We begin our view of the church in the world with information about the synodal process, but first: Four people returned to Earth from a three-day extraterrestrial excursion aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on Saturday evening, marking the end of the first-ever flight to Earth’s orbit flown entirely by non-astronauts. The capsule’s dome offered 360-degree views of space as something truly out of this world.
Synodality and other Church News
This selection of articles highlights a synodal view of the world – and also an ‘ecclesial assembly’ and ‘co-responsibility.’
First, the “synodal process” is supposed to begin next month, but is anything happening? In a recent disclosure to the Diocese of Rome, Pope Francis described the Synodal process.
Meanwhile, Massimo Faggioli says Pope Francis’ legacy will likely be determined by the success or failure of his efforts to engage the entire Church in synodality.
By the way, if you want information straight from the source, check out Vatican News. Visit vaticannews.va/en for the latest news from the Vatican.
In another part of the world, we’re asking, “What is the future of the Latin American Catholic Church?” National Catholic Reporter muses:
Tens of thousands of Catholics throughout Latin America and the Caribbean — and some in the United States — have been discussing issues ranging from missionary discipleship to integral ecology as part of a “listening” process leading up to a regionwide ecclesial assembly to be held Nov. 21-28 in Mexico City.
Unlike general conferences of Latin American and Caribbean bishops, such as meetings held decades ago in Puebla, Mexico, and Medellín, Colombia, the event will not be a meeting of bishops, but an ecclesial assembly with wider participation, said Archbishop Jorge Lozano of San Juan de Cuyo, Argentina, secretary general of the Latin American bishops’ council, or CELAM.
Read the full article HERE.
Finally, from the UK, an article from The Tablet challenges:
The Church must “step out of the past, embrace the present and move to the future”, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly said as he launched the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly’s new pastoral plan at Holycross Abbey. Titled Seeds of Hope, the pastoral plan was developed after a four-year listening process and a consultation with 2,500 people. It foresees a Church of “co-responsibility” between laity and clergy going forward.”
Read the full article HERE.
Season of Creation
We offer two articles as the 2021 Season of Creation continues. First, from EarthBeat, “At Home in Creation: God is as close as your next breath.” An excerpt:
The air that you are breathing right now possibly contains some of the same atoms that passed through the lungs of Jesus and the disciples. These same molecules have passed through the Earth’s lungs, the trees and plants, who have turned the carbon dioxide we exhale into oxygen for our next breath.
Second, we are called to remember that food is a choice. Here is your invitation to join two webinars on this subject. The first, on September 27, “How Meatless Mondays and More Can Help Save Our Planet.” The second, on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis, on “Care for our Common Home. Our celebration of God’s creation.”
The Church in the World
At times when the world seems upside-down, maybe that’s how we should be looking at the world. Give it a try by visiting the Catholic Church Down Under. Catholic Outlook is published for the Diocese of Parramatta, providing news and views from an Australian vantage point.
The publication’s website includes universal information such as an article prepared for Migrant and Refugee Sunday (September 26), “What the Catholic Church teaches on asylum and migration.”
And, certainly, a question asked in every part of the world, “Where is God in times of pandemic?”
In Australia, some states have laws regarding “Voluntary Assisted Dying.” That’s a matter of growing concern also in some of these United States. The term ‘voluntary assisted dying’ (or ‘VAD’) is used to refer to the practice of euthanasia and assisted dying in Australia. The term is now in general use in Australian States and Territories. The article, written by Dr. Virginia Miller, is entitled “The Temptation of Euthanasia.”
(Disclaimer: The Diocese of Parramatta reaffirms the wise axiom attributed to Saint Augustine of Hippo: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, freedom; in all things, charity.” In this spirit, Catholic Outlook publishes a variety of Catholic viewpoints. They are not necessarily the official views of the Diocese of Parramatta.)
Continuing our search for world wisdom: What do you know about Catholicism in China? Or perhaps, more salient: Is your knowledge only from Western sources? A donation to UCA News will bring you access to “Mission In Asia,” a collection of eight long narrative essays on the history of the Church in Asia.
UCA News is Asia’s largest network of Catholic journalists and editors. UCA News provides a unique service, bringing you the voices of emerging churches.
No matter your country of origin, starting October 1, entry into Vatican City State will only be permitted to persons who are in possession of a Vatican “Green Pass,” a “European Green Pass,” or a foreign Covid-19 green pass. Details come from Vatican News.
About women and girls
America Magazine reports it has been 50 years since most Jesuit colleges went co-ed. Taking women seriously as students, staff and faculty means that the Jesuit institution considers them as essential to its mission.
America also notes that women are rising to new heights at the Vatican. Could they change the church forever? There’s a long way to go.
France has honored “a female Vatican icon,” Romilda Ferrauto, with the prestigious Order of Merit. She is one of the first women to hold a position of responsibility in the Holy See, according to a report by La Croix International. (AUSCP members have a free subscription to La Croix International).
Also from La Croix, an in-depth look at the condition of the girl child. An excerpt:
Though girl children in Europe and the Americas have it marginally better than others regarding education, nutrition and safety, across vast swatches of Africa and Asia, the condition of young women is indeed precarious…
How is it that so many cultures, particularly those informed by religious attitudes, are still so harsh and violent towards their women, whatever be their age? Sadly, the Catholic Church is one of these as well.”
Read the full article HERE.
In these United States
Global Sisters Report writes that “catholic sisters are among those working for the passage of the Freedom to Vote Act.” Read more HERE.
A Texas death penalty case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the question, “when a spiritual adviser is present at an execution, what may they do?”
The Associated Press reports, “Many faith leaders say no to endorsing vaccine exemptions.” They quote the Rev. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas, a Southern Baptish megachurch, in the article:
There is no credible religious argument against the vaccines… Christians who are troubled by the use of a fetal cell line for the testing of the vaccines would also have to abstain from the use of Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Ibuprofen, and other products that used the same cell line if they are sincere in their objection.”
The language of worship and the Gospel
Liturgical reform begun with Vatican II is not finished. Thomas O’Laughlin writes in La Croix International that there is a need to learn new languages for handing on the Gospel.
Traditional or not traditional? Rebecca Bratten Weiss asks the question in a new commentary for NCR. She interviewed several Catholics who, even though they are drawn to traditionalist parishes and communities, are still leaving them due to the bigotry and toxicity in those environments.
AUSCP Picks for the Week
Words you’d never expect to be used in a sentence – “A Bible-quoting, pro-Trump billboard comparing Trump to Jesus raises eyebrows in Georgia.” The story comes from Religion News Service.
Islamophobia – Our Catholic faith demands that we confront Islamophobia. The Holy Spirit is present in our Muslim friends, says Jordan Denari Duffner in U.S. Catholic.
Catholic Nonviolence – 2021 is the second year for the Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action, a time to think about, pray and act for peace and nonviolence. It is a time when we can be in solidarity with Pax Christi members and partners around the world. The days begin September 21, the International Peace Day, and end on October 2, the International Day of Nonviolence and Gandhi’s birthday.
Finally, a ‘must-see’ webinar – Can the Church Free Itself from Clericalism? A virtual discussion on September 22 with author James P Carroll, theologian Richard Gaillardetz, and womanpriest Andrea Johnson. Learn more/register HERE.
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!