Wisdom Wednesday | May 8th

AUSCP NewsMay 8Roundup

Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday, offering reflections this week on the world at war – from Hiroshima to Vietnam to Ukraine and the Holy Land. Our journey includes AUSCP members – one on a pilgrimage to Hiroshima, another in beleaguered Ukraine.

Many priest-members of the AUSCP are diocesan priests, who typically meet with their archbishop or bishop on pastoral and administrative concerns. What is it like to be a diocesan priest with the Bishop of Rome? We offer a sample meeting report.

Methodists come out, a deaconess is ordained, and Christian Nationalists sing a church favorite.

Oleander Initiative

Bob Cushing, AUSCP member and also member of Pax Christi Macon, participated in a study tour and pilgrimage to Hiroshima. Here is a video from the Oleander Initiative, including the origin of that oleander name and the lingering impact of atomic warfare.

In Ukraine, wartime takes a spiritual toll

AUSCP member, Father Peter Daly writes, “Four of us went to [Ukraine,] that war-torn country, at our own expense, to bear witness to the suffering of the Ukrainian people and to listen to their voices regarding the war.

Israel, Gaza, and Protests

Mosaic magazine, with a committed approach to Jewish issues and ideas, offersan analytical (and critical) examination of the chants used by Israel-Hamas protestors. Compared to the wit of the anti-Vietnam slogans of the late 60s, the anti-Israel chants of today are aggressively tedious.”

A report from the Associated Press challenges the commitment of college protesters who seek amnesty to keep arrests and suspensions from trailing them.

Just months before the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, Muslim and Jewish students at Middlebury College in Vermont set up a dialogue. They agreed to exchange any and all views on Israeli-Palestinian issues. After the attack, their bonds were already so tight that they raised money to feed the people of Gaza by selling bread.

Why colleges were founded

Switching gears from free speech on campus to a report on why colleges came into being: Messina College, a new two-year, associate’s degree granting program of Boston College, will be opening this July for its first class of students. It is designed for first-generation, low-income students to be able to earn a degree in a supportive environment.

Pope Francis

Our series of items this week about Pope Francis begins with his response with ‘open heart’ to Vatican document criticism from parents of LGBTQ children

Pope asks lay Catholics to prepare for synod’s ‘prophetic’ stage.

AUSCP member Bob Stewart suggests ways to check on the latest news about Pope Francis. See the collection of articles in America Magazine. Go to the Vatican news page by National Catholic Reporter. For a different perspective, I would add the National Catholic Register and Vatican News straight from the Vatican.

What’s it like to meet with the head of your diocese if you are a priest in Rome? Here’s a report about a recent meeting.

ELECTION SECTION – Your Conscience, Your Vote

  • The Politics of Fear Itself: Fear is not what’s driving Americans to support Trump —It is, instead, how many justify their support. An opinion piece by Peter Wehner in Atlantic Magazine.
  • Presidential immunity essay:  “the Supreme Court has convinced me that divine kingship is alive and well in the heart of our own world.”

Church Around the World

  • A Jesuit focus on Black spirituality: The Jesuit Antiracism Sodality (JARS) will hold a national retreat centering Black spirituality this summer, part of an ongoing effort to foster awareness of African-American issues within the world’s largest religious order. From Black Catholic Messenger.
  • Methodists come out: After vote to repeal LGBTQ bans, many gay Methodists are now fully out. On the first Sunday after the conclusion of the denomination’s General Conference, many queer United Methodists celebrated their release from the tight and narrow spaces that had confined them.
  • ‘First deaconess’ in Eastern Orthodox Church: On Thursday (May 2), the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all of Africa ordained in Zimbabwe the first deaconess of any patriarchate in the global Eastern Orthodox Church, marking the culmination of years of efforts to revive the female diaconate in the Church.

Other News and Views

  • Church music and Christian nationalism Observation:  the same folks who love “How Great Is Our God” would be aghast if protesters began shouting out “Allahu Akbar” — an Arabic phrase that means the same thing for Muslims.
  • On apparitions A new Vatican document on Marian apparitions is coming next week. The Catholic Church calls for “great prudence.”
  • In praise of the EPA The Catholic Climate Covenant has issued a statement in praise of new EPA standards.

Just the facts, just the facts

For everyone who enjoys surveys and statistics, here is a link to a weekly report from Pew Research, including sharply differing views by religion of Biden and Trump.

And finally . . . 

In 2016, did God want Trump to win, or did God allow Trump to win? That’s one of the probing questions tackled by Terry Mattingly, in a web post, GetReligion.

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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