Today is December 3. On September 6, Bishop Robert Finn was convicted in civil court of failing to report an instance of child sexual abuse. Not only is Finn now serving a suspended sentence, he is in violation of the Dallas Charter the bishops adopted ten years ago to confront the sex abuse crisis. Three months. Bishop Finn is still the Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph. The Vatican is said to want the American bishops to exert fraternal correction and get Finn to step down. The US bishops are said to be waiting for the Vatican to move. Enough already.
At the New Republic, John Judis details how the extremists within the GOP are already showing themselves quite content to destroy what's left of their party. In the end, groups like the Club for Growth and their Tea Party allies will reduce their party to a bunch of bitter, angry old white men who really do not want to raise taxes. If the lessons of the last election demonstrate anything, it is that such a coalition does not fare very well in America today.
At the USCCB website, Cokie Roberts has penned a really beautiful tribute to the contribution women religious have made to this country. Her post comes in advance of the national collection for the retirement funds of our religious men and women. These holy men and women have been generous their whole lives with us laity, indeed, spending the entirety of their lives for us, helping them out in their latter years is truly the least we can do. Please be generous.
Flannery O’Connor, early in her career, famously attended a party of the Catholic intellectual elite in New York City, during which the consensus of the group emerged that the Eucharist was, whatever their doubts about the doctrine of transubstantiation, still a useful symbol, worthy of admiration if not really the assent of deeply held faith.
Beth Griffin at Catholic News Service has this story about the state of liturgical music, the difficulty in funding good music programs, etc. (h/t Rocco.) I am not one of those who thinks we should look to the entertainment world for liturgical templates, but when someone tells me they love or hate the liturgy at their parish, their opinion is usually determined by the quality of the preaching and the quality of the music. The two can and should go together as well.
Last summer, I wrote these words:
Longtime NCR readers may be familiar with the writing of William Bole, who wrote a column for the paper some years back. Here is a link to a post on his blog about the recent conference on climate change that was held at Catholic University at the beginning of the month.
This article in The Atlantic reports on the on-going efforts to clean up after Sandy destroyed much of the neighborhoods along the shore in New York and New Jersey. The article captures a whole lot more, too, because it is written with a keen observational eye that belongs to a young writer who used to work for me as a waiter at Kramerbooks & Afterwords here in Washington. Nicholas Brown is a writer with a future.
The United Nations yesterday voted, by a lopsided margin, to grant the Palestinian Authority the status of Non-Member Observer State. The United States was joined by only eight other nations in opposing the measure. 138 nations voted for it. The Holy See, which now shares the same status as the Palestinian Authority, said that it welcomed the change. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas clapped in the audience when the vote was announced.
A long-standing crime in the nation's capital has been brought to an end: The Kennedy Center Concert Hall finally has a new organ.