Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Hard questions we’re not asking Pope Francis by John Allen: “To date, the only concrete diplomatic success to which Francis can point is helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cling to power by opposing Western strikes. The pope had his reasons, including fear for Syria’s Christians in the aftermath of regime change. Yet assuming that Assad reasserts control, the question is whether Francis will use the Church’s resources to promote greater respect for human rights and democracy. If not, his major political accomplishment could go down as propping up a thug.”

The Changing U.S. Labor Force by Anna Sutherland: “Whatever the cause of unions’ decline, however, the future of work in America may be one of low wages and erratic schedules (both of which are hard on families) unless policy-makers find some other way to bolster the power of labor.”

The Neo-Conservative Imagination: An Interview with Patrick Deneen, Part III by Artur Rosman: “I don’t want to paint a picture of utopian bliss in Germany—of course, that’s far from the case—but we ought to look at specific practices in countries such as Germany to begin to think about how better to avoid some of our wrenching instability and how we might better conceive an economy to support family and community.”

Selfie esteem: Body image in a digital age by Meghan Murphy-Gill: “The Catholic Church has a counterpoint to this seemingly superficial approach to image: Humans are the imago Dei, created in the image of God. This alone is the source of a person’s value, not how well she applies eyeshadow or whether her selfies show a glowing girl with a great smile.”

Synod on the Family, Part I by Michael Sean Winters: “The Francis effect is only possible because people are truly hungry for the Gospel and a more humane civilization. No civilization can long remain healthy if its families are not healthy, and the remedy must be found, first and foremost, by placing the bonds of family and society – and the bond of faith, that binds us to Jesus Christ – in their true, liberating promise and pointing out that the autonomy the modern world promises is actually a grim form of self-chosen slavery.”

Everyday saints by Kira Dault: “Those who have come before us—not just the great men and women with their huge footprints, but the mothers and fathers, the children, the friends lost to us—mark the course. In their examples they leave breadcrumbs to follow, clues for how to become the kind of people we want to be.”

The Message of Mercy by Walter Kasper: “So, canon law is not against the Gospel, but the Gospel is against a legalistic understanding of canon law. Canon law should be interpreted and applied in the light of mercy because mercy opens our eyes to the concrete situation of the other.”

Monument Seeks to End Silence on Killings of the Disabled by the Nazis by Melissa Eddy: “The first to be singled out for systematic murder by the Nazis were the mentally ill and intellectually disabled. By the end of World War II, an estimated 300,000 of them had been gassed or starved, their fates hidden by phony death certificates and then largely overlooked among the many atrocities that were to be perpetrated in Nazi Germany in the years to follow. Now, they are among the last to have their suffering publicly acknowledged. On Tuesday, the victims of the direct medical killings by the Nazis were given their own memorial in the heart of Berlin.”

An unspoken truth about teens who flee the Catholic church by Jennifer Mertens: “Young people must be valued as active, respected and fully engaged members of our faith communities. Teens long to be taken seriously, to be heard, considered and included. As adults, we do not possess or control the living revelation of Christ. We journey together with our youth.”

Encounters with a drinking culture in college by Carlos Mesquita: “I asked some of my friends why they drank to excess, and while some just said they enjoyed it, many responded that they were drinking to forget something or to relieve stress. They described trying to avoid or escape some part of themselves.”

The Greatest Threat to Our Liberty Is Local Governments Run Amok by Franklin Foer: “Only a strong federal government can curb the autocratic tendencies burbling across the country. Libertarians worry about the threat of local tyrants, too, but only abstractly. In practice, they remain so fixated on the perils of Washington that they rigidly insist on devolving power down to states, cities, and towns—the very places where their nightmares are springing to life.”

The Catholic casino conundrum by Mathew Schmalz: “The message was simple: You can gamble, but take it easy. Do so temperately — within appropriate limits….But given Pope Francis’ strong stand on our obligations to those in need, it is difficult to see how to justify gambling of any kind, since the money that we might so cavalierly wager does not belong to us alone.”


Meghan Clark: Power to the public workers

Millennial writer Meghan Clark has a new article at US Catholic. She writes:

Our teachers, librarians, police, firefighters, sanitation workers, and all civil servants actively contribute to the common good. They and their jobs are not lesser because their wages are funded by your taxes. They have equal dignity with private employees. In this current wave of hostility toward public workers, Catholic social teaching reminds us that the dignity of all workers—public and private—grounds their basic right to association, including the right to unionize and bargain collectively.

The full article can be read here.

Our teachers, librarians, police, firefighters, sanitation workers, and all civil servants actively contribute to the common good. They and their jobs are not lesser because their wages are funded by your taxes. They have equal dignity with private employees. In this current wave of hostility toward public workers, Catholic social teaching reminds us that the dignity of all workers—public and private—grounds their basic right to association, including the right to unionize and bargain collectively. – See more at: http://www.uscatholic.org/articles/201407/power-public-workers-29109#sthash.GRiNzP9U.dpuf
Our teachers, librarians, police, firefighters, sanitation workers, and all civil servants actively contribute to the common good. They and their jobs are not lesser because their wages are funded by your taxes. They have equal dignity with private employees. In this current wave of hostility toward public workers, Catholic social teaching reminds us that the dignity of all workers—public and private—grounds their basic right to association, including the right to unionize and bargain collectively. – See more at: http://www.uscatholic.org/articles/201407/power-public-workers-29109#sthash.GRiNzP9U.dpuf
Our teachers, librarians, police, firefighters, sanitation workers, and all civil servants actively contribute to the common good. They and their jobs are not lesser because their wages are funded by your taxes. They have equal dignity with private employees. In this current wave of hostility toward public workers, Catholic social teaching reminds us that the dignity of all workers—public and private—grounds their basic right to association, including the right to unionize and bargain collectively. – See more at: http://www.uscatholic.org/articles/201407/power-public-workers-29109#sthash.GRiNzP9U.dpuf

Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Subsidiarity and Libertarian “Small Government” by James Baresel, The Distributist Review

“Subsidarity is suspicious of centralized big business even more than it is suspicious of centralized big government. Subsidiarity would, in fact, prefer an expansion of government to the expansion of big business.”

All Good Things by David Frum

“Here are five essential tasks to commence before conservative reform truly rolls forward…Conservative reformers need to do a better job of starting with the problem and working forward, not starting with the answer and working backward…But one of the lessons I think conservatives should take from the 2012 Romney defeat is that the increasing concentration of wealth in America has dangerous political and intellectual consequences…Conservative reformers must not absent themselves from the environmental debate…Conservative reformers should make their peace with universal health coverage…conservative reformers should admit, if only to themselves, the harm that has been done by the politics of total war over the past five years.”

President of USCCB Joins Other Bishops’ Conferences in Letter to Leaders of G8 Nations; Urges Them to Protect the Poor, Address Fair Trade, Transparency

“Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the Group of 8 nations (G8) to urge national leaders to protect the poor and assist developing countries at the upcoming G8 Summit in the United Kingdom”

Vatican’s U.N. observer stresses need to eradicate world hunger By Catholic News Service

“Finding a solution to the ‘ongoing scandal’ of worldwide hunger should be a top priority, said the Vatican’s representative to the United Nations.”

Things Modesty Hasn’t a Damn Thing to Do With by Bad Catholic, Patheos

“But almost everyone who has the courage to lift their heads above apathy’s drowning pool and talk about modesty at all — Christian, feminist, atheist, the lot — expresses the virtue as a thing primarily determined by its effect on the other, as if total modesty was, by way of dress, the ability to not tempt a man into lust. Thus seems to me the saddest, most hopeless definition of them all.”

Pope nixes ‘boring’ practice of reading text to students, uses Q&A by CNS

“He urged everyone to try to live more simply saying, ‘In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it’s incomprehensible how there can be so many hungry children, so many children without an education, so many poor.’

Extreme poverty in the world ‘is a scandal’ and ‘a cry’ for help, he said. That is why ‘each one of us must think how we can become a little bit poorer’ and more like Christ.”

Is comic Jim Gaffigan the Catholic Church’s newest evangelizer?  by Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post

“Gaffigan seems to effortlessly embody the idea the Catholic Church and other denominations are desperately promoting: You can be a devout member of mainstream American life. You don’t have to leave God in order to live in the regular world.”

The City of God? by Archbishop Vincent G. Nichols

“Our relationships are an intrinsic part of who we are. As human beings we are not just individuals. We are each born into a human community and find our deepest fulfillment as persons in relationship to others, and I would add, to God. This idea is central to the Judeo-Christian vision of humanity created in the image and likeness of God, who is a communion of persons.”

It’s Cuomo vs. Dolan in NY Abortion Fight by Kevin Clarke, America

“The governor is now set on a course toward an epic confrontation with the state’s leading Catholic prelate, N.Y. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who previously promised Cuomo that he would do all in his power to prevent an expansion of abortion rights in New York.”

Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan, Advocate for the Poor, Dies at 83 by NY Times

“In the late 1980s, as whole neighborhoods were being ravaged by AIDS, drug abuse and crime, Bishop Sullivan went to Washington to testify before Congress about the plight many people were facing.”

Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes by BBC News

“For 75 years, Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It’s like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed. And some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.”