THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Sun Mar 14, 2021 8:38 am

+JMJ+

Laredo Church authorities waiting for influx of immigrants
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Unaccompanied minors seeking asylum are seen in a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle March 9, 2021, after they crossed the Rio Grande River into Penitas, Texas. (Credit: Adrees Latif/Reuters via CNS)

NEW YORK — From conversations with federal government officials at the border, Bishop James Tamayo of Laredo estimates that there are at least 800 families — thousands of people — waiting on the Mexico side of the Laredo border for entry into the United States.

Tamayo said the diocese will continue to prepare for their arrival in anticipation of their release. He’s concerned, however, that because of the COVID-19 pandemic they don’t have the same number of volunteers they’ve gotten in years past.

“We’re grateful that the federal government does it right. That they are processing so that family units don’t get separated. That they can get back to family. That they can get back to an environment and lodging that is more secure and respectful and protective of their bodily emotional, physical and spiritual needs,” he told Crux.

“Now, unfortunately, as we’ve reached out to volunteers and to our organizations in the church they’ve said, ‘we’re a little hesitant. I don’t know if I can do it this time.’ So, I’m depending on a staff of seven people and you can’t get too far when you put seven with a thousand immigrants.”

Tamayo said preparations include a refugee center they call La Frontera. Rebecca Solloa, the executive director of Catholic Charities of Laredo, previously told Crux that they’re prepared to help up to 100 migrants a day with primarily an outdoor setup and COVID-19 precautions.

In an email to Crux Thursday, Solloa said she’s meeting with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent on Monday, March 15, to go over the logistics of releasing Migrant Protection Protocols asylum seekers. She said the agent indicated there’s no date set for their release.

[…]

The MPP entrants aside, Solloa told Crux they have received families that crossed the Rio Grande River, were arrested by border patrol and subsequently released.

These types of encounters between migrants and border patrol agents have increased at the southwest border of late, leading to nationwide concerns about the system getting overwhelmed and the spread of COVID-19.

[…]

An approximate two-hour drive from Laredo, Tamayo remembers visiting the Carrizo Springs facility when it was open three years ago. While there, he said he offered the children visitation and prayer, to which they were “very respectful, very collaborative and very open.”

He said he intends to visit the facility as soon as the COVID-19 restrictions allow. He also notes it’s important that the unaccompanied children stay at a place like the Carrizo Springs facility, as opposed to an adult facility, for their safety.

“I don’t want the children in an adult facility with more strangers that they do not know. That’s more trauma to them,” Tamayo told Crux. “So, at least they’re in an environment where the kids are the same age, they develop friendships, interests, but it’s still ‘when do I get home.’”

As children, adults and families continue their journeys beyond Texas to other parts of the country, Tamayo encourages communities across the country to welcome them.

“It saddens me that many times I’m reading in the press or I’m hearing somebody further away from Texas in other parts of the United States say something about these people, the border, immigrants, that they don’t really know,” Tamayo said.

“It would be wonderful if when they get there, those churches, those parishes, those Catholic charities, those nonprofits and those neighbors would welcome them and see and listen to the stories and share their own stories,” the bishop said.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:18 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD: pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133



Meeting pope ‘best birthday gift ever’, says father of drowned refugee children [In-Depth]
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Abdullah Kurdi meets with Pope Francis March 7, 2021, in Erbil. (Photo courtesy of Abdullah Kurdi)

ROME — Abdullah Kurdi, the father of the young refugee boy who death five years ago woke the world up to the reality of the migration crisis, has described his recent meeting with Pope Francis as the best birthday present that he’s ever received.

Kurdi met Pope Francis March 7 after the pope celebrated Mass in Erbil on the last full day of his historic March 5-8 visit to Iraq.

Speaking to Crux, Kurdi said that when he got a call just two weeks ago from Kurdish security forces saying the pope wanted to meet him while he was in Erbil, “I could not believe it.”

“I still did not believe it until this actually happened,” he said, adding, “It was like a dream come true and it was my best birthday gift ever,” as the meeting happened one day before Kurdi’s birthday on March 8.

Kurdi and his family made global headlines in 2015 when their boat capsized while crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece in an attempt to reach Europe.

Originally from Syria, Kurdi, his wife Rehanna, and his sons Ghalib, 4, and Alan, 2, had fled due to the country’s ongoing civil war and were living as refugees in Turkey.

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Alan Kurdi (L) and this older brother Ghalib (R). (Credit: Photo courtesy Tima Kurdi)

After several attempts to sponsor the family by Abdullah’s sister Tima, who lives in Canada, failed, Abdullah in 2015, when the migration crisis was at its peak, decided to take his family to Europe after Germany pledged to take in one million refugees.

In September of that year, Abdullah with Tima’s help secured four places for himself and his family on a boat traveling from Bodrum, Turkey, to the Greek island of Kos. However, shortly after setting sail, the boat — which only had a capacity for eight people but was carrying 16 — capsized, and while Abdullah was able to reach safety, his family met a different fate.

The next morning, the image of his son Alan’s lifeless body washed up on the shores of Turkey exploded in international media and social platforms after being captured by Turkish photographer Nilüfer Demir.

Little Alan Kurdi has since become a global icon symbolizing the risks refugees often face in their pursuit of a better life. In October 2017, two years after the incident, Pope Francis — a vocal advocate on behalf of migrants and refugees — gifted a sculpture of Alan to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s headquarters in Rome.

After the incident, Kurdi was offered a house in Erbil, where he has lived ever since.

Kurdi, who had long dreamed of meeting the pope to thank him for his advocacy on behalf of migrants and refugees and for honoring his late son, said he could barely speak for the week leading up to the emotional encounter, which he called a “miracle,” the significance of which “I don’t know how to tell you in words.”

“The moment when I saw the pope, I kissed his hand and told him it was an honor to meet him and thank you for your kindness and compassion towards my family’s tragedy and toward all refugees,” Kurdi said, noting that there were other people waiting to greet the pope after his Mass in Erbil, but he was granted the most time with the pontiff.

“When I kissed the pope’s hands, the pope was praying and he held his hands up to the sky and told me that my family is in heaven resting in peace,” Kurdi said, recalling how at that moment, his eyes began to brim with tears.

“I wanted to cry,” Kurdi said, “but I said, ‘hold yourself,’ because I didn’t want (the pope) to feel sad.”

Kurdi then gave the pope a painting of his son Alan on the beach as a gift “so the pope can remind the people of that image in order to help the people who are suffering, so they do not forget,” he said.

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This painting of Alan Kurdi done by an Iraqi artist in Erbil was given to Pope Francis by Alan’s father, Abdullah Kurdi, during his meeting with pope on March 7, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Abdullah Kurdi)

The painting was done by a local artist in Erbil that Kurdi knew. According to Kurdi, as soon as he found out he would meet the pope, he called the artist and asked him to paint the picture “as another reminder to the people so they can help suffering refugees,” especially children.

“Back in 2015, the image of my son was the wakeup call to the world, and it touched millions of people’s hearts and inspired them to help refugees,” Kurdi said, noting that nearly six years later, the crisis is not over, and millions are still living as refugees, often in unimaginable conditions.

“I hope this picture will be a reminder again so people can help (alleviate) human suffering,” he said.

After the death of his family, Kurdi and his sister Tima launched the Alan Kurdi Foundation, an NGO which specifically supporting refugee children, providing them food, clothing, and school supplies. Although the foundation has been inactive during the coronavirus pandemic, they hope to start holding activities again soon.

[…]

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This photo shows a marble statue representing the tragedy of migration donated by Pope Francis during his visit to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on the occasion of the World Food Day, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The statue commemorates Alan Kurdi, the 2-year old refugee boy drowned on Sept. 2015 while crossing the Mediterranean Sea. (Credit: Andrew Medichini/AP)

[…]

For Kurdi, the opportunity to meet Pope Francis not only held monumental personal significance, but he hopes it can be a reminder to the world that while the migration crisis is no longer making headlines like it used to, “human suffering continues.”

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:31 pm

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 11

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD: pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133



‘Human fraternity’ includes citizenship rights for all, cardinal says
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Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, one of Shiite Islam's most authoritative figures, meets with Pope Francis March 6, 2021, in Najaf, Iraq. The pope was joined by Father George Ayoub, a translator from the Vatican Secretariat of State, Cardinal Louis Sako, the Chaldean patriarch, and Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. (Credit: CNS photo/Vatican Media)

ROME — Pope Francis’s focus on “human fraternity” does not aim simply at promoting tolerance among different religions and ethnic groups but ultimately pushes for a recognition of the full citizenship rights of all minorities, said Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The pope’s visit to Iraq March 5-8 told the country’s Christian communities that they are “truly part of the life of the universal church” and that within Iraq they should not feel like isolated communities forced to “struggle to survive or flee but are active citizens with the right and obligation to contribute to the development of society,” the cardinal said.

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Ayuso said the pope’s visit to Iraq not only encouraged Catholics in their faith, but demonstrated to all Iraqis that the Christian community exists in their country and that it is possible “to live side by side with believers from other religions.”

Pope Francis’s trip is one “destined to enter pages of the history of all religions and humanity itself,” the cardinal wrote in the newspaper’s March 12 edition.

[…]

Throughout his trip, Pope Francis “reaffirmed the principles of equality among all the ethnic, social and religious components of the country,” an equality “founded on citizenship,” the cardinal said. “On this path, he has been accompanied by al-Sistani, who, in a declaration, wanted to affirm his commitment to working so that ‘Christian citizens can live like all Iraqis in peace and security with all their constitutional rights.'”

In some countries, Christians or other minorities are given a “protected minority” status that allows them to survive in the country but does not guarantee equal rights or equal access to education and jobs, for example.

Fraternal coexistence, Ayuso said, “requires the full recognition of citizenship. Full citizenship is a basic element for preserving one’s identity.”

At the root of the idea of “human fraternity” and interreligious dialogue, he said, is: “God is the creator of everything and everyone, so we are members of one family, and we must recognize that.”

Recognizing all people as children of the one God, the cardinal said, moves relationships beyond “mere tolerance to fraternal coexistence, recognizing the diversity that exists among us, neutralizing violence and living as brothers and sisters.”

Furthermore, he said, it calls on members of different religions and, especially, religious leaders to cooperate and collaborate to ensure that everyone enjoys equal rights everywhere.

“We are all members of the one human family and as such we have equal rights and responsibilities as citizens of this world,” Cardinal Ayuso said. “At the basis of our collaboration and dialogue are the common roots of our humanity, so we do not start from scratch in dialogue.”

Obviously, he said, the search for peace is a key component of interreligious dialogue and the promotion of human fraternity.

When members of different religions meet, speak to each other, get to know each other and recognize each other as brothers and sisters, “they make themselves peacemakers wherever they operate,” the cardinal said.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:14 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 11 / pg 11

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD: pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133



Internally displaced people have rights, deserve protection, says nuncio
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A child hands a brick to an internally displaced Sudanese man as he builds a house at a camp in Darfur April 25, 2019. (Credit: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters via CNS)

UNITED NATIONS — Countries should “design a clearer system of responsibility” for internally displaced people to “ensure their protection,” “achieve durable solutions” to the situations they are facing and “save lives,” Archbishop Gabriele Caccia told a high-level U.N. panel on internal displacement March 11.

“The struggles of internally displaced persons are, as Pope Francis recently recalled, ‘an often-unseen tragedy that the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated,'” said the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations in addressing the panel’s virtual meeting.

“While respecting national sovereignty,” he said, the Vatican encourages countries to “consider adopting legislation that recognizes internally displaced people,” or IDPs, “while promoting policies that provide them with the protections they deserve, consistent with international human rights and humanitarian law and the U.N. Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.”

By definition, these individuals are displaced within their own countries “and have the same rights as other citizens,” Caccia said.

Legislation then “should encourage their integration back into society,” he explained, “including through the promotion and provision of security, housing, employment and livelihoods, education, and the preservation of family unity.”

“This would greatly contribute to protecting IDPs, and provide the foundation for more durable solutions,” he said.

[…]

In 2019, an estimated 11 million people were newly displaced. While 2.4 million sought protection outside their country, 8.6 million were newly displaced within the borders of their countries.

Caccia said countries should promote coordination of “existing mechanisms” that could provide an “early warning” to prevent internal displacement.

These mechanisms, he said, must be guided by the principle that “all people have the right to life, liberty and security in their country of origin and should be able to remain in their homes in peace and security without the threat of being forcibly displaced.”

“In conflict situations, however, IDPs should be able to relocate and integrate freely,” he said.

If internally displaced people must be relocated to camps, “when no other solution is possible,” countries need “greater resolve” to ensure these camps “are transitional, located in safe areas and are secure from conflict.”

“All camps should be safe places, including for women and children, lest they become places of desperation and desolation,” Caccia added.

“Ways to promote engagement and partnerships with religious organizations and faith-based communities” to address the needs of the internally displaced “should be strengthened and encouraged,” he said.

“Around the globe, these organizations and communities are often on the front lines, assisting both the forcibly displaced and the local populations that host them, providing them with food and housing, psychological and spiritual assistance,” Caccia noted.

“In conflict or post-conflict situations, faith-based organizations, together with other key stakeholders, are often among the few providing IDPs with sound and reliable information and working with national and local authorities to promote reconciliation among ethnic and religious groups,” he added.

“To respond not only to the challenges posed by internal displacement but also its root causes,” he said, “the international community must work toward reconciliation and sustainable development within countries, especially in those areas of the world where situations of conflict and humanitarian crises continue to increase.”

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:39 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD: pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133



Pope decries shame of racism, like ‘virus’ lurking in wait
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A nun stands in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, March 21, 2021. Pope Francis has denounced racism, likening it to a virus that lurks in waiting and continues to be shameful. Francis in a tweet on Sunday called racism “a virus that quickly mutates and, instead of disappearing, goes into hiding, and lurks in waiting.” (Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP)

ROME — Pope Francis on Sunday denounced racism, likening it to a virus that lurks in waiting and only to emerge and show that “our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive” as people think.

Francis tweeted on racism on the date that the United Nations marks as International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The pope likened racism to a “a virus that quickly mutates and, instead of disappearing, goes into hiding, and lurks in waiting.”

“Instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think,” Francis tweeted, adding the hashtags #FightRacism #FratelliTutti. “Fratelli Tutti” is the title of the encyclical, or special teaching document, which the pope issued last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to press for solidarity, brotherhood and care for the environment worldwide.

In his tweet, Francis cited no particular instance of racism or place. Throughout his papacy, he has championed the rights of people who are marginalized in societies, including migrants.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by Del » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:16 pm

We know who the real racists and haters are. And we know whom they hate the most.

As Christ prophesied about this time, he reminds us: "They hated me first."

USA TODAY: Oral Roberts University isn't the feel good March Madness story we need
John 15:18-19 wrote:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
Part of the joy of March Madness has always been watching smaller schools upset powerhouse programs, as kids from regional, unknown colleges and universities get their moment in the sun. Because everyone loves an underdog, Oral Roberts has become a fan favorite as people take their improbable run to heart and celebrate the tiny, evangelical university in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

And yet, as the spotlight grows on Oral Roberts and it reaps the good will, publicity and revenue of a national title run, the university’s deeply bigoted anti-LGBTQ+ polices can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.
A mainstream media leader decided to publish this scalding screed of anti-Christian bigotry. The author hates Oral Roberts U. for existing in her universe.

This is what we've come to.
G.K. Chesterton — 'It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.'

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:24 pm

+JMJ+


► Show Spoiler

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:55 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Capital Punishment/Death Penalty
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"Faith in the News": pg 121 / pg 123 / pg 123
"President Trump is a problem...": pg 27 / pg 35
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 66 / pg 67 / pg 67 / pg 67 / pg 67 / pg 67 / pg 68 / pg 101 / pg 101 / pg 107 / pg 124 / pg 128 / pg 128 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 132 / pg 132 / pg 132 / pg 132 / pg 132 / pg 132 / pg 132



Governor signs death penalty repeal at site of 101 executions since 1991
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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signs legislation outside the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt March 24, 2021, making Virginia the 23rd state to abolish the death penalty. (Credit: CNS screen grab/courtesy Catholic Herald)

ARLINGTON, Virginia — While standing outside the prison that housed Virginia’s execution chamber, Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in the state March 24.

Legislators and anti-death penalty advocates joined the signing ceremony outside Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, where 101 people have been executed since 1991.

“Over our 400-year history, Virginia has executed more than 1,300 people,” said Northam. “(Today) we join 22 other states in saying the government will not take a life, the government will no longer execute people.”

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington and Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Richmond, Virginia, welcomed the new law. “We embrace this hope-filled new beginning,” they said in a joint statement March 24.

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, also welcomed the repeal, calling it “a bold step toward a culture of life.” He, too, noted that Virginia became the 23rd state to abolish the death penalty, “and I urge all other states and the federal government to do the same,” he said.

In their statement, Burbidge and Knestout quoted the pope from his latest encyclical, ‘Fratelli Tutti’: On Fraternity and Social Friendship: “As Pope Francis states, ‘The firm rejection of the death penalty shows to what extent it is possible to recognize the inalienable dignity of every human being and to accept that he or she has a place in this universe.'”

“Through our Virginia Catholic Conference, we supported this historic legislation as it progressed through the General Assembly because all human life is sacred,” they said. “We are grateful to those who worked to make this a reality.”

“Our dioceses also continue our prayers for families of victims of horrific crimes and renew our commitment to provide for their pastoral support. We stand ready to accompany them in their journey to find healing and peace.”

During the ceremony in Jarratt, many people praised the Catholic conference’s advocacy, including bill-sponsor state Sen. Scott A. Surovell, a Democrat from Fairfax, Virginia, who thanked the conference and several priests for their work. “I can’t tell you how much that has helped,” he said.

Earlier this year, Catholics welcomed the news that both houses of the legislature passed bills abolishing capital punishment.

“It’s an incredible moment for Virginia,” said Bob More, a parishioner of St. John Neumann Church in Reston, “to finally uphold the dignity of every person including those who offended against society in a serious way, and to recognize the death penalty has not been applied in a fair and defensible manner, and that people need an opportunity for rehabilitation and repentance.”

More, who previously participated in evening prayer vigils to end executions, made the comments in an interview with the Arlington Catholic Herald, the diocesan newspaper.

“The end of Virginia’s death penalty signifies the growing consensus that capital punishment is a flawed and morally bankrupt system that violates the sanctity of human life,” said Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of Catholic Mobilizing Network.

“From the pews to the pulpit, many Virginia Catholics were persistent advocates who paved the way for the commonwealth’s abolition of the death penalty,” she said in a March 24 statement.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:45 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD: pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133
"Biden has done a ['X'] job so far": pg 17



Pope Francis on climate and migration: ‘To see or not to see, that is the question’ [In-Depth]
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People photograph a graffiti depicting Pope Francis cleaning the sky from pollution, painted on a wall of Albano, near Rome, before the start of the pontiff visit, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. The graffiti realized by artist Maupal, Mauro Pallotta and named 'Exemplum Omnibus' (Example for All) was inspired by the encyclical 'Laudato Si' (Praise Be) where is declared an urgent need for the political and spiritual conversion of global leaders and individuals to dedicate themselves to curbing climate change and ending policies and personal habits that destroy creation. (Credit: Andrew Medichini/AP)

ROME — Renewing his calls for an integral ecology and pastoral reach to climate displaced people, Pope Francis channeled his inner William Shakespeare, arguing that when engulfed by images of people uprooted by changes in climate, “to see or not to see, that is the question!”

“We are engulfed by news and images of whole peoples uprooted by cataclysmic changes in our climate, forced to migrate,” Francis wrote. “But what effect these stories have on us, and how we respond — whether they cause fleeting responses or trigger something deeper in us; whether it seems remote or whether we feel it close to home — depends on our taking the trouble to see the suffering that each story entails.”

Francis words came in the preface to a booklet released by the Vatican on Tuesday, titled The Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People. The pontiff argued that it’s full of “relevant facts, interpretations, policies and proposals,” but addressing the challenge these people face starts “with each one’s seeing, yes, mine and yours.”

The document, available online, delves into the nexus between the climate crisis and forced migration, calling on society to avoid the “false polarization between care for creation on the one hand and development and the economy on the other.”

Introducing the booklet, the director of the Holy See press office, Italian Matteo Bruni, noted that “climate change and poverty, and by extension migration, are integrally related.”

The booklet was presented in Rome through an online press conference, that included Cardinal Michael Czerny, undersecretary of the Vatican’s migrants and refugees’ section.

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Pope Francis shakes hands with Undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Michael Czerny during an audience with refugees arriving from Lesbos at the Vatican, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. (Credit: Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP.)

“These are the first pastoral orientations which really respond to a new and spreading phenomenon,” Czerny said. “We have a lot to learn, but most importantly, we want to learn how to respond. The needs these people face, are immediate.”

[…]

Father Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, an official of the Vatican’s Dicastery for an Integral Human Development and coordinator of the ecology section Vatican’s COVID-19 taskforce, argued that the climate crisis and other ecological hazards are becoming the primary drivers of displacements and could re-shape the patterns of migration in the coming decades.

“It’s ultimately a moral problem,” Kureethadam said. “The poor and vulnerable communities whose carbon emissions are only a fraction of those of the rich world are already the early and disproportionate victims of the crisis.”

[…]

In the preface to the book, Pope Francis writes that despite seemingly inevitable for people to be driven out because of their local environment becoming uninhabitable through a process of nature, “the deteriorating climate is very often the result of poor choices and destructive activity, of selfishness and neglect, that set humankind at odds with creation, our common home.”

Unlike the pandemic, which was a sudden development, the pope wrote, the climate crisis has been unfolding since the Industrial Revolution and remained imperceptible except to a few “clairvoyants,” and it’s uneven in its impact: Climate change happens everywhere, but those who have contributed the least to it are the most affected by it.

Francis writes that those who are driven from their homes by the climate crisis are to be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated.

“The Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People calls on us to broaden the way we look at this drama of our time,” he writes. “It urges us to see the tragedy of prolonged uprootedness that causes our brothers and sisters to cry out, year after year, ‘We can’t go back, and we can’t begin anew’.”

“To see or not to see is the question that leads us to the answer in action together,” Francis writes. “These pages show us what is needed and, with God’s help, what to do.”

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:41 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133
"Biden has done a ['X'] job so far": pg 17
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD": pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 153



Pope at Easter Urbi et Orbi: 'Risen Christ is hope that does not disappoint' [In-Depth, Video]
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Throughout the world, the Church proclaims the joyous news that “Jesus, who was crucified, has risen as He said. Alleluia!”, Pope Francis said at the start of his Easter message broadcast live around the world.

He delivered his Urbi et Orbi message inside St. Peter’s Basilica, just like last year, due to coronavirus safety measures.

He had just concluded presiding over the Easter Sunday Mass at the Altar of the Chair with a small congregation participating. The Basilica featured arrays of Avalanche roses given by Dutch florists who traditionally filled St. Peter’s Square with flowers on Easter every year, but had to stop temporarily due to the pandemic.

The Easter reality of the Resurrection offers concrete, tangible hope and consolation, the Pope noted, but its message does not offer us “a mirage or reveal a magic formula” we might wish as an escape exit to the world’s difficult realities.

Among them, the spread of the pandemic, social and economic crisis hitting the poor especially, but also, he noted the “scandalous” fact that “armed conflicts have not ended and military arsenals are being strengthened.”

Hope that does not disappoint

The Easter message of hope tells us concisely that “the crucified Jesus, none other, has risen from the dead”, Pope Francis said, adding that God the Father raised Jesus, who accomplished His saving will by taking upon Himself our weakness, infirmities, the weight of our sins, even our death. Because of this, the Pope said, “God the Father exalted Him and now Jesus Christ lives forever; He is the Lord.”

The wounds Jesus bears in His hands, feet and side are “the everlasting seal of His love for us”, the Pope noted, and all who experience trials in body or spirit can find refuge in them and “receive the grace of the hope that does not disappoint.”

Hope and solidarity in pandemic times

Pope Francis went on to say that the Risen Christ gives hope and comfort for those suffering from the pandemic, the sick and those who have lost a loved one. He also prayed that the Lord might “sustain the valiant efforts of doctors and nurses”.

He stressed that everyone, especially the vulnerable, needs assistance and has a right to care, and vaccines are essential. He appealed to the international community “to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries.”

The Risen Lord is comfort for the unemployed and those suffering economic difficulties, the Pope said. He prayed that Christ might “inspire public authorities to act so that everyone, especially families in greatest need” can be provided with help in order to avoid sliding into poverty, a sad reality the pandemic has dramatically worsened.

[…]

Hope that brings peace to our world

Quoting Saint John Paul II when visiting Haiti, “the poor of every kind must begin once more to hope”, he said as his thoughts also turned to the “beloved Haitian people”, urging them “to look to the future with confidence and hope", and not be overwhelmed by current difficulties. He underscored his closeness to them and that their problems may be definitively resolved.

Pope Francis prayed for the young people of Myanmar “committed to supporting democracy and making their voices heard peacefully,” so that “hatred can be dispelled only by love.”

He recalled migrants fleeing from war and extreme poverty and that the “light of the risen Jesus be a source of rebirth” for them, as we see in them the “marred and suffering face of the Lord” on the path to Calvary. This calls for concrete signs of solidarity and human fraternity” on the part of all, he noted, and he thanked nations receiving those who seek refuge, citing Lebanon and Jordan which have taken in so many refugees fleeing violence in neighboring Syria.

May the people of Lebanon, he prayed, “find support from the international community” in these tough times and persevere in being “a land of encounter, coexistence and pluralism.”

And “may Christ our peace” halt the clash of arms in “beloved and war-torn Syria”, the Pope underscored, where millions are suffering.

He also pointed out the “deafening and scandalous silence” regarding the suffering in Yemen.

[…]

Living as brothers and sisters

The Resurrection takes us to Jerusalem, the Pope went on to say, where “we ask the Lord to grant peace and security,” so it can “embrace its calling” to be a place where “all can see one another as brothers and sisters”. He encouraged Israelis and Palestinians to “rediscover the power of dialogue” so a solution can be found to “enable the two states to dwell side by side in peace and prosperity.”

Pope Francis also recalled his visit last month to Iraq, and prayed that the nation continues on the “path to peace” and “fulfil God’s dream for a human family hospitable and welcoming to all his children.”

Overcome the mindset of war

The Pope’s thoughts then turned to Africa, especially places suffering from internal violence and international terrorism in areas of the Sahel, Nigeria, Tigray and the Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique, and prayed the conflicts may be resolved peacefully through “dialogue in a spirit of reconciliation and true solidarity”.

[…]

Healed by the wounds of Christ

In conclusion, Pope Francis recognized how in so many places Christians have celebrated Easter under severe restrictions, sometimes unable to attend liturgical celebrations. He prayed that these, and all restrictions on freedom of worship and religion worldwide, may be lifted so all are allowed to pray and praise God freely.

Amid these many hardships, the Pope said, we must always remember that “we have been healed by the wounds of Christ” and in light of the Risen Lord, “our sufferings are now transfigured … where there was death, now there is life”.

[…]



ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:13 pm

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133
"Biden has done a ['X'] job so far": pg 17
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD": pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 153




The Money-Quotes:
[…]

"There are real anxieties that the lockdowns are being exploited as a pretext for new restrictions," Antoine Renard, international administrator of France's Association of Catholic Families, told NCR.

"It often seems politicians no longer understand the importance of religion," said Renard. "Against this, Catholics will have to be very clear about their rights and use all legal possibilities to defend [themselves]."

[…]

In an annual speech to the Vatican's diplomatic corps in February, Pope Francis warned 182 ambassadors accredited to the Holy See that efforts to contain COVID-19 had "impacted various fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion."

Fr. Piotr Mazurkiewicz, a Polish theologian and political scientist who was secretary-general of the EU commission of bishops' conferences from 2008 to 2012, said the past year had shown "a distinction between countries with a friendly attitude to faith, and those where the political culture is hostile to religion, seeing it as more harmful than helpful to the organization of the state."

"The EU's institutions currently side very strongly with the ideology of secularization, treating this as normative," Mazurkiewicz told NCR. "Some governments are actively pushing it, convinced a secularized society will be more modern and efficient than a religious one."

Some EU nations have been careful not to interfere with religious freedom, allowing church services to continue, with number limits and sanitary precautions.

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:59 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD": pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 153
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15 / pg 16
"Biden has done a ['X'] job so far": pg 17 / pg 18



Links: Catholic social teaching origins, voting laws, corporate taxes [News Roundup]
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[…]

Are you sitting down? I am not shy about criticizing Bishop Robert Barron, but today I would like to praise him. His Word on Fire ministries is publishing a book on Catholic social teaching. As Barron explains in a new video, the book begins with a compendium of key magisterial texts, but the latter section includes writings from earlier Catholic writers such as the church fathers St. Thomas Aquinas and Bartolomé de las Casas. For many years, I was disturbed that the way we teach Catholic social teaching left students with the impression that it just dropped out of the sky in 1891 when Pope Leo XIII published Rerum Novarum. In fact, regular readers will recall NCR publishing a paper on the Scriptural and doctrinal foundations of Catholic social teaching by the same Msgr. John Strynkowski whom I noted above.


[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:24 pm

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Sharing goods not communism but 'pure Christianity,' Pope says
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Pope Francis celebrates Easter Mass at St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican Sunday, April 4, 2021, during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Credit: Filippo Monteforte/Pool photo via AP)

ROME — Pope Francis on Sunday argued that having received mercy, Jesus’ apostles became merciful themselves, sharing ownership over everything, calling such an arrangement “not communism, but pure Christianity.”

“The Acts of the Apostles relate that ‘no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.’ This is not communism, but pure Christianity,” he said.

The pope’s words came as he marked Divine Mercy Sunday in a Roman church dedicated to the devotion. Given COVID-19 restrictions, the Church of Santo Spirito was half empty, yet filled with a group of male and female prisoners from three local prisons, a migrant family from Argentina, refugees coming from Syria, Nigeria and Egypt, and religious sisters who work in a local hospital.

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter, which concludes the Octave of Easter.

[…]

“Today is the day to ask, ‘Am I, who have so often received God’s peace, his mercy, merciful to others? Do I, who have so often been fed by his Body, make any effort to relieve the hunger of the poor?’” Francis said. “Let us not remain indifferent. Let us not live a one-way faith, a faith that receives but does not give, a faith that accepts the gift but does not give it in return.”

If love is only about oneself, the pope continued, faith becomes dry, barren and sentimental. By accepting God’s love, Christians can offer something new to the world. If they rely only on the efficiency of structures and projects, the pope said, “we will not go far.”

During his homily, Francis said that after his resurrection, Jesus brought about the “resurrection of the disciples,” trying to change their lives through mercy — “through three gifts.”

First, Francis said, “Jesus offers them peace, then the Spirit and finally his wounds.”

[…]

“As far as God is concerned, no one is useless, discredited or a castaway,” Francis said to the prisoners, migrants and refugees. “Today Jesus also tells us, ‘Peace be with you! You are precious in my eyes. Peace be with you! You are important for me. Peace be with you! You have a mission. No one can take your place. You are irreplaceable. And I believe in you’.”

Second, Francis said Jesus bestowed [mercy] on his disciples [with] the Spirit for the forgiveness of sins.

“Like those disciples, we need to let ourselves be forgiven,” he said. “Forgiveness in the Holy Spirit is the Easter gift that enables our interior resurrection. Let us ask for the grace to accept that gift, to embrace the Sacrament of forgiveness.”

Before moving on to the next gift, Francis extolled the Sacrament of Confession, saying it’s not about one’s sins but God and his mercy: “Let us not confess to abase ourselves, but to be raised up. We, all of us, need this badly.”

[…]

“Together with the peace that rehabilitates us and the forgiveness that lifts us up, Jesus gave his disciples a third gift of mercy: he showed them his wounds. By those wounds we were healed (cf. 1 Pet 2:24; Is 53:5). But how can wounds heal us? By mercy. In those wounds, like Thomas, we can literally touch the fact that God has loved us to the end. He has made our wounds his own and borne our weaknesses in his own body. His wounds are open channels between him and us, shedding mercy upon our misery. His wounds are the pathways that God has opened up for us to enter into his tender love and actually “touch” who he is. Let us never again doubt his mercy.”

“In adoring and kissing his wounds, we come to realize that in his tender love all our weaknesses are accepted. This happens at every Mass, where Jesus offers us his wounded and risen Body. We touch him and he touches our lives. He makes heaven come down to us. His radiant wounds dispel the darkness we carry within. Like Thomas, we discover God; we realize how close he is to us and we are moved to exclaim, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28). Everything comes from this, from the grace of receiving mercy. This is the starting-point of our Christian journey. But if we trust in our own abilities, in the efficiency of our structures and projects, we will not go far. Only if we accept the love of God, will we be able to offer something new to the world.”

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:19 am

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U.S. and Mexican bishops call for better migration policies at border
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Young migrants lie inside a pod March 30, 2021 at the holding facility in Donna, Texas, set up in February by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security. (Credit: CNS photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, Pool via Reuters)

NEW YORK — As the number of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border continues to soar, more than a dozen Catholic bishops from both countries issued a reminder on Thursday that “there is a shared responsibility of all nations to preserve human life and provide for safe, orderly, and humane immigration, including the right to asylum.”

The joint statement from bishops of each country comes at a time when thousands of children and families have continued to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks at a rate that’s led to overcrowded and packed border facilities.

Children and families in particular, the bishops ask the government to prioritize.

“We maintain that family unity must be a vital component of any response. We ask that special attention be given to particularly vulnerable populations, such as children,” the bishops wrote. “We strongly urge that structures be put in place and reforms in our laws be made to both promote a welcoming culture for our sisters and brothers and respect the sovereignty and safety of our countries.”

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[color=graYoung unaccompanied migrants, ages 3 to 9, watch television inside a playpen March 30, 2021, at the holding facility in Donna, Texas, set up in February by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security. (Credit: Dario Lopez-Mills/Pool via Reuters via CNS)][/color]

[…]

In the statement, the bishops note that they witness the “daily dilemma that our migrant sisters and brothers face.” And “for most, the decision to migrate is not motivated by an indifference toward their homeland or the pursuit of economic prosperity; it’s a matter of life or death.”

They go on to call on both governments to work alongside other countries in the region to eliminate the conditions that compel people to migrate in the first place.

On the U.S. side of the border, the statement was signed by Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville, chairman of the U.S. Bishops Conference Committee on Migration. The other signatories include bishops along the border: Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Bishop James Tamayo of Laredo, Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tucson, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Bishop Peter Baldacchino of Las Cruces, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, Bishop Michael Sis of San Angelo and Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio.

It was also signed by several Mexican bishops: Bishop José Guadalupe Torres Campos of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, head of the Episcopal Dimension of Pastoral Ministry of Human Mobility; Bishop Jesús José Herrera Quiñones of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua; Bishop Alonso Garza Treviño of Piedras Negras, Coahuila; Bishop Enrique Sánchez Martínez of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas; Bishop Eugenio Andrés Lira Rugarcía of Matamoros, Tamaulipas; and Bishop Hilario González García of Saltillo, Coahuila.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:22 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD": pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 153
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15 / pg 16
"Biden has done a ['X'] job so far": pg 17 / pg 18



Human rights are undermined when elderly are cast aside, says U.N. nuncio
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Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations, speaks at the U.N. in New York City Jan. 27, 2020. (Credit: Gregory A. Shemitz/CNS.)

UNITED NATIONS — Universally recognized human rights are “undermined and rejected” whenever people “are no longer seen as a paramount value to be cared for and respected,” Archbishop Gabriele Caccia told a U.N. working group on aging March 29.

Too often the elderly, along with the poor, the disabled and the unborn, are “thrown aside” and determined to be “no longer needed,” said the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations.

“We need … an approach in which the inherent value of the elderly is recognized, protected, cherished and advanced. The Holy See strongly believes that ‘those who make room for the elderly make room for life!'” he said, quoting Pope Francis’s encyclical “Fratelli Tutti: on Fraternity and Social Friendship.”

In the labor market and the world of work, Caccia said, many elderly people continue to face age discrimination “that undermines the dignity both of their work and of them as workers.”

This discrimination can be seen “in all aspects of work, including application and hiring processes, the work experience itself and opportunities after retirement,” he said. “The elderly worker has wisdom, experience and skills that should not be cast aside.”

At the same time, efforts to address these employment challenges of the older generations “should not be framed as creating competition with other age groups,” he explained.

Too much emphasis on their “continued workforce participation” should not suggest “retirement is a failure or that one’s value depends on productivity,” he explained.

And “focusing only on paid work risks trivializing the irreplaceable unpaid work in the family so often done by elderly,” he continued. “Such concrete contributions to the family — as well as to society through elderly volunteers — deserve much greater recognition.”

He noted that many countries currently “offer very concrete and practical ways for the elderly to engage in society, including through cultural, social and leisure programs, where possible,” and he urged that these measures be expanded.

[…]

Caccia urged the world body to give more consideration to “the dangers of an uncritical and inordinate institutionalization of the elderly” and look at how to guarantee “the best possible continuum of care, preserving, as far as possible, the bonds of older persons with loved ones and with a familiar environment.”

Often the elderly, especially the most vulnerable and those most alone, are relegated to institutions that are unable to adequately care for all their needs but are proposed “as the only possible solution to look after them,” he said.

This approach “exposes many elderly persons to neglect, abuse, violence and, in the case of the pandemic, to increased risk of violations of the rights to life and health,” the archbishop added.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:47 am

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Catholic immigration advocates say ‘Christian response’ needed at border [In-Depth]
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A mother from Guatemala seeking asylum in the U.S. kisses her 3-month-old baby while waiting to be escorted by Border Patrol agents in Roma, Texas, April 7, 2021, after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States. (Credit: Go Nakamura/Reuters, via CNS)

NEW YORK — While Democrats and Republicans are trading accusations for who is to blame for the present crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, one U.S. bishop says enough is enough.

“It’s extremely important that we find ways to transcend the partisanship. You know, instead of politicizing the issue can we for once Christianize the issue? Can we say, what would be a truly loving Christian response?” Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso told Crux.

“Jesus tells us we’re supposed to love those that hate us. So, can we Christianize the situation and begin to live in a way that makes the gospel real? I think then we would come a long way to resolving these problems and we would be assured of the help of God,” he continued.

Faith organizations along the border continue to provide humanitarian relief to migrants and speak out against what’s widely considered a broken system.

One constant complaint is Title 42.

[…]

In El Paso, Seitz told Crux he’s witnessed migrants flown in from the Brownsville area and subsequently “ushered” back across the bridge to Juarez, Mexico — a place they’ve never been before — under the policy.

“They were just in utter despair,” the bishop said. “Young families with babies and children saying: What do I do now? I have no money. I have nothing but the clothes they allowed me to keep on my back.”

“And then the strange place. What they don’t know at first, but what they’ll find out, is the shelters are pretty much full and we’re just praying that people aren’t going to be left out on the street with their babies. That’s what I witnessed in Juarez,” he continued.

Dylan Corbett, executive director of the Hope Border Institute in El Paso, said the city is ready to meet the challenge of welcoming immigrants if the asylum seekers were allowed to stay, but the situation is bleak on the Mexican side of the border.

“The U.S. government is planting the seeds of a real crisis situation in Ciudad Juarez unnecessarily and causing real trauma. Juarez does not have the resources to provide hospitality to these migrants and to a city which has a real reputation for being dangerous for vulnerable people like migrants,” Corbett said.

“I’ve witnessed the U.S. Border Patrol forcibly return people. They walk them over the bridge, they come over the bridge, and I’ve seen how traffickers and smugglers have preyed on this population,” he said.

In Nogales, Arizona, Kino Border Initiative executive director Joanna Williams has also seen the policy at work. Williams told Crux that migrants are detained in the Arizona desert and immediately expelled across the border to Nogales, Mexico.

Corbett said that the policy is exacerbating other challenges at the border. For example, he said it’s contributing to the rise of unaccompanied minors because those “who come to the border are coming with their family who have to make the terrible choice of sending their children across the border.”

Williams called on the Biden administration to “develop a better plan for how to unwind Title 42 and robustly restore access to asylum at the border instead of just putting out radio [advertisements] and telling people not to come. If you’re not giving people alternatives, a radio ad is not going to influence a decision.”

She also wants Americans to exhibit more empathy for migrants and the situations in which they have found themselves.

She added for that to happen, people need to hear their stories.

[…]

Immigrant advocates also object to the use of the word “crisis” at the border.

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, who presided over an Easter Mass for 1,500 unaccompanied minors in the diocese flown in from Texas, told Crux that the situation deserves a word bigger than challenge but less than crisis. It’s something he pondered recently on a call with the other U.S. border bishops.

“[‘Crisis’] signifies a situation at the border that threatens to engulf our country in some major way. That’s not true. That’s my reason for not using the word ‘crisis’. Because it’s not factually correct,” McElroy said.

Seitz acknowledged there is a surge in asylum seekers, but said the word “crisis” leads people to assume “drastic measures are needed and human rights can be set aside.”

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:20 pm

+JMJ+

Border priest says migrant children need protection, assistance
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Young migrants are seen March 30, 2021, at the holding facility in Donna, Texas, set up in February by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security. (Credit: Credit: Dario Lopez-Mills, Pool via Reuters)

NEW YORK — When the priest of the lone Catholic parish in the U.S.-Mexico border city of Donna, Texas, considers the present situation at the border, his first concern is for the unaccompanied minors trying to gain entry to the United States.

“It is very important to protect the children because the cartels are involved in this situation. Another big issue in this part is human trafficking,” Father Franciscus Asisi Eka Yuantoro told Crux. “The children need protection because they do not know the process and how to adapt with a new situation. We have to create a program that can truly help guide the children.”

Yuantoro presides over St. Joseph Catholic Church, that serves about 3,000 Catholic families — part of a total population around 16,500 — in the south Texas city. It’s about 15 miles from the border. He said he also has a chapel in the southern part of Donna about three or four miles from the border, which gives them a “direct connection.”

Donna is a part of the Rio Grande Valley, which is one of the sections of the border where migrants most often attempt passage into the country. It’s been in the news of late because of its U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Facility that was severely overcrowded with thousands of people — children and families — confined to a space designed for 250.

[…]

In a recent conversation with Crux, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy called the situation “tremendously sad” because they’re “separated from their families and they had questions we did not have answers for.”

“Am I going to find a home here? Am I going to be able to get to my relatives? All of these different things, which are behind their coming,” McElroy said.

Yuantoro said he believes a new program can help alleviate the anxiety experienced by these children. And he also believes it should extend to the other side of the border to provide more help as they cross.

“The one thing is right now, we need volunteers to protect the children and assist the children. The system from the government has to have an officer to protect them because they don’t know what they can do as immigrants, in here, in a hard process and everything,” the priest said.

“The second thing is as they’re entering in here so that, before they’re entering through the border and bridge, that they can protect the children too. Some of them are in a situation and have to protect from the cartel over there and we have to assist them,” he continued.

He further noted that the cartels will “abuse the children and use them to do their business and it’s very important to protect the children from danger.”

Because of COVID-19 safety precautions, Yuantoro hasn’t gone to the Donna migrant facility, although he has helped migrants at the Catholic Charities of Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center in nearby McAllen, Texas.

In Donna, Yuantoro said he most often helps migrants with documentation. He said some come to Donna without any documentation at all and he works to get them on the right track, along with the Diocese of Brownsville, which is a process that ranges from months to years.

For that reason, Yuantoro said, families often settle in Donna, in its more than 100 colonias. He estimates today 35 percent of parents in the city are undocumented.

“They stay in colonias and they work as immigrants and they have a pay. It’s not truly a good payment but they say that it’s better for us in here than in our country,” the priest said.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:44 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD": pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 153
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15 / pg 16
"Biden has done a ['X'] job so far": pg 17 / pg 18
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133 / pg 134



Top Vatican diplomat says decline of the West not irreversible [In-Depth]
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The Holy See Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Credit: Richard Drew/AP)

ROME — Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister, said that though it’s “legitimate” to speak of a decadence and decline of the West, he’s optimistic that the decline is not irreversible.

“I recognize that it is legitimate to speak both of the decadence and decline of the West,” he told the Italian quarterly Le Sfide. “But in all honesty, I do not share these opinions because I have hope and faith, I keep an optimism that leads me to believe that with due commitment we can rise again.”

He said one reason he is “cautiously optimistic” is because for the first time in a century Europe and the West are faced with the enormous challenge represented by the COVID-19 pandemic that unites it with the rest of the world.

“We too, therefore, live and face what many populations, in Africa and Asia, have experienced and faced many times over the years,” he said. “The pandemic challenges us first of all in our humanity, in everything we believe in. It challenges our systems, our governments, our social and economic structures. It is, paradoxically, an experience that can help us to review our priorities a little and to reflect on the direction of our society. If there is a decline, it is therefore not irreversible. We can reverse the trend by facing reality.”

The English archbishop has served as the Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State since 2014.

Speaking about anti-Christian persecution around the world today, the prelate said that the Church appeared timid at times, but “we reacted strongly, albeit not in a public way. It was a dictated by the desire not to give the impression that the Church was fueling the clash of civilizations, a theorem that some have even tried to spread.”

Gallagher said that many countries have been hesitant to acknowledge the fact that persecution is a Christian reality.

“This attitude was dictated by different reasons in the West rather than in the realities of those most at risk, where there was also a tendency to address the issue more broadly, speaking of persecuted religious minorities rather than just Christians, also to avoid retaliation,” he said.

Nevertheless, he mentioned a “growing sensitivity” on the issue of persecuted Christians, with several governments, including that of Italy and Hungary, starting initiatives to support persecuted Christian populations.

[…]

Gallagher also argued that “the West” must be open to learn from the East, even from those systems “we don’t have an immediate sympathy for.” Here, he gave the example of China.

“But one of their goals is to eliminate extreme poverty,” Gallagher said. “On November 23, 2020, the Chinese government declared that it had already eradicated absolute poverty. This is an ambitious project. One can critically analyze and discuss many aspects of that area, but we cannot fail to take into account this objective.”

China, he said, has a strong perception of poverty as a social scandal, and the West, with all its programs and policies, has often forgotten this dimension, and has thus far been unable to solve the problem, even minimally.

“Thus, we have resigned ourselves,” Gallagher argued. “Perhaps, there will always be poverty. But it would at least be useful to wonder how to eliminate poverty or reduce the economic and social inequalities that in recent decades have increased dramatically.”

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:25 am

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Is there a ‘crisis’ on the U.S.-Mexico border? It’s a tough question to answer. [In-Depth, Interview, Video]
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After crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States to seek asylum, a 4-year-old migrant child sleeps on the ground by his mother while they wait to be transported by Border Patrol in La Joya, Texas, April 8, 2021. (CNS photo/Go Nakamura, Reuters)

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

An influx of migrants and unaccompanied minors at the U.S.-Mexico border is straining the government’s capacity to process and house asylum seekers and testing the Biden administration’s immigration policy. On America’s Behind the Story, senior editor J.D. Long-García spoke with Dylan Corbett, the executive director of the Hope Border Institute — a grass-roots organization guided by the tenets of Catholic social teaching — to learn about the reality of the situation at the southern border, the politicization of immigration and the role of the Catholic Church in addressing the migrant crisis.

The following transcript has been edited for style and length.


=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

[…]

J.D. Long-García: Is there a crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border?

Dylan Corbett: Oftentimes when people talk about a crisis at the border, they think about uncontrolled numbers of people. If you just look at arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border in the first quarter of 2021, there is not a crisis. There are increasing numbers, and we have certainly seen a significant rise in the amount of children. But these are not unprecedented numbers. These are certainly not unmanageable numbers. There are peaks and valleys in terms of arrivals.

We saw a significant increase in the amount of people coming in 2014, then again in 2016, again in 2019. And now in 2021, we are seeing an uptick. And those different years have been under different administrations, both Democrat and Republican. So, it is hard to speak of a crisis in terms of the numbers.

If you are seeking refuge and asylum — protection from persecution or extreme violence in your home country — and you come to the U.S.-Mexico border right now, there is a good chance that you will be expelled; that you will not be offered even an opportunity to make an asylum claim. That is a crisis for that individual. That is a crisis for that family. It is a question of perspective. Whose perspective do we adopt when we ask questions like that?

[…]

Q: That is interesting to hear, that difference between possibly perception and action thus far. I want to ask you about the unaccompanied minors and the situation that they are in right now. The media has not been allowed to enter a lot of these detention centers. Certainly, as a person in the media, I would want to respect the dignity of those children. But at the same time, that is a measure of accountability. Have you all been able to go in there? And if so, what have you seen?

A: Because of the pandemic, and because the Trump administration left the infrastructure abandoned at the border — they were expelling so many people under Title 42 and then began to return child minors — there was a lack of adequate personnel and lack of adequate infrastructure. So the Biden administration is trying to recover from that. Normally children are supposed to be in the custody of border enforcement only 72 hours and then transferred. Now, that whole system has been backed up by the lack of infrastructure and by the pandemic. There are backlogs. Children are spending more time in the custody of border enforcement agencies. Not 72 hours but days and days and days and days.

That is a red flag because border enforcement agencies do not have a good track record when sheltering people for significant amounts of time. The facilities are awful. The agents are simply not trained. There are not qualified staff to ensure child protection, health, safety, etc. Under the Trump administration, we saw more children die than had died in the past decade or more. We saw more adults die. The Biden administration is taking good steps to open up additional facilities here in Texas, California and other parts of the country, so we can address the bottlenecks. But they were a little flat-footed, frankly. The increase in children was going on for some months; they could have predicted this.

They are taking the right steps now, and that is what is important. But these facilities are still problematic. All the border enforcement agencies are really trained and funded to do — their DNA — is simply to detain and deport, detain and deport, detain and deport. When you present the challenge of asylum-seeking families and children, there is a conflict.

Q: I want to raise one question or possibility: money. I know that human trafficking and human smuggling are very lucrative, unfortunately. What role do human smuggling and human trafficking play, especially today with the unaccompanied minors that are coming north?

A: Money has a real pernicious influence on this whole reality of human migration. South of the border, we are talking about trafficking, smuggling. North of the border, there is also the reality of money influencing how we deal with immigrants. We have seen human rights abuses in the care of unaccompanied minors at the border. And oftentimes, those come from organizations that are profit-based.

When there is a profit motive, you introduce a real, terrible dynamic. There have been organizations reducing services, reducing the standard and quality of care. There have been patterns and practices of these organizations keeping children for longer than they need to be kept, and we know that there are psychosocial consequences of children being kept in prison-like facilities.

There is a strong profit motive in immigrant detention. Many of the detention centers are managed and run by for-profit corporations, which have an interest in detaining more and more migrants. So there are evil effects, we would say in the Catholic moral tradition, when you introduce the profit motive into detaining human beings north of the border.

South of the border, money can also have bad consequences, in terms of smuggling. But whenever we have tried to limit migration at the border, either by criminalizing the act of migration or [closing] our borders, people find a way around that. For those guides or smugglers or coyotes, there is a profit motive to try to find ways around that system. The only way that we are going to finally address human smuggling is to make sure that there are legal pathways for people to enter the United States.

The more we try to harden the border, the more business smugglers get. Remain in Mexico is a perfect example. There was increased kidnapping, increased extortion, increased homicides of migrants at the border. So whenever we try to harden the border without allowing people legal pathways to enter, we incentivize their perverse incentives for things like smuggling.

Q: For the most recent story that I wrote about immigration, you talked about the current situation as an opportunity for the church. Can you share more of what that vision would be for the church to be more participatory in responding to this situation?

A: Those who are on the front lines of human mobility — with people on the move at the border — have long been people of faith, faith communities and the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has played a major role in offering people hospitality through a network of migrant shelters in the region, in Central America and Mexico, and here at the border. The Catholic Church has had a role in receiving refugees and in resettling refugees throughout the world and in the Americas.

The church has a lot of practical experience in welcoming the stranger — in welcoming Christ, who comes to us in the migrant. And the church has a lot of social capital. There is a major opportunity for the church to speak a different narrative, to lift up the reality that people on the move do not present a threat or something to be afraid of but a challenge to human solidarity. They remind us of our interconnectedness.

I think that that is what we have seen in the pandemic: that we are all related. That unless we focus on the least privileged, on the most vulnerable, we are not going to get through crises like the pandemic together. We are not going to address things like human migration in the Americas unless we address it together. The church has a significant role to play in changing the narrative.

Then, because the church has so much experience in this domain, there is an opportunity to partner with the Biden administration on addressing root causes. The church is intimately familiar with the push factors in Central America and Mexico. We are able to work collaboratively with the Biden administration in order to prioritize the most vulnerable.

It is a major opportunity for the church to spread the good news of the Gospel but also to make a positive contribution to receiving people on the move at the border.



ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:51 am

+JMJ+

The Splintering of the Evangelical Soul [In-Depth]
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Image: Illustration by Mallory Rentsch (Source Images: Kimson Doan / Unsplash / imtmphoto / Getty Images)

Why we’re coming apart, and how we might come together again.

New fractures are forming within the American evangelical movement, fractures that do not run along the usual regional, denominational, ethnic, or political lines. Couples, families, friends, and congregations once united in their commitment to Christ are now dividing over seemingly irreconcilable views of the world. In fact, they are not merely dividing but becoming incomprehensible to one another.

Recently, a group of my college friends, all raised and nurtured in healthy evangelical families and congregations, reconnected online in search of understanding. One person mourned that she could no longer understand her parents or how their views of the world had so suddenly and painfully shifted. Another described friends who were demographically identical, who had once stood beside him on practically every issue, but who now promoted ideas he found shocking. Still another said her church was breaking up, driven apart by mutual suspicion and misunderstanding.

“These were my people,” one said, “but now I don’t know who they are, or maybe I don’t know who I am.”

What do you do when you feel you’re losing the people you love to a false reality? What do you do with the humbling truth that they have precisely the same fear about you?

The quandary is not unique to evangelicals. But fellow believers who once stood shoulder to shoulder now find that tectonic shifts have thrust them apart, their continents are separating, and they cannot find a bridge back to common ground. How could our views of reality diverge so dramatically — and is there anything we can do to draw together again?

The plausibility curve and the information curve

Among the most persistent interests of my academic career was the question of how people form beliefs. Not how they should form beliefs, in some idealized vision of perfected rationality, but how they actually form beliefs as embodied creatures embedded in communities and cultures. I want to introduce a simple conceptual tool, influenced in part by the work of Peter Berger, that may help us understand what is happening.

Imagine a horizontal plane that curves downward into a bowl, rises back again, and returns to a horizontal plane. The curve, from one end of the bowl to the other, represents the range of claims an individual finds believable. Let’s call it a plausibility curve. Claims that fall in the center of the curve will be perceived as most plausible; they require little evidence or argumentation before an individual will consent to believe. Claims falling near the edges are increasingly implausible as they deviate from the center, requiring progressively more persuasion. Claims falling entirely outside the plausibility curve are beyond the range of what a person might believe at a given point in time, and no amount of evidence or logic will be sufficient.

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What determines the plausibility of a given claim is how well it conforms to what an individual experiences, already believes, and wants to believe. …

[…]

Like the Overton window in political theory, a plausibility curve can expand, contract, and shift. Friends or family members whose plausibility curves were once identical may find that they diverge over the course of time. Claims one person finds immediately plausible are almost inconceivable to the other. But how does this happen? That’s where the information curve comes in.

Imagine a mirror-image bowl above the plausibility curve. This is the information curve, and it reflects the individual’s external sources of information about the world—such as communities, authorities, and media. Those sources in the center of the information curve are deemed most trustworthy; claims that come from these sources are accepted almost without question. Sources of information on the outer ends of the bowl are considered less trustworthy, so their claims will be held up to greater scrutiny. Sources outside the curve entirely are, at least for this individual, so lacking in credibility that their claims are dismissed out of hand.

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The center of the information curve will generally align with the center of the plausibility curve. The relationship is mutually reinforcing. Sources are considered more trustworthy when they deliver claims we find plausible, and claims are considered more plausible when they come from sources we trust. A source of information that consistently delivers claims in the center of the plausibility curve will come to be believed implicitly.

[…]

Image

[…]

As a final definitional note, let’s call the whole structure, the plausibility curve and the information curve, an informational world. An informational world encompasses how an individual or a community of individuals receives and processes information. Differing informational worlds will have differing facts and sources. Our challenge today is that we occupy multiple informational worlds with little in common and much hostility between them.

What does all of this have to do with the evangelical movement? A great deal.

The evangelical crises

The American evangelical movement has never been comprised of a single community. Depending on the criteria, estimates generally put the number of American evangelicals at 80-100 million. Even if we split the difference at 90 million, this would make the American evangelical population larger than every European nation save Russia. It is also diverse, reaching across all regions, races, and socioeconomic levels. What held the movement together historically was not only a shared set of moral and theological commitments, but a broadly similar view of the world and common sources of information. Their plausibility curves and information curves largely overlapped. There were some matters on which they differed, but the ground they shared in the middle served as a basis of mutual understanding and fellowship.

This sense of commonality grew increasingly strained as groups not formerly identified as evangelical came to be lumped together, defining the category “evangelical” less in theological terms and more in social, cultural, and political terms. This broader evangelical movement today is dividing into separate communities that still hold some moral and theological commitments in common but differ dramatically on their sources of information and their broader view of the world. Their informational worlds have little overlap. They can only discuss a narrow range of topics if they do not want to fall into painful and exasperated disagreement.

One group within American evangelicalism believes our religious liberties have never been more firmly established; another that they have never been at greater risk. One group believes racism is still systemic in American society; another that the “systemic racism” push is a progressive program to redistribute wealth and power to angry radicals. One is more concerned with the insurrection at the Capitol; another with the riots that followed the killing of George Floyd. One believes the Trump presidency was generationally damaging to Christian witness; another that it was enormously beneficial. One believes the former president attempted a coup; another that the Democrats stole the election. One believes masks and vaccines are marks of Christian love; another that the rejection of the same is a mark of Christian courage.

There are countless groups in between, of course, but these examples illustrate the tension: We occupy the same reality but starkly different worlds. There is a real question whether these worlds can (or should) draw back together again. This is a critical moment for our movement.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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