You are invited to see things in threes this week. First, there are Climate, complexity of the refugee cap, and Communion — all items about faith, politics and President Joe Biden.
Three more on a theme: Irish religious leaders seek peace amid sectarian tension, Israelis accused of systematic apartheid, and commentary about sectarianism threatening American democracy.
Three that stand alone: Covid crisis in India, an interfaith effort to ensure safety at houses of worship in New York, and Catholics in 46 countries will hold an unprecedented ecclesial assembly of bishops, priests, religious, lay men and women. (Now that is synodality!)
For relief from the heavy news, three to see and enjoy: an introduction to the youngest Muslim woman to hold political office in America, a reflection on why Catholics sing at Mass, and the movie inspired by a James Martin book wins an Oscar.
Faith, Politics, and Joe Biden
Leading off, one of our keynoters in the upcoming AUSCP Assembly, Michael Sean Winters, offers his view on what President Biden got right in his approach to climate change. Winters writes for National Catholic Reporter.
Kevin Appleby, also in NCR, says Biden’s misstep on the refugee cap reveals the complexity of the migration debate. He explains, “reality set in.”
There’s more talk about denying Communion to President Biden. Christopher White reports the latest argument surfaced at Villanova.
Israelis-Palestinians, Catholics-Protestants, Democrats-Republicans
Human Rights Watch has accused Israeli officials of committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians. The Israeli government accused HRW of propaganda. The Associated Press reports the conflict is not primarily a land dispute but a systematic denial of basic rights for Palestinians.
Note: Go in depth with the full report from Human Rights Watch.
As Brexit stirs tensions, Northern Irish clergy reprise their peacekeeping roles. Religion News Service reports faith leaders are trying to stop the resurgence of sectarian violence.
Speaking of sectarian – In the New York Times, Nate Cohn sees political sectarianism as “a growing threat to American democracy.” The two camps don’t just disagree, he says. They see each other as alien and immoral.
India, New York, and Latin America
Kevin Clarke in America says India is suffering an “unimaginable” Covid outbreak. He asks all of us to pray for the people of India.
Meanwhile, praying in New York is becoming a fearful experience. A new interfaith coalition is speaking out against the violent extremism and working to ensure the safety of New Yorkers at their places of worship. The daunting story is from Religion News Service.
The Catholic Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM), a major player in the formation of liberation theology, is planning an unprecedented “ecclesial assembly” to discuss issues affecting the 377 million Catholics in the region. La Croix International reports:
The gathering is scheduled to take place in Mexico City from Nov. 21-28 and will involve bishops, priests, religious, and lay men and women to study issues faced by Catholics in some 46 countries.
Light and Bright Content
Even among the diverse membership of the Skokie School District 73.5 Board of Education in Illinois, Bushra Amiwala stands out. According to Religion News Service, Amiwala, just 22, is the youngest elected Muslim official in the United States.
Why do Catholics sing at Mass? Bradley R. Vanden Branden writes in U.S.Catholic that “Singing serves as a crucial part of the greater mystery we are celebrating.”
Finally, Father James Martin talks with the creator of Pixar’s ‘Soul’ about finding God in all things. “Soul” won an Oscar for best animated feature. A new article in America tells how director Pete Docter was inspired by Father Martin’s book The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.
From the AUSCP Archives
WATCH – Sister Carol Zinn, a keynoter at our 2016 Assembly in Chicago, brought a local approach to the global realities in “Laudato Si’: Caring for our Common Home.”
And as a reminder, you can watch keynote presentations from all of our past assemblies on our Past Assembly Videos page.
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.
Until next week, please follow us on social media with the buttons below to make sure you don’t miss the latest news from the AUSCP!