I have been chastising my fellow Catholics on the left for adopting a begrudging attitude towards Pope Francis, pointing out that I think it is wrong-headed to start our examination of this pontificate by creating a checklist to see if the new pope agrees with us. The process of conversion, which is at the heart of the faith, involves creating a checklist to see if we agree with the Church, right?
"Better late than never," goes the saying. But, as Michael Gerson points out in this morning's Washington Post, sometimes waiting limits one's options and so, in Syria, President Obama's inaction has created the situation he most wanted to avoid: more U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
At his press conference earlier this week, marking the 100th day of his second term, President Obama expressed his intention to try again to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. His political capital should be better spent.
Writing at Politico, Rich Lowry examines the euphemisms in the President's speech at Planned Parenthood and in the coverage of the trial of Dr. Gosnell. And, he calls out the NYTimes for not being willing to use the word baby in describing children who have been born and, therefore, no longer correctly called fetuses. (No word yet on whether or not Lowry heard the voice of God telling him to call out the Times.) Lowry does not use the word "Orwellian" but I will.
Over at CatholicCulture.org, they have the story about an upcoming conference on the sacred liturgy. "Among the speakers are Cardinals Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Walter Brandmüller, Malcolm Ranjith, and Raymond Burke; Archbishop Alexander Sample," they write. I am guessing my invitation got lost in the mail. Quick question: How many of these prelates own a cappa magna? How much did they spend on said cappas? And, the really key question: why would anyone spend that kind of money on a cappa magna?
My colleague Fr. Tom Reese, S.J. (still getting used to calling Fr. Reese a colleague but I sure like the sound of it!) has a new post up about the mind of Papa Francesco, focusing on the new pope's views about economics and capitalism. I am wondering what our friends at the Acton institute make of this? The unbridled capitalism and globalization that they like to champion does not seem to have captured Papa Francesco's heart.
The USCCB can cause quite a stir when it wants to. Last year, in the struggle against the
Vatican Insider reports on the meeting between Papa Francesco and Israeli President Shimon Peres. Like most of the world's Catholics, I am just beginning to get to know Papa Francesco and to admire him. Peres is a man I have long admired. Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall when these two men met? And, if you doubt the weight of history, evidently they spent a great deal of time discussing the Cenacle.
When will the Holy See devise a means of dealing with bishops who ignore the Dallas Charter, that they created themselves and promised to abide by? Perhaps now.
I am trying not to be angry. Trying really hard. Carrie Budoff Brown, at Politico, reports that efforts to include same sex couples in the immigration reform bill threaten to derail the entire push for comprehensive reform this year. The fact that I predicted this would be the most difficult hurdle for immigration reform months ago provides precisely no comfort.