Links for 8/15/19

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White smoke rises from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican on March 13, 2013, indicating a new pope has been elected The 2013 conclave to elect a new pope met over two days before making a decision. (CNS/Max Rossi, Reuters)

At CNN, another cafeteria Catholic on the right: The acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli does a rewrite of both the words and the inspiration of Emma Lazarus' poem about the Statue of Liberty. I wonder how he would rewrite Exodus 22:21? "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

Check out our latest news from the Synod for the Amazon in Rome.

Good news for Colorado and for the Democratic primary debate stage: Former Gov. John Hickenlooper appears to be ready to abandon his bid for the presidency and, instead, challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. The New York Times has the story. Other candidates whose campaigns are going nowhere should consider the same option: Winning the Senate is almost as important for Democrats as winning the White House.  

Also in the Times, a report on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's illegal and inhumane use of his security forces to purge the military of opponents to his continued rule. The man has so ruined his country, he knows that the second he loses power he will face the retribution of the nation.

Just when you thought you had heard it all from Cardinal Raymond Burke, in an appearance on "The Patrick Coffin Show" he speculates about the possibility that the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis might have been invalid. And, seeing as that outrageous line of thinking does not seem to disturb him, let's ask a question that might: Why is he wearing what appears to be a choir cassock during an interview?

As the statute of limitations on child sex abuse is lifted in New York, and as Pope Francis' new rules on sex abuse and covering up sex abuse take effect, look for Buffalo, New York, to become ground zero in that scandal. A source tells me they anticipate at least 200 cases to be filed, although not all involve clergy. Siobhan O'Connor, the former executive assistant to Bishop Richard Malone, and who became a whistleblower, has a blog in which she looks at some of the disturbing issues swirling around the Buffalo chancery. It is difficult to imagine Malone surviving this.

In The Washington Post, protesters explain their concerns as they face what could so easily turn into another Tiananmen Square massacre situation. It may be impolitic to mention this, but was it really such a good idea to turn the island's government over to officials in Beijing? Overlords in Westminster must be looking pretty good right now.

[Michael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.]

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