My colleague Brian Roewe had a news account yesterday afternoon of the conference call with the media led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, President of the USCCB, Archbishop Jose Gomez, chair of the conference’s committee on migration, and Bishop John Wester, chair of the communications committee. The call addressed the USCCB’s support for comprehensive immigration reform in light of the introduction last week of a bipartisan proposal from the “Gang of 8” in the U.S. Senate.
This news item makes you want to cry. A teacher at a Catholic high school lost her mother. in the obituary, the teacher's longtime partner was mentioned. So, as if the grief of losing one's mom was not enough, in their inscrutable desire to demonstrate that Jansenism is alive and well, the school fired the teacher. When will they learn to be human?
Over at Vox Nova, Morning's Minion notes that the USCCB has been putting a lot of emphasis on the rights of employers, but not so much on their obligations. And, MM picks up on a recent example the Pope used to show how his emphasis might be a bit different from some of our stateside hierarchs.
The still new blog Millennial continues to post some great articles. This one from Christiana Peppard examines the way America's idolatry of liberty contributes to the alienation and violence of the culture. Powerful stuff. There is a book in this subject as well as a blog post.
"Whom the gods would make bigots, they first deprive of humor." - Fr. Gillis.
We so often deal with heavy and heady topics here, let's take a moment to laugh. I have two items.
Last week, after the authorities in Boston released the photos of the two suspects in the Marathon bombing case, a black friend of mine stopped by. “Thank God they are Caucasian,” he said. If you are in America and you are black, an instance of violence triggers the fear that the still-current prejudice against you and your race might get a fresh jolt of ugly enthusiasm if the perpetrator of the violence is black.
Writing at Religion & Politics, John Gehring asks what happened to the push for common ground around the proposition that both pro-life and pro-choice groups should pursue strategies to reduce the abortion rate. In part, as he reports, there was progress, with the inclusion of some provisions of the Pregnant Woman Support Act into the Affordable Care Act.
The Franciscan Action Network (FAN) applauded the Senate proposal on comprehensive immigration reform. "We especially welcome the inclusion of a path to citizenship, with a special provision for Dreamers, and several provisions which promote family unity," the group said in a press release. "In our initial and incomplete assessment, FAN has several concerns about the legislation, including stringent and costly border enforcement measures, the very long path to citizenship, and the elimination of the family sibling category."
The idea that the State of Israel exercises undue influence in Washington is an old and usually unsavory idea. It is disturbing to find it in the headline of an article at Commonweal.
Over at Politico, Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan on "How the NRA won." It is clear that the key senators whose votes will need to shift come from states that are culturally conservative and/or largely rural. Here is where the churches must come in. If the country is ever to get progress on gun control, the faith community will need to galvanize an alternative narrative from that be put forward by the NRA.