If you live in Quebec, I invite you to Laval University for a lecture I am giving on the role of bishops in the U.S. public square, a part of the university's day long assessment of that issue as part of its series on the reception of Vatican II. I do not have precise information about which building the conference will be in, but my talk is at 10:45 Thursday morning.
Over at The New Republic, my old pal David Greenberg reviews Martin Duberman's new biography of Howard Zinn. Here is a taste:
You are accustomed to that question being asked here at Distinctly Catholic, but I was delighted to see the same question asked on the front page of this week's Outlook section of the Washington Post in an essay by Steven Pearlstein. The money quote (pun intended): "At this point, the markets' uneven distribution of income has become so dramatic that it threatens to overwhelm the ability of a progressive tax-and-transfer system to keep up with it."
My essay on the political homelessness of the Catholic mind has been posted at the Daily Beast.
My dogs are wondering why Daddy is up at 4:15 a.m.
There was no huge popular uprising demanding that the Maryland legislature repeal the death penalty. But, repeal it they did, largely through the successful lobbying of Governor Martin O'Malley.
Check out this interview from 2007 in the journal 30Giorni. Money quote:
"The early theologians said: the soul is a kind of sailing boat, the Holy Spirit is the wind that blows in the sail, to send it on its way, the impulses and the force of the wind are the gifts of the Spirit. Without His drive, without His grace, we don’t go ahead. The Holy Spirit lets us enter the mystery of God and saves us from the danger of a gnostic Church and from the danger of a self-referential Church, leading us to the mission."
First it was Father Zuhlsdorf of the conservative blog "What Does the Prayer Really Say" who wrote: "Since the announcement of a new Pope last night, I had to clean some really harsh things out of the combox and the comment queue." Within the first twenty-four hours, the trads were "really harsh."
Over at another conservative blog, Rorate Caeli, they just don't know what to make of this so obviously transparent pope.
The New York Times, perhaps using the occasion of Lent to atone for its many sins, has a nice profile of Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas. Flores is one of the brightest members of the bench and has a personality that allows him to engage people of diverse viewpoints without being overbearing or boring, which is a nice thing to discover in a bishop.
A dear friend called yesterday and reminded me of something I had almost forgotten. “So, based on these early days,” my friend said, “I am thinking you were a bit closer to the mind of the cardinals than George Weigel.” The reference was to the essays, published in the Wall Street Journal, by Mr. Weigel and myself, among others, in which we were asked to complete the sentence: “The new pope should be….” Mr. Weigel wrote that the new pope should be a culture warrior.