Links: Vigneron's hypocrisy; Samantha Power in El Salvador; kudos to US mayors

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Samantha Power (in red shirt), head of USAID, visits the chapel at Central American University in San Salvador, El Salvador, June 14. (Flickr/USAID)
Samantha Power (in red shirt), head of USAID, visits the chapel at Central American University in San Salvador, El Salvador, June 14. (Flickr/USAID)

Our friends at Catholic News Agency have "updated" their story about Pope Francis refusing a request from President Joe Biden to give him Communion. Originally, they labeled the changed story "corrected," which is closer to the truth, but still falls short. As my colleague Josh McElwee pointed out, the whole story was bunk from beginning to end. Who is running the store over at CNA? Emily "What's all this fuss I hear about saving Soviet jewelry" Litella?

Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit posted a pastoral note titled "The Beauty of Truth" about "communicating truth and love in the digital age." Among other things, Vigneron writes:

God's Holy Spirit unites. Satan divides. Christ's Word of Truth will at times expose divisions that already exist within the human heart and between people (cf. Matthew 10:34-36), but the division itself is the rotten fruit of sin and the work of the Evil One. Zeal for a good cause neither requires nor excuses purposefully sowing seeds of division, especially division from and within the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church.

The archbishop is correct, which prompts me to say: Physician, heal thyself! At this very moment, the bishops' conference where Vigneron serves as vice president is divided as never before because of this push to trash Biden and deny him Communion. Fr. Charles Fox, director of liturgy at Vigneron's diocesan seminary, went on NPR to defend the effort. Keep listening to the NPR segment to hear NCR's own Heidi Schlumpf set the record straight.

During her visit to El Salvador in her role as the new head of USAID, Samantha Power visited the University of Central America chapel where six priests, a housekeeper and her daughter were murdered during the civil war in that country. Her tweet says she was there to pay her respects. Once again, Power serves as a voice of conscience in a politico-diplomatic world that is often too divorced from the moral instincts of liberal democracy. God bless her for her great work.

At Millennial, Kristen Day and Robert Christian interview pro-life Black Catholic leader Gloria Purvis. Purvis is the kind of "whole life" Catholic witness we need in the public square, someone who scrutinizes those with whom she mostly agrees as much as those with whom she mostly disagrees. And, as always, hats off to the crew at Millennial for such consistently strong content.

At Politico, Lisa Kashinsky reports on those mayors who survived the trials of the pandemic but have been so enervated, they are leaving public office. When Biden gets back from Europe, he should invite the nation's mayors, Democrats and Republicans alike, to the White House for a national thank-you. They were on the frontlines of managing various responses to a virus about which we knew so little, and almost all of them conducted themselves in the finest traditions of public service. It would be good to remind the nation that not everything has to become fodder for cable news rantings.

One of my favorite movies was "The Devil Wears Prada," not least because Meryl Streep thoroughly slayed the role of Miranda Priestly, the demanding magazine editor. At Buzzfeed, Streep explains that she grew depressed during filming because she adopted method acting to create the role. It worked, but it took a toll on her own personality and she never did method acting again. Who knew? I am sorry she was distressed during the filming, but it produced an extraordinary performance.

Michael Sean Winters

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


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