Litmus test

Nick Spencer, in his book Asylum and Immigration: A Christian Perspective on a Polarised Debate, talks about compassion for the vulnerable being the critical litmus test of a society’s social health – a truly sobering reminder of the state of our society’s declining social health, I thought. Spencer goes on to say that

a nation should be proud rather than grudging in its acceptance of the truly vulnerable, There are few higher callings than to clothe the naked, feed the hungry and house the homeless.

The sixteen most scandalous charges

Another review from Third Way Jan./Feb. 2013. This time by Nick Spencer, who discusses Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve: How the Renaissance Began, which tells the story of a Renaissance bibliophile. I’m not sure that I’m that interested in the book, but the concluding lines of Spencer’s review really made me laugh. Here they are:

the book’s line on the charges read against Pope John XXIII at Council of Constance is worth its cover price alone: ‘Fearing their effect on public opinion, the council decided to suppress the sixteen most scandalous charges – never subsequently revealed – and accused the pontiff of simony, sodomy, rape, incest, torture, and murder.’

Now, what else could he have possibly done?