Wisdom Wednesday | July 3rd

AUSCP NewsJuly 3RoundupWisdom Wednesdays

Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday, July 3, 2024.

You have no doubt seen the Supreme Court ruling about presidential immunity and the scathing dissent of the 6-3 division. A poll taken before that decision already revealed that a large majority of Americans think a judge’s ideology, not impartiality, governs their ruling. From the Associated Press.

But first, here is a wrap-up of our assembly, written by Michael Centore for the National Catholic Reporter: US priests’ assembly emphasizes relational dimension of the Eucharist.

Dig deeper

Here is your invitation to a virtual experience of our 13th annual assembly, just concluded last week (June 24-27) in Lexington. Available at one spot on our website are videos of the retreat with Bishop Stowe and the keynotes with Father Michael Driscoll, Jesuit Thomas Reese and Dr. Kim Harris. We also include independent news reports on each day’s activities by Michael Centore at Today’s American Catholic.

Teilhard de Chardin documentary

Many assembly attendees saw a new documentary, Teilhard: Visionary Scientist, and met for discussion with the producers, Frank and Mary Frost. The two-hour documentary premiered in May on Maryland Public Television and is now available to the general public. The Frosts hope you will encourage groups to gather and discuss the film.

U.S. Bishops cut social justice staff

The AUSCP has taken a reluctant step, seeking an explanation from the U.S. bishops of how and why staffing was cut by half at the bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development – the department that is focused on social justice. Religion News Service provides the details in a news report, and the AUSCP has issued a news release.

Eucharistic Congress

As many thousands of clergy and lay faithful plan to attend the Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, you deserve an explanation of why the AUSCP will not be present.

Catholic pilgrims are in the middle of a two-month journey on four routes across the United States. They’re planning to converge on Indianapolis in mid-July for a climactic stadium gathering called the National Eucharistic Congress, the first such event in more than 80 years.

The Eucharistic pilgrimage to Indianapolis brings to mind a pilgrimage continuing over more than a thousand years to Santiago in Spain. While it’s traditionally a Catholic pilgrimage, ending at the shrine of the apostle James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, secular pilgrims today embark on the Camino for all kinds of motivations beyond. A report, from Religion News Service.

Two weeks ago (June 16) in Saudi Arabia, masses of pilgrims embarked on a symbolic stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia under the soaring summer heat. The ritual marks the final days of the Hajj, or Islamic pilgrimage, and the start of the Eid al-Adha celebrations for Muslims around the world. A look back with Religion News Service.

Slavery in Catholic St. Louis

An assembly participant, in a private conversation, said he just discovered that two schools he attended in St. Louis – DuBourg High School and Kenrick Seminary – were named in honor of slaveholders. A new report details slavery in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Nate Tinner-Williams reports from Black Catholic Messenger.

National Park Service provides an article, “The Slave Trade in St. Louis.”

St. Louis Bishop DuBourg, about a family he “owned” – in a letter to his co-adjutor: “. . . you should always regard [the family of Harry and Jenny Nesbit] as the property of the bishop; but I see in some time to come though the marriage of the children, that this would provide prolific descendants to provide enough workers for the estate of the Bishop of St. Louis and for the seminary.” The story was published in the archdiocesan newspaper.

Reparations: Descendants of slaves that were forced to build St. Louis University say the Jesuit school owes them more than $70 billion in reparations. The figure was calculated by economists, based on 70 people identified as slaves of the Jesuits earning a low wage of $0.05 an hour between 1823 and 1865, and adjusted for inflation, according to a PBS article posted on the website of Descendants of the St. Louis University Enslaved last week (mid-February 2024.] The report is from the New York Post.

Election section – Your Conscience, Your Vote

In the opinion of Michael Sean Winters at National Catholic Reporter, Biden’s debate disaster leaves democracy in peril.

MAGA evangelicals grab all the headlines. But it’s swing state faith voters — Catholics, mainliners and Black Protestants — who will likely decide the election. The report comes from analysis at Religion News Service.

Let’s Slow the Rush to Dump Joe,” says a writer in Vanity Fair. “Tune out the West Wing fan fiction. Swapping out the president at this stage in the race would be a political—and logistical—nightmare.” Vanity Fair limits free access to its articles.

Viganò in schism

This is not just schismatic; it is bizarre, says Michael Sean Winters about the behavior of the former U.S. Nuncio. “It is one thing to wrestle with this or that teaching of the church, to like or dislike this pope or that. But to so question and undermine the authority of the church itself such that you find yourself charged formally with schism, this is a grave thing.”


Bishop Sean Rowe of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and the Diocese of Western New York has been named the next presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, succeeding Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who concludes a nine-year term later this year.

Mother Mary P. Patterson, who was the widow of a Church of God in Christ presiding bishop and became known for her efforts to preserve the history of the historically Black Pentecostal denomination, died on Monday (June 24).

Meet the Crop of New Leaders in Catholic Higher Education: A report by the National Catholic Register.

According to the official statistics released by the German Bishops’ Conference on Thursday, more than 400,000 people officially left the Church in 2023.

‘Climate catastrophe is here’

The editors of Christian Century conclude, without a doubt, that the Climate Crisis is upon us. Swaths of US land are becoming uninsurable, even uninhabitable. Climate catastrophe is here. Not coming, already here. Not just in the hotter parts of the developing world—though they are certainly bearing the worst of it—but here in the United States. Not just in low-lying coastal areas, but all over. And not just according to scientists and activists, but according to decision makers in the corporate world.

Sports notes

Simone Biles leads Black Catholics headed to the 2024 Paris Olympics. The U.S. Olympic qualifiers for gymnastics and track and field took place this month in Minneapolis and Eugene, Oregon, respectively. The report in Black Catholic Messenger.

The Vatican cricket team takes on England Seniors.

In two matches at the stupendous Wormsley Estate, the Vatican faced off against the England Over 60s. The Vatican batted first in the initial match, and started strongly, but struggled to capitalize on this early success. In the second match, the Vatican gave up a few early wickets, but recovered exceptionally, but England came through near the end. Details from Vatican News.

Support Wisdom Wednesday

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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