Wisdom Wednesday | May 10th

AUSCP NewsMay 10Roundup

Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday.

It is Thursday now as I insert this late-breaking invitation to a webinar with Michael Sean Winters, Dr. Massimo Faggioli and Dr. Catherine Clifford, discussing the new handbook of Vatican II. Register here.

We are looking for insight and understanding, a bit of wisdom in the movie, “The Starling Girl,” at the lesbian-owned Lipstick Lounge, and from the real priest behind “The Pope’s Exorcist.” And we find some puzzlement about “after school Satan clubs.”

We have some long form essays this week, including an examination concluding that the U.S. bishops’ transgender document fails morally, theologically — and is poorly argued. Michael Sean Winters dives into The Oxford Handbook of Vatican II – edited by people we have met over the years at AUSCP Assemblies.

Another probing opinion piece seeks to answer the question: Does the U.S. constitution protect the church from the state? Or was it intended to protect the state from the church?

A Birmingham church and a Catholic religious order are in their “path to completion.”

You are invited to go to the movies, and then stop in at the Lipstick Lounge – among the many items selected for this week

Charles and Camilla

With an eye toward current events, we’ll begin with the question: Will King Charles be the last Christian King? Or how inclusive can something be and still be considered Christian? And how Camilla is Queen, not merely Royal Consort.

The Tulsa Riot

Two Tulsa Race Massacre survivors appeared on MSNBC ahead of the reparations court hearing scheduled for today, May 10. The two survivors, a brother and sister, were small children when their Greenwood neighborhood was burned to the ground in 1921.


A matter of urgency: Latino faith leaders continue to put pressure against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ immigration bill. They conclude, “This legislation, if adopted, would incite fear and create barriers of needed care that our church immigrant and refugee ministries engage.”

Transgender issues

Opinion writer M. Therese Lysaught is a professor at the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago. She also is a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. She concludes that the recent transgender document from the U.S, bishops “fails morally, theologically – and is poorly argued.”

A Texas hospital’s care for transgender minors is being investigated by state Attorney General Ken Paxton, who said Friday he’s seeking evidence of alleged “potentially illegal activity” but did not elaborate. Texas law does not currently ban gender-affirming care for minors, but Paxton has sought to designate it as child abuse.

Church and State

Columnist Mark Silk argues that the framers of the constitution were not so much seeking to protect religion from the state. It was the other way around, the framers wanted to protect the state from religion. Meanwhile in Iowa, GOP candidates battle for the evangelical vote.

The company we keep

Newly published, The Oxford Handbook of Vatican II, was edited by Catherine E. Clifford and Massimo Faggioli. Clifford was a keynoter at the 2013 AUSCP Assembly in Seattle; Faggioli spoke in 2016 in Chicago and will be a keynoter again this year in San Diego. Michael Sean Winters keynoted our 2021 assembly in St. Paul-Minneapolis. If you are not a member of the AUSCP, you should know, these are a few of the many in the company we keep. There is still time to join us in San Diego. Here are two articles by Winters.

More mass murders and violence

Shannon Watts, who founded the advocacy group Moms Demand Action after the Sandy Hook killings more than a decade ago, countered Sunday that “faith without works is dead. Prayers without action are empty.”

Recent attacks on mosques in Minneapolis have increased concerns by Somali American imams, mosque administrators and community activists about the safety of their congregations.

Satan clubs

After School Satan Clubs have been steadily increasing in popularity and are not likely to slow as their supporters rack up media attention and legal wins fighting for free speech.

Mary transcends religious boundaries

Most people know that the Virgin Mary is very popular among Catholic and Orthodox Christians. But what they usually don’t know is that the Mother of God is also venerated by devotees from other faiths such as Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.

A sign of the times: Just nine parishioners

Dwindling attendance by an increasingly elderly congregation at a historic Alabama church has prompted the difficult decision to close its doors for good, with the final worship service held this Sunday after 182 years.

Beginning of the end

Through more than 200 years, the Sisters of Charity of New York nursed Civil War casualties, joined civil rights and anti-war demonstrations, cared for orphans, and taught countless children. Now they are on the “path to completion.”

Catholic Worker Anniversary

The Los Angeles Catholic Worker reflects on 50 years of journalism and resistance

Noted, briefly

A Nashville pastor is on indefinite leave. A Kenyan pastor – who told his parishioners to fast to their death so they could meet Jesus — faces terrorist charges. Iran executes two “Quran burners” and a Pakistani man is lynched for blasphemy. The oldest Hebrew Bible is for sale. And “kosher electricity” may be available in Jerusalem.

Movie review

What does ‘The Starling Girl’ gets right about church abuse and fundamentalism? “When abuse is framed as just black and white, it can be harder for people going through it to reckon with it and realize it,” said writer/director Laurel Parmet.

An invitation to ‘God’s Bar’

Nashville’s lesbian-owned Lipstick Lounge is storied for its radical hospitality.

“I really didn’t have money to open a bar,” said Lipstick Lounge-owner Jonda Valentine. “But I really believed that’s what God wanted me to do.”

The Pope’s Exorcist

The real priest behind “The Pope’s Exorcist” was a fan of Hollywood horror films. How did blockbuster horror films such as “The Exorcist” help the church warm to the controversial ritual?

Youth Concerns

What do young people around the world care about? Dogs abused, refugees who struggle, unequal abortion access, menstrual products too costly and unsafe medical implants. These stories topped the competition held by News Decoder.

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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