by A. Joseph Lynch
AOA R&G ROUND UP
BOLTON'S BETRAYAL: AoA has never been a fan of John Bolton. Despite our reservations, we were hopeful he would make a good National Security Adviser to President Trump. There were times it seemed as though he understood he was there to implement Trump's foreign policy, not Bolton's. Nevertheless, Bolton has been eager to testify and throw Trump under the bus over Trump's unwillingness to fight more useless neocon wars. We are not the least bit surprised Romney sought Bolton's testimony in the Senate impeachment trial. Thankfully there fifty-one sane senators who voted against it. While we would have liked to see the Biden's testify, we look forward to the acquittal of the president next week. The damage to the Democrats is done. The Nadler-Schiff scramble for the mic revealed they both know the show's over the and the gig is up. While Biden is doing his best to wreck his own campaign, most Americans saw through the Ukraine hoax and Trump's approval is now at a three year high. Let McConnell get back to confirming judges while Trump uses the impeachment to campaign for a renewed GOP-controlled House.
BLOOMBERG & THE DNC: The DNC won't let Bloomberg's riches, "white privilege," or total inability to pet dogs keep them from moving the goalposts to let him on stage in the next debate. The DNC has changed the rules meant specifically to keep billionaire candidates like Bloomberg from buying their way onto the debate stage. With Biden falling flatter by the day - this voter interaction from the week might take the cake - Democrats are in need of Bloomberg to edge ahead of a huge Bernie win in the weeks ahead. More on Bernie and Bloomberg from Pat Buchanan.
BREXIT FINALIZED: AoA congratulates the United Kingdom in its newly regained independence. Watch Nigel Farage give the UKs dramatic final speech to the European Parliament.
BISHOP BARRON'S MANDATUM: Bishop Robert Barron is suggesting a kind of mandatum for Catholic media but some see it as an attempt at episcopal censorship. More from Church Militant.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS WITH ACTON: Three cardinals and 110 bishops from 42 nations gathered in Portugal for a “discreet, confidential, private, friendly [and] informal” meeting with the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. Their goal is to form an ultraconservative counter to Pope Francis' vision of economics. AoA, however, warns the bishops in partnering with Acton in general and Fr. Robert Sicirio - the Fr. James Martin of the right - in particular.
CATHOLIC KOBE: Kobe Bryant's death shocked America last week. Although many knew of his athleticism, few knew of his Catholic faith. Cain Pence, son of the late Dr. David Pence, reminds us of the Catholic brother we lost.
RITUAL DOWNGRADE FOR KC'S: The Knights of Columbus took away the sword, then changed the 4th degree uniform to mirror a look the US military is abandoning (President Trump knows what a real military uniform should look like). The KC's are now giving up on secret initiations open only to males. The men can now bring their wives and kids. The initiation rituals have problems. They are lengthy, require too much training to facilitate, and are spaced out so irregularly that many men cannot attend them. They require enough simplification to be run by any council on any given meeting. If the goal is to reach younger men, domesticating the initiations is not the answer. Making a knightly order less militant is not the answer. Emasculating fraternal bonds is not the answer. The Knights of Columbus may no longer be the answer for Catholic men in need of Catholic fraternity.
MALE BONDING IS MEN'S HEALTH: A study shows male bonding lowers stress levels in men (and is more relaxing than an evening with the wife or family). It's already known that marriage leads to lower testosterone in men. The key to testosterone's increase? Two choices: adultery or male bonding. AoA suggests the latter course of actions to wives who want healthy husbands.
KEEPING MEN CATHOLIC: Taylor Marshall discusses ways to keep men in the Church with Eric Sammons. They make many good points on liturgy, but their emphasis on male bonding through work and silence over sharing feelings at Bible studies should be food for thought for parish men's ministry. Read Sammon's article on the topic at Crisis Magazine.