Luke Hill is a writer and community organizer in Boston. He blogs at dotCommonweal and MassCommons.
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While still waiting to find out what provision of the Constitution section four of the Voting Rights Act violated (Justice Roberts' majority decision doesn't appear to ever get around to providing that little detail), it occurs to me that Shelby County v. Holder reflects, among other things, the ongoing failure of white American Catholicism to fully come to grips with the depths of the sin of racism in this country.
Daniel O'Connell, the great Liberator of 19th century Ireland, couldn't understand why Irish-Americans weren't at the forefront of the abolitionist movement. Both O'Connell and his friend and ally, Frederick Douglass saw the two struggles as linked.
But Irish immigrants to the US ended up seeing it differently. They saw a society much like the old one they'd left behind---where general prosperity and political freedom relied on the maintenance of a segregated and oppressed "other". In the Old World the "other" was Irish Catholics. In the New World, it was Blacks---and the newly American Irish fought bitterly to avoid getting caught on the wrong side of that dividing line. Thomas Nast's racist, nativist and wildly popular political cartoons (example above) give a hint of how fluid and up for grabs the "race" line was in mid-19th century America.
Last fall, the Archdiocese of Boston released an ambitious plan designed to stem the decline it has experienced—in priests, Mass attendance, and treasure—since the 2002 wave of sexual-abuse scandals. The plan, called “Disciples in Mission,” will be phased in throughout Boston’s 288 parishes over five years.
It's graduation season at the nation's colleges and universities, so it must be time for another round of Catholic Commencement Controversy.
The Transform Now Plowshares--- Greg Boertje-Obed, Sr.
Worcester, Massachusetts, Bishop Robert McManus was arrested Saturday night at his family's vacation home in Naragansett, Rhode Island, on charges of drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and refusing a chemical test."I made a terrible error in judgment by driving after having consumed alcohol with dinner, McManus said in a statement.
In many ways the Boston Marathon on Patriots Day---preceded by the reenactment of Paul Revere's Ride and the Battles of Lexington and Concord that launched the American Revolution, along side the Boston Red Sox playing major league baseballs only morning game of the year at nearby
How did you celebrate Easter this year?Our parish's vigil Mass began in the entryway of the church, with the doors open. Since the church is on a main avenue, we start with the sounds of the city all around us, a reminder that the first Easter also took part amid the bustle and distractions of city life. I always enjoy the quick, almost furtive, yet joyful, whispered greetings of "Happy Easter!" as people welcome each other in the darkened sanctuary. (It's here! Finally! And so are we!
In many ways, Barack Obama's second inaugural speech was utterly characteristic: he began with the Declaration of Independence, which conservatives have worked mightily over the past four years to put to the service of their own ideology and agenda...and then used it as the keystone on which to construct the argument for his own, far more progressive, vision and agenda.Consider this an open thread for discussing the speech, or anything else related to today's inaugural ceremonie