Around the Web

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Check out these recent articles from around the web:

A year to protect democracy by EJ Dionne: “The most important political task of 2017 transcends the normal run of issues and controversies. Our greatest obligation will be to defend democracy itself, along with republican norms for governing and the openness that free societies require.”

Democrats Have a Religion Problem by Emma Green: “I spoke with Wear about how the Democratic Party is and isn’t reaching people of faith—and what that will mean for its future.”

Can ‘I’ Live Apart From ‘We’? by Charles Redfern: “Are we on the verge of labeling compassion wrong and indifference good? Are we really ready to worship the Rugged Individual and rip up our nation’s safety net? Have we forgotten that the Rugged Individual has always been an illusion? We depend on others even at the peak of our strength.”

Mercy shaped the life of the church in 2016 by Michael Sean Winters: “In the life of the church, 2016 mostly coincided with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which officially began in late 2015 and concluded on the feast of Christ the King last month. When I first heard that the Holy Father intended to call a Jubilee Year of Mercy, I confess I did not realize what a big event this would be. Yet, it shaped every aspect of the life of the Catholic church in 2016.”

Death Penalty in Dramatic Decline in 2016 by Kevin Clarke: “The use of the death penalty fell to historic lows across the United States with 20 inmates executed in 2016. That is the lowest number of executions since 1991, when 14 inmates were executed.”

Trump, Putin, and the Big Hack by David Remnick: “Yet how is it possible, if these intelligence reports are true, to count the 2016 Presidential election as unsullied? We are two weeks away from Trump’s Inauguration, and American intelligence agencies, flawed as they are, have declared, publicly and clearly, that they have convincing evidence that Russia, at its President’s direction, interfered in a Presidential election.”

My mother told me to let her die rather than let her live in a wheelchair by Irene Sege: “My mother thought limited mobility would end her independence. But her life is still full of love.”

Trump is good. Assange helped Trump. Therefore, Assange is good? by Michael Gerson: “The president-elect of the United States is elevating a man whom the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., holds responsible for putting the lives of operatives in direct danger. The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee is bowing and scraping to the man who materially aided the Taliban. Fox News is now an outlet for the Russian version of events.”

Progressive parties have to address the people’s anger by Michael Sandel: “The populist revolt highlights the need to rejuvenate democratic public discourse, to address the big questions people care about, including moral and cultural issues.  Disentangling legitimate grievances from the intolerant aspects of populist protest is no easy matter. But it is important to try. Creating a politics that can respond to these grievances is the most pressing political challenge of our time.”

Looking forward to policing the culture of the church in 2017 by Michael Sean Winters: “The opposition to Pope Francis, such as the National Catholic Register and LifeSiteNews, will continue to complain, but it will become increasingly obvious in 2017 that they are more noisy than numerous….”Team Francis” needs to come up with creative ways to confront this challenge. Archbishop Paul Coakley pointed the way at last November’s plenary meeting of the USCCB, when he encouraged the bishops to ignore an email from the Lepanto Institute challenging the Catholic identity of Catholic Relief Services. Coakley, who is no liberal, told his brother bishops the group had no credibility. The bishops stood and applauded, but will they refuse to give in when Lepanto mounts another witch hunt?”