Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday with reports ranging from the particular to the universal. We have reaction to parish consolidation in an archdiocese and a 30-year examination of the clergy sex scandal in a diocese. Beyond the earth, among the stars, can love survive in the cosmic void? Or bluntly, what about sex in space?
We also find a monument being built to honor the Oklahoma farm boy who became the first native born American to be declared a martyr. Some Minnesota Budhists say, you just gotta dance. And we can’t neglect the Super Bowl ads for Jesus.
First. Some headlines.
Nikki Haley is running for president. The U.S. defends shooting down unidentified objects. A Nicaraguan bishop who refused exile is sentenced to 26 years in prison. And the FBI’s use of an informant to infiltrate Black Lives Matter gets some deep attention.
The promised particulars.
A priest scandal rocked the Belleville (Illinois) Diocese 30 years ago. The local newspaper examines how things have changed. And across the Mississippi River in the St. Louis Archdiocese, parishioners are expressing their fear of losing their parish communities.
More particular Church news
Portland’s archbishop tells Catholic schools to use names and pronouns assigned at birth, and Conservative Anglican churches in developing countries are considering radical action over the Church of England’s decision to bless same-sex couples in civil marriages.
National and global concerns
A global target aims to eradicate the sexual mutilation of girls by 2030. although campaigners acknowledge the difficulties in achieving that. Ninety-three percent of executives in countries around the world said that diversity, equity, and inclusion are more important to their company now than at the beginning of 2020. And if abortion is a crime, what will be the penalties?
Love, chemistry and the cosmic void
A writer at Inverse asks about intimacy and sex on long-distance space travel (along with the optimal speed of a caress).
An Oklahoma farm boy, Stanley Rother, became a priest who worked in the missionary fields and farmland in Guatemala. Murdered by masked assassins, he became the person born in the United States to be declared a martyr. The Associated Press reports on the shrine that is expected to draw pilgrims to his home state.
The Buddhist community anchored by an ornate temple complex in the Minnesota farmland is trying a new way to ensure its faith and ancestral culture stay vibrant for future generations — an open call for the sacred dance troupe.
A ‘Must Read’
What “the spirit of Vatican II” means for Catholics today may come into focus over the next few weeks. NCR will mark 10 years with Pope Francis and his leadership through reports, essays, commentary, events — even a certain comic strip.
A ‘Must Watch’
Sacred Heart University is sponsoring the Bergoglio Lecture Series.
Named after Pope Francis, the Bergoglio lectures showcase leaders in the Catholic intellectual tradition. Upcoming events include Widening Our Tent: The Synodal Imperative for Radical Inclusion, February 22, 2023, 7 p.m. ET, with Dr. Michelle C. Loris and Cardinal Robert W. McElroy, Bishop of San Diego.
What the pope said
Pope Francis has reiterated his call for the de-criminalization of homosexuality, stating that to condemn gay people as some clergy do is a sin. Speaking on the flight from Juba to Rome after his ecumenical pilgrimage to South Sudan, the Pope said that gay people “are children of God, and God loves them, he accompanies them”. “To criminalize people with homosexual tendencies is an injustice,” said Francis. “I am not talking about groups, but people.
‘He gets us’
How were the Super Bowl commercials for Jesus Christ received? ‘He Gets Us’ ran ads during the big game.
America Magazine (subscription may be required) examines what was right (and wrong) about the ads.
The Super Bowl ads are effective precisely because they’re less interested in Jesus and more interested in getting us to think about our choices.
The 30-second and 60-second ads run by ‘He Gets Us’ placed eighth and 15th, respectively, in USA TODAY’s Ad Meter, which ranks commercials by consumer rating.
For one more perspective, CNN offers “The truth behind the ‘He Gets Us’ ads for Jesus airing during the Super Bowl”.
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