Mark Silk, at Religion News Service, is undoubtedly correct when he writes that the Faith-Based Initiative President George W. Bush began has not lived up to its promise. He is also correct when he notes that the proposal was, and is, a genuinely centrist proposal. In a Washington that is beset by partisanship on steroids, maybe the Obama team would do well to devote more attention towards fulfilling the promise of the Faith-Based Office.
John Judis, writing at The New Republic, is nobody's idea of a neo-con hawk. But, he makes a compelling case that, yes, it is time to intervene in Syria.
I will say one thing for Mr. George Neumayr, whose essay at RealClearReligion.com yesterday caught my eye: He is not difficult to parse. He says what he means and mean what he says. Of course, history is filled with scoundrels who did not prevaricate; still let us acknowledge that this is a man with a capacity to speak his mind.
I finally had a bit of time this weekend to clean-up my old emails and I came across one that reminded me that earlier this month, the blog Mirror of Justice celebrated its 9th birthday.
This short item at the Tablet discusses a recent talk by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, to the hierarchy of England and Wales. He urged bishops not to avoid topics that make them uncomfortable, as Pope Francis "also makes us feel uncomfortable." Of course, all reports indicate that the members of the curia are indeed feeling a but uncomfortable these days as they wait to see what reforms Papa Francesco will enact.
Writing at the website of the Africa Faith & Justice Network, Jacques Bahati details how land grabs in Africa, often involving U.S. companies, are picking up where the colonial powers left off, exploiting the continent's resources at the expense of its inhabitants and, coincidentally, shredding even the most rudimentary Western notions of justice.
Well, if some of our friends on the right wanted a culture war, they seem to have gotten it. President Barack Obama on Friday became the first president to speak at a Planned Parenthood conference. His speech , which can be found here, was presented as some kind of cultural triumph on MSNBC. Rachel Maddow, who is very bright and quite capable of dissecting difficulties in politicians’ verbiage, had nothing but praise.
Over at Vatican Insider, they have an interview with Archbishop John Quinn, the former Archbishop of San Francisco about his ideas regarding Church reform, specifically, the idea of establishing patriarchal systems throughout the Latin Church similar to those in the eastern Churches.
We are in the final 48 hours of our NCR Webathon. I am profoundly grateful to those of you who have already given. But, in an effort to put us over the top, and meet our goal, I am making a matching grant offer. If we raise $5,000 from conservatives today, I will not say a bad word about George Weigel for a fortnight. If we raise $5,000 from liberals today, I will not say a bad word about LCWR for a month.
Over at his blog at Religion News Service, Mark Silk takes issue with my suggestion that the Church lost the fight for "traditional marriage" when we allowed no-fault divorce laws to go on the books. Silk points out that the divorce rate in the U.S. started to spike in the 1950s, while the law had to play catch-up, with most no-fault divorce statutes going on the books a decade or more later. I defer entirely to Silk's knowledge, which is as comprehensive as it is thorough.