An Apology From the Pope - The Tuesday AM Quickie 7/26/22

Tuesday again – Sam and Emma are wrapping up the news later, and so am I (not later, but now). Let's start with the Pope! - Jack

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Pope Briefly Acknowledges Catholic Church's Sins in Canada

The Catholic Church. Oh boy! My thoughts on that whole situation probably aren't meant for this newsletter, so in their stead I will just summarize this story for you today.

"I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples,” Pope Francis said yesterday to a crowd of mostly indigenous Canadians at the site of a former residential school in Alberta, Canada. What the Pope was apologizing for, the  forced re-education of thousands of First Nations youth and the systematic destruction of their culture, language, and sometimes lives at the hands of Catholic priests throughout the last century and more. The Pope continued:

"I ask forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the church and of religious communities cooperated, not least through their indifference, in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time, which culminated in the system of residential schools."

This is, all things considered, a pretty clear and explicit apology. But it's still just words – the institution that Francis represents is responsible for an unimaginable amount of blood and pain even just in recent memory, and has a long history of nice apologies and little action.

Francis's predecessor John Paul II, for instance, issued over 100 apologies over his 27 years at the head of the Church. Granted, he was churning through hundreds of years of Catholic institutional terror, but still. There's a lot of ground to cover there. And yet, thanks to a 2015 Canadian Supreme Court decision, the Canadian government largely let the Church out of any obligations to the survivors of its brutal schools (operated on behalf of the Canadian government, which has paid billions in reparations to survivors). The Church paid just a $1.2 million settlement. What's the saying again? Talk is cheap? For the Pope, it sure as hell is.


Ukraine Readies A Major Offensive

The brutal slog in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region grinds on, but on the war's southern front, government forces are preparing to engage in a major offensive to retake the southern city of Kherson, held by Russian forces for months. Using U.S.-supplied weaponry, Ukrainians have been hitting Russian ammunition depots and supply lines for days, hoping to weaken the occupying forces before launching an offensive to sweep them from the city. Kherson is the first major city the Russians captured in the war, making its reclamation a major prize for Ukraine, though one that will surely be won with blood.  

Central Park Five Co-Defendant Exonerated

Steven Lopez, an almost unheard-of sixth defendant in the famous Central Park Five case, was exonerated of a related conviction that he pled guilty to two years after the infamous rape of a jogger in New York City in 1998. Lopez pled guilty to robbery of a male jogger to avoid the more serious rape charge that the five other defendants were saddled with. However, after the real perpetrator of the crime was found in 2002, activists and lawyers have been working to exonerate Lopez along with the more famous Five. He was arrested when he was 15 and served time in jail, but unlike the Five, had not received any settlement money from the city when the charges against him were shown to be false. Now, at least, he has an official exoneration for the crime he didn't commit.

Quickest Quickies

  • Russia Continues to Squeeze Europe's Gas Flow They're dropping the original NordStream's flow to just 20 percent as a retaliation for aid to Ukraine and other sanctions. via Reuters.
  • Myanmar's Military Junta Executes Activists Conditions for dissent in the country, currently rocked by a civil war and government crisis, are growing increasingly grim, as the military government executed four pro-democracy activists on charges of aiding "terror acts." via Reuters.
  • Woman Opens Fire at Dallas Airport Before Being Shot By Police The woman, a 37-year-old, fired several shots before she was shot an injured by police. No other injuries were reported. Bizarre. via NYT.
  • GOP Lawmaker Attends Gay Son's Wedding He Voted Against Not a joke. Pennsylvania Rep. Glenn Thompson attended his gay son's wedding 3 days after joining most of his GOP House colleagues in voting against a bill that would have codified the right to gay marriage. Personal politics are confusing, but this seems particularly hypocritical. via NBC News.



Number of pedestrian deaths in Pasco County, Florida, between 2001 and 2016, many of them along US Route 19, which a stunning new Vox feature has identified as the deadliest road in America, and the centerpiece of the country's epidemic of pedestrian-traffic fatalities. Vox found that since 2016, 48 more people were killed in crashes involving pedestrians on US-19 in Pasco County.


7/26: Sam and Emma break down the biggest headlines of the day.

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“The police were heroes that day. Donald Trump lacked the courage to act. The brave women and men in blue all across this nation should never forget that. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-cop. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-American.”

President Biden, in rare comments on the ongoing J6 investigation. Sure, some police were heroes that day. But never forget there were other police in the crowd.

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