Links: Bishops, Communion and culture wars; getting tired of Twitter

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Meryl Streep stars in the 2006 movie "The Devil Wears Prada." (CNS/20th Century Fox)
Meryl Streep stars in the 2006 movie "The Devil Wears Prada." (CNS/20th Century Fox)

At Our Sunday Visitor, editorial director Gretchen Crowe interviews Bishop Kevin Rhoades, chair of the Doctrine Committee of the U.S. bishops' conference. I am not sure he clears up any of the ambiguities that plagued his comments during last week's meeting of the U.S. bishops. He seems confused at times. If he really wants to draft a document that is not about politics, he needs to be a lot clearer than he has been.

At The Hill, Catholic University of America politics professor John White argues that the bishops have gone all-in on the culture wars with their vote to proceed with the document on "eucharistic coherence." And he correctly notes why it was important to stop this nonsense last week: "But with their authorization, the bishops have ensured discord will reign supreme."

At Religion & Politics, the University of Notre Dame's John McGreevy looks at last week's decision by the U.S. bishops' conference and puts the debate in the wider context, explaining how and why America is the only industrialized country where the policy debate about abortion became intertwined with partisan politics. The polarization of the political parties is the fault of both sides, McGreevy notes, but the decision to allow that polarization to afflict the church is all on the bishops. "Bishops in thrall to a moral vision that conflates (one type of) theology with politics cannot seize the moment," he writes. "The resulting inconsistency will be far more damaging to 'eucharistic integrity' than the actions of any single politician."

Just when you think there can't possibly be more revelations of former President Donald Trump's abuses of power, Daily Beast reports that he asked his lawyers to look into whether or not the Federal Communications Commission could do anything about the way the great humorists at "Saturday Night Live" were treating him. I am not sure which is the preferred response, to weep or to laugh?

Tired of Twitter? So is Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who discusses how and why it has become so obnoxious: "And so we have a generation of young people on social media so terrified of having the wrong opinions that they have robbed themselves of the opportunity to think and to learn and to grow." I have never met Adichie but I should like to buy her a drink if I ever do!

It is the 15th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite movies, "The Devil Wears Prada." I am glad there is much attention being paid to this classic, but articles like this one at Salon almost take the fun out of it. The subhead of the piece, "The real villain was exploitative work environments all along," may be accurate at one level, but can we just let a movie be a movie? Not everything has to be reduced to its sociological or political consequences, does it? Why so super-serious?

Michael Sean Winters

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

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