Wisdom Wednesday | April 3rd

April 3AUSCP NewsRoundup

Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday in Easter week. Pope Francis, in good form despite a hefty schedule, proclaimed that Christ is risen! All begins anew! in his Urbi et Orbi message.

The intermingling of politics and religion moved a notch faster in recent days, as Donald Trump pitched a “God Bless the USA” bible and Joe Biden was criticized for noting a transgender observance on the calendar. Lots of opinions are featured this week, and as you know, they are the views offered by authors and publishers.

Holy Week and Easter became a time of protest over Gaza and renewed calls for a cease fire and return of hostages.

It was “part business, part devotional activity, part religious instruction,” said the author. Find a link to the feature about God, Rock and Roll and Christian music.

Easter Sunday

Pope Francis appeared in good form on Easter morning, despite having celebrated the two-and-a-half-hour nighttime Easter Vigil just hours earlier. The Associated Press notes that the pontiff, who had part of one lung removed as a young man, has been battling respiratory problems all winter.

Following the Easter Sunday Mass, Vatican News reports, Pope Francis delivered his Easter message and blessing “To the City and the World,” praying especially for the Holy Land, Ukraine, Myanmar, Syria, Lebanon, and Africa, as well as for victims of human trafficking, unborn children, and all experiencing hard times.

Palestinian Christians made an Easter call for relief from war’s tightening grasp, hoping to pressure political leaders to find a way to peace.

An Easter homily notes that, “Although the women came to tend to the body of the Lord and to mark his end with one last act of tenderness, what they found instead was a whole new beginning.” The homilist concludes, “Perhaps now is the time to see how the Spirit of God, moving through the ministry of women, might lead the Church to a healthier, holier way of being.

Protest disrupts Easter Vigil

Three pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested after disrupting the Saturday evening Easter Vigil Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Protestors briefly stood in front of the altar with a large flag that read “silence = death.” The story, from National Catholic Register.



Your Conscience, Your Vote

Following is an extended selection of articles related to politics and religion – the beginning of a weekly focus on the November election in the United States.

The Trump camp assailed President Biden for declaring March 31 the inaugural Transgender Day of Visibility, according to Religion News Service. RNS also reported that Democrats and some conservatives criticized Donald Trump for promoting a bible during Holy Week, while the National Catholic Register found sharp criticism from Catholic leaders, but also some Catholic praise.

An opinion piece from Religion News Service offered a comparison to the apostles sleeping while Jesus prayed, to say too many Christians are still falling asleep as Christian nationalism is on the rise.

The Associated Press offers a history lesson, about a time when the race for the White House turned ugly and preachers warned of plots to abolish Christianity in favor of godlessness and depravity.

Pew Research offers “Five facts about religion and Americans’ views of Donald Trump.

Pew Research also reports that “8 in 10 Americans Say Religion Is Losing Influence in Public Life;” and one in four Americans have unfavorable views of both Biden and Trump.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, on Sunday asserted that President Joe Biden “picks and chooses” elements of the Catholic faith to follow, that he is “sincere” in his faith but he refuses to engage with some of the “challenging” aspects of it. The report, from National Catholic Register.

National Catholic Reporter says “Catholics for Catholics” claim that Trump is the “only Catholic option” for the White House while opinion columnist Michael Sean Winters writes that “the vindictive, unstable Trump should never be given power again.”

Also, during Holy Week

More than 140 global Christian leaders called for Gaza cease-fire in a Holy Week letter, saying “We repent of the ways we have not stood alongside our Palestinian siblings . . . .”

Seventeen LGBTQ-affirming ministers face church investigation for signing a public statement of their belief.

In crime-stricken Haiti

Catholic priests and nuns are targeted as kidnap victims. In 2024 alone, at least 14 priests and religious brothers and sisters were abducted.

Trend: Fewer children

US parents are having fewer children, and later in life. The Christian Science Monitor examines what this means for society.

Hungarian parish roiled by Latin Mass community

A Latin Mass community moved in. Then wrecked a historic Vatican II altar.
Dennis Sadowski is a freelance writer in Avon, Ohio, and has worked in the Catholic press for more than 25 years. His feature was published by National Catholic Reporter.

Family tragedy

After his son’s abuse, a deacon left the Catholic Church. Now he’s excommunicated.

Francis: Benedict ‘like a father to me

Pope Francis remembers Benedict XVI in new book. “He was like a father to me,” said the pope about his predecessor. “He always defended me, he never interfered.”

‘God Gave Rock & Roll to You’

Author Leah Payne details the rise and fall of CCM – Contemporary Christian Music. “For years, pastors, parents and music executives tried to harness the power of rock ‘n’ roll to reach the souls of teenagers. It worked — until it didn’t.”

Support Wisdom Wednesday

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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