Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday, where we encourage prayers following the unholy actions in the Holy Land. We also have a perspective piece on the seven decades of animosity between Israelis and Palestinians.
Also this week, The Synod on Synodality is fertile ground for reports and opinions. The U.S. Supreme Court is back in session, fertile ground for reports and opinions. Pope Francis has issued Laudate Deum, you get the idea. We add a link to the text itself – the opinion of its author.
Phyllis Zagano offers an analysis and commentary article, providing five areas for the Synod to examine in regard to the ordination of women deacons. If you have time for just one article, make it this one!
And we wrap up with a theological reflection by an Episcopal priest whose sister has conversations with their dead mother. Are there ghosts?
Hamas, the Palestinians and Israel
Catholic leaders voice sorrow and dismay after violent outbreak in Holy Land, as reported by Religion News service. Pope Francis, calling war “always a defeat,” made an appeal for peace in Israel and Palestine.
The Christian Century reports that church leaders in the Holy Land are raising their voices in unity to call for a cessation of all violent and military activities that bring harm to both Palestinian and Israeli civilians.
The National Catholic Register reports on the struggle at the only Catholic church in Gaza.
As Israel bombards downtown Gaza City and expands a massive mobilization of reservists to punish Hamas, the Associated Press says residents of the tiny Palestinian territory have nowhere to go.
Perspective from Reuters: The fighting between Israel and Hamas is the latest in seven decades of war and conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that has drawn in outside powers and destabilised the wider Middle East.
U.S. Supreme Court
Our Sunday Visitor reports that the Supreme Court’s docket this term could address social media, abortion and guns.
SCOTUS Primer: A Term of the Supreme Court begins, by statute, on the first Monday in October. Usually Court sessions continue until late June or early July. The Term is divided between “sittings,” when the Justices hear cases and deliver opinions, and intervening “recesses,” when they consider the business before the Court and write opinions. Sittings and recesses alternate at approximately two-week intervals.
Synod on synodality
Pope Francis on Oct. 4 officially opened the long-anticipated Vatican summit on the very future of Catholicism, encouraging its participants — bishops and laypeople alike — to reject the temptations of doctrinal rigidity and to embrace a vision of the church that is open and welcoming to all.
The National Catholic Reporter recently began offering a podcast with Joshua J. McElwee and Christopher White. Here is a link to “The Vatican Briefing podcast: Francis opens a synod that could change the Catholic Church.”
“A Communion That Radiates.” Today’s American Catholic is presenting daily reports from the Synod. Here is a sample from October 9.
Intertwined with Synod news recently were comments by Pope Francis, who signaled openness to blessings for gay couples and the study of women’s ordination. Again, from NCRonline.
You may remember a comment last year from German Cardinal Gerhard Müller that the synod represents a “hostile takeover” of the Catholic Church. Müller had more to say recently.
On the third day of the Synod of Bishops, Mercy Sr. Angela Perez, of Guam, walked toward Paul VI Hall in Vatican City on Oct. 6 as if it were a normal day of work. “I’m experiencing and witnessing the dismantling of the hierarchical,” she told Global Sisters Report, describing the scene inside the synod hall — where cardinals, bishops, young and older lay Catholics, and women religious like herself are sitting together at roundtables, without hierarchical distinctions.”
Analysis and Commentary:
If you read only one thing about the synod and women deacons, let it be this article from Phyllis Zagano. After her column was published in The Tablet, she offered a copy of her text to the AUSCP. Zagano says, in part, “The important thing is for the members of the Synod, and the whole Church, to prayerfully discern the facts of this or any other question before them in the light of the Holy Spirit and in the belief that God will not deny the Church what it needs.” Here is a link to The Tablet. If the article is behind a paywall, here is the text on our website.
What do you sense the Spirit asks of us as a Church in the present world? Join the AUSCP Vatican II Working Group in responding to the Spirit, Tuesday, October 17. Please register here to choose your session and receive additional information and resources along with reminders.
Last Wednesday (October 4) the Vatican released Laudate Deum. Said Pope Francis, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight” (Lk 12:6). How can we not admire this tenderness of Jesus for all the beings that accompany us along the way! Here is a link to the Vatican text.
‘As this summer has shown, and as Laudate Deum emphasizes, we no longer have time to spare,’ Jose Aguto, executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant, said in a statement.
Survey and opinion on the “white evangelical march toward climate disaster.”
The new PRRI survey shows that fewer and fewer of them consider climate change a crisis.
Polish Catholic struggles
On Oct. 15, parliamentary elections will be held in Poland. The conservative, nationalist ruling party is trying to bolster its image as a defender of Christian values and traditional morality. Yet many Poles are questioning their relationship with the Catholic Church, and some cite its closeness to the government as a key reason.
LGBTQ+ Pastoral response
New Davenport, Iowa guidelines are being praised as a ‘milestone’ by LGBTQ Catholics and advocates. The guidelines call for using five principles in response to LGBTQ individuals.
- Dignity of the Human Person
- Acknowledging the Reality
- Love First and Listen for Understanding
- Involving Others
- A Case-by-Case Approach
Quick, unbiased news source
Searching for a quick update of national events? Check out the Associated Press for U.S. News. On October 10, for example, one page highlighted numerous reports collected under four topics: Abortion, LGBTQ+, Shootings and Immigration.
Restoring a Native American altar
The US government agrees to help restore a sacred Native American site destroyed for an Oregon road project. The settlement was filed last week for the U.S. Department of Transportation and other federal agencies to replant trees and aid in efforts to rebuild an altar at a site along U.S. Highway 26.
We (the AUSCP) are looking for members and friends with marketing and/or fundraising experiences or interest to join our Outreach Committee. The purpose of the committee is to guide our efforts to increase membership and funding. Contact Steve Newton, CSC at email@example.com to indicate your willingness and interest.
“A Theology of Ghosts”
Gil Stafford is an Episcopal priest and author of Meditations on Blue Jesus: Listening to the Disabled God. He recently penned this article for the Christian Century. He says, “My sister talks to our dead mother. I am happy they both stand in the presence of love.”
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