Paul Moses, a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College/CUNY, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009).
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In a better church, Brooklyn's retired auxiliary bishop Joseph Sullivan would have headed a large diocese. He certainly had the ability and the track record, but it was not to be - no doubt because he was viewed as too liberal.
Nonetheless, he made enormous contributions to the church and to his city, and they will be remembered. Bishop Sullivan died today at the age of 83 as a result of injuries suffered in a traffic accident on May 30.
In one of the most anticipated plays of the season, Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy, Tom Hanks stars as Mike McAlary, a writer who worked his way to stardom at three New York tabloids from 1985 through his death on Christmas Day 1998 at the age of forty-one.
One of the many things that make the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell interesting is that if convicted of murdering any of seven newborns allegedly delivered live in his West Philadelphia clinic, he would face the death penalty.
There is a lively debate over whether major national news organizations have ignored or downplayed the trial of a Philadelphia abortion doctor who is charged with murder in the deaths of seven babies allegedly born alive and one mother.
When it comes to dealing with Congress, it's often necessary to re-state the obvious. Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, does that well in this Washington Post piece explaining why it's pro-life to ban assault weapons:
Of the many virtues associated with St. Francis of Assisi, humility was the first to occur to me as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio stood before the multitude for the first time as Pope Francis. Popes are expected to be larger-than-life figures, but the new pope had chosen the name of a man who always diminished himself. That’s one reason that, nearly eight hundred years after his death, the saint still looms so large as a model of the Christian faith.
From the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion comes a new study highlighting why people who are religious tend to be more forgiving than those who are not. Interestingly, the study traces the propensity toward forgiveness to adolecsence:
News accounts of Pope Benedict's final general audience before his retirement have picked up on some of the key quotes, but it's worth reading the full text to get the flavor of it. Here, he gives an elegant reflection on his papal experience in light of the New Testament story of Jesus calming the storm at sea: