Distinctly Catholic

Obama's Speech

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The President gave what was billed as an important speech about terrorism and U.S. efforts to confront it yesterday. In the event, the speech was less important than the hype. The President attempted to give a clear justification for his policies and to point a way forward in the struggle against terrorism, but there was not really much new.

 

Papa Francesco on Salt & Inculturation

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In his homily this morning, Papa Francesco spoke about the metaphor of salt. As a friend who sent me the link noted, the pope's words perfectly express the Catholic approach to inculturation: "The Christian originality is not a uniformity! It takes each one as he is, with his own personality, with his own characteristics, his culture – and leaves him with that, because it is a treasure. However, it gives one something more: it gives flavour!

Will the Public Forgive Weiner?

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Will the public forgive Anthony Weiner? Public Religion Research Institute has a graphic that illustrates the public's attitudes towards officials caught in a sex scandal. I suspect that people, especially New Yorkers, are perfectly prepared to forgive Mr. Weiner. But, I am less sure that they are willing to let him become the public face of their city. Think of the jokes. Then again, Mark Sanford is back in Congress.

"Europe si, Acton no"

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Over at Vox Nova, Morning's Minion takes a look at the arguments advocated by Samuel Gregg in his book "Becoming Europe" which I reviewed here last week. Morning's Minion has got some serious economic chops, which I lack, so I am delighted to bring his writing to readers' attention. He demonstrates that the European ways of structuring the economy are not the mess they are commonly portrayed to be.

LGBT Groups: "Utterly Betrayed"?

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Politico reports that gay rights groups say they were "utterly betrayed" by key Senate Democrats who have long-standing records of support for LGBT issues when those same senators declined to put forward an amendment designed to include gay couples in the immigration reform compromise that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee two days ago. These same senators, incidentally, support same sex marriage, that is, "front door" federal recognition of gay marriage.

Apple's Tax Bill

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An editorial in the Washington Post this morning hits the nail on the head. Apple did not apparently break the law by diverting $30 billion in profits to Ireland where the company paid no taxes on that profit. The problem is not with Apple, but with a byzantine tax code that makes such tax avoidance schemes possible. It is time for Congress and the administration to get busy with a real overhaul of the tax code.

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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

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