Wisdom Wednesday | September 14th

AUSCP NewsRoundupSeptember 14

We begin with an idea and a headline. The idea that we listen to the Holy Spirit by listening to one another . . . is central to “a way of being church,” says Michael Sean Winters. The headline for a Thomas Reese commentary is “The leadership lessons of Queen Elizabeth and Christ the King.”

Also this week, German bishops send synodal proposals to Rome, LGBTQ+ issues continue to surface, union organizers get push-back from companies, Pope Francis heads to Kazakhstan, a new documentary on Sister Thea Bowman finds her “Going Home Like a Shooting Star,” and a Seattle cemetery uses goats instead of gas to clear brush and blackberry bushes.

Michael Sean Winters looks at the synodal process as a way of being church and how it is connected with Vatican II in his commentary for National Catholic Reporter.


Thomas Reese examines the longing for a powerful leader who shows humility and a commitment to duty and service, writing for Religion News Service. And Jeffrey Salkin, in his column, Martini Judaism, says we really did need the queen.



German Synodality

Germany’s fourth synodal assembly concluded with proposals to be sent to Rome. Among the concerns are the position of women and trans people in the church, sexual morality, gay priests and the future national leadership structure of the Catholic Church, reported the German Catholic news agency KNA. It said all texts involving changes to church doctrine were formulated as proposals for consideration by the pope and not as independent dogmatic changes by the German church.


Appeal for peace in Ukraine

In Kazakhstan, Pope Francis is expected to appeal for peace in Ukraine. However, RNÍ reports the head of the Orthodox Church in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill, will not be attending the interfaith meeting with the pope.


Why Christian nationalism is not Christian

God’s salvific will is universal; it extends to all people. Every person on earth is offered God’s love and grace, says Thomas Reese in a recent commentary. “To the extent they say yes to God, they will be united with God. This can happen without baptism. It can even happen when a person leads a loving life without recognizing God’s love in their life.” What the Catholic Church affirmed at Vatican II is that “Ecumenism is all about recognizing that God can speak to all people, even those outside the Catholic Church and even those outside of Christianity.”


Fighting for union representation

Brandi McNease worked at a Chipotle in Augusta, Maine, where she and her co-workers had filed a union election in June 2022. The Guardian reports that Chipotle closed store July 19, right before a hearing with the National Labor Relations Board.


Dramatic drop in respect for Supreme Court

Americans’ ratings of the Supreme Court are now as negative as – and more politically polarized than – at any point in more than three decades of polling on the nation’s highest court. The report from Pew Research.


U.S. bishops lament failure of nuclear disarmament talks


LGBTQ issues

  • A group of 16 students, faculty and staff at the Christian Seattle Pacific University sued the leaders of the school’s board of trustees for an employment policy barring people in same-sex relationships from full-time jobs. The story from RNS.


  • The U.S. Supreme Court blocks recognition of LGBTQ club at Yeshiva University. The block is temporary, according to RNS.


  • Nearly 200religious colleges in the United Stsates are deemed ‘unsafe’ for LGBTQ students by the organization Campus Pride


  • Claire Giangravéwrites for RNS that Pope Francis’ welcoming message has transformed a trans community in Rome.


Season of Creation

Some good news from the publication E&E News (Energy and Environment): How faith groups helped pass the U.S. climate bill


Shoe boxes to billions

To many, Samaritan’s Purse may be best-known for giving shoeboxes full of toys to needy children around the world. But over the past 10 years, Franklin Graham’s venture has grown into one of the largest U.S. faith-based nonprofits, with annual revenues last year of $1 billion.


Sex abuse lawsuit

Naasón Joaquín García, the leader of La Luz del Mundo, is facing a new lawsuit filed by five women who allege he sexually abused them while other church members groomed them and used the religion as ammunition against them.


Jesuits remain despite murders

Two months after a pair of Jesuit priests were killed in a remote mountain community in northern Mexico, the suspected killer remains on the loose and townspeople are frightened, but the religious order says it is not leaving.


Goodbye to sweet home Chicago

The Chicago book center and convent is one of four locations that the Daughters of St. Paul are closing in the United States as the order reconfigures its presence across the United States and Toronto. From RNS.


LA fire destroys historic church landmark 

“The building is destroyed, but the church still lives,” said Pastor W. Edward Jenkins.  “The building is in ruins, but we are going to rebuild.”


New documentary on Sister Thea Bowman

“Going Home Like a Shooting Star: Thea Bowman’s Journey to Sainthood,” comes from NewGroup Media and the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi.


Jesuit John O’Malley, church historian, dies at 95

Crux reports Jesuit Father John W. O’Malley, whose perspectives and expertise on church history and the Second Vatican Council attracted audiences that included undergraduate students and well-educated theologians, died at the Jesuit community in Baltimore Sept. 11. He was 95.


Good Trouble

Angela Howard-McParland writes for U.S.Catholic, “So many of us are taught that polite dinner conversation avoids topics such as religion and politics. . . .  [but] we have a pope who has stated clearly that a good Catholic meddles in politics.


Using goats, not gas

In the past, gas-powered machinery would have been used to maintain the wild areas at an 88-acre cemetery in Seattle, “but in the spirit of being good environmental stewards, we have arranged with a goat herder to hire his goats.” The story from Crux.


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