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OTG: An extended weekend's worth of don't-miss commentary

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Dec 09, 2013

Over the weekend (and stretching into today’s feast day), some unusually good commentary appeared online. I encourage Catholic readers to spend a few minutes with the following:

  • Mary Ann Glendon—Harvard Law professor and former US Ambassador to the Holy See—previewed the US Supreme Court debate on the Hobby Lobby case, in a Boston Globe op-ed. The key question, Glendon observes, is whether a corporation is a moral actor, whose freedom of conscience should be protected. That should be a “no-brainer,” she argues, especially in an age fond of “corporate responsibility” campaigns. She reasons: “The simple truth is that if we want businesses, incorporated or not, to be responsible for their actions, they must be treated as having some moral agency.”
  • Michael Novak, writing for National Review, admits that he is taken aback by some of the harsh criticisms of Pope Francis coming from American conservatives. Novak—who for decades has been the leading Catholic defender of the free-enterprise system—offers his own gentle suggestions that the current Pontiff should recall the teachings of Blessed John Paul II, especially in Centesimus Annus. At the same time, Novak expresses delight with the overall thrust of Evangelii Gaudium, acknowledging that Americans can learn a great deal from our new Pontiff.
  • The Financial Times provides some useful background on the struggle toward transparency at the Vatican bank-- a timely piece, in light of today’s news that European banking examiners have given a positive report on the Vatican’s financial reforms.
  • And finally, immodestly, I point to my friend Robert Royal’s kind and insightful review of When Faith Goes Viral, a collection of reports on successful initiatives in evangelization, which I had the pleasure of editing.

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