Wisdom Wednesday | March 1st

AUSCP NewsMarch 1Roundup

Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday, starting with some historical takes.

We celebrate March as Women’s History Month – with an opportunity to reflect on historic research done by Phyllis Zagano at Hofstra University on women’s ministry in the Catholic Church: She says the diaconate is a “permanent vocation for married and celibate men, and, I contend, women.”

Today, on March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps, sending young American volunteers to developing countries to assist with health care, education and other basic human needs.

It’s time to stop erasing Black Muslim Americans from the story of Islam in the US
Black Muslim Americans make up close to 20% of the Muslim American population.

Tenth Anniversary

St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, is sponsoring an international conference March 16-18 to observe the tenth anniversary of Pope Francis. Keynote Speakers will include Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin and Dr. Massimo Faggioli.

From AUSCP Speakers

Can we finally settle the Latin Mass question? Here is what Cardinal Blase Cupich (AUSCP keynoter 2019) has to say in America Magazine.

Bryan Massingale, a keynoter for the AUSCP in 2017, says, God made Black saints [but] the Church whitewashed them.

He opened the door, but he hasn’t stepped through.” Can Francis dismantle what has for centuries been a fundamentally monarchical papacy? Richard Gaillardetz, a keynoter for the AUSCP, examines the Vatican Curia, where “in addition to being members of curial dicasteries, laypeople can actually lead them.

As a reminder, you can always watch past AUSCP presentations in our Assembly Keynote Library.

Church and Christian News

Last Tuesday (Feb. 21), Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, was “deemed not to be in friendly cooperation” with the SBC for having Stacie Woods — wife of newly appointed senior pastor Andy Woods — as a regular preacher.

Pope Francis has condemned LGBTQ criminalization, so Jeannine Gramick asks, “Now what?

German bishops have decided to renounce their status as absolute monarchs in their dioceses,” said Jérôme Vignon, a French observer of the Synodal Path.

Pope Francis has ordered an apostolic visitation of the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon in an attempt to untangle the many dysfunctions reported in this diocese in Southern France.

More news from a divided Methodist Church – Bishop Scott Jones moves from ‘extreme center’ of UMC to new Global Methodist Church. He isn’t the first bishop to leave the United Methodist Church for the fledgling conservative denomination. But his exit has arguably caused the greatest stir.

And speaking of Christians vs Christians, it seems everything Christians do these days — whether it’s a campus revival in Kentucky or a national ad campaign about Jesus — faces an immediate host of unconstructive and ungracious criticism, nitpicking and mockery not only from the world (which should be expected) but also from fellow Christians.

To urge Christians to work together, Root & Branch has introduced a new global network working for transformational change within the culture and structure of the church. This network will be operated by a small team but not owned by any one group. Instead it will be managed by a new organization called Spirit Unbounded.

Politics and World News

Young Americans and others will probably have to wait until June for a Supreme Court decision on forgiveness of their student loans. Testimony was scheduled yesterday (February 28).

Solitary torture — Texas prisoners who joined a hunger strike in protest against the state’s widespread use of prolonged solitary confinement have described the damage to inmates’ mental and physical health inflicted by a system they equate with torture.

Clarence Thomas, The nation’s second Black US Supreme Court Justice may soon have a monument installed in the legislative hall of his home state. His critics are none too pleased, according to Nate Tinner-Williams at the Black Catholic Messenger.

50 years ago, Native peoples came together in solidarity at Wounded Knee, South Dakota: the site where U.S. troops massacred hundreds of Lakota people in 1890. There is a new call for voting rights.

Why is it that many People of Color live in a food desert? News Decoder examines the issue.

China on Tuesday said it has been “open and transparent” in the search for the origins of COVID-19, after questions about how the pandemic began received new attention.


Holding the bulky brick cellphone he’s credited with inventing 50 years ago, Martin Cooper thinks about the future. Little did he know when he made the first call on a New York City street from a thick gray prototype that our world — and our information — would come to be encapsulated on a sleek glass sheath where we search, connect, like and buy.

Experts are split about how much control people will retain over essential decision-making as digital systems and AI spread. They agree that powerful corporate and government authorities will expand the role of AI in people’s daily lives in useful ways. But many worry these systems will diminish individuals’ ability to control their choices.

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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