Welcome to another search for Wisdom on this windy March Wednesday, and say some prayers that wisdom may be found enough to end violence in the world. We have a report that domestic terrorists may be recruiting the Catholic far right, fearing political animosity could lead to violence.
Transgender issues, abortion and Medicare are center stage in U.S. politics; Pope Francis is described as “a leader who listens” while another voice says he has opened windows that are difficult to close. There is a disturbing report about clerical child abuse in Krakow when St. John Paul II was bishop.
We begin, though, with some information and reflection on violence happening in the Middle East as Jews celebrate Purim and Ramadan approaches later this month.
Rabbi Salkin: “This year, Purim is not funny.”
At least six Palestinians were killed, 16 wounded Tuesday in an Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. A closure is being implemented through today on the West Bank over Purim as tensions continue to rise. Adding to the tension, Israel plans to continue to demolish Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem during Ramadan. Reflecting on his faith and the current reality, Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin says the end of the book of Esther is not pretty and this year, “Purim is not funny.”
Here at home, the Guardian reports that “Republicans are pursuing a barrage of new restrictions related to transgender medical care, sports participation and bathroom use” as anti-trans rhetoric took center stage at CPAC. President Joe Biden writes a column for the New York Times, on his plan to extend Medicare, and Reuters reports the White House is working for abortion rights in several states.
Is the FBI coming after traditional Catholics?
The FBI is worried violent extremists will exploit and recruit radical-traditionalist Catholics. Thomas Reese writes for Religion News Service.
A guest opinion in National Catholic Reporter concludes, “Call it dialogue, encounter, accompaniment or whatever buzzword you like; Francis has modeled leadership that listens.” At La Croix International, a Vatican official says “Francis is advancing the Council;” and a writer asks, is he “really trying to shake up the Church’s moral edifice?” From yet another voice, has Francis opened windows that are difficult to close?
We also remember the Sede Vacante. Robert Mickens looks back ten years ago when, for nearly two weeks, the Church of Rome was without a pontiff.
Was there a cover up in Krakow?
A broadcast news report says the late Pope St. John Paul II knew about child abuse in Poland’s Catholic church years before becoming pontiff and helped cover it up.
Struggle to welcome the strangers
Miami’s faith leaders and their congregations remain steadfast in their mission to help settle new migrants. But they’re sounding the alarm that the need is growing unmanageable – and could get worse without federal reforms providing permanent legal status and work permits.
Bishop O’Connell’s funeral
Slain Los Angeles Bishop David O’Connell “was friends up and down the social scale, at ease in the corridors of power and with the powerless,” said Monsignor Jarlath Cunnane during his homily.
Frank Griswold, who led the Episcopal Church through tumultuous times, died at 85. He was presiding bishop through the ordination of the mainline denomination’s first openly gay bishop. The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty is acquiring the Center for Faith, Justice, and Reconciliation in a move its leaders say will help them broaden support for a more universal range of religious freedoms in the country.
How far must employers go to accommodate workers’ time off for worship? The Supreme Court will weigh in on the current confusion. In a case involving city officials who encouraged residents to attend a prayer service and two atheists who claimed a First Amendment violation, the Supreme Court declined to hear arguments.
Injured in active shooting drill
An employee of Catholic Charities of Omaha alleges in a lawsuit that she suffered emotional and physical injuries after an active shooting drill was staged at the organization’s headquarters last year.
Funding students in private schools
The Nebraska Legislature opened debate Monday on a proposal for tax-credit funded scholarships to help children attend private or religious schools. The Republican-controlled South Carolina Legislature moved one step closer to changing the state constitution to fund religious and private schools directly last week.
A new St. Peter Claver Catholic Church
A new worship space for an historic parish will be dedicated April 16 in Lexington, Kentucky. The announcement was made on March 3, the feast of St. Katherine Drexel who helped fund the original parish over a century ago.
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