Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs to go. She has a case of Beltway-itis that is incurable and is now imperiling the passage of health care reform. How else to explain her publicly floating the idea that the House will use a parliamentary maneuver to pass the final health care bill without actually voting on it. “It’s more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know. But I like it because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill,” Pelosi said yesterday. Hard to know whether this anti-democratic (with a small ‘d’) sentiment is more obnoxious because of its political stupidity or because it is offensive to democratic norms. Voting is what members of Congress do. The Republicans are entirely right in lambasting this calculated attempt to evade responsibility.
A few weeks ago, Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles archdiocesan announced that he would be retiring shortly. The L.A. archdiocesan is one of the largest if not the largest community of Catholics in the country. It is also one of the largest collections of Latino Catholics in the United States. It is a microcosm of the profound ethnic transformations that are affecting the church.
On March 16, 1649, Fr. John de Brébeuf and his younger companion Gabriel Lalemant were taken prisoner by the Iroquois "and carried off to Saint-Ignace, where they suffered one of the most atrocious martyrdoms in the annals of Christianity. Brébeuf’s torture has been told us with moving simplicity by the donné Christophe Regnault, who saw his remains: 'Father de Brébeuf had his legs, thighs, and arms stripped of flesh to the very bone; I saw and touched a large number of great blisters, which he had on several places on his body, from the boiling water which these barbarians had poured over him in mockery of Holy Baptism. I saw and touched the wound from a belt of bark, full of pitch and resin, which roasted his whole body. I saw and touched the marks of burns from the Collar of hatchets placed on his shoulders and stomach. I saw and touched his two lips, which they had cut off because he constantly spoke of God while they made him suffer.
NCR Editor Tom Fox interviewed the mothers at the center of a storm in a Colorado parish. It is an amazing story and great journalism.
Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida offers a series of Lenten commentaries on farmworkers and their Campaign for Fair Food in the context of each week's lectionary. The commentaries are written by Florida clergy and offer the opportunity to reflect on each Sunday's readings and how they relate to efforts for dignity and justice in the fields. These are ideal for sermon preparation or individual devotional reading: www.interfaithact.org/lentencommentaries2010
So, NOW Deal Hudson decides he likes the USCCB! Just the other day, he was attacking their anti-poverty program, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Now, however, the USCCB is opposing the final health care bill, he is scandalized that some Catholics have reached a different conclusion. He is shocked – shocked! – that the Catholic Health Association, in a statement from CHA head Sr. Carol Keehan, has taken a position that “puts them in direct opposition to the Catholic bishops, who have stated unambiguously that the Senate health-care bill leaves the door open for federal funds to be used for abortions.”
Today is the feast of St. Louise de Marillac, the 350th anniversary of her death.
Louise was born in 1591, the illegitimate daughter of Louis de Marillac, a well-connected widower. Her mother's name is not known. Her father acknowledged his "natural" daughter and placed her with her aunt, a Dominican nun at Poissy. When he died, his second wife removed Louise from the convent and placed her with a poor woman to learn household skills.