Daily Links, March 20: Bishops, Republicans, and sex abuse

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News out of Rome today brings three new bishop appointments in the United States, the most notable of which is Bishop William Lori being moved from Bridgeport, Connecticut to Baltimore. Being in a larger archdiocese--and one closer to the nation's capital--will only give Lori more of a platform as the bishops' primary spokesman on "religious liberty."

The other new appointments were of priests being promoted to the episcopacy in Rockford, Illinois and Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida.

Meanwhile one of the leading Republicans in Congress, House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, is proposing a new budget that would, in his words, offer "real solutions" by slashing government spending. Though Ryan proudly calls himself Catholic, critics of his plan say it doesn't reflect Jesus' message of good news for the poor, but rather good news for the rich and bad news for everyone else.

Observers are beginning to take note of the fact that the bishops no longer seem concerned about economic policies and are instead strengthening ties to the GOP.

Those who are critical of Americans that rely on government assistance or claim the poor are working the system might want to read the story of medical student and single mother Vicki Jones, yet another person who never expected to need help but eventually found herself living on food stamps.

Across the Atlantic, the Vatican is trying to atone for sins of the past with sexual abuse victims in Ireland. Here in the U.S., Bryan Cones argues it would be a bad idea for the bishops to launch a full scale attack on victims' assistance group SNAP.

And if you're on Facebook, have you unfriended anyone lately? If so, they might not be the only ones who are upset with you.