I have always had respect for the late Archbishop Joseph Bernardin. In so many ways he was an exemplary leader. But it is also clear he had a blind spot, one shared seemingly with nearly all the other U.S. bishops of his time and far more than any one might imagine possible today.
According to a new Gallup poll, about 24% of all American adults identified as Catholic between January and June of this year. The distribution of Catholics across the states is heavily skewed toward the New England and Mid-Atlantic states, the regions of the country through which the large waves of Catholic immigrants from Europe arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The news today that the unemployment rate dropped is unabashedly good. Of course, almost a quarter of a million jobs were lost last month, a piece of data that contains an enormous amount of human suffering. And, the White House says it still expects the unemployment rate to rise to 10 percent by year’s end.
It will be curious to see how the administration’s opponents will respond to the news. Just yesterday, they were arguing that the stimulus bill was not working, although it was always clear that it would take more than a few months for the effects of the stimulus to be felt; You don’t just plunk billions of dollars into the economy, you have to identify projects and get them the funding.
After Labor Day, Daniel Ellsberg’s Web site, , and some other sites including Truthdig, will start regular installments of his insider’s memoir of the nuclear era—“The American Doomsday Machine”—an Internet book reflecting his earlier classified work and 40 years of research.
Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), has been named as one of the nation's top nonprofit executives of 2009 by The NonProfit Times (NPT). This is the second straight year for Fr. Snyder to be recognized on the list. The newspaper's 12th annual "Power and Influence Top 50" illustrates the importance of community service and the critical role volunteers play in transforming society.
I spent many weeks in Central America in the 1980’s when people of faith were trying to stop the Reagan war policies and were deeply concerned about human rights in the region.
The stories I hear from the Quixote Center delegation in Honduras today sound a lot like the reports of repression and human rights violations I heard in the 1980’s.
Ken Briggs, an occasional blogger on this page, has written a provocative essay on our web site today. It's a challenge to the religious women leaders who will gather in New Orleans next week. It is not a challenge in the sense that he claims to know and then he tells the women what they should do. It is, rather a empathetic reflection that says, "I understand; you are in a very difficult spot."
I feel bad that Carl Kabat finds it necessary to protest, as he does, knowing that his actions will lead him to spend more time in prison. But his conscience demands that he acts, and he does. I think he wonders why more consciences don't make similar demands, given that we are living with insanely immoral nuclear weapons and most of us are hardly giving it a second thought.