Links for 05/04/16

John Gehring, at Commonweal, on the firing of Tony Spence at Catholic News Service and the generally scary developments at the USCCB. Gehring hits the nail on the head: The conference is veering far to the right, has lost much of its relevance in D.C., and no one wants to step up to the plate and say "basta!"

At the Atlantic, Michael O'Loughlin on a Massachusetts case challenging the tax-free status of all religious properties. This is not an easy question: The church already pays taxes on any investment properties, and some locations have a bit of both. But, look for the religious liberty brigade to mount the barricades on this one. 

At RNS, Mark Silk labels Ted Cruz "the latest social conservative failure." Silk is right and this sentence should give the USCCB pause: "When your best shot at a social wedge issue is transgender restrooms, you should realize it's time to move on too. "

At Politico, James Glassman on how the U.S. can push Joseph Kabila to abide by the constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, not seek a third term, and set an example on a continent that still suffers from the "big man" approach to governance. 

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