Weekly roundup: Cardinals, Red Sox, and Lou Reed

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Another day, another dollar.

Another week, another roundup.

Happy All Saints' Day! According to the Pacific Standard, we are all more likely to be saint-like before lunch. So get your good deeds done in the morning, and let your wicked side take over in the afternoon.

An article in The Atlantic this week claims that studying theology, even if you are not a person of faith, might be beneficial. Tara Isabella Burton, the author of the piece, claims that to study theology well, one needs to be empathetic, not faithful.

The Cardinals lost to the Red Sox in the World Series, so Cardinal Dolan won his bet against Archbishop Richard J. Carlson of St. Louis. At least Catholic Charities got $100 out of the deal.

A Polish archbishop lambasted Halloween, claiming that the holiday violates church teachings. "It would be better if the church just left it to die naturally." Would an unnatural death mean a zombie Halloween?

The archdiocese of St. Paul, Minnesota has been under scrutiny for the last several weeks regarding the mishandling of clergy sexual abuse. Now some priests from the diocese are demanding a response from Archbishop John Nienstedt. 

Suzan Johnson Cook, former ambassador-at-large for religious freedom resigned this month, and claimed that she left because she could not afford to send her kids to college on a government salary.

Lou Reed died this week, and one Cardinal found himself in a bit of hot water when he tweeted a tribute.

The Cardinal later issued a clarifying tweet to assure followers that he did not support drug culture or endorse drug use.

Speaking of cardinals, a report earlier this week claims that the NSA spied on the cardinals prior to the conclave! The NSA says "Nuh-uh!" (Might be a paraphrase.)

The disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act continues, and so does the battle over the HHS Mandate. (Is that still going on, you ask? Why, yes. Yes it is.) Read Scott Alessi's comments on some of the most recent developments here.

Support for the death penalty is at 40-year low right now, but it's still more popular than Congress. Read Elizabeth Lefebvre's update of capital punishment in the news here.

And now for our Papal rapid-fire roundup:

Pope Francis has been named the 4th most powerful person in the world by Forbes magazine.

He's become a tourist attraction for Latin American travelers to Rome.

But he's going to need to pay special attention to the sexual abuse scandals in Latin America.

He will create new cardinals at a Consistory to be held in February

Commonweal has posted a satirical interview with him. It's very funny.

The Vatican will be seeking input from lay people on marriage and family issues. It is not yet clear how the USCCB will choose to carry out the survey, so the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good has created a work-around. Go here to take the survey and let the Vatican know what's on your mind.