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Showing posts from April, 2021

The Climate Change Crisis

  The Climate Change Crisis                    Gerry OShea Donald Trump’s attempt at a joke about climate change when he said that “it is freezing in New York – where the hell is the global warming!” aptly conveyed his untutored thinking on this vital subject. True to form, during his four years in the White House, he rolled back over a hundred environmental rules, slashed regulations on oil and gas development and weakened fuel emission standards for cars. Amazingly, the Republican Party leaders in Washington, without exception, went along with this neanderthal mentality that disregards the repeated warnings of the overwhelming majority of weather scientists. Many conservatives in past times, led by Teddy Roosevelt, have been at the forefront in calls for respecting nature. A serious approach to dealing with this issue calls for detailed plans for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions as well as a budget that stipulates who will pay for the massive changes that will be required in a

Perspectives on Immigration in America

  Perspectives on Immigration in America              Gerry OShea Joseph J. Salvo, the son of Italian immigrants from the Bronx, retired recently as the chief demographer for the City of New York. His work focused on providing analysis of the city’s changing population. Asked in an interview in the New York Times about the prospects for economic recovery after the Covid crisis, he said that he was optimistic because of the city’s continuing draw of new immigrants. He pointed out that the population of New York City is 37% foreign-born and if you add the first generation, the figure exceeds half of all New Yorkers. Mr. Salvo is convinced that their talents and hard work will bring the city back to its previous glory days. The only real threat, he warned, is “if we stop attracting immigrants.” Immigration policies and attitudes were central to last year’s presidential election. Donald Trump launched his first campaign for the presidency by brashly attacking Mexicans and accusing

Homosexuality and the Catholic Church

  Homosexuality and the Catholic Church             Gerry OShea A few weeks ago, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) in the Vatican issued a universal edict refusing a church blessing for homosexual partners as part of the wedding ceremony. Their stated reasoning for this blanket rejection focuses on the alleged sinfulness of gay sexual intimacy which the Vatican statement claims God could never bless. Early in his pontificate, on the plane back from a successful trip to Brazil, Pope Francis responded to a question about homosexuality by asking “Who am I to judge?” He wondered why he should condemn a gay person of good will doing his or her best to live a decent life. This is hardly a controversial statement; it would win approval in almost any company. However, the Catholic Church maintains a different perspective. Francis’ predecessor, Benedict, described the homosexual lifestyle as “objectively disordered,” and before him John Paul 11 denounced the intimate behavi