special structure for Anglicans who want to be in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church while preserving aspects of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage.

Follwoing is a response sent from the office of Public Affairs of the Episcopal Church:

From The Episcopal Church on the recent statement from the Vatican

[October 20, 2009] The following is from The Episcopal Church:

We have received the Vatican's statement and the joint statement signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster. We are in dialogue with the Archbishop’s office and will, in the coming days, continue to explore the full implications of this in our ecumenical relations.

The announcement reflects what the Roman Catholic Church, through its acceptance of Anglican rite parishes, has been doing for some years more informally.

We in the Episcopal Church continue to look to the Holy Spirit, who guides us in understanding of what it means to be the Church in the Anglican Tradition.

Vatican's chief ecumenist on angling for Anglicans


In my column last Friday, I wrote about Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican's top officer for ecumenical relations, presenting his new book Harvesting the Fruits on Oct. 15.

Although the Vatican conducts dialogues with all three main branches of Christianity -- the Orthodox churches, the churches of the Reformation, and the Pentecostal and Evangelical movements -- Harvesting the Fruits focuses on the Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans and Reformed churches.

When Kasper was asked last about rumors that the Traditional Anglican Communion, a breakaway bloc of conservative Anglican churches, might soon be incorporated into the Catholic church, he seemed to want to play down the impact of such a move on Anglican-Catholic relations.

"We are not fishing in the Anglican lake," Kasper insisted. "Proselytism is not a policy of the Catholic church."

That said, Kasper added that "if in conscience some [Anglicans] want to become Catholics, we cannot shut the door."


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July 4-17, 2014


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