1. A Populist Election and Its Aftermath, By Fr. George W. Rutler, Crisis Magazine, November 17, 2016.

Considering how many crucial matters were at stake during the recent election, including the right to life and religious freedom, and confronting the preponderant bias in the media and opinion polls, it did not seem melodramatic to hope for a providential Hand to guide things. Without mistaking optimism for hope, and cautioned by the disappointment that can issue from placing trust in princes or any child of man, there could be much thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day.

Some who trusted pundits were shocked that their perception of the American populace was an illusion. Their rampant rage would have been tamer if they had not been assured, to the very day of voting, that the losers were winners.

While Catholic voters seemed to have reacted to some condescending and inaccurate expressions about Catholicism during the campaign, the disparity between votes cast for each party, larger than in 2012, still was only 7 percent. Considering the large number of nominal Catholics for whom doctrine is an encumbrance that is no longer bothersome, the vaunted Catholic population of the United States less the number of actually faithful Catholics, is a Potemkin village. The precepts of several bishops on responsible voting had been edifying, but a remarkable number seemed to temper their instinctive loquacity with studied reserve. The election was a populist revolt and, while the popular election of bishops probably would be no improvement over the present system, the Church must address the simmering dissatisfaction of the faithful with the clerical establishment, which is as intense as the public vote against the Washington establishment. Mediocre bureaucrats easily talk about the People of God but they disdain a populism that would consult the people seriously, just as liberal humanitarians think that humans lower the tone of humanity.


2. Archbishop Gomez brings Latino voice to new leadership role, By Carol Zimmermann, Catholic News Service, November 16, 2016, 3:00 PM.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said his election as vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 15 may have had more to do with his archdiocese than anything else.

“I’m grateful to my brother bishops for electing me,” he said, before adding that he thinks it was “also about the Archdiocese of Los Angeles” — the largest archdiocese in the country with about 5 million Catholics, 70 percent of whom are Latino. He said the archdiocese represents the universal church because every month there are Masses in 42 languages.

“Really, the presence of Catholics from all over the world is there,” he said, adding that the bishops recognize that the archdiocese represents “our church in the United States is becoming more and more diverse.”

They are also recognizing the “reality of the Latino presence” in this country, particularly in the Catholic Church, he said.

The Mexican-born archbishop, who is the first Latino to hold the vice president spot in the USCCB leadership, a position which is usually a steppingstone for USCCB president, said his background “helps everybody to understand how important it is to the church to be open and welcoming to the Latino community in the United States.”


3. Bishops need shared approach to ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ new cardinal says, By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, November 16, 2016, 3:15 PM.

Cardinal-designate Kevin J. Farrell believes the U.S. bishops as a whole should have discussed pastoral guidelines for implementing Pope Francis’ exhortation on the family before individual bishops began issuing guidelines for their own dioceses.

Implementing the pope’s exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia,” he said, “has to be done in communion with our bishops. I think that it would have been wiser to wait for the gathering of the conference of bishops where all the bishops of the United States or all the bishops of a country would sit down and discuss these things.”

Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family was published in early April. The pope continually has insisted that the document is about the importance and beauty of marriage and family life and the church’s obligation to support and strengthen it.

But much of the debate has focused on the document’s eighth chapter, which speaks of ministry to and access to the sacraments for couples in what the Catholic Church traditionally defined as “irregular situations,” particularly people who were divorced and civilly remarried without an annulment.

Cardinal-designate Farrell said “Amoris Laetitia” is “so important” because of the way it explains and affirms the church’s vision of the joy and beauty of family life and the way it encourages better ways to share that teaching, especially in marriage preparation programs.

“The most important part of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ is not Chapter 8” on accompanying those in irregular situations, he said. “We need to explain marriage, we need to explain human love in a much better and more dynamic way. And we need laypeople to do that.”


4. Admonish sin without putting on airs or being hypocrite, pope says, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, November 16, 2016, 9:11 AM.

In his final general audience during the Year of Mercy, which was to close Nov. 20, Pope Francis reflected on two verses in the Gospel of St. Luke (6:41-42) in which Jesus warns against the hypocrisy of noticing “the splinter in your brother’s eye,” but not perceiving “the wooden beam in your own.”

“Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye,” Jesus says.

Those verses and Jesus’ vision of leadership as service, the pope said, help guide Christians in how to carry out the works of mercy traditionally described as instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, admonishing sinners and bearing wrongs patiently.