Welcome to Wednesday in the Octave of Easter, or as in Eastern Christianity, Bright Week. We look forward to New Sunday, or Thomas Sunday, depending on particular tradition.
During this celebratory time, we take some time away from the heavy news of the week and pause for reflection. (In other words, this edition of Wisdom Wednesday was compiled a week ago.)
We’ll examine books on a reading list, look ahead to Earth Day and Laudato Si’ week, view a study of Purple Catholicism, examine the discussion of conflicting values regarding youth protection and the seal of confession, and take a trip into Egypt before the Exodus. Also, should liturgical items be the work of human hands? A good feature article awaits your attention.
A reading list
Jesuit Thomas Reese proposes “A reading list for seminarians and other Catholic conservatives.” You don’t have to be conservative to dig into the wisdom of these authors.
Why Hatred of Jews Isn’t Like All Other Hatreds
Anti-Semitism, according to David Rich, is “the belief that Jews are always up to no good,” usually by “deploying their mysterious power and enormous wealth to achieve some particular Jewish goal . . . that is harmful to everyone else.” Such ideas, Rich argues, are deep-seated in British (and European) society, to the extent that many people who consider themselves immune from prejudice believe them. More disturbingly still, younger Britons tend to be less racist than their older compatriots, but are more likely to be anti-Semitic. In this speech, recently delivered to Parliament, Rich explains why this is so. (Audio, 47 minutes.)
A Goldwater Republican. Really?
Tom Reese regularly examines the Signs of the Times, published by Religion News Service. Bet you didn’t know Reese was once a “Goldwater Republican.”
The pope’s teaching on gender
Charles C. Camosy, a writer new to Wisdom Wednesday, wonders if anyone is taking Pope Francis’ teaching seriously on gender matters. He says on many of those on the Catholic right are basically waiting for this papacy to be over, and those on the Catholic left are themselves likely taking a pass too.
Earth Day will soon be upon us, April 22, and Laudato Si’ Week is coming, May 21-28. It is time to take action.
The Catholic Climate Covenant suggests that a worthwhile activity for you and your parish or group of friends would be the Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles. Check out the possibilities and download the program here.
Before the Exodus
Every now and then, poking into an arcane corner of history and religion may yield some wisdom. Or at least a thought or two. For example, how many Egyptian words made it into biblical Hebrew? Do such words add understanding of the salvific event? Or is their presence just a sign that Egypt was a powerful nation?
The French Bishops’ Conference (CEF) has announced plans to begin the process that could lead to formally recognizing Cardinal Henri de Lubac, one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the 21st century, as a saint.
Sisters of Saint Thérèse
The last Carmelite nun to have known the sisters of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux has died. Sister Marie-Lucile Perrin, who was a contemporary of two of the sisters of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, all Carmelite nuns like herself, has died at the age of 97
Corporal Works of Mercy
Lent is over, but there is no season limit for works of mercy. La Croix International and La Croix Africa published a seven-part series worth visiting. One to begin with is about visiting prisoners – and helping them find opportunities and resources when they are released.
Letter from Rome
Every week, La Croix International Editor Robert Mickens brings you Letter from Rome, unravelling the issues and policies that are alive in the Vatican and within the Church. Letter from Rome helps you understand how the Catholic Church led by Pope Francis engages, shapes and makes sense of the burning issues of the day.
Growing mental health distress in the ranks carries such grave implications that the U.S. chief of naval operations, Adm. Michael Gilday, answered “suicides” when asked earlier this year what in the security environment kept him up at night. More chaplains are needed.
The debate over clergy exemption in state law pits the sanctity of confession against child safety. Brian Fraga examines the issue for NCR.
A Buddhist temple: place of peace or source of noise?
Controversial plans for a Buddhist temple years in the making are moving forward in San Jose’s Evergreen neighborhood.The San Jose City Council unanimously approved the development of the nearly 14,000 square-foot Wat Khmer Kampuchea Krom Temple on a 1.86-acre corner lot at the intersection of Ruby and Norwood avenues.
The Catholic Church is only just emerging from almost 500 years of the stability that followed the Council of Trent. To appreciate them, today’s Catholics need a well-informed sense of history and that is where the work of Massimo Faggioli is invaluable. The celebrated La Croix International columnist brings his learning to contemporary issues facing the Church and explains how the Franciscan reforms are changing the Catholic Church.
Artificial Wombs Will Change Abortion Rights Forever
Ectogenesis—gestation using an artificial womb—is fast approaching reality. Yet without legislation, this innovation also has the potential to cause harm.
Julia Erdlen remembers the first time she saw bread baked in her kitchen become the body of Christ at the altar.
The first time the presider held up the host that I had made, I had the wind knocked out of me,” Erdlen says. “I thought: ‘I made that in my kitchen yesterday.’ ”
While most communion hosts, candles, and liturgical vestments are now made by large corporate manufacturers, some Catholics are taking matters into their own hands—and ovens.
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We hope you have enjoyed this roundup of recent news about faith, politics, and culture. We will return next week with another edition of Wisdom Wednesday.
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