Wisdom Wednesday | May 18th

AUSCP NewsMay 18Roundup

Seeking wisdom in Buffalo

It is the same question, again and again, this time in Buffalo, N.Y. How do we respond to evil? In conversation among members of the AUSCP, the answer emerging is that evil must be named and acknowledged, and that the response to evil must be more than “thoughts and prayers.”

The mass shooting in Buffalo was an evil act from an avowed racist who targeted a Black community and believed in the white supremacist ideology that whites are being “replaced” by people of color.

This killer’s action is among the clearest violations of the command to love our neighbors as ourselves. In response, we on behalf of the AUSCP condemn racism, sexism, gender discrimination, clericalism, and denial of help to immigrants and refugees.

The AUSCP urges our USCCB to approve the use of the Eucharist of Gospel Non-violence ( Eucharist of Gospel Non-Violence) and for priests and others to make use of the prayers as they deem appropriate.

We believe the liturgy is more than prayer, it is a public work, a holy work, an action of Christ the High Priest and of his Mystical Body, the Church.

The Eucharist of Gospel Non-Violence includes this Trinitarian prayer:

God of Life, you continue to create your universe with wondrous beauty and rich diversity.

Send your Spirit of unity more deeply into our lives, so that we will not turn our diversity into division, or our fear into hatred.

May your Risen Son, the Servant of Nonviolent Love, breathe his peace into our minds and heart.

Two recent articles examine how Black people and Jews are bound together in “great replacement” theory. Dozens of pages of the Buffalo shooter’s manifesto are devoted first to Blacks and then to Jews, replete with photos, drawings, graphs and caricatures.

Jeffrey Salkin, writing in Martini Judaism, insists that “from Charleston to Pittsburgh to Buffalo, their blood cries out.”

Commonweal Magazine recently reviewed Maureen O’Connell’s new book, Undoing the Knots: Five Generations of American Catholic Anti-Blackness. She cites James Baldwin’s “advice to white people” to “go back where you started, as far back as you can, examine all of it, travel your road again and tell the truth about it.”

Over the course of the book, O’Connell retraces her family’s history in the United States, specifically in Catholic Philadelphia, to uncover how her family’s identity as Irish immigrant Catholics became entangled with whiteness and anti-Blackness over the course of centuries, such that her own Catholic identity remains knotted up with racism today.

The Christian Century examines guns in America, concluding that what began as respect for the Second Amendment has morphed into a colossal idolatry of lethal weapons. Guns are Americans’ golden calf.

The Christian Century also acknowledges that it can be difficult to know where to begin a conversation about racism and to identify specific action steps to address it. Here is a downloadable guide for such a conversation. (You will have to sign up for a newsletter.)

Also for your consideration . . .

Meet Emilce Cuda, Pope Francis’ Catholic social teaching expert in the Vatican. As a laywoman and theologian from Latin America, her quick ascendancy in a male-dominated, clerical institution underscores the structural changes Pope Francis is seeking to make in the Vatican.

McDonald’s in Russia was supposed to change the world. Here is a report from CNN correspondent Richard Blystone in 1990, “when a Western hamburger emporium in Moscow has all the intrinsic appeal of an ice cream stand in hell.” Watch Blystone’s report.

America’s Abortion Quandary: Those who say it should be legal are open to restrictions, those who oppose legal abortion say it should be legal in some circumstances. Here’s the latest from Pew Research.

When what used to be an illegal drug is now legal, U.S. Catholic opines that we need practical justice for victims of the war on drugs.

La Croix International has published information about the AUSCP honorees for this year’s St. John XXIII Awards.

From a book review: “Creator sets Free” (Jesus) said to one of his followers, “I have given you the name Stands on the Rock (Peter), and upon this great rock I will make my sacred family stand strong. And the powers of the Dark Underworld of Death (Hades) will not stand against them.” The verse from Matthew 16:18 is from the First Nations Version of the New Testament. This English language contextualization of the New Testament is the first of its kind, and it is meant for “English-speaking First Nations People.

Finally, humor can evangelize, so why don’t priests use it well? U.S. Catholic says Faith and ministry don’t need to be solemn affairs.

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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