Wisdom Wednesday | May 1st

April 24AUSCP NewsMay 1Roundup

Some Wisdom Wednesdays are more exciting than others. This is one of them!

The AUSCP is among signers of “an open letter expressing our grief and dismay over the horrors that have occurred in Israel-Palestine over the last six months.”

The Catholic Church in the United States is beginning to take climate-crisis action, in part led by Bishop John Stowe of Lexington (who will lead the AUSCP retreat on the opening day of our 2024 Assembly in Lexington).

In Rome, some 300 Catholic priests from around the world are meeting this week, an immersion into synodal action.

Topics this week include Artificial Intelligence, slavery in the Society of Jesus, “divine kingship,” “When Dead doesn’t mean Dead,” a good review of the movie, Cabrini, and the religious allusions of Taylor Swift.

Seeking Middle East Peace

The call to respond to the horrors of the Israel-Palestine reality comes from the Catholic Advisory Council of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), Pax Christi USA, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and the Franciscan Action Network. They invite all Catholic individuals and organizations in the United States to sign on. Rev. Stephen P. Newton, CSC, executive director of the AUSCP, has signed on behalf of our association. Here is the text.

The Associated Press reports that protesters took over a building at Columbia University in New York early Tuesday, barricading the entrances and unfurling a Palestinian flag out of a window in the latest escalation of demonstrations against the Israel-Hamas war that have spread to college campuses nationwide. Meanwhile, a writer for Religion News Service sees what is happening at Columbia is monumental: “We are witnessing a watershed moment in student activism for Palestinian human rights.”

Parish priests meet in synodal sessions

Cardinal Grech opened the World Meeting of Priests in Rome this week, saying that “being synodal does not simply mean walking together, but rather walking with God, or better to say, God walking with us.” Two reports: one from National Catholic Register on priests’ questions. Another from Vatican News Service on “How to be a local synodal Church on Mission.”

Ecclesiology viewpoints

Cardinal Cupich says the Synod’s egalitarian ‘Conversations in the Spirit’ can ‘Revolutionize’ the Church. Some critics fear it minimizes the distinction between bishops and laypeople. From the National Catholic Register.

Climate Crisis

Finally, (some) US dioceses are taking the pope’s climate message seriously.” That’s the headline for an editorial by National Catholic Reporter. U.S. Catholics are starting to see the type of climate action for which the pope has called, and the type of leadership promoted by the synod process that Francis has identified as the way forward for the church today. Bishop John Stowe announced his diocese has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030. More details from Earthbeat.

Open letter to Pope Francis

Catholic students, theologians and ministers have written an open letter to Pope Francis. It says, in part, “We love this church, we love our Catholic faith, and we ground our ministry in our baptismal call to holiness. We are also trans, nonbinary, and queer and those who love and accompany them.”

Research begins into Jesuit enslavement

The Descendants of Jesuit Enslavement Historical & Genealogical Society seeks to shine a light on enslavement in the world’s largest religious order. A new research organization will work to uncover the full story of Jesuit enslavement in the United States, having announced its launch as an independent nonprofit.

Artificial Intelligence

The Catholic Church wants to have a say on the future of AI. A handful of Catholic priests are meeting with AI programmers and execs in Silicon Valley to address the ethical consequences of artificial intelligence.

United Methodists vote to restructure worldwide church

The top legislative body of the United Methodist Church passed a series of measures Thursday (April 25) to restructure the worldwide denomination to give each region greater equity in tailoring church life to its own customs and traditions. The plan, called ‘regionalization,’ must now go before each region for ratification by the end of 2025.

ELECTION SECTION – Your Conscience Your Vote

NETWORK: Informed, Engaged, and Committed

NETWORK offers 2024 Election Season Workshops for Catholic Voters. This election season, faith-filled advocates are learning the importance of multi-issue voting. You are invited to join NETWORK’s Grassroots Mobilization Team for a four-part series “to learn how to be a multi-issue voter, engage people in challenging conversations, build hope-filled narratives that inspire people to care about important issues, and explore concrete actions you can take to prepare yourself and your community to participate in the upcoming election.”

Election 2024 Training Resources for Faithful Voters

In Other Election News:

‘It’s a different time’

Relations between US sisters, Vatican have changed radically

When Dead Doesn’t Mean Dead

The National Catholic Register offers a commentary examining organ harvesting, and concludes, “a partial brain death standard can never be acceptable to Catholics.”

Healing and mercy in criminal justice

A restorative justice conference sparks synodal dialogue in San Diego, says Nate Tinner-Williams. Over 100 practitioners, formerly incarcerated persons, bishops, and other ministers gathered to promote themes of healing and mercy in criminal justice.

Movie review: Cabrini

“I saw the movie Cabrini [last] week about her work among the Italian immigrants in NYC in the late 1800s who were severely discriminated against, said Father Jim Sauer, an AUSCP founding father from Evansville. The discrimination against Italians “sounds familiar with contemporary USA ethos,” he suggests. “It was very riveting and a marvelous tribute to this determined woman in the male church. I thought it might be good to encourage the membership to see it.” Following is the official trailer, and some ways to see the movie at home.


Tortured Poets

Taylor Swift’s ‘TTPD’ uses religious imagery for a spiritually syncretic era, says a writer for Religion News Service. “The Tortured Poets Department” speaks of good Samaritans and Jehovah’s Witnesses, altar sacrifices and prophecies.


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