clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Vox Sentences: The pope’s “apology tour” goes south

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Ella Nilsen. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

A government shutdown is still looming; the pope reignites a sex abuse controversy he was hoping to quell.

It’s the final countdown

Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • We are T-minus four hours to a midnight deadline and a government shutdown unless the Senate can come to an agreement over how long to fund the government. [Vox / Ella Nilsen, Tara Golshan, and Dylan Scott]
  • The bill that’s currently up for a vote in the Senate is a four-week short-term spending bill (it would be the fourth one Congress passes). Senators are supposed to vote on the bill later tonight. [Washington Post / Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe, Erica Werner, and Elise Viebeck]
  • But what’s really at stake is much more than just funding for the government.The main reason we are in this boat is that Republicans and Democrats have struggled to reach a compromise on immigration, specifically, a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (a.k.a. DACA). That’s an Obama-era program to protect about 700,000 young, unauthorized immigrants known as DREAMers. [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • Months have passed without a compromise on immigration or long-term spending, and Democrats are getting fed up. They want to fund the government over the weekend so they stay in Washington and keep working to strike an immigration deal. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
  • Most Republicans want to pass the one-month funding bill. Some notable exceptions include Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mike Rounds (R-SD), as well as a couple of other Republican senators who typically vote against short-term CRs. Right now Republicans don’t actually have enough votes to pass this CR. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • And on the other side, it’s looking like Democrats won’t vote to let debate begin on the CR, effectively blocking it and forcing a shutdown. [Politico / Seung Min Kim and Burgess Everett]
  • Both sides are dug in and loudly blaming each other for an impending shutdown. What’s still unclear is whether they’ll reach a deal to avert it. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • If a shutdown happens, it will mostly impact federal agencies. The military won’t suddenly be defunded, and you’ll still get your mail and Social Security checks (if you have social security). The panda cam in DC’s National Zoo, however, will get turned off. [NPR / Bryan Naylor]

The pope just accused sex abuse victims in Chile of “slander”

  • Pope Francis has reignited fury in Chile over a church sex abuse scandal after he accused abuse victims of slandering the bishop who they say covered up sex crimes of Chilean priests. [NPR / Bill Chappell]
  • The pope made his comments during what was supposed to be an apology tour for another Chilean priest. In remarks to reporters, the pope called the allegations against Bishop Juan Barros Madrid “slander” and said there was no evidence to support them. [NYT / Pascale Bonnefoy and Austin Ramzy]
  • That did not go over very well in Chile; the remarks drew swift rebukes from victims, their families, and others. [Associated Press]
  • The Catholic Church is hugely powerful in Chile, where many people identify as Catholic. But recent polls show the church’s influence is waning among the population. The recent comments by the pope probably won’t do anything to bring those numbers back up. [Washington Post / Rick Noack]


  • Citing increasingly disrupted flights, Delta is cracking down on emotional support animals. There isn’t a lot of federal guidance on what is, and isn’t, considered a support animal. [USA Today / Bart Jansen]
  • In news to make you feel safe and secure: US military advantage over Russia and China is “eroding.” That’s according to the Pentagon, which should know what it’s talking about. [NPR / Tom Bowman]
  • If you find yourself waiting in line with nothing to do, considering using the time to read about ... the history of waiting in line. [Racked / Jamie Lauren Keiles]
  • Next time you’re at a loss for words, consider the creators of the Oxford English Dictionary, who couldn’t find the paperwork for words beginning with “Pa” for 12 years. (The papers eventually resurfaced in Ireland, where someone was using them as kindling). [Mental Floss / Lucas Reilly]


“I am not the first woman to multitask.” [Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern announcing her pregnancy / Washington Post]

Watch this: The chocolate science hype machine

The dark side of Mars-sponsored chocolate studies. [YouTube / Julia Belluz and Gina Barton]

Read more

The “shithole shutdown” is the perfect encapsulation of Trump-era governance

Paul Ryan is lying to you about the Children’s Health Insurance Program

The sex abuse scandal surrounding USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, explained

A definitive ranking of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s 101 songs

This graphic explains why 2 degrees of global warming will be way worse than 1.5

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.