1. The Death of Self-Restraint: Unless the culture’s critics get a hearing, the forces that led to Weinstein will win. 

By Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, December 7, 2017, Pg. A15

The Harvey Weinstein sexual-harassment fire burns on, consuming famous men. Corporations and institutions are on automated rapid response: proclaim zero tolerance and throw offenders into the street, while directing human-resources departments to design fine-grained standards of acceptable behavior.

It would be a comfort to think that HR specialists could solve this problem, but what has gone wrong runs deeper than calling in the lawyers. A question persists: How did this happen?

Incidents of sexual abuse on this scale don’t randomly erupt. They grow from the complex climate of a nation’s culture. These guys aren’t blips or outliers. These men are a product of their times.

Their acts reveal a collapse of self-restraint. That in turn suggests a broader evaporation of conscience, the sense that doing something is wrong. We are seeing now how wrongs can hurt others when conscience is demoted as a civilizing instrument of personal behavior.

Is there a road back from Weinsteinism? Once a society has crossed a Rubicon like this, can you ever cross back over? The possibility of return is not at all clear.

One of the intriguing stories of this season is how the Washington Metro system is banning ads on buses from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington that show shepherds on a hill beside the message, “Find the perfect gift.” The Metro says this violates its ban on promoting religion or religious belief.

The reason to reopen this debate isn’t merely so that dissenters from the current culture can say they were right. It looks like we’re pretty far beyond either side winning this argument. The reason to reconsider is that otherwise, the evident shock at these stories of abuse, or any progress toward a better sexual modus vivendi, will wash out to sea.

Unless the critics of the current culture get a good-faith hearing, the forces that led to Harvey Weinstein and the others are going to win.


2. Rejecting ‘the perfect gift ’: Metrobus promotes the good stuff at Christmas, but not the good news of the birth of Christ.

By Grazie Pozo Christie, Grazie Pozo Christie is a policy adviser for the Catholic Association, The Washington Times, December 7, 2017, Pg. B4

The rate at which Christmas is being leached of spiritual meaning and replaced with frenzied online shopping isn’t increasing fast enough for some.

In Washington D.C., the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) rejected a Metrobus advertisement from the Archdiocese of Washington that encouraged people to “Find the Perfect Gift,” and showed the silhouettes of three shepherds with their sheep — on account of the ad “promoting religion.” The imagery of the ad is not Christian on its face, nor even shows the baby Jesus, and the context would escape anyone unfamiliar with a relatively minor detail of the birth-story — that of poor and lonely shepherds surprised on a cold night by a sudden, unexpected happiness. If you go to the advertised website, you’ll find ways to bring happiness this Christmas to the needy and desolate, with charitable outreach to the poor and marginalized, and the most important gift — the joy and community of a welcoming and inclusive Christmas mass.

The archdiocese has, in turn, filed a complaint in federal court alleging a violation of its First Amendment rights of speech and exercise of religion by the government transit agency.

The archdiocese is right to fight back, not only to defend important constitutional liberties that are at stake, but also to defend American pluralism. Pluralism preserves the diversity and richness of our culture, allowing people of vastly different viewpoints and faith traditions to live side by side in peace, and express themselves freely.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority had a chance to advertise higher and nobler things — hope, joy, companionship, assistance, family and the simple traditions that bring peace to a seething society. Instead, they arbitrarily, unreasonably and unconstitutionally turned down the archdiocese — all for offering the only things we really need.


3. Pope names new archbishops for Paris, Mexico City.

By Associated Press, December 7, 2017, 6:37 AM

Pope Francis has given Paris and Mexico City new archbishops, filling two important positions in the Catholic Church with churchmen he has known and promoted in recent years.

Francis named Monsignor Michel Aupetit to replace the retiring Paris archbishop, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. Aupetit was a doctor specializing in bioethics before entering the seminary and had been vicar in Paris before he was named bishop of Nanterre by Francis in 2014.

Mexico City’s new archbishop is Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, whom Francis made a cardinal last year in a clear sign that he intended him to eventually replace Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera as archbishop.

Aguiar, archbishop of Tlalnepantla, had worked with the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the Latin American Bishops’ Conference, where he held leading positions for 15 years.


4. Pope Wants Better Translation of Phrase on Temptation in ‘Our Father’ Prayer.

By Reuters, December 7, 2017, 6:09 AM

Pope Francis has said the Roman Catholic Church should adopt a better translation of the phrase “lead us not into temptation” in the “Our Father”, the best known prayer in Christianity.

“That is not a good translation,” the pope said in a television interview on Wednesday night.

Francis said the Catholic Church in France had decided to use the phrase “do not let us fall into temptation” as an alternative and indicated that it or something similar should be applied worldwide.

Liturgical translations are usually done by local Churches in coordination with the Vatican.