At "The Catholic Thing," Robert Royal has an essay on Vatican II that avoids some of the histrionics of the right, but offers, too, a thoughtful criticism of some of the ways we on the left have interpreted Vatican II. I do not always agree with Royal, in this piece or generally, but he is thoughtful and he avoids calumny. These days, that is an increasingly high bar for some on the right.
Over at Commonweal, Grant Gallicho has done the heavy lifting in exposing Professor Robert George's latest self-indulgent article at First Things, criticizing the statement from a group of Catholic scholars "On All Our Shoulders." It is telling that George does not engage any of the arguments the scholars put forward. It is ironic that he, of all people, accuses them of being tendentious.
As President Obama and his debate team get ready for a make-or-break performance tonight, here are some things I would like to hear him say.
The former presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Bishop Herbert Chilstrom, has published a remarkable essay in which he criticizes St. Paul Archbishop John Nienstedt for advocating for an amendment that "imposes" the Church's views on all the citizens of Minnesota.
Another U.S. bishop has weighed in on the issue of poverty in the 2012 campaign. Bishop Kevin Farrell posted this at the website of the Dallas diocese he leads. The - pardon the expression - money quote:
"Poverty in America is a scandal, certainly not to the poor. There is no scandal to being poor. The scandal is for those of us who could help by using our influence and resources to promote community and government programs to assist and do not do so."
At the Washington Post, Jacques Berlinblau, a professor at Georgetown, criticized Martha Raddatz for the question she asked the VP candidates about abortion. specifically asking them to speak about the issue in person terms. He writes: "The problem is that such an appeal, inadvertently and subtly, bolstered a core conviction of the Religious Right.
Distinctly Catholic: Who would have thought the Catholic idea of subsidiarity would have central role in the political debate this year?
This Sunday, the American Jewish Committee and the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies will be co-sponsoring a symposium on poverty. Kathy Saile from the USCCB and Bishop Denis Madden, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Inter-religious Dialogue, , Rabbi Sid Schwartz and Professor Peter Edelman will be among the speakers. The event is the brainchild of former US ambassador to the Holy See Thomas Melady, who is one of the national co-chairs of Catholics for Romney.
I have called attention previously to the new blog Millennial, written by Catholic Millennials, but a good read for old and young alike. It is sponsored by catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. They have a new post up by Marcus Mescher regarding Congressman Ryan's budget, Ayn Rand, and the recent statement from a group of Catholic intellectuals regarding the same. It is very crisply reasoned and written. Keep an eye on Mescher and the rest of the crew at Millennial. Good, good stuff.
Over at Christianity Today, Karen Swallow Prior has an article about the relaxation of the dress code at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and, more importantly, the broadening of the school's understanding about how to engage the culture, moving behind the political agenda of the school's founder.