Pope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium,” highlighted many of the economic and social justice issues of today’s world and prompted reactions from critics worldwide. William Purcell, associate director for Catholic Social Tradition and Practice at the Center for Social Concerns, said the pope “is not being an idealist, but a realist with ideals.” Purcell said the apostolic exhortation’s contents are both prescriptive and intellectual, focusing largely on pastoral theology and how the Church can engage and shepherd people. “Francis addresses [“Evangelii Gaudium”] to the whole people of God, so not just to the laity, but also to the bishops, clergy and religious,” Purcell said. “He’s talking to the leaders at all levels, including lay leaders … and he’s challenging us to find creative ways to share the key emphasis of God, which is love.” Many of the critiques of and negative reaction to the text are “short-sighted,” Purcell said, misunderstanding the context of the pope’s statements and its background in Catholic Social Tradition. One notable criticism came from talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who said Francis’s ideas were “pure Marxism” in a Nov. 27 show about the document, titled “It’s Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is.” Purcell said people should remember that the pope is writing about theology, not ideology. “What he’s really talking about is joy – that’s what ‘gaudium’ means,” Purcell said. “He’s talking about how we’re called to evangelize and that nobody likes a grim do-gooder. “What he’s saying is that we’ve got to be joyful about it, we’ve got to be embracing it. We should attract people by our actions, and so we should be joyful and life-giving.” The apostolic exhortation is the first thing Francis has written completely on his own during his papacy, and Purcell said it presents his vision of what the Church is about, speaking from his position as the head of the institution. “I think it’s exciting because people have been taking notice,” Purcell said. “Some people react to it out of their ideology and not their theology, and people struggle with some of the things he’s talking about.” Purcell said throughout the document, Francis quotes bishops from across the world, as well as past popes and saints. Because of this, the content “isn’t new, but part of our tradition.” “His insight comes from talking about these things in a new style, in an uplifting way, so people see the power of what we’re called to do,” Purcell said. “He becomes so welcoming, so charismatic, and he speaks to the common person. “It doesn’t become esoteric or dense, because he’s speaking to the person in the pew. People can read this and understand it … and I think they get excited by it.” The four main themes of the text are joy, poverty, peace and justice, Purcell said. Beyond the thematic theological elements, Francis “becomes prescriptive and deals with real, concrete ways of addressing problems,” he said. “The beauty of the exhortation is that he writes so well, and he writes so positively and so openly,” Purcell said. “This is a pope who is a Jesuit, so he’s a thinker. There are ideals of things like solidarity and the common good, but he’s being a realist about how we try to address those things. “He gives concrete examples; he names saints or people or particular things so it doesn’t just become words like ‘solidarity,’ but you get the stories and symbols and scripture behind that makes it come alive.” To best utilize the document’s wisdom, Purcell said parishes need to find a way to break it into parts and find pastoral applications for it. “It’s too much to swallow all at one time, because it’s so rich and there’s so much good within it,” he said. “But it’s fun to look at since [Pope Francis is] just so positive, and he speaks so directly. He’s prophetic, but not obnoxious.” Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Bailey in London’s ‘Jersey Boys'(Photo: Brinkhoff & Mögenburg) The Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical Jersey Boys has been running eight years in London, first at the Prince Edward and now the Piccadilly Theatre, and earlier this year welcomed a new set of principals to tell the rousing story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Among this latest cast, few have as accomplished a resume as Simon Bailey, the stage veteran now playing tough guy Tommy DeVito—the musician-singer that brought the role’s originator, Christian Hoff, a Tony Award. Bailey spoke one recent afternoon to Broadway.com about long-running shows, famous co-stars, and why he’d like one day to don a certain famous mask. Were you familiar with Jersey Boys before you joined the company in March?I was invited to the very first press night back in 2008 and at that time, I was also part of a similar four-strong group of male singers from Theaterland called Teatro, so I suppose I went really out of intrigue, since I wasn’t entirely sure what it was about. What was your response?Within the first five or 10 minutes, I was completely hooked. The show is so well-paced and packed so full of great stories and characters that you really catch onto and then there’s this song which opens the show and you recognize the tune but you don’t recognize the words because it’s in French (“Ces Soirees-La”), and that is a really unique way of opening a show: it catches your attention straight off the bat. At what point did you decide you wanted to be in it? I immediately wanted to play Tommy and to be in this show that I was loving. Now all these years later, here we are. I even said at the time, “I don’t care what it takes; I’m getting in this show”—and that was at the interval of the press night! What’s it like joining a long-running hit?I’ve done a few of them now like Les Miz [as Enjolras] and Phantom [as Raoul], and one of the things I’m always so touched by is the people who keep coming back and who keep supporting the show, which is something that we need. I talk to people at the stage door who have followed [Jersey Boys] for a long time, and they keep the show running and thriving. And a long-running show is new for you.Yes, and as I’ve got older, I never see it as joining a long-running show or, for that matter, a brand new show: I try to approach whatever I’m doing as new to me and to try and keep it fresh in that respect. Every part is new—it’s new people telling what for them is a new story, and I think that’s what keeps everything fresh. With Phantom, for instance, everyone knows the story, as they do with Les Miz and even now to a large extent with Jersey Boys, so it’s down to you as the actor to make sure the story stays fresh and real and relatable: that’s your job. What about watching your predecessors in the part: is that a double-edged sword?Well, I’d seen Glenn [Carter] do it on opening night obviously, and I’d seen Jon Boydon play it many times. Both those guys played this part so well. The thing about Tommy is that you have to identify somehow with the character so that you’re relating naturally to the part, and what I love about Tommy is his need for survival—that’s what drives him to make the decisions he makes. On the other hand [unlike DeVito], I have never been to prison, just so everyone’s clear!It’s a great role, as you know first-hand.It is! He’s a quick thinker and a quick talker. It’s fun to play the bad guy.Was it helpful having been part of your own all-male group, Teatro?It was interesting because we all went to see Jersey Boys on opening night together and out on to the stage came all these guys in suits looking so smart, and that became one of those “look-around” moments where we sat there thinking, “Maybe this could happen to us.” But [show business] remains an uncertain path, as it always is. People get tossed aside, and you have to make sure you’re not one of those people. Have you ever been to New Jersey? I have been to New Jersey, though I can’t say I’ve spent a lot of time there. What really helped with this was the information we were given by the amazing team, which was so thorough. During rehearsals, we had a day or two just talking things like background and timelines and what the state of the nation was like then politically and socially and how everything fits together. Our Gyp DeCarlo, Mark Heenehan, is actually from New Jersey, as well, so he’s really our benchmark—he’s also the most lovely guy. Your last West End musical, I Can’t Sing! the X Factor Musical, paired you alongside a then lesser-known Cynthia Erivo. But you just instantly knew with Cynthia that she was going places. I was out in the States doing two concerts when the news came through that she would be doing The Color Purple on Broadway, and I said to my New York friends, “Just write this name down, because when this girl comes over to New York, she’s going to take Broadway by storm and is going to win the Tony Award— and she did. What’s in your future? Having played Raoul, would you like to graduate to the Phantom?Well, Raoul is one thing and the Phantom is another, and it’s such an iconic role that I would certainly love to be given the opportunity to see what I can do with it. It’s something I hopefully can do a bit further down the line; I’m not putting any time limit on it.On the other hand, your predecessor in Jersey Boys, Jon Boydon, stayed with this show for six years. I know, whereas I’m coming up to six months. I am happy to stay here as long as they’re happy for me to play this part. You can’t ever tell what’s going to happen in this industry, but I’m having so much fun that I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. View Comments
February 15, 2002 Regular News Bar prohibited from taking sales tax stand Bar prohibited from taking sales tax stand The Florida Bar cannot, under existing U.S. and Florida Supreme Court rulings, lobby the legislature on proposed sales taxes on services, including legal fees.Tallahassee attorney Barry Richard, who represents the Bar when it is sued and advises it on constitutional issues, has rendered that opinion in response to a question from Bar President Terry Russell. Russell had been asked by Senate President John McKay, R-Tampa, who is pushing a tax reform measure, for the Bar’s position on services taxes.Richard’s January 14 letter was presented to the Board of Governors at its February 1 meeting in Tampa, and the board took no action on it.Richard said the Bar could offer technical assistance on a services tax, such as advising whether the tax constitutionally could apply to criminal defense fees.The Bar’s ability to lobby on political issues, Richard wrote, is defined in two rulings, both of which came after the 1987 battle over the short-lived services tax. The cases are Keller v. State Bar of California, 496 U.S. 1 (1990), and The Florida Bar Re: Schwarz, 552 So.2d 1094 (Fla. 1989).“In Keller, the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited the use of compulsory bar dues for political advocacy except with respect to improvement of the administration of justice,” Richard said.The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has further ruled that issues in that category “include regulation of attorneys, budget appropriations for the judiciary and legal aid, proposed changes in litigation procedures, regulations of attorneys’ client trust accounts, and law school and bar admission standards,” the letter said.“In Schwarz, the Florida Supreme Court restricted the authority of The Florida Bar to engage in any political advocacy whatsoever, regardless of whether or not it involved the use of compulsory dues” unless five conditions were met, Richard noted. Those five conditions are: matters concerning the regulation and discipline of attorneys; matters relating to the functioning and efficiency of the courts; increasing the availability of legal services; regulation of attorneys’ trust accounts; and issues affecting the education, ethics, competence, regulation, and integrity of the legal profession.The court did say, Richard noted, the Bar could lobby on additional issues if they met all parts of a three-pronged test:• “The issue be recognized as being of great public importance.”• “That lawyers are especially suited by their training and experience to evaluate and explain the issue.”• “The subject matter affects the rights of those likely to come into contact with the judicial system.”Richard said the Florida Supreme Court held in The Florida Bar Re: Frankel, 581 So.2d 1294 (Fla. 1991), that the Bar could not lobby on some children-related issues because they did not meet those tests.“In the absence of persuasive evidence that the imposition of sales tax would place otherwise affordable legal services beyond the reach of a significant number of Floridians, I think it is unlikely that the court would conclude that the sales tax issue falls within the presumptively permissible list,” Richard said.He also said the services tax failed to meet the second criteria of the three-part test for additional issues, even though lawyers might have some special expertise on specific tax issues.“[T]he threshold question of whether there should be a tax on legal services is essentially a political and policy question on which lawyers are not ‘especially suited by their training and experience to evaluate and explain the issue,’” he said.In his letter, Richard noted he has been retained by the Florida Senate, which is pushing the constitutional amendment to lower the sales tax rate at the same time expanding it to many services now exempted in state law. Neither the Senate nor the Bar had a problem with Barry giving the Bar an opinion on the issue, he said.A few days after Richard submitted his letter to the Bar, the Senate released a list of possibly taxed services and how much would be raised. At the top of the list was legal services, expected to add more than $300 million annually to state coffers.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez insists his players are not “too nice” – but has stressed they need to wise up to opponents “trying to take advantage” with certain tactics. “It was a frustrating moment for me,” Martinez, quoted by the Liverpool Echo, said. “It’s not that we’re too nice, it’s that we’re a fair team. It’s important for us, though, to identity when people are playing with that and trying to take advantage. “We just need to make sure it doesn’t cost us. I don’t care about us using it but we need to know how not to get disadvantaged by it. “I’ll never compromise what we represent in terms of winning games. But if you have a player that wants to lay on the pitch and moan to the referee we shouldn’t stop the game. Mikel used that to his advantage and we need to be aware of that. “We should punish that sort of reaction and behaviour with penetrating football and using the players we have on the pitch. It’s a lesson to be learned. But it’s a learning curve.” The Spaniard was frustrated by an incident in Saturday’s 4-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Arsenal which saw the Toffees, with Gunners midfielder Mikel Arteta on the turf claiming he was injured following a tackle from Seamus Coleman, opt to kick the ball out even though referee Mark Clattenburg had allowed play to continue. Martinez does not want his “fair” team emulating the antics of Arteta, who appeared to be unhurt, but is keen for them to learn from the episode. Press Association