Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

The President Is Winning His War on American Institutions by George Packer: “This is the story of how a great republic went soft in the middle, lost the integrity of its guts and fell in on itself—told through government officials whose names under any other president would have remained unknown, who wanted no fame, and who faced existential questions when Trump set out to break them.”

How We Can Cultivate Communion in Solitude by Christian Santa Maria: “As I learn to grapple with this temporary reality of social distance, I’ve been challenging myself to befriend solitude. Solitude teaches me to pay attention to my desire to connect. I am learning not to be afraid of that desire for relationship within me that rises in the midst of silence. It calls me to recognize that the true connection I long for is not just socializing — it is for communion with others.”

This Won’t End for Anyone Until It Ends for Everyone by Samantha Power: “Given this still-developing emergency, and the fatal inadequacy of the U.S. government’s domestic preparedness and response so far, it is very hard to focus on the devastation that is about to strike the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. But if President Trump doesn’t overcome his go-it-alone mind-set and take immediate steps to mobilize a global coalition to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, its spread will cause a catastrophic loss of life and make it impossible to restore normalcy in the United States in the foreseeable future.”

We Are Living in a Failed State by George Packer: “When the virus came here, it found a country with serious underlying conditions, and it exploited them ruthlessly. Chronic ills—a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public—had gone untreated for years. We had learned to live, uncomfortably, with the symptoms. It took the scale and intimacy of a pandemic to expose their severity—to shock Americans with the recognition that we are in the high-risk category.”

The Taliban ‘Peace’ Deal by Griffin Oleynick: “With so little guaranteeing that the Taliban won’t continue business as usual, there’s reason to worry that life is going to get much worse for Afghans. As in business, so in foreign policy: Trump cuts and runs, leaving others to deal with the wreckage.”

‘You can’t get any closure’: How the coronavirus is changing Catholic funerals by Brian Fraga: “Not only funeral homes, but Catholic cemeteries, parishes and dioceses are trying to strike a delicate balance in burying the dead — one of the seven corporal works of mercy — and protecting the living from the coronavirus as the death toll in the United States continues to grow by the day.”

You are Loved and Loveable: Rolling Away the Stones by Mike Lewis: “How many of us have difficulty truly believing in God as a Father who will always love us, accept us, encourage us, and forgive us? How many see God as someone who cares about us, feels compassionate towards us, and understands our struggles and pain? How many of us see the Church as a strict and overbearing headmaster, rather than a mother who nurtures and encourages us, and to whom we know we can always turn when we are sad, hurt, and afraid?”

There are two paths out of this crisis. Which will we choose? by EJ Dionne: “In its aftermath, a crisis can breed division spurred by self-protection and mistrust, or it can call forth a spirit of solidarity rooted in empathy and a shared sense of mission. Which will we choose?”

Millennials Don’t Stand a Chance by Annie Lowrey: “The Millennials entered the workforce during the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Saddled with debt, unable to accumulate wealth, and stuck in low-benefit, dead-end jobs, they never gained the financial security that their parents, grandparents, or even older siblings enjoyed. They are now entering their peak earning years in the midst of an economic cataclysm more severe than the Great Recession, near guaranteeing that they will be the first generation in modern American history to end up poorer than their parents.”

Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services striving to continue worldwide impact during coronavirus pandemic by Nathan Ruiz: “As the impact of the coronavirus continues to grow in Maryland and the United States, Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services is striving to ensure that other countries are as prepared as possible for what the virus brings their way.”

E.P.A. Weakens Controls on Mercury by NY Times: “The Trump administration on Thursday weakened regulations on the release of mercury and other toxic metals from oil and coal-fired power plants, another step toward rolling back health protections in the middle of a pandemic.”

China’s Aggressive Diplomacy Weakens Xi Jinping’s Global Standing by NY Times: “In the past week officials in France, Britain and nearly two dozen African nations have rebuked actions or statements by the Chinese government.”

Covid-19 and the help of human kindness by Christopher Lamb: “As governments struggle to chart an exit strategy from lockdown, and people adapt to the “new normal” of social distancing, the Pope wants the Church to help build a fairer world in the aftermath after the Coronavirus crisis. A good place to start is by emphasising kindness, a virtue which can act as a vaccine to the virus of selfishness.”

We must remember lessons great and small from the quarantine by Elise Italiano Ureneck: “You promised not to take for granted the opportunity to sit face-to-face with family members and friends, and you committed to putting away your phone when you were with them. Zoom and FaceTime were cheap imitations of the real thing, but they did foster connection when you needed it.”