Even a few weeks ago, let alone several months ago, most would have rolled their eyes at the suggestion that Donald Trump would effectively wrap up his race for the GOP nomination before former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton succeeded in securing the Democratic nod. But, with his big wins in Mississippi and Michigan, and a late night win in Hawaii, Trump is virtually impossible to stop while Clinton squandered her lead in Michigan and lost the state narrowly to Sen. Bernie Sanders.
A group of prominent conservative Catholics have taken to the pages of National Review to urge their fellow Republican RCs not to support Donald Trump. Of course, in making the case that today's Republican Party has been a vehicle for Catholic values and interests, they leave a lot out of the picture: immigration, solidarity, economic justice, environmental protection. The list goes on.
One demographic trend is going up at a breathtaking rate, while one institutional trend is declining at a similarly stunning rate. Latinos now constitute approximately forty percent of all Catholics in the U.S. and a whopping sixty percent of Catholics under the age of eighteen. Catholic schools have been shuttering at an alarming rate, from a high of 13,000 schools in the middle of the twentieth century to 6,568 today. And, the point at which those two trends intersect is alarmingly low: Only about 2.3 percent of the Hispanic school age population is enrolled in Catholic schools.
In The Leaven, his archdiocesan newspaper, Archbishop Joseph Naumann writes about the importance of considering the Supreme Court in voting this year. Interestingly, though, he also talks about a recent religious liberty at the state capitol. Funny, he did not mention any Muslim speakers.
It is obvious, even now to the GOP establishment, that their party has a Trump problem. It is difficult to see how the man can be stopped at the ballot box in the upcoming primaries, and even more difficult to imagine a scenario that robbed him, and his voters, of the nomination if he falls just shy of a majority of the delegates. But, the Republicans are not the only ones with a Trump problem.
Distinctly Catholic: The University of Notre Dame will give its prestigious Laetare Award to Vice President Joseph Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner.
....are both feeling unwell this morning, the GOP because they have allowed their presidential nominating contest to resemble a professional wrestling match and MSW because I caught some kind of stomach bug. Both should go back to bed, although I think the GOP needs to go back to bed until 2017.
Mark Silk, at RNS, fills out the coroner's report and engraves the epitaph on the tombstone of the Religious Right.
Sen. Marco Rubio is not likely to win a spelling bee anytime soon. Puts one in mind of Dan Quayle and his potatoe.
Richard Gaillardetz’s new book An Unfinished Council: Vatican II, Pope Francis and the Renewal of Catholicism is the first of what we can anticipate will be many theology books that look back at Vatican II in the light of the magisterium of Pope Francis. Gaillardetz examines the shape of renewal and the contours of reform that now seem possible and, in doing so, sets a high standard for other theologians who explore this terrain.
At this morning's General Audience, the Holy Father had this to say:
"I think of some benefactors of the Church, who come with an offer for the Church and their offer is the fruit of the blood of people who have been exploited, enslaved with work which was under-payed” he said.
“I will tell these people to please take back their cheques. The People of God don’t need their dirty money but hearts that are open to the mercy of God” he said.