Distinctly Catholic

Judging & Firing Bishops


My colleague, Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ, has a fine article about the need to establish due process - indeed any process - into the method by which the Holy See decides evaluates bishops and decides if and when their resignation should be demanded. I have nothing to add to Fr. Reese's fine column but the article did put me in mind of one of my favorite songs from "The Mikado."

God's Advent


Happy Advent. Last year, at this time, I ran a post on “The War on Advent,” making the case that we Catholics must resist the dominant culture’s desire to start Christmas the day after Thanksgiving and forget all about Advent. Everything I wrote then rings, regrettably, even more true this year than last with all the countless stories about “Black Friday Sales” being extended into Thanksgiving Day itself.

Russell Moore: Evangelical or Republican?


Over at RNS, Mark Silk on Southern Baptists stepping away from their prior support for immigration reform lest they offend their Republican friends. I was not a fan of Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention since he ducked a question I posed to him at a National Press Club event a year ago. His comments on President Obama's immigration order put him yet further down the scale. 

On Gratitude


Growing up, I had fleeting experiences of gratitude, all of them self-referential and tied to a strange, I think quintessentially American, or at least modern, understanding of blessings as something in the plural and something that was the result of human effort. I felt gratitude when I made it through “Schmucke Dich” in the one and only organ recital I ever gave, a not particularly complicated piece, but one in which all the notes are so exposed, and so perfectly knit together that not only a wrong note, but a missed one, would have been hideously obvious.

Latino & Anglo RCs in Climate Change


Over at Religion News Service, Mark Silk calls attention to new research from the Public Religion Research Institute that shows Latino Catholics are far more concerned about climate change than Anglo Catholics. He gives the numbers and then asks a question that should make the bishops stay up at night: "It’s as if Hispanic Catholics and white Catholics belong to different churches.


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In This Issue

January 13-26, 2017