Twice in the last week I have heard radio interviews with Richard Spencer, president and director of the National Policy Institute, who is an ardent advocate for white nationalism and for racial/ethnic segregation.
To begin, let us put aside the political labels: Democrat, Republican, Independent, liberal, conservative, moderate, right-wing, left-wing, progressive, Libertarian. Let us even put aside identity labels: woman, man, gay, straight, white, black, Latino, Muslim, Jew, atheist, Catholic, Protestant, rich, poor, transgender, veteran, Buddhist. Just for now, all labels need to go.
I recently took a public bus from Durham, N.C., to Washington, D.C. When I arrived for departure, people were lined up on the sidewalk at the bus stop…a mixed group: blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians, and Middle Easterners. When the bus arrived, the driver began to check tickets and load luggage. Everyone was in good spirits while standing in line in the sun.
“Politicians come and go; nations rise and fall; empires fade away – what remains and what continues is the Church that Jesus established on the rock of Saint Peter. No matter who wins next Tuesday and no matter who loses, we are called to follow Jesus Christ as children of God and missionary disciples. To be faithful to Christ and to build God’s Kingdom here on earth.” —Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, November 2, 2016.
Early in September, Cardinal Mario Poli, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, together with his auxiliary bishops, sent their priests a document on “integrating remarried divorcees” more fully into the life of the Church, providing for their “admission to the sacraments on a case-by-case basis.” The Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli writes in his blog, “Vatican Insider,” that Pope Francis, who was Archbishop of Buenos Aires before he was elected Bishop of Rome, wrote to the Cardinal Archbishop and his auxiliaries a letter praising them for their work on Sept. 5.
My daughter recently gave birth to her third child, a boy. Her first two children were born without any complications. Her third pregnancy also was healthy. However, the labor she experienced with her third was more challenging than anticipated. While she had been prepared to give birth at a birthing center, after many hours of active labor, her labor stalled, and she and her husband decided to leave the birthing center and go to the nearby teaching hospital.
As September 2016 fades away, I have been reflecting on the Pro-Life month that our bishops have long declared October to be. I have noted some progress and some backsliding in various parts of this country, in which pro-life issues have taken a backseat to bizarre side-issues and strange personalities.
At 17, my son entered the United States Military Academy at West Point. The year was 2004. Our country was at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Afghanistan war began in 2001, of course, in response to the terror attacks of September 11. The Iraq invasion occurred in 2003.
This mantra, which fans of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In will associate with Flip Wilson and Sammy Davis, Jr., was often chanted at Monsignor Francis J. Nelson, the long serving judicial vicar (“The Judge”) of the Diocese of Savannah, who died on August 28, not long after celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood for the Diocese of Savannah.