Of course being beautiful is not a sin, as the caption of the current Italian edition of Vanity Fair states. But, primping for a Vanity Fair photo shoot is not the traditional path to power within the curia. This is just embarrassing at so many levels.
I have voiced the concern previously that the debate over gun control could crowd out other issues, and that I fear the prospect of meaningful gun control is so low, it seems a questionable political calculation to pursue mediocre gun control if that makes real, substantive progress on other issues less likely. “Seek joy where joy may be found” is one of my most closely held beliefs.
Over at The New Republic, Nate Cohn has a must-read article on the politics of immigration reform and the GOP.
Over at CatholicMoralTheology.com, Christopher Vogt discusses the limits - I had almost written "the abuse" - of the prophetic voice. I could not agree more,
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 16, 2013
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY, 2013
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Tom Rosshirt tells a story of heroic resistance to efforts at censorship in China in the beautifully written essay. Click here.
As reported here at NCR, Swiss Benedictine Abbot Peter von Sury has called for greater local involvement in the selection of bishops, including lay involvement.
In a conversation with a friend this morning, he observed that a person could wrap their head around Bach, but with the Romantics, one wraps the heart around the music. There is, of course, much truth in my friend's comment although readers should be warned that Wagner is good for five minutes, but if you listen to him for five hours, you might be seized with the desire to invade Poland. That said, there are some works by Bach that I believe do tug on the heart strings. Here is one, the chorale prelude O Mensch bewein.
The Maryland Catholic Conference sent out one of its "Issue Alerts" yesterday to all Catholics in the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Maryland who subscribe to their email list-serve, urging them to contact their state legislators on behalf of Governor Martin O'Malley's proposal to ban the death penalty in Maryland. Here is a link to the webpage at the MCC. Fighting the death penalty does not, of course, exhaust the pro-life cause, it does not ennervate it.
Medicare will cost approximately $500 billion this year. In 1980, which was not that long ago, Medicare cost $37.4 billion. This increase is the single largest reason the government’s long term fiscal picture is clouded and it must be addressed. So, as the Congress and the President begin to negotiate their way through the budgetary issues that face the country in the next few weeks, it is good to set out some first principles.