John McGreevy has joined the global history parade with a book on a topic that is long overdue: American Jesuits and the World: How an Embattled Religious Order Made Modern Catholicism Global. This is a very enjoyable book to read as McGreevy paints five historical sketches of nineteenth century Jesuits, about whom too little is known and whose lives were fascinating, conflicted and important.
Distinctly Catholic: As the Republican National Convention begins in Cleveland, here are some things to look for over the next four days.
As if Puerto Rico did not have enough problems, the Environmental Protection Agency is failing to enforce its own orders to close landfills with toxic waste that threatens residential drinking water and worse. If Hillary Clinton is looking to do something on the environmental front, that also has innate appeal to Latino voters, she should promise to make Puerto Rico the poster child for renewable energy.
Distinctly Catholic: A flurry of recent polls show that the presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has become a toss-up.
How bad are things in Puerto Rico? AP reports that two cancer clinics had their power cut off because they could not pay the electric bill. We are waiting for the control board to be appointed and one of their first tasks, surely, will be to begin revamping PREPA, the island's publicly held utility which has so far been resistant to developing sustainable energy.
Distinctly Catholic: Party platforms do not matter as once they did, but the decision of this year's Democratic platform committee to adopt extreme positions on abortion-related issues is worrisome.
Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas posted a haunting statement from the Mexican bishops, 90 years ago, as they announced the cessation of public worship on account of the persecution of the Church. The ecclesiology of that statement may reflect duress, but it also points to something the Second Vatican Council would emphasize: All the baptized are charged with care for the Church and not just the clergy.
Distinctly Catholic: At the first joint campaign event with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton vowed to pursue several of the policies he supported, and she specifically mentioned the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Distinctly Catholic: A group of 45 "scholars, prelates and clergy" have sent an appeal to the world's cardinals, asking them to implore Pope Francis to correct what they deem to be "erroneous propositions" in Amoris Laetitia.