15 December 2008

December snippets

  • Given that Stephen Harper's Conservatives do not have a majority government, this is almost certainly the most sensible thing I've read in a while: Flaherty to consult with Liberals on budget plans. Whether it will enable him to avoid a no confidence vote next month remains to be seen. In the meantime, Lorne Gunter traces Harper's gradual transformation, despite his intentions otherwise, from new school to old school politician. It seems senate reform will have to wait.

  • The embattled Illinois governor, Rod Blagoyevich, grew up in the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Resurrection in the Logan Square neighbourhood of Chicago. Parishioners believe that his parents "taught him better than this," that God's forgiveness awaits him if he truly repents, but that he must still pay for his deeds, beginning with his resignation from office. Writing for US News & World Report, Jennifer O'Shea tells us 10 Things You Didn't Know About Rod Blagojevich.

  • Might Barack Obama get caught up in the scandal over his vacated Senate seat? Writers for The Telegraph are certainly open to the possibility. Here's Toby Harnden: Barack Obama has to come clean about Rod Blagojevich – and fast. And Iain Martin: Barack Obama, Rod Blagojevich, Jesse Jackson Jnr: what a fabulous scandal.

  • Avery Cardinal Dulles has died at age 90. Joseph Bottum has written an obituary for the well-known Catholic theologian. I had the privilege of meeting Dulles once at a conference at Calvin Seminary just over a decade ago. I was a respondent to a paper he had written on Religious Freedom and Pluralism. My response was titled, Differentiated Responsibility and the Challenge of Religious Diversity. In conversation with him, I asked whether he preferred to be addressed as Prof. Dulles or Fr. Dulles. (This was before his appointment to the rank of cardinal.) He replied that he preferred Fr. Dulles, because his priesthood for him was of greater importance than his academic position. May he rest in peace until the resurrection.

  • The Vatican has just released an "instruction" on bioethics, titled Dignitas Personae. It is addressed "to the Catholic faithful and to all who seek the truth."

  • And now to Cyprus, where the recently retired president, Tassos Papadopoulos, has died at age 74. As he is generally thought to have been an obstacle to the reunification of the island, his departure from office was unlamented by many. His early associations with EOKA did not exactly endear him to Turkish Cypriots. May God grant his family comfort in their time of loss and the people of Cyprus better governance under his successor.
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