1. Jeffrey Bell: The supply-side populist was prescient about American politics. 

By The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2018, Pg. A16, Review & Outlook

One secret to the political success of American conservatism in the 1970s and 1980s was an ability to unify its social right and supply-side economic factions. A leading proponent of that fusionism was Jeffrey Bell, who died Saturday at age 74.

Bell promoted a cheerful populism in the Reagan and Kemp mode, and he long believed that socially conservative Hispanics were a natural GOP constituency. “Background doesn’t matter,” he once said, “if you are articulating views that are populist, which I define as optimism about people and their ability to make their own decisions, as opposed to letting elites do it for them.”

He supported immigration, consistent with his Roman Catholic faith and a belief in human capital to build a great nation.

Bell, who sometimes wrote for these pages, took another stab at electoral politics in 2014 by running against Cory Booker for the Senate from New Jersey. He lost, but his ideas over a lifetime were more influential in shaping American politics than are nearly all Senators.


2. Vatican expert to meet delegation in Chile bishop dispute. 

By Eva Vergara and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, February 12, 2018, 2:50 PM

The Vatican’s sex abuse investigator has agreed to meet with a delegation of lay Catholics and priests from the Chilean diocese of Osorno who have opposed the appointment of a bishop strongly backed by Pope Francis, according to an email seen Monday by The Associated Press.

The Vatican’s embassy in Santiago set the meeting for Feb. 21 in Santiago and asked the Osorno group to select no more than five people to meet with the investigator, Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna.

In the email, the Vatican’s ambassador also asked delegation members to send a “detailed” document to him by Friday, five days before the meeting, outlining what they intend to tell Scicluna. The ambassador, or nuncio, said the document would help Scicluna in his fact-finding mission about Bishop Juan Barros.


3. Vatican thanks Bangladesh for welcoming Myanmar’s Rohingya. 

By Associated Press, February 12, 2018, 7:53 AM

The Vatican says Pope Francis and his deputies thanked Bangladesh for welcoming Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar and expressed hope for a “just and lasting solution to their ordeal” during a meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Hasina met with Francis in the Apostolic Palace on Monday and then with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.


4. Cardinal Cupich launches Amoris Laetitia seminars for US bishops. 

By Catholic News Agency, February 12, 2018, 4:05 PM

The Archbishop of Chicago has invited some U.S. bishops to a series of conferences on the 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The seminars will be held at three Catholic colleges later this month.

According to a letter obtained by Catholic News Agency, the meetings, dubbed “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia,” are designed to offer a “tailor-made program that goes from why Amoris Laetitia provides New Momentum for Moral Formation and Pastoral Practice to how to provide formative pastoral programs.”

“The aim is to gather fifteen to twenty Bishops to have a conversation with the aid of theologians on the related topics,” the letter said.

The letter, written by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, explains that the conferences are modeled after a seminar of bishops and theologians discussing Amoris Laetitia held at Boston College in October 2017.

Several theologians and a canon lawyer will also present at the upcoming seminars.

Among the theologians is Dr. Kate Ward, a professor at Marquette University. From 2012-2015, Ward was a national board member of Call to Action, a group that has called for the ordination of women to the priesthoodexpressed support for same-sex marriage, and said that the Church should re-evaluate its “position” on the use of artificial birth control.


5. Pope, Bangladesh Prime Minister discuss Rohingya crisis at Vatican. 

By Elise Harris, Catholic News Agency, February 12, 2018

Just two months after his recent visit to Bangladesh, Pope Francis Mondaywelcomed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Vatican, where they discussed positive inter-faith relations in the country and the need to find a lasting solution to the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis.

According to a Feb. 12 Vatican communique, the conversation was cordial and highlighted the positive bilateral relations between the two and the success of Francis’s recent, Nov. 30-Dec. 2 visit to Bangladesh.


6. Hong Kong Catholics Step Up Opposition to Vatican Deal With Beijing. 

By Venus Wu, Reuters, February 12, 2018, 2:24 PM

Catholics in Hong Kong stepped up their opposition to a deal between the Vatican and Beijing on Monday with an all-night prayer vigil and an open letter warning of dire consequences for the faithful in the communist country.

More than 200 people crowded into a hall of the St. Bonaventure Church in a residential neighborhood to show their concern over the deal, which Vatican sources have said could be signed in the next few months.