It’s November! Already begun with All Souls and All Saints, November includes international climate action and U.S. Supreme Court sessions before racing to Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and the First Sunday of Advent.
We’ll slow the pace with a measured look at one of the many themes for November, National Native American Heritage Month. But we’ll begin with a personal invitation from the Catholic Committee of the South and the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests: Join with others in synodality, add your voice, and help “build up the inclusive, safe, and loving catholic church.”
On August 3, 1990, President of the United States George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month, thereafter commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. PBS reports.
Unfortunately, much great sadness comes to mind, recognizing that U.S. Catholic and Protestant denominations operated more than 150 boarding schools between the 19th and 20th centuries, where Native American and Alaskan Native children were regularly severed from their tribal families, customs, language and religion and brought to the schools in a push to assimilate and Christianize them. ABC News reports.
A number of Catholic groups and Protestant denominations are calling for the United States to establish a Truth and Healing Commission to reckon with the country’s history of boarding schools. According to an article from National Catholic Reporter.
Quick links for the latest news on the climate crisis around the globe.
- From Catholic News Service, Pope Francis and Cardinal Parolin have called for concrete action in response to the climate crisis.
- CNN reports that President Joe Biden wants America to lead the world against the climate crisis.
- From EarthBeat, a division of NCR, “2 years after the Amazon Synod, are we any closer to ecological conversion?“
- Also from EarthBeat, “In BBC radio address, Francis urges radical decisions, rapid action on climate at COP26“
- German bishops say too that the Catholic Church should take a leading role in protecting the environment and addressing climate change.
- “Africa has contributed very little to global warming. But the continent is the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, and is already suffering,” reports News Decoder.
Next to last word on this topic, from Sue Landau, writing for a youth audience at News Decoder. She points out that nations have not lived up to commitments made in Paris six years ago, but there has been progress in combating climate change. “Let’s not lose hope,” she says.
Finally, after so many, many words, what words can I use to make a difference? Here’s a source of ideas from the Catholic Climate Covenant and the Integral Faith team.
The president and the pope
From the Associated Press: “Face to face at the Vatican, President Joe Biden held extended and highly personal talks with Pope Francis on Friday and came away saying the pontiff told him he was a “good Catholic” and should keep receiving Communion, although conservatives have called for him to be denied the sacrament because of his support for abortion rights.”
From Reuters, “on Sunday, an emotional U.S. President Joe Biden praised Pope Francis for being “everything I learned about Catholicism.” Biden, the second Catholic president in U.S. history, choked up as he spoke about his late son Beau and his own feelings about the pope and Catholicism at a final news conference in Rome at the end of the G20 summit of leaders of the world’s richest nations.”
The Supreme Court of the United States could be leaning to allow challenges to Texas abortion law, according to NCR.
Abortion and gun rights are among recent Supreme Court matters, but the Supreme Court is “declining to wade into a case involving transgender rights.” according to Religion News Service.
NCR reports on an effort to support LGBTQ staff who have been fired from Catholic parishes and schools.
Here’s something you may have missed – New Ways Ministry will receive the profits from the sale of hand-sewn ornaments showing you care about LGBTQ equality. You can purchase the ornaments with the New Ways Ministry logo by clicking here.
A report from Catholic News Service in Oklahoma:
Catholic leaders spoke out against the execution of John Grant Oct. 28 in Oklahoma — the first execution carried out by the state in six years. A reporter’s account of the execution said Grant’s body repeatedly convulsed, and he vomited multiple times before he was declared unconscious. “Oklahoma’s lethal-injection protocol causes immense suffering. This will not be covered up,” tweeted Sister Helen Prejean, a Sister of St. Joseph of Medaille, who is a longtime opponent of the death penalty.”
For Action and Reflection
Pope Francis specifically asked the Church in Washington to reach out to young people in our nation’s capital to share and act on the message of Fratelli Tutti, his letter to the world on solidarity, friendship, and encounter. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University are inviting you to join us for this second virtual gathering of young people, Resisting a Throwaway Culture: Protecting Life and Creation, Thursday, November 4, 2021, 7:00 – 8:00 pm EDT.
Click for information and RSVP: bit.ly/ResistingThrowawayCulture
A webinar, Want to Talk: Communication Tools for Divided Times will guide you in deepening your relationships while staying true to your values, whether you find yourself navigating a heated disagreement with a spouse, interrupting racism in the office, facilitating political tension in church, or working for systemic change around any justice issue. Click here to register or learn more: https://justfaith.org/want-to-talk/
Finally, the Vatican is obviously a busy place. The best place I know of to get news about the Vatican’s business is from Vatican News. Check it out: https://www.vaticannews.va/en.html
AUSCP Quick Picks This Week
- Surveys, we’ve got surveys! The 2021 American Values Survey found the following:
- Majorities of all religious groups – except white Evangelicals – support allowing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
- White Evangelicals prefer the U.S. to be a nation primarily made up of people who follow the Christian faith.
- 75% of white Evangelicals and 58% of white Catholics say the values of Islam are at odds with American values and ways of life.
- Also from Pew Research Center, the U.S. is seen positively in advanced economies for its technology, entertainment, military and universities, but negatively for its health care system, discrimination and the state of its democracy.
- SNBR – Spiritual but Not Religious – are on the rise, and may be surprised to know how much they resemble certain Protestants who lived five centuries ago.
- Artificial Intelligence – Seven lessons learned from the Vatican’s Artificial Intelligence symposium
- It’s beginning to look… Entertainment media are already hyped with celebrating Christmas — and a writer for Deseret News says that is a good thing.
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.
Until next week, please follow us on social media with the buttons below to make sure you don’t miss the latest news from the AUSCP!