“When I went to Washington as the pope’s envoy just before the outbreak of the [Iraq] war, [President Bush] told me, ‘Don’t worry, your eminence. We’ll be quick and do well in Iraq.’ Unfortunately, the facts have demonstrated afterward that things took a different course—not rapid and not favorable. Bush was wrong.” —Retired Cardinal PioLaghi, recalling a conversation with President Bush on March 5, 2003
“We can’t completely separate politics and faith. They rise from the same wellspring: the concern about the distance between what is and what ought to be.”—Tim Kaine, a Catholic and a Democrat, who was elected governor of Virginia in November (Newsweek, November 21).
Death to the death penalty: Polls show that support for the death penalty among lay Catholics is declining. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, D.C., acknowledges that theology doesn’t seem to be driving this trend. Rather, it is more the consequence of the number of cases in which convicted inmates have been proved innocent after DNA testing (USA Today, November 8).
Bryan Rehm sued the Dover, Pennsylvania, school district over its requirement that intelligent design be taught as an alternative to evolution in the ninth-grade biology class. Rehm says he's been accused of atheism. “They don’t know that I’m the co-director of the children’s choir at church, or that I run the music at the second service, or that my wife and I run vacation Bible school,” he said. He maintains that intelligent design is not credible science, and that evolution does not explain away the existence of a divine Creator (beliefnet.com).
Leap of imagination: Christopher Herbert, the Anglican bishop of St. Alban’s, is troubled by strident Christian voices. “There is a noisy, almost angry, literalism around desires to define and codify who is, or who is not, a ‘real Christian,’ and what seems to accompany this is a plodding, narrow biblicism which is punitive in tone and joyless in character.” Apprehending the beauty and truth of God, which involves paradox and apparent contradiction, takes faith, but also playfulness and imagination (Anglican Theological Review, summer).