Opinion Outpost: Sept. 29

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The Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

Pope Francis

Where Francis has departed from his predecessors is that he has moved from talking the talk to walking the walk. The simplicity of his lifestyle, his emphasis on spending time among the poor and giving workers more control of economies where the deck, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has said, is stacked against them, are all radical departures from past papal practice. So, too, is the tolerance he has shown to gays, lesbians and divorcees — a tolerance that has roused the ire of church conservatives, for whom intolerance to these and kindred groups seems to express the essence of their Catholicism.

-Harold Meyerson, The Washington Post

Before Congress, Pope Francis returned to the subjects of immigration and global warming, along with prison reform and the death penalty, the arms trade, wealth inequality and even the role of money in the political system. He was particularly forceful in urging acceptance of immigrants, saying that in view of the “thousands [who] travel north in search of a better life,” Americans “must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons.”

… In the United States, there is no shortage of advocates — and opponents — of Pope Francis’s various stands. His is a powerful voice, but in Washington’s debates it will remain one among many.

-Editorial Board, The Washington Post

The pope’s remarks were both humble and inspiring, both complimentary and challenging …the Holy Father emphasized his crucial, basic point: “All political activity must serve and promote the good of the person and be based on respect for his or her dignity.”

… It is disappointing, but not surprising, that many commentators and politicians have seemed more interested in predicting which political “side” will gain an advantage from the pope’s visit and addresses than in actually hearing what he has to say. However, any American politician, of either party — any American, for that matter — who feels completely affirmed and vindicated by Pope Francis and his presentation of the Gospel is not paying attention.

-Richard Garnett, Fox News

Throughout his two-and-a-half-year papacy, Francis has tried to preach and model a different approach, one that cannot be neatly categorized as “liberal” or “conservative.”

First, he avoids overemphasizing the “hot button” culture-war issues, while at the same time returning, again and again, to what he sees as core issues: the suffering of so many people around the world, especially the poor, and, indeed, our own suffering planet. –Heidi Schlumpf, CNN

Yogi Berra

You didn’t have to know the game to know Yogi. One of the first one-name personalities, he transcended baseball with colorful sayings that seemed to make no sense but were filled with wisdom. That was the essence of Yogi — the lovable paradox.

… His spirit resides in all of us, as we tell ourselves that the future ain’t what it used to be, it’s deja vu all over again, nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded, and — especially — it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

RIP, Yogi. May you forever be immortal.

-Editorial Board, Newsday

Yogi. Everyone loved Yogi because he was a character with character, because he was a prodigiously talented athlete who remained true to homespun values.

These days, we tell the stories of baseball players in numbers. Yogi had numbers, as he might have said, by the thousands.

-New York Daily News

News of Berra’s death Wednesday at the age of 90 prompted a mountain of tributes to a man whose legacy is more defined by a gentle force of character than a Hall of Fame career during the peak of the New York Yankees’ dynasty.

… But through it all, it was the Yogi stories and the Yogi-isms that always seemed to resonate with fans. Just Yogi being Yogi. He was widely revered most of all simply for being a good and decent man.

-MyCentralJersey.com

Nobody looked like Yogi did, nor talked like him either. Reading the long list of “Yogi-isms,” you could get the idea he was glib. But if you waited for him to be “Yogi Berra,” you’d be disappointed. He was more like a guy from the corner who’d throw something into the conversation every now and then, and now and then it would be strange.

…Maybe it was another quotable Missouri native, Casey Stengel of Kansas City, who managed most of those great Yankee teams that Mr. Berra played on, who put it best: Upon taking over as manager of the Yankees in 1949, Casey said of his catcher, “Mr. Berra is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.

-Editorial Board, St. Louis Post Dispatch

 

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