Seeking wisdom this week, we offer some strong opinions. Some are quoted, others are noted. Dig in.
“I don’t know if I’ll be alive to see it, but I know it will change.” That’s from Sister Jeannine Gramick, a pioneer in ministry to gay and lesbian people in the Catholic Church, who believes the institution will one day offer sacramental marriage to same-sex couples.
“As a church we need to treat conspiracy thinking with the same vigor as other significant moral issues of our time, such as immigration policy, abortion, racism, human trafficking.” That’s from theologian Ann Garrido, writing in National Catholic Reporter about “Aquinas vs QAnon.”
“We must choose whether we will be the greatest generation that saved the planet, or will we be the selfish generation that sacrificed future generations for our convenience.” That’s from Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, who writes in EarthBeat in favor of a gradually increasing the carbon tax to push corporations and individuals to adopt renewable energy solutions that will help safeguard the planet.
“. . . the Earth was created by God, the same God who created all of us as siblings who are called to live together in our Common Home and take care of it.” That is from Cardinal Michael Czerny, the interim Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, quoted by La Croix International.
“If you are in the U.S. and want to discuss care for creation, the Church and climate, we want to listen and learn from you as we strive to better realize the potential for the Catholic community.” That is from organizers from the Catholic Climate Covenant, regarding two Zoom sessions tomorrow (April 28). The first is at 11 a.m. Eastern, the second at 8 p.m. Eastern. (Registration is required.)
“The mezuzah reminds me of the affinity that I, as a member of the Mormon faith, hold for the Jewish people and their history.” That was a comment in 2018 from Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, and a Mormon from Utah who wore a mezuzah necklace and once wrote a Hanukkah song. Hatch died on Saturday at the age of 88.
“Many European countries have shown great concern for Ukrainians, welcoming them with open arms, and we [the United States] should do the same.” That’s from the USCCB president and the Migration Committee chair, in support of the Biden administration’s “Uniting for Ukraine” refugee initiative.
Two Easters but little joy
Last Sunday (April 24) was Orthodox Easter, but in the village of Lukashivka, there was no church in which to celebrate, no gas to bake Easter bread.
Many members of Ukrainian Orthodox churches across the United States found it difficult to summon Easter joy at a time of war.
You probably know why there are two Easters, but if you find it difficult t explain why to others, here is an assist from the BBC.
Struggle towards unity
The Religion News Service reports that United Methodist bishops are meeting this week, trying to bring a message of unity in the midst of schism.
A place called home
In Evansville, Indiana, the property where a Catholic church and school stood for more than 70 years, there are today 14 news homes. It was a Habitat of Evansville project, known now as St. Theresa Place.
In south Florida, houses of worship are being recruited to build affordable homes on vacant or underutilized church land. The national nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners on Thursday (April 21) announced $1.3 million in grant funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation that would go toward helping 15 South Florida congregations convert underused church property.
A place called Rome
Reform measures at the Roman Curia go into effect June 5, Pentecost Sunday. Robert Mickens, at La Croix International, writes that revamping the top leadership is one of the most urgent matters of business for Pope Francis.
Away from home
A missionary priest who lives a subsistence lifestyle among indigenous people in Alaska has received Catholic Extension’s Lumen Christi award. The story about Father Stan Jaszek is reported in U.S. Catholic.
A saintly home?
A TV station in Quincy, Illinois, reported April 14 that Vatican representatives were investigating miracles and visiting the childhood home of Venerable Augustus Tolton.
There are presently no beatified or canonized African Americans in the U.S. Catholic Church, meaning that Tolton could be the first, should a miracle be approved.
Temporary stay for death sentence by firing squad
The Diocese of Charleston has released a statement on the South Carolina Supreme Court’s issuance last Wednesday of a temporary stay in the case of Richard Moore, an African American scheduled to be executed on Friday (April 29). His would be the first execution in the state in more than a decade, and the first since the state legislature voted in May 2021 to approve the option of execution by firing squad—the method Moore chose.
Prayer on the football field
The U.S. Supreme Court jumps back into the culture wars Monday in a case that involves a football coach’s asserted right to kneel and pray on the 50-yard line at the conclusion of a public school football game.
Priests’ psychological treatment records to be released
A recent court ruling has opened the door to the release of psychological treatment records of priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany accused of child sexual abuse.
A Crusade to Challenge the 2020 Election
The New York Times reports that some evangelical pastors are hosting events dedicated to Trump’s election falsehoods and promoting the cause to their congregations.
Ramadan initiatives for college students
As Muslim students across the country began fasting for Ramadan, colleges have stepped up efforts to make them feel more included. USC, Loyola University Chicago, Utah State University, Northeastern University and Emerson College are among the schools that have launched new initiatives this year. A summary from NPR.
Jesus ‘let his mind wander. Why can’t we?’
Jessie Bazan helps Christians explore their life callings in her work with the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research. She says, the gospels describe the Son of God going off by himself to pray quite a few times, often escaping to the mountains or other wild spots of solitude.
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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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