Wisdom Wednesday | December 8th

AUSCP NewsDecember 8Roundup

Wisdom Wednesday today offers a glimpse into the work and witness of several notable believers and thinkers: Dorothy Day and Henri Nouwen along with present-day Bishop William Wack, Phyllis Zagano and Pope Francis.

Wack says “Christendom is dead.”

Phyllis Zagano concludes that everybody loves Pope Francis – except the U.S. bishops.

Pope Francis is worried about the future of democracy.

Bad faith healing: Religion News Service reports that some pastors in Africa are telling people in search of healing to eat grass and gulp petrol. That’s really not much different than what science-avoiders are telling people about cures for Covid-19.

Regarding Heaven and Hell: Americans Answer 20 Questions on Who Goes and What Happens.

More questions to ponder this week: Does the Church recognize that many women are already doing the work of a deacon? And, can public officials pray in public?

Dig in.

  • “Christendom is dead,” he said. Bishop William Wack, CSC, a keynote speaker at our 2021 Assembly in Milwaukee, discusses the anger and division that plagues the Church in the United States, during an interview published by La Croix International. Bishop Wack of Pensacola-Tallahassee has just released a pastoral letter aimed at re-energizing Catholics in his Florida diocese
  • As Dorothy Day’s sainthood cause advances, not every Catholic Worker is celebrating the process. The story is from National Catholic Reporter.
  • La Croix International remembers Henri Nouwen as “the lonely mystic” — A Dutch Catholic priest and author who died 25 years ago but continues to offer inspiration for those who are wounded or struggling with their faith.
  • Pope Francis wants to hear from the world about the future of the Catholic Church. Phyllis Zagano says many U.S. bishops do not seem to be listening.
  • When some African church pastors ordered their followers to eat grass or gulp petrol or even drink poison-laced water, their congregations have obeyed the instructions, thinking the practices would bring them closer to God. Religion News Service has a report on the African faith leaders who are combating misleading theologies that promise cures for COVID-19.
  • San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone reveals he is not vaccinated against COVID-19, in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • With more people vaccinated, Catholics are planning celebrations for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who has been a source of hope for many Latinos during the pandemic.
  • Catholics around the United States are bringing ‘Laudato Si’’ to life, according to an article in U.S. Catholic Magazine. They conclude, “To heed the call to care for our common home, we must work together.”
  • Pennsylvania has awarded $6.6M to Tree of Life synagogue, site of a massacre. The state funding will help “transform this site that has been marked by horror … into one full of hope, remembrance and education,” according to Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers.
  • Pope Francis has pushed back against the European Commission’s internal guidelines, which have drawn fire for trying to “cancel Christmas,” likening these efforts to dictatorships as he warned against “ideological colonization.”
  • In Athens, Pope Francis sounded an alarm over the ‘retreat from democracy’ and rebuked world leaders who are engaged “in an obsessive quest for popularity.” This is one of a series of articles covering the Pope in Cyprus and Greece.
  • Pope Francis: ‘I accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Paris not on the altar of truth but on the altar of hypocrisy.’ He removed the archbishop because of gossip.
  • As the end of Roe v. Wade seems possible, both sides in the abortion battle are planning for a new state-by-state fight, according to an Associated Press report.
  • Can officials pray in public? It’s complicated. A lawsuit over a 2014 prayer vigil in Ocala, Florida, helps illustrate the complicated nature of establishment clause cases
  • Heaven and Hell: Americans Answer 20 Questions on Who Goes and What Happens. Pew’s afterlife survey also asks 6,500 people about universalism, reincarnation, fate, answered prayer, and interacting with the dead.
  • Report: Many women serve as ‘de facto deacons.’ Does the church recognize their gifts?
  • Oops. A Massachusetts town apologizes after using a Christian menorah in holiday display. The report comes from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
  • From 208 parishes to 57 “families of parishes” – it’s happening in Cincinnatti. Archbishop Dennis Schnurr on Sunday announced the program that will share priests and facilities starting next year.
  • During the remaining days of Advent, U.S. Catholic suggests meditating on six names given to Jesus Christ can deepen our prayer throughout the Christmas season. The six names? They are: Savior. Redeemer. Messiah. Prince of Peace. King of Kings. Lord of Lords.

And finally, for regular followers of Wisdom Wednesday, you are likely to appreciate the kind of writing and reporting available in Today’s American Catholic. The TAC website describes it:

[we are] a journal of inquiry, reflection, and opinion on matters of faith, religion, and ethics in 21st-century America. Our goal is to promote religious dialogue and to deepen the faith of our readers. TAC is produced by Catholics who value the role of religion, respect different ideologies, and share the conviction that belief informs civic responsibility. We seek to promote a “friendship of equals,” where academic, clerical, monastic, and lay voices from a variety of backgrounds can come together in a spirit of mutual exchange.”

Check it out HERE!

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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