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Showing posts from December, 2019

The Bishops and Abortion

The Bishops and Abortion            Gerry OShea Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the outgoing president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops(USCCB) opined recently that the climate change crisis is “not urgent,” directly contradicting Pope Francis who in his encyclical Laudato Si pleaded that saving “the common home” must be a top priority for the church and indeed for all humanity.     DiNardo and a majority of his episcopal colleagues in the USCCB continue to identify abortion as the “preeminent” – their language - issue of our time, meaning that it supersedes all other concerns. These church leaders have mainly pursued a legal remedy to the widespread termination of pregnancy in the United States. Reverse the Roe v Wade decision and they claim we are more than half way to solving the problem.   Archbishop Sample of Portland, Oregon, supporting this perspective, expounded last month about our times being particularly propitious to achieve their goal because “of a uniqu

In Praise of Moderation

In Praise of Moderation           Gerry OShea To convey their distaste for extremist views scholastic philosophers in the Middle Ages used a pithy Latin dictum, in medio stat virtus. They hailed the middle or moderate position on various controversial issues as most likely to represent the best and truest option. In today’s parlance, it suggests that virtuous and prudent behavior does not reside at the far edges of the left or the right but somewhere in the middle. Some readers will remember Senator George McGovern, the Democratic nominee who faced Richard Nixon in 1972. He was a highly-principled and capable leader, but in those tempestuous days when the war in Vietnam dominated political discourse, Senator McGovern was successfully labelled as an extremist by his Republican opponents.   They claimed repeatedly that the senator was outside the mainstream, that he would concede everything to the communists in Hanoi to end the war. The scare tactic worked and he lost to N

Advantage Biden

Advantage Biden            Gerry OShea It is early times for making predictions, but still a review of all the polling data, nationwide as well as in various key states, and an assessment of the other candidates’ progress point to Joe Biden as the one with the best chance of getting the Democratic nomination.   I suggest that there are four good reasons why he is favorite and likely to be successful. First, the Democrats are looking, above all, for a winner; they really want the current president out, and the polls show that when faced with a direct run-off against President Trump, Biden consistently fares better than any of his Democratic opponents, winning by as much as ten points nationally and also edging out or matching the president in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michican, North Carolina and Florida. The blue-collar voters who abandoned Hillary Clinton seem ready to leave Trump for the man who is known as “middle-class Joe.” Democrats are fired