When Pope Francis was elected, one of the stories circulating was that in the previous election, he had come in second to Pope Benedict XVI. I've thought about that, wondering if, when he heard the name "Benedict," he had considered to himself what name he would have chosen -- perhaps Francis. If he had looked at the red shoes and thought how peculiar it would have been to be wearing them. And if, as Benedict spoke to the church, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was quietly aware that he would have said it differently.
Peace & Justice
Following a Jan. 24 court order, a Fort Worth hospital two days later removed a 33-year-old brain-dead pregnant woman from life support.
Marlise Munoz, who was 14 weeks pregnant when she collapsed at home in November and was deprived of oxygen for up to an hour, was being kept on life-sustaining machines at John Peter Smith Hospital against the wishes of her husband and parents.
Hospital officials said they could not remove her respirator because of a Texas law that prohibits doctors from withdrawing "life-sustaining treatment" from pregnant women.
State Sen. Richard Black, R-Va., wrote to Pope Benedict XVI in January 2013 about Dorothy Day’s canonization cause. In his letter, Black referred to Dorothy Day as “a woman of loathsome character” and a communist sympathizer (see blog post here). In response to Black’s accusations, Phil Runkel, archivist at Marquette University, wrote the following email Jan. 18:
Dear Senator Black:
Eight nuclear protesters found guilty of trespassing onto the Kansas City Plant were given an unusual sentence Dec. 13 (see story here). Instead of jail or community service, Presiding Judge Ardie Bland sentenced the defendants with homework. They were required to write one-page, single-spaced answers to six questions Bland posed on the spot.
This week, State Sen. Richard Black, R-Va., withdrew his candidacy for Congress after a two-day run. In Jan. 2013, Black wrote to Pope Benedict XVI stating that he was “revolted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ support for the canonization of [Dorothy Day] whose views supported the violent extermination of Christians throughout the world.”
The lead defense attorney for an 83-year-old nun convicted of damaging government property said the U.S. attorney in the case will ask the judge to impose long prison sentences on Sr. Megan Rice and two others slated to be sentenced in federal court next week.
Bill Quigley said federal guidelines for the three suggest five to seven years in prison for Rice, six to eight years for Greg Boertje-Obed and seven to nine years for Michael Walli. The three, known as the Transform Now Plowshares, broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on July 28, 2012.
For decades, retired United Methodist Bishop Woodie White has marked the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. by writing a "birthday letter" to the leader
Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson issued his call for a "war on poverty," numerous innovative poverty-fighting programs have sprouted.
Two exhibits that lasted for mere hours appeared at the National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C., on Jan. 11. Titled, “Make Guantanamo History,” they consisted of 150 activists, some singing, others lecturing, many simply witnessing, as well as a small number silently standing in orange jumpsuits and black hoods.
COMMAND AND CONTROL: NUCLEAR WEAPONS, THE DAMASCUS ACCIDENT, AND THE ILLUSION OF SAFETY
By Eric Schlosser
Published by The Penguin Press, $36
Back in the Reagan era, many of us read author Jonathan Schell's The Fate of the Earth with hushed awe -- though critics found the 1982 book's warnings about nuclear war overwrought, even silly.