Morning Briefing

A big vote is scheduled today in the Senate on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, with the final confirmation vote as early as Saturday. (Because Republicans changed rules last year to end filibusters for Supreme Court nominees, today’s vote to cut off debate will need the same 50 senators as the final confirmation.)

Every woman in the Senate received an email from the Benedictine Sisters of Baltimore, urging them to vote no on the Kavanaugh  nomination.

Kavanaugh wrote an op-ed defending his judicial temperament and explaining his emotional performance in front of the Senate committee. “I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said,” he wrote.

Speaking of Kavanaugh, it seemed odd to me that Tim Busch would express support for someone accused of sexual assault, at his own conference on the sex abuse crisis in the church. See my coverage of the Authentic Reform conference, sponsored by Busch’s Napa Institute.

Another big decision could come as early as today in the first-degree murder trial of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Fr. Michael Pfleger urged peaceful protest—in the form of a non-violent shut-down of the city–in the case of a not-guilty verdict.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Congolese and Yazidi activists who have worked to end mass rape as a weapon of war: Dr. Denis Mukwege is a gynecological surgeon and to Nadia Murad had been held captive by the Islamic State.

At the youth synod, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia urged the bishops avoid using terms like "LGBTQ." In response, Jesuit Fr. Jim Martin tweeted that "people have a right to name themselves." Controversy ensued.

An alternative panel of women who are "staying in but speaking out " was held in Rome yesterday. Among the panelists were Jamie Manson, NCR books editor.

The president of the German bishops’ conference has called for "fundamental, systemic change" to address the continuing clergy sexual abuse crisis.

In this week’s Campus Notebook: A gay man has been fired by the Cleveland Archdiocese from a position as a campus minister after he indicated approval of a same-sex marriage on Facebook.

Michael Sean Winters has a modest proposal: All the elites in the U.S., who come from elite universities, elite prep schools and elite families—should take a year off to see if the country improves. He’s talking to you, Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh.

I’m a bit behind on the Jesuitical podcast, so I missed the news that hosts Zac Davis and Olga Segura got engaged—but not to each other. Last week’s episode featured a survivor of sexual abuse.




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