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.
In yesterday's Outlook section of the Washington Post, GOP pollster Frank Luntz wrote:
One of my principal complaints against some priests, and some bishops, is that they reduce religion to ethics and, in making their ethical arguments, fail to root their arguments in our dogmatic beliefs, specifically in the Paschal Mystery.
Jim Vandehei, Mike Allen and Jake Sherman, at Politico, report that:
I do not lightly take issue with anything written by Cathleen Kaveny. For starters, she is so much smarter than I am. Secondly, I admire her work immensely and just received a review copy of her new book “Law’s Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society,” which I hope to start later this week and review for this column shortly. I can scarcely say how much I am looking forward to reading it.
Rocco has up some excerpts from a wonderful sermon by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami on the occasion of the Feast of the Epiphany and the inauguration of National Migration Week. Really strong, and good, preaching.
The latest installment in blog posts for Poverty Awareness Month, being hosted by the USCCB's website, comes from Bishop Kicanas of Tuscon, who is also the head of Catholic Relief Services. He notes what we all so easily forget - we are called to poverty. But, the difference between poverty as a chosen call and poverty enforced by cruel circumstances is a huge difference and +Kicanas does a nice job explaining it.