To start things off, Gabriel Sanchez offers a brief critique of an idea we have heard before: support for the Democratic Party—with its policies of wealth redistribution through taxes and social-welfare programs—may paradoxically result in fewer abortions. (Click through Sanchez’s piece to read the Distributist Review pieces he’s discussing.) It seems to us that there’s a whiff of the post hoc rationalization about that idea. Certainly, the Republicans are terrible on lots of issues, but it’s a little too convenient—isn’t it?—to say that the Democrats’ strengths also magically resolve their one enormous weakness.
Next, at Rorate Caeli, Joseph Shaw has a FIUV Position Paper on the Good Friday prayer for the Jews. You may recall that the bishops of England and Wales have—taking a page from the German bishops—petitioned the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to replace the Extraordinary Form prayer, itself composed in 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI to replace the ancient prayer, with the prayer currently used in the Ordinary Form. This is sensitive stuff, to be sure, but it ought to be considered (though not obsessed over).
At Reuters, there is a lengthy article by Philip Pullella and Tom Heneghan about the “marginalization” of conservatives under the Holy Father’s reign. It’s an okay overview, though it could be better, especially since it discusses the Society of St. Pius X without noting that regularization of the SSPX has been a major priority for the Holy Father, with rumors of an imminent agreement swirling on message boards and blogs.
The Boston Globe‘s Catholic vertical, Crux, is shutting down. It looks like it’s going to be turned over to John Allen, who had been site lead since it was launched, as his personal project. We were uncertain what Crux’s business model looked like in a world where the Register and the Reporter are established brands, to say nothing of the major blogs and blog aggregators, like Rorate or Patheos Catholic or Aleteia.
Edward Pentin has a lengthy article at the Register about the continuing fallout from the Holy Father’s meeting with Moscow Patriarch Kirill, especially with respect to the tricky situation created for Patriarch Sviatoslav of Kiev. There are some positive notes that have come out of a meeting earlier this month between the Holy Father and Patriarch Sviatoslav.
Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., has a brief recollection of the late Austrian conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Imagine living in the Austria he describes briefly, where a high-school student could audit Harnoncourt’s classes at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, or where one could turn up regularly for Harnoncourt’s concerts in Vienna.