The U.S. is not the only country with challenging questions about border security. At the New Republic, Leon Wieseltier looks at the walls being erected along Israel's borders and asks the important questions about how these man-made constructions, in turn, shape our sense of ourselves.
For me, the best part about Pope Benedict's resignation is that I caught a break from writing about the HHS contraception mandate. But, it is important to read the statement issued by the Catholic Health Association.
The statement does two important things.
First, it eschews the combative tone that some have adopted towards the administration and focuses on fixing any remaining problems, finding solutions rather than bumper sticker slogans.
A new study by the Jesuit Conference, the Kino Border Initiative, and Jesuit Services USA details the violence and abuse that migrants often suffer at the U.S.-Mexican border. In the weeks ahead, we will hear a lot about border security and let's hope that our politicians recognize that the physical security of migrants is as important as building a fence.
All this week, those of us who write about the Church for a living have had some interesting conversations with our more well-known colleagues in the press who know little about the Church. Actually, strike that last comment. I have been studying and reading about the Church for all of my adult life and I still know little about it. There are vast areas of study I have not engaged, whole regions that remain opaque, and theological debates I have not jumped into, and, as I say, I have been at this for more than thirty years.
Garry Wills, in an essay at The New York Times, gives away his argument in the very first paragraph. He writes:
In monarchies, change is supposed to come from the top, if it is to come at all. So people who want to alter things in Catholic life are told to wait for a new pope. Only he has the authority to make the changeless church change, but it is his authority that stands in the way of change.
Kim Daniels, director of Catholic Voices USA, has an essay on immigration reform at the National Catholic Register. The article is important for a couple of reasons.
Several myths surround the election of a new Pope, all with some degree of truth to them, but most of which do not hold up when submitted to a bit of historical scrutiny. In the weeks ahead, we shall be treated to all sorts of speculation and other foolishness, so let’s clear away some of the most prominent myths now.
Father Julian Carron, the head of Communione e Liberazione, shared something very difficult with Pope Benedict: Both men were called upon to fill really big shoes, with Carron taking over the leadership of CL after the death of Father Giussani, and Benedict called to follow Pope John Paul II, another larger than life figure.
Over at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, they have an essay by Dan Misleh, Executive Director of the Catholic Coalition for Climate Change. It is well worth the read and you can access it by clicking here.
Catholic News Service has video of an interview with Cardinal Francis George of Chicago about the HHS mandate. He does not seem to understand how the mandate works. When he says, "we will simply not cooperate," he hits the nail on the head - Catholic institutions that are exempt or accommodated don't really do anything. The mandate applies to their insurance company or the Third Party Administrator of their self-insured plan.