Welcome! If anything binds these Wisdom Wednesday articles together, it is a consistent and persistent effort to go beyond the obvious.
Richard Gaillardetz (twice a keynoter for AUSCP Assemblies) believes the pope’s new appointment to the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith marks the most consequential curial appointment of this 10-year-old pontificate. His article is in the National Catholic Reporter.
NCR writers Brian Fraga and Christopher White examine plans for World Youth Day and conclude that Pope Francis will find the Church losing influence in Portugal.
Steven Waldman, writing for Religion News Service looks into the Supreme Court cases that have given privilege to religion above secular goals, but concludes, “if history is any guide, it may be religion, and perhaps evangelical Christianity in particular, that ends up suffering.”
Also in Religion News Service, writer Jack Jenkins finds that GOP political jousting at the southern border is targeting Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Service and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
In a 1950 letter to students, Albert Einstein opined that a scientist cannot believe in the Torah’s creation story of Genesis, arguing science “replaces and supersedes” such religious concepts.
We conclude with questions, ‘Why are there seven sacraments?’ and ‘Who framed Mary Magdalen?’ – and we end with a scientific account that evokes a Gospel story, “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” The Associated Press headline proclaims “Gene therapy eyedrops restored a boy’s sight. Similar treatments could help millions.”
‘Let’s Talk Race’
A White Texas couple is leading ‘Let’s Talk Race’ classes to educate churchgoers.
Shelley and David Park recommend books, movies, videos, podcasts and people to follow on social media to “expand your echo chamber.”
Tumult in Isralel: Martini Judaism columnist Jeffrey Salkin says Netanyahu’s heart problem is worse than you think. “It’s not medical. It’s biblical. And that is far worse.”
Teaching climate change is tough
A 2021 UNESCO study found that while 95% of teachers consider climate change education important to teach, only 40% feel confident to teach it. The internet content provider, News Decoder, has created a library of educational resources to decode climate science and face the crisis with journalism, activism and art.
Monument honoring Emmett Till
The Associated Press, in a point-up story before the signing, reported “When President Joe Biden signs a proclamation on Tuesday [July 25] establishing a national monument honoring Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, it will mark the fulfillment of a promise Till’s relatives made after his death 68 years ago.
Left and right support political violence
The June federal indictment of Donald Trump is “radicalizing” support for the use of force on behalf of the former president and current presidential candidate, according to the author of a recent survey about threats to democracy. Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, support for violence to restore the federal right to an abortion has also increased over the last few months. From the Guardian.
‘People Get Ready’
Michael Sean Winters reviews a book about a Boston-area parish that offers lessons for wider church. “St. Mary of the Angels is a parish on and of the margins,” says the author, Susan Bigelow Reynolds.
Religious attendance and voting patterns
How often Americans went to religious services was a factor in how they voted in the 2022 midterm elections, according to Pew Research.
Catholic marriage prep ‘Out of touch’
Programs for Catholic marriage preparation often tend to be out of touch with reality and lacking in real world advice. U.S.Catholic has the report.
Space travel good but ‘not for me’
A Pew Study finds that 55% of Americans expect to see routine space tourism in the next 50 years, though they are generally not enthusiastic about traveling to space themselves. Most support U.S. space exploration.
The Prior of Taize is stepping down after 18 years, handing leadership to an Anglican brother. A Catholic priest, killed by the Klan 111 years ago after a mixed-race marriage, will be memorialized with Mass in August.
The Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary hosted an ‘historic’ national convention in New Orleans in mid-July, hosting their first-ever joint national convention, featuring both the junior and senior divisions of the 114-year-old Black Catholic fraternal order in the city of their national headquarters.
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