Wisdom Wednesday | June 29th

AUSCP NewsRoundup

Abortion, guns, prayer at the football field, PRIDE month, copper mining on sacred Apache ground. What a week! Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday, the first week after our assembly in Baltimore. Wisdom Wednesday readers know a lot about the church; this week we offer an interactive question, courtesy of Pew Research, to find out what you know about the world.

AUSCP Assembly

Even as they praised previous assemblies, several participants said the 2022 Assembly was the best ever. Check out the same page that provided details before the assembly for coverage following it. We will have videos of our keynoters, to be posted soon. Our first text is available, the presentation given by Dan Horan, OFM.

Michael Centore, editor of Today’s American Catholic, covered the 2022 Assembly and filed daily reports. We appreciate his coverage and encourage subscriptions. See his reporting at the TAC website.

Brian Fraga at National Catholic Reporter examined our efforts to support priests accused or questioned. His article includes some criticism, but a careful reading provides an insight into the complexity of the issue. And check out an earlier report about abuse survivors.

What’s missing? AUSCP mutual support efforts are not limited to allegations of sex abuse — which is most horrendous and totally indefensible. The mutual support group calls for respecting the rights of the accused, whatever the reason, whether what is alleged is abuse, or financial malfeasance of some kind, or any other issue. Take another look at what the group said.


AUSCP Statement on Supreme Court Ruling

If you haven’t seen the AUSCP response to the Supreme Court ruling regarding abortion, here is a link to our statement.

Thanks to Michael Sean Winters, we see that the Vatican News Service – regarding the U.S. Supreme Court — highlighted statements from Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston. Not a word about the statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

The Associated Press found religious leaders on how religious leaders rearranging worship plans last Sunday and rewriting sermons to provide their religious context to the Supreme Court ruling.

Across the country, hundreds of thousands of people gathered to protest at protest the ruling, the Guardian reports. The protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful but some have seen incidents of police violence – including attacks on protesters – and an incident of a car driving dangerously through marchers.

As Roe falls, religious abortion-rights advocates prepare for next steps.
“We vow to keep fighting,” said Jody Rabhan, chief policy officer for the National Council of Jewish Women. “This is not the end. There are things that we can do.”

Wisdom Wednesday offers links to what people are saying about significant issues, neither supporting or avoiding strong opinion. Here is one such example, from an opinion published in Salon, that “Christian fascism is here.”

In their insistence on treating abortion as the “pre-eminent” political priority, many bishops seem to have lost sight of the need to create a culture and society that values and protects all human life. So says Commonweal.

The Week explores a post-Roe question:

Can outlawing abortion violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free exercise of religion?

We need to talk about ‘life of the mother’ exceptions in abortion law, says America magazine.

Overturning Roe is a bomb, says U.S.Catholic. Are we ready for the fallout?

A nativity reflection by Jean-Paul Sartre can help us consider the far-reaching implications of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Gun laws

Many faith leaders fear more guns will be on the street following a Supreme Court decision about a New York law. The U.S. Supreme Court on June 23 sided with a more expansive approach to individual Second Amendment rights in public places while rejecting the narrower interpretation favored by many faith leaders, including Episcopal Church leaders.

A search for a Catholic view, that is, from the U.S. bishops, finds a background report issued in 2020.

“The Church has been a consistent voice for the promotion of peace at home and around the world, and a strong advocate for the reasonable regulation of firearms.”

A few weeks before the Supreme Court gun ruling, Jesuit Tom Reese offered his thoughts in a Religion News Service article. “Pope Francis and the U.S. Catholic bishops have called for gun control measures that would save lives,” Reese said. “This undoubtedly surprises some people who think that abortion is the only public policy concern of the church’s hierarchy.”

Four senators were able to get a bipartisan gun bill through Congress. How that happened is reported by CNN.

Climate Crisis

The Catholic Theological Society of America at its annual conference resolved to divest its financial funds from fossil fuels, a move potentially carrying great moral weight and one backers hope is rich in potential to inspire similar similar actions at its members’ institutions in light of the current urgent “global environmental disaster.” More from NCRonline.

Care for the Earth loses to Care for Profits. A federal court gives an OK to a copper mining company to dig in an Apache sacred site in Arizona. Native People will appeal, according to Religion News Service.

Efforts are underway to encourage bishops in the United States to have a diocesan “Green Mass” to call attention to the climate and efforts to follow Laudato Si’. The Season of Creation in September is an appropriate time for some. Others have already been celebrated. In Atlanta on May 17, 2022, Bishop Joel Konzen, S.M. celebrated a Green Mass.

The Season of Creation begins on September 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends on October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.

CathCAP is a project of Catholic Climate Covenant, co-sponsored by the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. Catholic Climate Action Projects, or CathCAP, is a way for individuals and groups to offset some of their carbon footprint.

Pride Month

Religions News Service describes a shift in practice — but not doctrine — by Catholic leaders. “The Catholic Church, guided by Pope Francis, has quietly shown welcome to the LGBTQ community, while avoiding changes to doctrine.”

Sabrina Hodak grew up in a Modern Jewish Orthodox family but only truly embraced Judaism at age 16, around the same time she understood she was bisexual. Her story is one of several featured during Pride Month.

New documentary follows the Rev. James Martin ‘Building a Bridge’ to LGBTQ Catholics

‘I just hope that it helps LGBTQ Catholics see that there’s a place for them in their own church — it’s their church, too — and also for Catholic leaders to hear these voices,’ Martin said.

Why LGBTQ pride is a Jewish issue

The intersectionality of Jews and gays has a particular power and poignancy.

SCOTUS allows coach’s public prayer

Supreme Court backs coach in praying on field after games

The case forced the justices to wrestle with how to balance the religious and free speech rights of teachers and coaches with the rights of students not to feel pressured into participating in religious practices.

Jewish appeals to Pius XII

After opening its trove of Pius XII’s papers to scholars in 2020, the Vatican is making available to the public almost 40,000 files containing appeals by Jews fearing Nazi persecution for help from the wartime pope. The decision, announced Thursday (June 23), follows reports by researchers and academics suggesting that the controversial pope prioritized Catholic lives over Jews’.

Separation of church and church

Presbyterian Church in America votes to leave National Association of Evangelicals

It’s the third time in the past decade the theologically conservative Presbyterian denomination has considered a measure to leave the association, an umbrella organization of 40 evangelical Christian denominations.

And now, something completely different . . .

Vatican II encouraged engagement in the Church and the World. How much do you know about world affairs? And how do you compare with the average American? Here’s your chance to find out, with a short, 12-question quiz from Pew Research to measure your own international knowledge. When you finish, you will be able to compare your scores with the average American.

If you are pondering women’s rights in the Church, how about looking at women’s rights in the world. Like, what is the gender wage gap in your metropolitan area? Pew Research offers a pay gap calculator. See how women’s wages compare with men’s in your metro area.

Even more than completely different.

Here is an article from the India Times, back in 2017, about 13 Religions From Around The World That Are Just Too Weird To Be Mainstream

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.

If you’d like to support our continued work to bring you wisdom each week, please consider making a donation. Your support provides the breath that makes our voice heard in the U.S. and beyond.

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