Iraq, Books, Beethoven & More: Ten Things That Caught My Eye Today

1. Iraq: Christmas to be annually recognized as a public holiday

On 17 October, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, had made a proposal to Iraqi President Barham Salih to present in Parliament a bill to recognize Christmas as a public holiday throughout Iraq. On that occasion, receiving the Chaldean Patriarch at his residence, President Salih had emphasized the role of Christian communities in the reconstruction of the country, after the years of jihadist occupation of Mosul and large regions of northern Iraq.

After learning of the news of the amendment’s passage, Cardinal  Sako, released a message in which he thanked President Salih; the Speaker of Parliament, Muhammad al Halbousi; and all the parliamentarians “for the vote cast for the good of their fellow Christians,” invoking for all of them God’s blessing and reward.

2. Catholic News Agency: Catholic archbishop: papal visit could ‘change trajectory’ of Christian presence in Iraq

Upon Pope Francis’ arrival in Baghdad in March, he will likely address Iraq’s government leaders. Archbishop Warda told CNA that he was confident that the pope would speak to these economic issues out of his concern for the poor.

“The Holy Father has always made it clear that he and the Church are first with the poor and the marginalized, with the working families, and the importance of their ability to live in peace and dignity,” he said.

3. Peggy Noonan: The Monday When America Came Back

It seems a funny thing to say of public policy, but so much of what doesn’t work in life has to do with an absence of love.

4. W. Bradford Wilcox and Alysse ElHage: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

When it comes to US family life in the time of Covid, media reports are mixed – perhaps the pandemic has made families stronger. Or weaker. Divorce is either falling or soaring. As for parents, especially those juggling jobs, child care, and online education, a recent American Enterprise Institute report concluded they are “not all right.”

5. 8 nuns die of COVID-19 last week at Wisconsin convent

The first death happened last week, and the death announcements kept coming. Four of the eight nuns died on Monday alone, a difficult situation for other sisters in the home and members of the broader congregation, who consider each other family.

“Even though they’re older and most of the sisters that did go to God are in their late 80s, 90s … we didn’t expect them to go so, so quickly,” Sciano said. “So it was just very difficult for us.”


7. Aleteia: Vandalized Our Lady of Guadalupe statue replaced by Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus soon announced that they would contribute the money to pay for the replacement of the statue. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson pointed out in a letter to the pastor, Fr. Javier Flores, that 20 years ago when he became Supreme Knight, he dedicated the Knights of Columbus to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  He announced a grant of  $10,000 for a new statue.

“The desecration of our Catholic statues and churches is a grievous crime against all people who value religious freedom,” said Anderson.

“Together with Pope Francis, our bishops and faithful everywhere, we stand against violence, hatred and bigotry.”


9. Damian Thompson: Beethoven’s spirituality: a conversation with Sir James MacMillan


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