Wisdom Wednesday | January 12th

AUSCP NewsJanuary 12Roundup

The title of a 2021 movie and the theme for Wisdom Wednesday is just one word: Respect.

Just as Aretha Franklin began singing in church, so do the offerings this week begin in a religious framework and continue into society at large. Can you show respect for another’s belief without watering down your own? Do both sides of a dispute deserve respect even if one side is generally viewed as evil? Our collection of articles begins with separate challenges for Muslims and Hindus, then moves into Christians’ views of Jewish tradition, Christians’ respect – or the lack of it – for the LGBTQ community, and eventually to suggesting that “Magdalene” was really a term of respect and not a reference to that Mary’s place of origin.

But first, an important topic from Archbishop Wester.

Archbishop Wester releases text of pastoral letter calling for nuclear disarmament

Archbishop John C. Wester early yesterday morning [January 11, 2022] released his pastoral letter, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament.” He later held a live-streamed press conference to discuss the letter’s contents.

During the press conference, Archbishop Wester said for him personally the time is now for his letter because when he came to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, he saw right away the disparity here and “the challenge we have as New Mexicans.”

Here is where the nuclear arms race in many ways began – the manufacture of nuclear armaments – and having been in Japan and seeing the devastation that was caused by them. I think there’s that sense and again it’s such an important topic that we really can’t dally,” he said.

Watch the Press Conference

Now, for other news from this week

  • One out of five Muslims is in an interfaith relationship, surveys suggest. But few imams are willing to conform the traditional Muslim wedding ceremony to their needs, couples say.
  • How American couples’ ‘inter-Hindu’ marriages are changing the faith“: The couples marrying and raising the next generation now are redefining what it means to be Hindu in America.
  • Jesus was a Jew, and precisely because he was a Jew, he spoke of peace, of compassion, of care for the poor, of the centrality of Torah and of the value of all people, according to a Jewish commentator about “Christmas sermon blunders.” To bring the world a bit more grace and truth, it would be good if Jesus’ followers would recognize and affirm the Jewish tradition that Jesus embraced rather than seek to make Jesus look good by making Judaism look bad.
  • On New Year’s Day, 43 congregations of the Reformed Church in America split from the national denomination, one of the oldest Protestant bodies in the United States, in part over theological differences regarding same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy.
  • Most – if not all – readers of these words likely find it hard to understand or respect anti-vaxers. Religion News Service reports that Pope Francis hopes ‘reality therapy’ of COVID-19 overcomes ideological opposition to vaccines.
  • A commentator for the Black Catholic Messenger reflects on “Sidney Poitier and the right to be respected.” Zuri Davis examines the actor’s anti-racist work and legacy.
  • Respect for all life? Children in fragile families, that is, babies who made it to birth, are often neglected by the pro-life movement. That’s the conclusion of a writer in U.S. Catholic.
  • Has “impartiality” gone too far? Consider this: Last week in Indiana, as a state Senate committee held a hearing about a proposed bill to ban “divisive concepts” in classrooms, Republican senator Scott Baldwin explained that teachers must be “impartial” during lessons about Nazis and related topics. He later backpedaled a bit, according to Vanity Fair.
  • If you are old enough to remember Rodney Dangerfield, you remember that he “don’t get no respect.” Neither does the Roman Curia, it seems, says historian Massimo Faggioli. A look at the last two centuries explains why reforming the Vatican is so complicated.
  • And finally, we conclude with the work of two scholars who ask, Was Mary Magdalene really from Magdala? Just as the Apostle Peter is given the epithet “rock,” (“You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church”), Mary could well have acquired a title “Magdalene” meaning “tower of faith,” or “Mary the magnified.”

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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