Reviews of 'Restrepo' and 'Toy Story 3'
I didn't intend to see National Geographic Entertainment's new film "Restrepo" today but circumstances got me to the theater just as it was about to start. I knew it was a documentary about the war in Afghanistan but I never expected it to be so real, so personal, so heartbreaking.
Guessing this was not much on his mind last week, but General McChrystal may've actually helped save print journalism -- the kind that requires focus and attention from both reporter and reader.
The digital kind of journalism doesn't demand much of either -- its strength is the here-and-now, delivered instantly. Internet reporting lives in the moment; web commentary stretches that moment out just a little bit longer. The web encourages grazing and skipping and shifting. It does not ask you sit and stay a while, pour an extra cup of coffee, maybe ask to see what donuts are still available.
You can't curl up with a computer (or even an iPad -- at least not yet), and so you don't -- and, to be honest, the machine doesn't even want you to try. Just keep moving your fingers across the keyboard.
Into this brave new world, like some episode of "Star trek" when creatures from another time and dimension crash into the current, Rolling Stone's article comes to remind us what we have nearly lost -- journalism that takes time to create and time to consume. It is expensive journalism, at a moment when most publications don't have a nickel to spare, but it is essential.
By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
One classic way for bureaucracies to express their priorities is by which topics merit their own departments. By that logic, Pope Benedict XVI sent a clear signal tonight that the Vatican cares about the threat posed by secularization, announcing the creation of a brand new Pontifical Council devoted to the re-evangelization of the Christian West.
Benedict did not give a formal name for the new office, but reports indicate it will be called "Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization." Its job, according to the pope, will be to resist an "eclipse of the sense of God" in secular cultures.
tThough Benedict did not reveal his choice to lead the enterprise, it’s widely expected that the new Vatican department, known as a “dicastery,” will be entrusted to Italian Archbishop Rino Fisichella, currently President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and a former chaplain to the Italian parliament.
Jeffrey Lena, the California-based attorney who represents the Vatican in American litigation, issued this statement following the announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court would not hear an appeal from the Holy See.
The Vatican was asking the federal court to stop a law suit filed in Oregon that accuses the Vatican of transferring a priest from city to city despite repeated accusations of sexual abuse.
Just received the following media release from Jeff Anderson & Associates, the Minnesota law firm that represents victims of clergy sex abuse:
U.S. Supreme Court denies Vatican petition to hear Oregon clergy sexual abuse case
Denial allows civil lawsuit against the Holy See to proceed despite the Vatican’s claim of Foreign Sovereign Immunity
BP requested that the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) do an interim report on the health of oil spill cleanup workers. The NIOSH Oil Spill Worker Health Evaluation is available on the web site of the Lousiana Environmental Action Network and the Lower Mississippi Riverkeepers.
Finally, a thoughtful and articulate priest-diocesan official criticizes diocesan sexual abuse audits and the U.S. bishops conference staffer agrees that the weakness in the audits is a legitimate issue. Why has it taken so long for this to come out?
"Catholic dioceses in Wisconsin and across the country often tout their annual audits by the U.S. Conference of Bishops as proof that they are protecting children from sexual abuse by clergy.
The audits ensure a diocese has in place such safety measures as training, a code of conduct, background checks and a child sex abuse review board, all required by the so-called Dallas Charter, a 2002 document drafted by the bishops conference in response to the clergy sex abuse scandal.
But a canon lawyer and vice chancellor in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee alleged this week that the audits are insufficient, saying parameters the bishops conference imposed limit their scope in a way that could endanger children.
Cardinals are supposed to be the papacy’s last line of defense, which means that conflicts between cardinals – especially in public, and especially over something as explosive as the sexual abuse crisis – are guaranteed to get the pope’s attention.
This morning, Pope Benedict XVI essentially presided over a kiss-and-make-up session between two Princes of the Church: Cardinals Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria, and Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals and the former Secretary of State under Pope John Paul II.