Luke Hill is a writer and community organizer in Boston. He blogs at dotCommonweal and MassCommons.
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"With guns of love brought into battle, the nights will burn like never before;
Pride will fall and foundations rattle, when guns of love put an end to war."
The Rev. Dr. Barry Black is a Baltimore native, Seventh-Day Adventist, retired Rear Admiral, former Chief of Chaplains for the US Navy and, since 2003, the first African-American to serve as chaplain to the US Senate.
By opening the Senate in prayer each day, he's one of the few people US senators have to listen to...and to whom they can't talk back.
A trim, erect, dapper and distinguished-looking man, Rev. Black is not happy about this government shutdown.
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.