Fr. Joseph Illo of San Francisco is a public menace. This blog post contains so much misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, you would think his ordinary would discipline him for repeated, public violations of the Eighth Commandment against bearing false witness. Sadly, his bishop is the unvaccinated Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, so it is doubtful any discipline will be applied. The theological illiteracy needed to make these kinds of arguments is astonishing. I wonder when we all get to start calling such nonsense by its proper name: sociopathy.
While abortion and other hot-button issues garner most of the attention, it is the rest of the Supreme Court's docket that always gets me agitated. That is there where the ideological blinders on the court's conservative majority do the most damage, relentlessly siding with business interests and ignoring the government's legitimate role in achieving the common good. The Washington Post reports the court has decided to hear arguments in a case that could greatly weaken the Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement of the Clean Water Act. I fear the worst.
The debate about abortion should be able to find some common ground when it comes to proscribing late-term abortions, except when the life of the mother is at risk. Some such abortions are conducted because a test has detected a fetal abnormality, that is, they are eugenic in intent. According to Sarah Kliff and Aatish Bhatia, writing in The New York Times, it turns out that many of the prenatal tests used to detect fetal abnormality are shockingly unreliable, wrong in 85% of cases. These issues cannot be evaded by morally serious people.
If I were a politics reporter for a secular newspaper or magazine, I would want to be sent to Ohio to cover the Buckeye State's midterm elections. In addition to a wild GOP Senate primary featuring a host of Trumpian wannabees such as author J.D. Vance, former Rep. Jim Renacci is challenging incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine in the Republican gubernatorial primary because DeWine was insufficiently dedicated to the person of former President Donald Trump. Politico has an early report on the contest.
In The New York Times, an interview with political scientist Ruy Teixeira, who argues Democrats have misinterpreted the argument he and John Judis put forward in their 2002 book The Emerging Democratic Majority. He notes, too, that their seminal work always said the Dems needed to hold on to a significant percentage of working-class voters, which they have failed to do. I agree with every word he says and worry that not enough Democrats are listening.
Unadulterated good news from Cooperstown: David Ortiz, aka Big Papi, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. One of the happiest memories of my life was watching how overjoyed my dad was the night the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, and Big Papi was a big part of the reason the Sox finally broke the Curse of the Bambino that had kept them from winning it all for 86 long, long years.
One more reason to love librarians? This diminutive librarian in Illinois stands her ground when a buffoon wants to enter the library without a mask, muttering a bunch of nonsense about personal choice. She is calm, cool, collected — and utterly unflappable. Blessings upon her and upon her children.
As we pray for peace in Ukraine, and throughout the world, here is a bit of inspiration from the cellist Stjepan Hauser, performing "Benedictus" from Karl Jenkins' "The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace" with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir. It is hauntingly beautiful and plaintive.