Wisdom Wednesday | June 9th

AUSCP NewsJune 9Roundup

Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday. Our theme could be from James 1:22: Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. We look at beliefs and actions Pope Francis, Bishop John Stowe, some theologians, thinkers and others – largely focused on the Eucharist and morality. The pope says Eucharist is bread of sinners, not reward of saints. Bishop Stowe says his own Catholicism “cannot be reduced to a morality clause.” We have many more items this week including advice of the pope to some priests: If you don’t believe you should smell like the sheep, you should ask to be dismissed from the priesthood.

Church News

The debate between the US bishops and Joe Biden over communion continues. But the scope isn’t what you think.

This is more about Pope Francis than it is about Joe Biden,”

said David Gibson, director of Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture, in an interview with Religion News Service on Thursday (May 27).

Bishop John Stowe has apologized to a fired LGBT Catholic educator, as he expresses his belief that Catholicism is not a single issue.

This week, an ecumenical body is advising faith groups to keep COVID-19 restrictions in place.

At St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis voiced pain over Indigenous children’s deaths in Canada, but he did not apologize.

After more than 40 years, mega-church pastor Rick Warren is signaling his retirement is near.

Southern Baptist pastors are demanding an inquiry into the handling of sex abuse cases.

Finally, a session that used to be reserved for men only at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ conferences has been permanently scrapped.

Church Opinions

Eucharist is the bread of sinners. In this article, Vermont Catholic elaborates on this point.

The church of the perfect and pure is a room where there isn’t a place for anyone; the church with open doors that celebrates around Christ is, on the other hand, a large hall where everyone — the righteous and sinners — can enter,” the pope said.

The U.S. bishops should stop singling out abortion as the ‘pre-eminent’ issue for Catholic voters. That is the belief of two theologians, Todd Salzman and Michael G. Lawler.

Rebecca Bratten Weiss believes we need to be able to distinguish truth from falsehood, and we should not treat false propositions as somehow as valuable as true ones, simply because they are someone’s deeply held beliefs. She says social justice Catholics should reclaim rhetoric of objective truth and goodness.

Priests and Priesthood

Priesthood always involves closeness with the faithful, the pope says. He told a group of priests studying in Rome that if they do not want to be pastors, spending time with the faithful, they should request dismissal from the priesthood and concentrate on academics instead.

Pope Francis has ordered a review of the Vatican congregation that oversees over 410,000 Catholic priests worldwide

A cleared Chicago priest celebrated his first Mass since reinstatement.

‘It’s good to be home,’ the Rev. Michael Pfleger repeatedly told congregants of the Faith Community of St. Sabina

Lastly, an update on the developing situation with Rev. James Altman in Wisconsin. In case you haven’t been following, here’s the gist of it:

The Rev. James Altman calls himself “a lowly priest” serving a blue-collar city in western Wisconsin. But when his bishop demanded his resignation – after a series of divisive remarks about politics and the pandemic – Altman refused to oblige and has since raised more than $640,000 from his conservative supporters.

Updates in Politics

Vice president Kamala Harris tells the undocumented to stay away from U.S. border.

The U.S. Supreme Court rules against immigrants seeking Green Cards.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a long-running case stemming from surveillance of Southern California mosques by the FBI as part of a counterterrorism operation more than a decade ago.

The Communion ban for pro-choice politicians is an old story, but the stakes have grown. The context in the US Catholic church and its dynamic with the Vatican have changed.

The Poor People’s Campaign is planning a “Moral March on Manchin,” hoping to convince him to change some of his convictions.

AUSCP Quick Picks

LEARN – Carbon dioxide in the air is at its highest level since measurements began. Addressing the climate crisis is one of many important initiatives the AUSCP focuses on. You can learn about this effort, and the rest of our initiatives, with our page about WHAT WE STAND FOR.

RETHINK – What don’t nonbelievers get about conspiracy beliefs? According to this article – “We need to stop asking them to justify their conclusions and try to understand why QAnon works for them.”

REFLECT – What is your belief about religious freedom? Did you know that seven states still have bans on atheists holding office? Anti-atheism is ingrained in American politics – and this reality really matters.

WATCH – This week’s recap presentation summarizing our 2019 Assembly from St. Louis.

And as a reminder, you can watch keynote presentations from all of our past assemblies on our Past Assembly Videos page.

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. 

Until next week, please follow us on social media with the buttons below to make sure you don’t miss the latest news from the AUSCP!


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