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.
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.
William Oddie, at the Catholic Herald, gives more evidence of older son syndrome, acting like the aggrieved older son in the parable of the prodigal.
Yesterday, I called attention to an article by Pat Archbold at the National Catholic Register, now owned by EWTN, in which he not only criticized the bishops' stance on immigration but ranted about the issue in a way that was, to put it charitably, not recognizably Catholic.
Last night, District Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that a St. Louis County grand jury had declined to vote a true bill of indictment against police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The announcement was followed by episodic violence, out of all proportion to the grand jury decision: The violence was episodic. The injustices our criminal justice system perpetrates on black Americans is systemic.
How many hours of talk radio and Fox News were spent discussing the "scandal" of Benghazi? Well, the House Intelligence Committee report came out Friday night, and guess what? Nothing you heard rumored turned out to be true. Will there be even a minute of Fox tonight dedicated to correcting the record?
Every Sunday, the Washington Post's Outlook section takes on "5 myths" about a given person or subject. Yesterday, it was Pope Francis' turn and the Post turned to Professor Maryann Cusimano Love, who is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at Catholic University, to explode the myths. Great job!
Over at the National Catholic Register, Pat Archbold is very upset with the USCCB for their statement supporting President Obama's executive order on immigration. Mr. Archbold is entitled to his opinions to be sure. And the Register, which likes to claim the mantle of obedience to the hierarchy, is entitled to print it. But, all of us in the press, even those of us who write opinion columns, are bound by the basic requirement of sanity in our writing.
Last week, Archbishop Blase Cupich took the reins of the Archdiocese of Chicago, catapulted from the relatively small Diocese of Spokane (Catholic population of around 100,000) to the largest and most important diocese of the Midwest (Catholic population of around 2.2 million). The archbishops of Chicago also have played a significant role in the life of the Church in the entire United States and in the world. The installation of a new archbishop, therefore, has everyone scrutinizing the tea leaves to figure out what it means.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez issued a strong statement applauding the President's actions on immigration but reminding everyone that the measures adopted do not go far enough. We still need comprehensive immigration reform and, now, sadly, the GOP appears unwilling to bring the issue up in the lame duck, even though they know the Senate-passed reform legislation would win on a vote tomorrow.