Weekly roundup: College commencements, David Bowie, and Star Trek

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Another Friday, another roundup.

For those who have either been living under a rock or willfully ignoring the news, Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of three counts of first degree murder. The "doctor" agreed not to appeal his verdict, making him exempt from the death penalty. In addition to the three murder charges, Gosnell will be sentenced for involuntary manslaughter of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old immigrant woman who died at the clinic following an overdose. He will also be sentenced for more than 225 lesser charges, including racketeering. (See Kira Dault's comments on the end of the Gosnell case here.)

It's college commencement season, so let the protesting begin. In Boston, Cardinal O'Malley boycotted Boston College's commencement ceremonies because BC did not withdrawal its invitation to Ireland Prime Minister Edna Kenny, who has supported expanding abortion rights in Ireland, particularly when the life of the mother is in danger. (To be fair, O'Malley had a busy week. He also has to make sure to speak out against cloning this week, so maybe he liked having a little extra time in his schedule.)

Meanwhile, Paul Ryan gave the commencement address at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Some alumni were unhappy about Ryan being honored, since his budget proposals have not lived up to the moral criteria set forth by the USCCB in 2012. Over 300 alumni signed a petition asking the college president to withdraw the invitation. In the end, though, the bishops approved of Ryan's being honored, and the invitation stuck.

No commencement controversy at Georgetown University. Instead, adjunct faculty at Georgetown have voted to unionize, joining up with adjunct faculty from George Washington University and American University. Georgetown has decided to model Catholic social principles by respecting the adjunct faculty's decision to organize and seek living wages.

In our (seemingly weekly) same-sex marriage update - and then there were twelve. The Minnesota Senate passed a bill on Tuesday legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill, making Minnesota the twelfth state to legalize same-sex marriage, and the third state to do so in the last ten days.

David Bowie got the attention of some Catholics with his explicit video for the song "The Next Day." The Catholic League's Bill Donohue published a blog post in which they referred to Bowie as a “switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London.” Now that's charity.

The folks over at the blog Nineteen Sixty-Four have written about an interesting study on knowledge versus belief. (Read Scott Alessi's comments about the study here.)

Not-Catholic-but-Christian-and-still-important news, Jim Wallis over at Sojourners took on the cause of violence against women. Sojourners announced its new series on Sexual Violence and the Church, from which we might learn a thing or two. (I'm looking at you, Cardinal O'Brien.)

The Catholic League came forward, claiming to be a victim of the most recent IRS scandal. Of course, it seems that perhaps the timing was a little "off" on that one.

Finally, in an address on Thursday, Pope Francis denounced the "cult of money," claiming that the ''dictatorship'' of the global financial system was creating diminishing returns in the area of "joy of life."

Speaking of "joy of life," a new Star Trek film was released this week.

May this weekend bring you joy beyond measure.