Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday. We have some tough things to ponder this week, including war crimes in Ukraine and some expressed opinions on White Catholic racism. On the brighter side, we can celebrate a multiple grammy winner with Catholic upbringing and the papal nuncio finds a kind of French connection at the installation of the first Black Archbishop in the long history of Louisville. The Holy Month of Ramadan is underway, and we offer helps to observe April as Earth Month.
News from the Vatican
Pope Francis has named Cardinal Peter Turkson as the new chancellor of both the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Cardinal Turkson – once considered papabile and a key drafter of Laudatao Si’, will be a keynoter at our coming Assembly in June, we proudly note.
Speaking of appointments, Bob Mickens at La Croix International takes a look at “All the pope’s men… and hopefully some more women.”
The War in Ukraine: Where will it lead?
The discovery of bodies bearing signs of executions presents strong evidence of war crimes in Ukraine. The Associated Press provides horrific details and Pope Francis condemns the “infantile aggression.”
Pope Francis prayed Sunday for an end to the “sacrilegious” war in Ukraine and for the world to show compassion to refugees, while the head of the Russian Orthodox Church held a service for Russian soldiers.
If there is a bright side to the war news, it is this: Faith communities are at the front of efforts to help Ukrainian refugees.
Ramadan this month
We offer some thoughts about Ramadan. The war, of course, is having an impact on the Muslim observance. NPR takes a deeper look at Ramadan, observed by almost a quarter of the world’s population.
The Guardian offers the view that, “From curbing consumerism to caring for others, Ramadan has lessons for us all.”
What are your plans for Earth Day?
We offer some resources during April, Earth Month (and for every day!), courtesy of Marilyn Antonik.
- Subscribe to Homily Helps, to help integrate the insights of Laudato Si’ and Christian care for creation into Sunday Mass.
- Visit Catholic Climate Covenant for more suggestions.
- Check out what other are doing for Earth Day.
- Get started here with a Monthly Newsletter on Catholic efforts to care for creation and care for the poor, and how you can be a part of it.
Some good news: The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a $105 million plan to produce climate-friendly food. It’s the biggest nutrition effort in the foundation’s history.
A caravan of lay and religious leaders from Latin America traveled to Rome to garner the Vatican’s support in ending the destructive mining practices that ravage communities across the region.
Save the dates!
AUSCP member Bob Bonnot, a former executive director, plans two webinars on the theme, LET’S TAKE EARTH DAY SERIOUSLY: The Climate Crisis is a Moral Issue. April 13 and April 20. Details will soon be announced.
Some churches are trying to make amends for slavery and segregation and we have a report on efforts to preserve the sacred land of Japanese immigrants in California. There are troubling reports about the controversial comments of an Indiana senator and some questions about what is being taught by the business school at Catholic University of America. Rounding out this section of Wisdom Wednesday, the Black Catholic Messenger reports that new Archbishop Shelton Fabre brings Black Catholic history full circle in Louisville.
In other matters,
Mormon leaders are urging members of the faith to put their energy toward solution-oriented work rather than heated debates about the past. Activists in Texas hope to prevent the execution of a Latina for the death of her daughter. Two-thirds of Americans think people who claim religious objection to vaccination are using religion as an excuse.
The history of opposition to Vatican II and Pope Francis
This week we offer a link to what historian Massimo Faggioli has to say about opposition to Pope Francis and how it is tied to opposition to Vatican II. It is a theological crisis that did not begin with this pontificate. There is hopeful news here, though, as Faggioli offers some steps to take into the present and future.
A bright note. Actually, many, many musical notes!
Musician Jon Batiste’s religious upbringing is no mystery, with Christian themes sprinkled throughout his music over his 24-year career. He was raised Catholic in one of New Orleans’ most historic jazz families — some of whom were involved with WE ARE, the Album of the Year.