Wisdom Wednesday | September 28th

AUSCP NewsRoundupSeptember 28

“Is it possible to read the news these days without feeling angry or sad afterwards?” That’s a question posed by the Christian Science Monitor. “Alternatively, is it possible to read news that highlights humanity’s progress in the world?” The Monitor says yes, with a promise: “Our new, deeper approach to reporting fends off the news fatigue generated by a constant focus on only problems and conflicts. “We still report about hard issues, but we will highlight the underlying qualities and values influencing the news. It makes the news thought-provoking in a positive, generous way.”

We will take you there, but first, some of our own values in the news.

Contemporary Issues in the Church

Catholics in the United States are deeply divided over issues as disparate as LGBTQ inclusion, clerical sexual abuse and celebrating the liturgy, according to a summary of consultations carried out in dioceses across the country in recent months as part of Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality. The recent completion of the Synodality synthesis is just a beginning, according to a report by Crux Now, while the Vatican’s synod chief tells U.S. Church leaders to “listen to others.

In hometown of St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis promoted a new vision for the mainstream economy and radical criticism of capitalism, speaking with under-35 adults at the Economy of Francesco meeting. The Orthodox church in the Hamptons is calling people with autism “part of our community,” involving a private-public partnership. The New York Times has one of those stories that may leave you feeling sad as you minister among young adults, about the end of the “starter home.” And the question at many synagogues: is it the end of the pandemic? Can we get back to normal (whatever that is)?

The Monitor’s News & Values

We should note, that despite its name, the non-profit Monitor is not a religious-themed paper and does not promote the doctrine of the Church of Christ, Scientist. It was founded as a daily newspaper in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, and is now published electronically and in print. Have a look at its News & Values Section HERE.

Values: Resilience and hope

On Rosh Hashana (September 23) and every day, Jews are drawing lessons from Ukraine’s Jews on resilience and hope. As Jews celebrate the creation of the world, the Jewish Studio Project is celebrating creativity itself.

News from the Southern Baptist Convention

The president of one of the Southern Baptist Convention’s largest seminaries resigned on Friday (Sept. 23), less than four years after taking office.

Adam Greenway was elected in hopes that he would help the school recover from the controversial tenure of former President Paige Patterson, who was fired in 2018 for mishandling abuse allegations.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s top administrative body voted to cut ties with two congregations last week — an LGBTQ-friendly church in North Carolina that had itself quit the denomination decades ago and a New Jersey congregation it cited for “alleged discriminatory behavior.”

Value of ‘decency’

After four years of a president who rejected American leadership and alliance building, Michael Sean Winters says it is comforting to have a president who engages the world again, and does so with America’s best national dispositions on full display.

Union labor

Thousands of workers around the US are going on strike or threatening to do so heading into October, amid a recent surge of labor action activity in America and just one month before crucial midterm elections.

Pink shoes

Hundreds of Catholic women in New Zealand contributed to a provocative public art protest on Sept. 18 calling for equality of women in the church. The event took place in Auckland, the nation’s largest city, and Wellington, its capital.

‘Slavery by any name is wrong’

A nationwide movement hopes to close the ‘slavery loophole’ that enables the exploitation of 800,000 prisoners in the US. Our report is from the Guardian.

Climate Crisis

Fresh off passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and its historic investments in combating climate change, NCR reports Catholic groups who celebrated the new law are turning their attention to environmental justice concerns within it, as well as new legislation to protect communities in the path of future energy projects. Meanwhile, at an international gathering, Simone Campbell finds “hope for encounter and action.”

Ending death penalty

Death Penalty Focus is committed to the abolition of the death penalty through public education, grassroots and political organizing, media outreach, and domestic and international coalition building. Find information here. And a reminder, Pope John Paul II called for abolition of the death penalty in 1999.

‘Back into the fray’

The U.S. Supreme Court begins its new term Oct. 3, jumping right back into the fray with cases that take on affirmative action, voting, immigration, the environment and freedom of speech. This term will include a new member, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, replacing Justice Stephen Breyer, who retired at the end of last session. It also will be the first time the public will be allowed back inside the court since the start of the pandemic.

Welcoming transgender patients, rejecting transition procedures

Catholic hospitals welcome transgender patients—and stand firm in their religious convictions, according to Cardinal Blase Cupich and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in America Magazine.


Vatican’s Academy for Life sparks debate over infallibility of ‘Humanae Vitae’.

Viticulture at the Vatican

The Diocese of Rome is exploring the history and holiness of wine. From Crux Now.

Discerning Deacons

At Today’s American Catholic, Michael Centore invites viewers to a special “lunchtime session” with Ellie Hidalgo, co-director of Discerning Deacons. Discerning Deacons is a project “fueled by love and fidelity to the Catholic Church” that seeks to engage Catholics in an active discernment about women in the diaconate. The details: Wednesday, October 5, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern.

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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