THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:53 am

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Subject Header: Viganò/QAnon/Deep State/Deep Church
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"Mary Alone": pg 18 / pg 20 /pg 20
"Any QAnoners Here?": pg 5 / pg 5 / pg 5
"THE CHRISTIAN THREAD":
"President Trump is a problem...": pg 38
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD": pg 152 / pg 152 / pg 152
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 63 / pg 64 / pg 65 / pg 65 / pg 66 / pg 66 / pg 73 / pg 84 / pg 120 / pg 123 / pg 124 / pg 124 / pg 124 / pg 125 / pg 125 / pg 125 / pg 125 / pg 126 / pg 126 / pg 126 / pg 126 / pg 126 / pg 126 / pg 125 / pg 126 / pg 127 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 128 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 132
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 4 / pg 6 / pg 6 / pg6 / pg 6 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9



The Double Standard of the Enchanted World [Opinion]
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The Virgin Mary in a Mohawk First Nations bead crown. Photo taken in May 2019 by coauthor Nathan Turowsky in Kahnawake, Quebec.
There are ancient limitations from which fairy-stories offer a sort of escape, and old ambitions and desires (touching the very roots of fantasy) to which they offer a kind of satisfaction and consolation. Some are pardonable weaknesses or curiosities: such as the desire to visit, free as a fish, the deep sea; or the longing for the noiseless, gracious, economical flight of a bird, that longing which the aeroplane cheats, except in rare moments, seen high and by wind and distance noiseless, turning in the sun: that is, precisely when imagined and not used. There are profounder wishes: such as the desire to converse with other living things. On this desire, as ancient as the Fall, is largely founded the talking of beasts and creatures in fairy-tales, and especially the magical understanding of their proper speech. This is the root, and not the “confusion” attributed to the minds of men of the unrecorded past, an alleged “absence of the sense of separation of ourselves from beasts.” A vivid sense of that separation is very ancient; but also a sense that it was a severance: a strange fate and a guilt lies on us. Other creatures are like other realms with which Man has broken off relations, and sees now only from the outside at a distance, being at war with them, or on the terms of an uneasy armistice.

    — J.R.R. Tolkien, “On Fairy-Stories”
Indigenous spirituality — though this term is something of a misnomer, as its many forms, such as the animistic shamanism of the Sámi and the organized pantheon of the Nahua, are often vastly different from one another and equally indigenous all the same — holds as one of its few common points that all life on Earth is part of the same existence, and the actions of a few can impact the many. Tolkien speaks in his essay of a sense of sundering, as if mankind is severed from some ancient kinship with the beasts and the trees. For many indigenous peoples, this sundering never happened. Humanity is not above the natural world, but is instead a distinct part of it; there is no divide. Legends and oral histories that tell of animals taking human form, or imitating human voices for their own ends, are common across both North and South America. The Cherokee people have stories of deer women who take human husbands, and Amazonian folklore places the pink river dolphin in a similar position as the Irish selkie, warning that mysterious beautiful people who appear out of nowhere at festivals or parties might be animals in disguise. Unlike European fairy-stories, which seem to yearn for something that was lost to time, indigenous perceptions hold that this something never ended.

Despite this seeming kinship, there is a perception among many Catholics — particularly those opposed to the nascent “indigenous Catholicism” that is being acknowledged at last by Pope Francis in his efforts to reach out to Native people — that European fairy-stories and folklore are harmless while indigenous fairy-stories and folklore are dangerous and idolatrous. Quite often, a Tradition-minded Western Catholic who takes a steady diet of writers like Tolkien, Lewis, and Chesterton looks at an event like the October 2019 indigenous prayer service in the Vatican Gardens and sees, not something along the same lines as the veneration of a sacred well in medieval Ireland or the decoration of a Christmas tree today, but a “superstitious” or even “demonic” practice that cannot possibly have an authentically Catholic spiritual significance.

This double standard is, for most people, probably motivated by a simple gap in understanding between the widely popular Tolkienian or Lewisian “aesthetic” and the (to Westerners) much less familiar world of indigenous art and literature. However, when the double standard is (so to speak) doubled down upon and made a basis for one’s entire understanding of indigenous spirituality, it all too easily takes on the ugly face of racial prejudice. What, after all, does a Christmas tree have to do with the Catholic faith that the tree planted in the Vatican gardens last year does not? What problem is there with an Andean pachamama that there isn’t with Francis of Assisi’s sora nostra matre terra? One could argue that the problem is that in many indigenous spiritualities, the Catholic significance of something like this exists side-by-side in an uneasy tension with a pagan significance. Still, the same could be said of any number of things in the medieval European world for which Tolkien and his Tradition-minded early-twentieth-century cohort pined.

Adding to this tension and compounding the misunderstanding, unfortunately, is the specter of colonialism. Unlike other nations and places with rich pagan traditions who adopted Catholicism, indigenous peoples and tribes were never given an opportunity to Christianize at their own pace, or to engage with the Church and the faith in ways that gave voice to their unique cultural experiences. Old folklore was never given new context that placed their culture’s heroes or supernatural beings in explicitly Christian roles. We also have very few indigenous saints whose stories reflect the values of the peoples they came from while also maintaining distinct Catholic identity. Contrast Ireland, where the Irishness, as it were, of many saints is just as important as their faith, and yet stressing the pagan antecedents of St. Brigid of Kildare is generally considered among Catholics to be in poor taste.

In keeping with Pope Francis’s maxim that “time is greater than space,” a Catholic interested in thinking alongside our pontiff might see the issues surrounding indigenous spirituality as having more to do with when these cultures were evangelized than with what they were like beforehand. In many cases this “when,” as we have said, points us to the violent Spanish conquest of the Americas, whose consequences the Church in the New World is still living with today. In other cases, such as in much of Africa, this “when” points us to very recent events and to cultures in which Christianity is still quite newly established. In both of these situations, the Gospel finds itself in a situation in which the pagan past, to mangle a Faulkner quote, is not really past. Treating this situation as the fault, morally, of the people of these cultures is another prejudiced attitude, one that again is never applied to cultures that have been Christian for longer.

Indigenous peoples, to the extent that they are receptive to Christianity, are receptive not thanks to but in spite of “older” Christian societies and the extreme (and often ongoing) maltreatment that indigenous cultures have received at their hands. In a way, Catholics should count ourselves lucky that people like the Amazonian Christians who came in for so much odium on the eve of the Synod on the Amazon have been willing to Christianize at all. While no spirituality should be completely above criticism, the heightened level of suspicion applied to indigenous and non-European ways of looking at God, humanity, and creation is unjust and ought to be avoided by the faithful.

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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 Jan 28, 2021 9:27 am

+JMJ+

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

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
"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
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9



Pope: Failure to remember Holocaust will lead world down same path
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Pope Francis touches the death wall at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Oswiecim, Poland, in this July 29, 2016, file photo. The pope said remembering the Holocaust and its victims is not only an "expression of humanity" but also makes people aware that such horrors may happen again. The pope's comments came at his general audience as he commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day Jan. 27. (Credit: Paul Haring/CNS)

ROME — Remembering the Holocaust and its victims is not only an act of solidarity but also serves as a warning to humanity that such horrors could happen again, Pope Francis said.

Before concluding his weekly general audience Jan. 27, the pope marked the observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day by calling on the world to “remember the Shoah” and to “be aware of how this path of death began, this path of extermination, of brutality.”

“To remember also means to be careful because these things can happen again, starting with ideological proposals to save a people and ending up destroying a people and humanity,” he said.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is observed around the world Jan. 27, the anniversary of the liberation in 1945 of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland.

[…]

Commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, the pope said the act of remembering is “an expression of humanity” and “sign of civility.”

Remembering “is a condition for a better future of peace and fraternity,” he said.

Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO, issued a similar warning in her statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“Today, as hateful voices continue to rise, denying or distorting the implacable reality of these facts, we have a universal responsibility to remember each and every individual whom the Nazis sought to erase from the face of the earth,” Azoulay said.

The day, she added, is also time to reflect “upon the choices of the individuals and governments that allowed this genocide to unfold.”

“It is also a call for vigilance and for action, to address the root causes of hatred and prevent future atrocities from happening,” she said.

In Germany, Catholic bishops marked Holocaust Remembrance Day with a call for decisive action against all forms of anti-Semitism.

“The memory of the Holocaust fills me with profound sorrow but also with shame because so many remained silent at the time,” the president of the German bishops’ conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, wrote on Twitter and Facebook.

He called on all people to join together to courageously oppose “anti-Jewish prejudice, conspiracy myths and every form of hatred in everyday life, at school or among friends.”

The “industrial murder of the Jews” had been at the end of a path “that began with hate speech, conspiracy myths and social exclusion. We must never go down that path again.”

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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 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:27 pm

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Viganò/QAnon/Deep State/Deep Church
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 8 / pg 10

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"Mary Alone": pg 18 / pg 20 /pg 20
"Any QAnoners Here?": pg 5 / pg 5 / pg 5
"THE CHRISTIAN THREAD":
"President Trump is a problem...": pg 38
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD": pg 152 / pg 152 / pg 152
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 63 / pg 64 / pg 65 / pg 65 / pg 66 / pg 66 / pg 73 / pg 84 / pg 120 / pg 123 / pg 124 / pg 124 / pg 124 / pg 125 / pg 125 / pg 125 / pg 125 / pg 126 / pg 126 / pg 126 / pg 126 / pg 126 / pg 126 / pg 125 / pg 126 / pg 127 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 128 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 132
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 4 / pg 6 / pg 6 / pg6 / pg 6 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9



Biden, Communion and the functional schism in the US church [In-Depth, Opinion]
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Detail of a portrait of Cornelius Jansen (1585-1638), painted circa 1700 (Wikimedia Commons/Museum Catharijneconvent/Ruben de Heer)

George Weigel did the church a great service last week when he published an article in First Things applauding Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez's churlish statement about Joe Biden on Inauguration Day. Apparently, and unsurprisingly, Weigel knows about the inner workings of the U.S. bishops' working group formed to deal with the Biden administration, and he confirmed what many of us had suspected. Not content to have rained on Biden's inaugural parade, the "second initiative proposed by the Working Group was the development of a conference statement on the Church's eucharistic coherence."

Weigel's admiration for the tone and content of Gomez's statement as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was predictable. You would almost think he might have had a hand in drafting it. Both complained, in addition to abortion, about Biden's position in favor of gay marriage, his different understanding of the need to balance religious liberty claims with other legal rights, and his commitment to making contraception more available to women no matter where they are employed.

[…]

Weigel claims that Gomez's statement was pastoral. How does he conceive of being a pastor? Shouting items from the catechism at people? You do not need a pastor for that. An algorithm will do.

Besides, if this statement was genuinely pastoral in nature, why did the working group and Gomez not consult with Biden's actual pastors? Did he ask what pastoral approach they would take? Is the president of the bishops' conference now the grand imam for every U.S. Catholic?

The reference to the working group crafting a statement on "eucharistic coherence," however, is the most alarming. It pulls back the curtain on the real goal for establishing this working group. They do not seek to engage the new president with the goal of advancing the common good, not provide him with pastoral care. They want to position the entire episcopate of the United States such that it becomes inevitable that Biden is declared unfit to receive Communion.

Like Weigel, I think our new president is wrong about abortion. (More on that Friday.) However, I do not think I have so completely mastered the mysteries of God that I would feel confident in barring Biden from holy Communion. Indeed, I hope Biden, like me, looks upon the Eucharist as the medicine of mercy that it is.

[…]

Weigel thinks grace can come to him and those like him, but he can decree to whom grace cannot come. He seems not to recognize that grace works in mysterious ways, that it rarely comes in an instant but works its way gradually into the human soul. He should re-read Pope Francis' observations in Gaudete et Exultate:
Those who yield to this pelagian or semi-pelagian mindset, even though they speak warmly of God's grace, "ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style." When some of them tell the weak that all things can be accomplished with God's grace, deep down they tend to give the idea that all things are possible by the human will, as if it were something pure, perfect, all-powerful, to which grace is then added. They fail to realize that "not everyone can do everything," and that in this life human weaknesses are not healed completely and once for all by grace. In every case, as Saint Augustine taught, God commands you to do what you can and to ask for what you cannot, and indeed to pray to him humbly: "Grant what you command, and command what you will."
The historical comparison is obvious: The threat posed by Weigel today is akin to the threat of Jansenism in the 17th century. He is flirting with the stuff of schism.

[…]

There were many deep and difficult theological issues at play in the Jansenist schism. Interestingly, the most central issue then, as with today's Jansenists, had to do with the reception of holy Communion. The Jansenists, then as now, were trying to limit the freedom of opinion open to Catholics — and their opponents were the Jesuits! Bergin writes that the Council of Trent "actually feared the dangers of making definitive pronouncements on questions that had remained undecided for centuries."

He adds, "Its decrees on fundamental issues of original sin, the freedom of the human will and predestination to salvation or damnation … were compromises that left the door open to further discussion and, therefore disagreement."

Jansen wanted to close that door, as does Weigel and, apparently, so, too, does the bishops' working group.

The Catholic Church in France could not solve the problem of Jansenism on its own. Pope Clement X, in the 1713 bull Unigenitus, condemned 101 specific tenets of Jansenism. It took years for the reception of the papal bull to be complete: No less a personage than Cardinal Louis Antoine de Noailles of Paris harbored Jansenistic leanings and only delivered his unconditional submission to the bull shortly before his death in 1729, 16 years* after the promulgation of the papal decree. Those intervening years were a time of functional schism.

The Jansenism of today will also be solved only with the intervention of the Holy See. Francis should understand that there is a Jansenistic functional schism in the church and that it has infected the hierarchy and the clergy, just as its predecessor did 300 years ago.

The boil must be lanced and the healing will not be quick. It is foolish to think we are immune to the kind of turmoil that afflicted Catholics in previous times. We have learned to our horror that democracy is more fragile than we had thought. So, too, is the communion of the church of Jesus Christ.

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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 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:36 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

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
"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
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6



Pope calls Human Fraternity the 'new frontier'
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In this file photo, Pope Francis, left, and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar, exchange a joint statement on "human fraternity" after an interfaith meeting at the Founder's Memorial in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (Credit: Andrew Medichini/AP)

ROME — Pope Francis on Thursday joined the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University and the head of the United Nations to celebrate the first International Day on Human Fraternity, in which the pontiff defined fraternity as the “new frontier” of humanity.

“We are siblings, or we destroy each other,” Francis said. “Today, there’s no time for indifference. We cannot wash our hands. With distance, with disregard, with contempt. Either we are brothers, or everything comes crumbling down.”

Fraternity, the pope said, “is the frontier. The frontier on which we have to build; is the challenge of our century, is the challenge of our time. Fraternity means an outstretched hand, fraternity means respect.”

But he said fraternity does not mean an amalgamation of beliefs: “Fraternity means firmness in one’s own convictions,” Francis said. “Because there’s no true fraternity if you negotiate you own convictions. We are siblings, born of the same Father. With different cultures, traditions, but all brothers.”

Fraternity, he insisted, is built respecting differences, not negotiating them.

Participating in the event were Ahmad al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, arguably the closest thing to a Vatican in the Sunni Islamic world; the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed; and Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations.

The date for the yearly encounter was set last December by the United Nation’s General Assembly, to coincide with the anniversary of Pope Francis’s historic 2019 trip to United Arab Emirates, when he and al-Tayyeb signed the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Coexistence.

The World Day of Human Fraternity were inspired by that declaration and Francis’s 2020 encyclical Fratelli Tutti, in which he shares his vision for a post-COVID-19 world.

[…]

In his message, Francis said a world without brothers is a world of enemies.

“We cannot say: Brothers or not brothers. Let’s say it as it is: Brothers or enemies,” the pope said.

“War is not the only thing needed to build enemies. Disregarding others is enough. This technique, this attitude of looking the other way, treating the other as if they didn’t exist.”

[…]

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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 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:11 pm

+JMJ+

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

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



Virginia’s lawmakers vote to abolish the death penalty. Catholic activists helped make it happen.
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Protesters calling for an end to the death penalty unfurl a banner in late March outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. (CNS photo/Jason Reed, Reuters)

On Feb. 3, the Virginia Senate passed a bill to abolish the death penalty in the commonwealth. The House of Delegates followed suit this morning, Feb. 5, when they passed their own death penalty abolition bill with a floor vote. The Senate and House bills will go through the necessary reconciliation process before they are brought to Gov. Ralph Northam, who has already committed to signing. The governor has spoken publicly about the state’s history of putting innocent people on death row and capital punishment’s ties to a history of racism, calling for a progressive shift in policy.

Virginia is now on its way to becoming the 23rd state to abolish the death penalty and, significantly, the first formerly Confederate state to achieve abolition. In addition, Virginia has executed more people in its history than any other state in the nation, with over 1,300 executions recorded since the commonwealth’s first in 1608.

[…]

The Virginia Catholic Conference represents the bishops in Virginia’s two dioceses by advocating for public policy that is consistent with the beliefs and values of Catholic tradition. In their response to the passage of abolition legislation, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington and Bishop Barry C. Knestout of the Diocese of Richmond echoed words on the death penalty from Pope Francis and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The bishops’ statement said that they “welcome” the votes of the House and Senate and are grateful for growing awareness of the truth in the Catechism that capital punishment “is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” (No. 2267).

The Virginia Catholic Conference represents the bishops in Virginia’s two dioceses by advocating for public policy that is consistent with the beliefs and values of Catholic tradition. In their response to the passage of abolition legislation, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington and Bishop Barry C. Knestout of the Diocese of Richmond echoed words on the death penalty from Pope Francis and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The bishops’ statement said that they “welcome” the votes of the House and Senate and are grateful for growing awareness of the truth in the Catechism that capital punishment “is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” (No. 2267).

The Catholic Mobilizing Network worked with Catholic Virginians to help make their voices heard by legislators. They shared a letter that constituents could sign and send to their representatives that would ask them to support what they called “this life-affirming legislation.”

In the letter, the Catholic Mobilizing Network explained the convictions that lead Catholics to oppose the death penalty: “As a Catholic Virginian, my faith compels me to stand up for the God-given dignity of every person, regardless of the harm they might have caused or suffered. The death penalty violates this call to uphold the sanctity of life, and takes away one’s opportunity for redemption.”

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, the executive director of Catholic Mobilizing Network, spoke about the importance of the Catholic voice in the debate around capital punishment. “It goes without saying that our faith does not conform to any one political party, which makes us critical bridge-builders in the work of abolition,” she said. “It is the role of Catholics to proclaim a consistently pro-life ethic — one that applies as much to the guilty as it does to the innocent. This message is crucial in the anti-death penalty movement.”

Executions have steadily decreased in Virginia since the 1990s; currently, the commonwealth has two inmates on death row. If the governor signs the bill into law as he is expected to do, both inmates’ sentences will retroactively be changed from execution to life imprisonment.

As six other states have introduced proposals to ban the death penalty this year, Virginia’s new legislation may set the stage for similar abolition legislation in other parts of the country.

Ms. Vaillancourt Murphy called Friday’s news “an indicator of and impetus for the nation’s growing momentum toward abolition.” She articulated the ways in which this legislation could encourage change elsewhere: “We are hopeful that Virginia’s repeal will signal to other southern states that the death penalty is a racist and inherently flawed relic. It is not consistent with pro-life values; it does not bring justice nor healing.”

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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 » Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:27 am

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The media is playing up the conflict between Joe Biden and the U.S. bishops — and it’s hurting both sides. [In-Depth, Opinion]
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(CNS photo/Paul Harring/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

(RNS) — The American Catholic bishops have responded to the extraordinary number of executive orders from President Joe Biden with an extraordinary number of press releases of their own. The press releases are noteworthy not only in their number but also in their positive tone.

[…]

Since Biden’s inauguration, the USCCB has been busy putting out press releases that for the most part welcome and embrace the new administration’s policy initiatives, including those that reverse core policies of the Trump administration.

In 10 press releases in 15 days, the bishops supported the administration in a wide range of policies on the environment, immigration, foreign policy, health care and the economy.
On the other hand, the bishops’ conference has not rolled over and ignored areas where it disagrees with the new administration. In four press releases, it has attacked the administration on issues of family planning, abortion and the administration’s desire to impose “new attitudes and false theories on human sexuality which can produce social harms.”
To some, this may appear to represent confusion on the bishops’ part, as if they cannot decide whether they like Biden or not. In reality, it shows that the bishops are capable of agreeing with some administration policies while opposing others.

In fact, in the Jan. 22 press release, while objecting to an executive order expanding the definition of sex discrimination, the bishops welcomed “the new administration’s actions on immigration and the climate, as well as for another executive order, ‘On Advancing Racial Equity,’ which is nobly aimed at identifying and remedying racism and its impact on society and in government.”

The USCCB is organized to make cooperation and opposition possible at the same time, with one committee covering pro-life activities and another dealing with justice and peace. Not surprisingly, given the Democrats’ approach to the relevant issues, the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities is the author of the negative press releases, while the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development is the author of the positive press releases, along with the USCCB Committee on Migration.

The committees also reflect the split in the conference itself, since bishops are attracted to serve on the committees that reflect their priorities. Conservative bishops want to serve on the pro-life committee, whereas more liberal bishops are attracted to the committees dealing with justice, human development and migration.

The media and both conservative and liberal commentators have joined together to play up the conflict between the U.S. bishops and the Biden administration. While it is true that conflict exists, ignoring the areas of agreement is ignoring the facts. It is bad for the administration, bad for the bishops and bad for the country.

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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 » Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:50 am

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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

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
"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
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6



In a few minutes on Sunday, Pope delivers a mini-social encyclical [In-Depth]
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Faithful gather as they wait for Pope Francis to recite the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. (Credit: Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP)

ROME — Once again praying from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter’s Square, despite rain and the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis on Sunday ticked off many of his core social concerns: Peace, life, migration, and the fight against modern-day slavery, all in a matter of minutes.

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Peace and democracy for Myanmar

Francis said he was following with “concern” the unraveling situation in Myanmar, a country “I carry in my heart with much affection” since his visit in 2017. The country’s generals overthrew an elected government last Monday, triggering street protests in a country where the military has a history of using violence to quell threats to its power.

[…]

Unaccompanied migrant children

Migration is never far from Pope Francis’s mind, and he often sneaks references into his speeches and prayers. Sunday was no exception, focusing on the thousands of children who flee their countries looking for better opportunities or escaping war, violence and hunger.

“I would like to make an appeal in favor of unaccompanied migrant minors,” Francis said. “There are so many.”

He mentioned having been informed about the “dramatic situation” of minors in the “Balkan route,” but didn’t give specifics. Reports speak of hundreds of minors stranded on the border between Bosnia and Croatia, living in makeshift camps with freezing temperatures and no access to water or electricity. An estimated 200 people a day make it to the border, most departing from Turkey and Greece, after fleeing northern Africa, Iraq or Syria. They have to go through Bulgaria, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Croatia before reaching Italy or Austria through Slovenia.

[…]

Italy’s Day for Life

Celebrated under the theme of “Freedom and Life,” the Italian bishops conference promoted a day of prayer for life Sunday, and the pope urged society to “be helped to heal from all attacks on life, so that it is protected at every stage.”

He also referred to an Italian “demographic winter.”

“In Italy, births have dropped and the future is in danger,” Francis warned. “Let’s take this concern and try to make sure that this demographic winter ends and a new spring of boys and girls blossoms.”

Italy’s fertility rate — the average number of children per women — is one of the lowest in the world, with 1.3 live birth per woman as of 2020. For a generation to exactly replace itself, 2.1 live births are needed.

Pope Francis has referred to the demographic winter in Italy and Europe several times, including during his visit to Bulgaria, in 2019, when he said this winder “has descended like an ice curtain on a large part of Europe, the consequence of a diminished confidence in the future.”

Day of prayer against human trafficking

Pope Francis highlighted the Feb. 8 World Day of Prayer against Trafficking, one of the world’s largest illegal industries, that according to the International Labor Organization affects over 40 million people worldwide who are forced to work in slave-like conditions, being bought and sold as property or forced into prostitution.

One in four of those enslaved today, including by forced marriages, are children.

The day of prayer is marked on the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, considered a patron saint for trafficking victims. Born in 1868 in Darfur, Sudan, she was kidnapped at the age of nine and sold into slavery, first in her country and later in Italy. She died in 1947 and was declared a saint by Pope St. John Paul II in 2000.

This year’s day of prayer will take place under the motto of “Economy without Trafficking in Persons,” and will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will bring together all the realities of the world that are committed against trafficking in persons.

“The goal is to work for an economy that does not favor, not even indirectly, these ignoble trafficking, that is, an economy that never makes men and women a commodity, an object,” Francis said Sunday. “[An economy at the] service to men and women, but not one that uses them as goods.”

The World Day is coordinated by Talitha Kum, the network of consecrated life against trafficking in persons of the International Un𝗂on of Superiors General (UISG), in partnership with the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Service to Integral Human Development, Caritas Internationalis, the World Un𝗂on of Catholic Women’s Organizations, the Focolare Movement and many other organizations involved at the local level.

[…]

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 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 5:17 pm

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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

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
"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
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6



The Great Reset Is Good, Actually [In-Depth, Opinion]
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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

In recent months we’ve heard dramatic warnings from figures in Catholic media regarding an alleged plan for post-COVID global change called “the Great Reset.” Some of these warnings are based upon reasonable concerns, while others are examples of outright conspiracy-mongering. C.C. Pecknold, without getting into conspiracy-theory territory, argues in First Things that the Great Reset is a pseudo-religious slogan of elite secularist technocrats, and that in fact “Jesus Christ is the only ‘Great Reset’ possible.” Taking things much further, Cardinal Burke describes the Great Reset as one component of an “evil agenda” of forces “inimical to families and to the freedom of states,” while Archbishop Viganò claims it will involve “a health dictatorship aiming at the imposition of liberticidal measures” as part of a transition to the New World Order. Burke and Viganò provide no convincing evidence to back up their claims, but that has proven to be no obstacle to the fomentation of panic. The Great Reset has become, in the minds of many, the threatening backdrop to the COVID-19 restrictions that most of us face, and Pope Francis is now being associated with it by some hostile Catholic commentators.

Great Reset conspiracy theory is not a specifically Catholic phenomenon, and examples of it in the Catholic sphere are dwarfed by those in the realm of right-wing politics and commentary at large. The general phenomenon has already been documented in an article from earlier this month by Naomi Klein (who is a Great Reset skeptic herself). Given, however, that in the Catholic world there appears to be little serious critical engagement with the idea of the Great Reset, I will provide an overview here that will hopefully provide some clarity, or at least a starting-point for productive discussion.

The Great Reset is both the name of an initiative by the World Economic Forum and the title of a book by WEF executive chairman Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret. It will also be the theme of the 2021 WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland. For those unfamiliar with the WEF and its mission, it describes itself as the “International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation,” and it seeks to facilitate policy discussion among global leaders in government, industry, and finance. Its Davos meetings are often high-profile, high-security affairs, and provide a meeting-space for such policy discussions to take place. Anyone paying attention to the key figures in global politics and industry over the last decade or two will likely have heard of the Davos meeting. President Donald Trump spoke there just last January, offering his contrarian perspective on climate change.

[…]

The reality is less exciting [than the suspicious speculations about it], but ultimately more interesting. I took the time to read Schwab and Mallaret’s COVID-19: The Great Reset, and I can say that it contains very few ideas that correspond with the terrifying vision of the Great Reset we hear about from the likes of Burke or Viganò. Overall, it provides an insightful overview of the global challenges posed by COVID-19 — particularly in the economic realm. The title is derived from the observation that “history shows that epidemics have been the great resetter of countries’ economy and social fabric,” in the sense that during a plague, rapid economic and social changes occur that are not soon undone. The authors argue that we need to recognize and analyze the changes happening all around us, determine which are good and which are bad, and prepare for what comes next by taking new approaches to the creation of public policy. COVID-19: The Great Reset does not provide anything resembling a definite program for the future, but rather poses questions and points out possibilities, with the hope that policymakers will take these into consideration.

[…]

Here is where we get to the heart of what the Great Reset signifies. It will bring about a worldwide shift away from the neoliberal order — in some ways going far beyond anything the new populism could have hoped to achieve. Governments will be forced, not by ideological pressure but by the stark requirements of survival, to provide more direct financial support to citizens, broaden and strengthen social safety nets, and focus on long-term resilience over short-term benefit. Solidarity will be the watchword of the future. The key message is that we had forgotten that life is about more than competition and profit, and it took the pandemic to remind us.

COVID-19: The Great Reset looks at the trends that have been either accelerated or set in motion by the pandemic and how they might play out in a variety of domains, including international relations, finance, industry, and technology. There is no plan for centralized totalitarian control, or even a hint of one. One chapter even addresses “the risk of dystopia” — the threat that the need for robust data collection for pandemic-related purposes like contact tracing or maintaining vaccination records may lead to further erosion of privacy under the sort of “surveillance capitalism” warned about by academic Shoshana Zuboff. Everything is up for grabs, and whether we end up in a dystopia or not depends on the willingness of our leaders in government and business to think through a wide array of potential risks and benefits and make the right choices.

Some aspects of the analysis of our post-pandemic possibilities that I have described above will sound familiar to those who have read Pope Francis’s encyclical Fratelli Tutti or his new book with Austen Ivereigh, Let Us Dream. (Indeed, Schwab and Malleret even draw insights from two economists, Mariana Mazzucato and Kate Raworth, who Pope Francis also mentions in Let Us Dream). Although Pope Francis does not get into the weeds of policy, his overview of the current global situation, evaluation of the challenges at hand, and conviction that we have a chance to come out of the pandemic with a renewed sense of solidarity and social purpose are surprisingly in line with the thinking of Schwab and Malleret as presented in COVID-19: The Great Reset. His input has also been well-received, as shown by this article on Fratelli Tutti which appeared on the WEF website and treats the encyclical with a seriousness that exceeds that shown by some Catholic media outlets. This is not because Pope Francis is in on the conspiracy, or because he has uncritically adopted a Davos style of thinking. Rather, we are in a moment where many people across the globe are thinking in similar ways — one akin to the period after World War II where, at least for a short time, a broad consensus could be established across ideological divides.

There is much, much more to say on this topic — and I hope to delve further into it in the near future — but I propose that we should be optimistic regarding the global discussion that is taking place. Further, if the pope has emerged as a prophetic voice in this context, with the potential to act as a moral guide for the Great Reset by steering it toward an outcome that will promote human flourishing and fraternity, that should not be a cause for fear or consternation. A Great Reset is badly needed, and we should take any global meeting of minds on this issue as a sign of hope. Be not afraid.

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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 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:58 pm

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Catholic agencies prepare for influx of migrants at Texas-Mexico border
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A migrant from Guatemala talks to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent at the Paso del Norte international border bridge in El Paso, Texas, Jan. 26, 2021, to request asylum. U.S. Catholic officials Feb. 10 called for Temporary Protected Status for Central Americans coming to the U.S. and foreign aid for their hurricane-devastated nations. (Credit: CNS photo/Jose Luis Gonzalez, via CNS)

NEW YORK — Two Catholic organizations in southern Texas are prepared to provide humanitarian relief to a combined 400 migrants a day, with the expectation that U.S. Customs and Border Protection will release more migrants as soon as next week.

Having participated in a few meetings with other non-profit organizations as well as the government agencies, they are letting us know and they are also getting us ready that families are going to be released,” Rebecca Solloa, the executive director at Catholic charities of the Diocese of Laredo told Crux.

Solloa didn’t have an exact date when the government will release more families, but said they plan to be ready to help 100 migrants a day by Monday with a primarily outdoor setup and COVID-19 precautions.

Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley said they’re ready to provide similar services to 300 migrants a day.

As the biggest shelter across the whole border from south Texas to California, Pimentel said in non-COVID times capacity is 1,200 people.

“Very soon we will know that process and so I wouldn’t be surprised if at the beginning of next week, it should happen,” Pimentel said. “And what I understand is it’s going to be a very controlled way to manage what’s going to happen.”

[…]

In a conversation with Crux, Pimentel noted that Border Patrol has sent them between 50 and 100 people a day — mostly families — for the past two weeks, as reports indicate holding facilities at the south Texas border have started to reach the COVID-19 safe capacity.

A number of factors have led to the buildup of people at the southern part of the border. Pimentel attributes the rise to a law now enforced in Tamaulipas — the northeastern most state in Mexico that extends along the southwest portion of the U.S.-Mexico border — that does not allow children under the age of seven to be returned to the country.

[…]

At both Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and the Diocese of Laredo, migrants are usually there for a few hours before they continue their journey. They’re given food, a shower, a change of clothes (if needed), connection to family, guidance on their next steps and other humanitarian services, according to Solloa and Pimentel.

“People are desperate. They’ve been waiting for a long time and now if they can go they’re going to go,” Solloa told Crux. “They know it’s very near and so if they start coming in droves and by that leaving their camps and coming in then it’s going to be overwhelming.”

Pimentel, meanwhile, has complete confidence that the “process is going to be followed is going to be with great caution and order and safety for everybody. I don’t see them releasing so many people at one time that the processing facilities are going to be overcrowded.”

Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso said they’re not seeing any dramatic increases of migrant crossings in his city, but they expect it could happen soon as the Biden Administration tries to find ways to open the doors again in a safe, orderly way.

“We’re trying to prepare ourselves to be ready to do whatever it takes to assure the different authorities that we’ll be ready to receive them safely when they’re permitted to cross,” he told Crux.

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 Feb 16, 2021 10:38 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

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
"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
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"Economics": pg 6 / pg 6



Pope Francis has criticized both the left and the right’s politics. Community organizing offers a third way [In-Depth, Opinion]
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Pope Francis has criticized both the left and the right’s politics. Community organizing offers a third way

In an essay for The New York Times last November, Pope Francis exhorted us to “dare to create something new.” With the coronavirus pandemic reaching new heights, he challenged us to reject a strain of selfishness fed by a distorted ideology of personal freedom.

The coronavirus has unmasked the true nature, as if it were not already obvious, of the populism associated with the far right. As Francis observes in his new book Let Us Dream, “various kinds of populism” neither act in the interests of ordinary citizens nor develop their agency; rather, this strain of populism embraces a worldview that “reduces the people to a faceless mass it claims to represent.” This is fake populism, for power remains with members of the very plutocratic elite class that this ideology claims to despise.

Francis warns that we must not simply defend the status quo. A soulless, technocratic liberalism has created the soil in which destructive populism has germinated. This liberalism’s conceptions of liberty and equality have become untethered from fraternity and a vision of a truly common good. Especially after Covid-19, neither soulless liberalism nor fake populism will meet our needs. As Francis notes, “only a politics rooted in the people, open to the people’s own organization, will be able to change our future.”

The breakdown in fraternity and a lack of concern for the common good recently brought the United States to a political cataclysm, culminating in an unprecedented storming of the Capitol by armed insurrectionists. For the first time in modern history, an American president who had lost re-election was prodding his supporters to reject the outcome, despite the vote being certified as free and fair by members of his own political party and administration. This crisis was resolved, in large part, by the extraordinary courage and commitment to democratic values of relatively unknown Republican officials at the local level. As Francis reminds us, “our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people — often forgotten people,” who “without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time.”

Our descent into increasingly hostile political division has taught us that neither the state nor the market can generate the fraternity we need. Indeed, as Francis further explains, both the “laissez-faire market-centered approach” and “welfarism” have eroded the bonds of civil society. Reweaving them will require behavior changes by politicians, but it is a process that must begin at the grass roots. Francis calls for nothing less than a Copernican revolution in our understanding and practice of politics, one in which ordinary people are not a hard-to-reach “periphery” but the center around which the rest of the firmament revolves.

For this reason, the primary audience for Let Us Dream includes ordinary citizens and the institutions in which they organize. The book was written in collaboration with Austen Ivereigh, who previously worked with Citizens UK — which is a sister organization of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the largest and longest-operating community organizing coalition in the United States. (Listen to an interview with Mr. Ivereigh about the book on America’s “Inside the Vatican” podcast.) The “inclusive populism” of community organizing is a practical embodiment of Pope Francis’ vision.

Community organizing has two crucial features that ensure the poorest citizens have agency. First, it is institution-based. Across almost a century of community organizing, both religious and secular organizers have found religious congregations to be the most resilient and powerful institutions on which to build what veteran organizer Ernesto Cortés Jr. calls “a graduate school to teach people how to participate in politics and shape their communities’ futures.”

[…]

It is a perceptive reading of the signs of the times. “Wokeness” should not be a term of abuse, used to trivialize the genuine awakening of anger at systemic injustice. But the events of recent months show that the voices and perspectives of the poorest are in danger of being drowned out by others who seek to promote their own agendas. The political right is undergoing scrutiny, but note that the left has its own fake “populism,” which claims to act in the interests of ordinary people but in reality disdains their institutions and attitudes — particularly religious ones — as backward and outdated. On both sides of the Atlantic, left-wing political parties have been taken over by wealthier, more geographically mobile voters, while support from poorer citizens is gradually draining away.

Rather than reflecting on whether the reforms they propose are solutions that poor and working-class people actually want and need, the left often attacks these voters for failing to understand and vote their “own interests,” which are often perceived in narrowly economic terms, without regard for the social and spiritual dimensions of human flourishing. The contempt and condescension these citizens perceive from many on the left, even if they are unintended, have become a powerful force for rallying new voters around charismatic populist figures on the right.

The experience of community organizing cuts through both the right’s fake populism and the left’s dismissive condescension. It teaches that solidarity is more contagious than prejudice is. It reminds us that extreme attitudes are more likely to spread when meaningful relationships are absent. This is why fake populism has tended to spread through the media rather than through face-to-face encounters; in contrast, when people work together on issues of common concern, mutual respect and solidarity are more likely to blossom.

[…]

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 Feb 19, 2021 11:15 am

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Catholic center for Venezuelan refugees opens in Brazil with help from U.S.
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Todd Chapman, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, speaks at a new refugee center Feb. 4, 2021, in Brasilia, Brazil. Two Catholic-backed organizations built the center with the help of the U.S. government to host Venezuelan migrants relocating from refugee centers in the Amazon region. (Credit: CNS photo/courtesy AVSI Brasil)

SAO PAULO — Two Catholic-backed organizations opened a center in Brazil’s capital to host Venezuelan migrants relocating from the refugee centers in the Amazon region.

The initiative is part of a project implemented by AVSI Brasil, a humanitarian aid and development agency with links to the Catholic Church, and Brazil’s Migration and Human Rights Institute and is designed to support and complement Operation Welcome, the Brazilian government-led response to the Venezuelan migration crisis. This migration institute is administered by the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo.

“Our collaboration in this project is a celebratory and important milestone in our mission of Scalabrinian Sisters, whose specific purpose is to work with immigrants and refugees,” said Scalabrinian Sister Rosita Milesi, director of the Migration and Human Rights Institute.

At the Feb. 4 inauguration ceremony, Milesi said welcoming immigrants and integrating them to Brazilian society through employment corresponds to the sense of humanity often touched on by Pope Francis.

“Immigrants and refugees are present in his discourses at all times. He has been insistent on strengthening the feeling of humanity, solidarity and a sense of respect for the dignity of the human person,” she said.

Milesi said a person’s dignity is fundamental and cannot change or be reduced just because the person has crossed a border.

“Dignity is essential. It doesn’t matter where we serve that person, where he/she was born. He/she has dignity in any environment, on any border, in any country,” she said, adding that the project of integration through employment restores the dignity sometimes lost when a person becomes a refugee or an immigrant.

The center, dubbed Casa Bom Samaritano (Good Samaritan Home), is funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and is located on property owned by the Brazilian bishops’ conference.

The center will serve as a temporary residence for up to 15 families on a rotating system. According to AVSI officials, refugees may live at the center for up to three months.

“In each family, at least one person has been selected to work in Brasília and needs a safe space to live for the first three months,” said Fabrizio Pellicelli, AVSI Brasil president.

The Venezuelan families are expected to start arriving at the new center at the beginning of March.

[…]

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 Feb 22, 2021 2:17 pm

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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

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



Pope Francis meets with Auschwitz survivor
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Pope Francis with Edith Bruck.

Hungarian author Edith Bruck, now almost 90 years old, has lived in Italy for many years. In January, L'Osservatore Romano interviewed her for Holocaust Memorial Day. Struck by her witness, Pope Francis on Saturday decided pay her a visit at her home in Rome's centre.

He read her interview, which related the horrors she and her family experienced during the Nazi persecution, and was deeply moved. So he asked to meet her and paid her a visit in her home. Pope Francis on Saturday afternoon left the Vatican and headed to the centre of Rome for a private visit to the home of Edith Bruck, a Jewish writer of Hungarian origin who has spent two thirds of her life in Italy.

"I have come here to thank you for your testimony and to pay homage to the people martyred by the insanity of Nazi populism," Pope Francis told her. "And with sincerity I repeat to you the words that I spoke from my heart at Yad Vashem and that I repeat before every person who, like you, has suffered so much because of this: [​I ask] forgiveness, O Lord, in the name of humanity."

Also present for the encounter was the director of L'Osservatore Romano, Andrea Monda, who on 26 January published the touching interview given by Bruck to Francesca Romana de' Angelis.

In a statement, the Holy See noted that, "the conversation with the Pope revisited those moments of light with which the experience of the hell of the camps was punctuated and evoked the fears and hopes for the time in which we live, emphasizing the value of memory and the role of the elderly in cultivating it and passing it on to the young."


Pope Francis leaving the home of Edith Bruck, to the surprise and delight of passers by.
Edith Bruck has dedicated her life to bearing witness to what she saw. She was asked to do so by two strangers, who spoke to her at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp: "Tell the story. They will not believe you. But if you survive, tell the story, for us too." And she kept faith.

What is perhaps most striking, when reading the episodes she describes in the interview with L'Osservatore, is the attitude of hope Edith conveys. Even as she recounts the darkest moments of the abyss of horror into which she was plunged, and in which she lost a large part of her family, she never fails to fix her gaze on something good and beautiful, some hint of humanity that allowed her to go on living and hoping.

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Edith Bruck welcomes Pope Francis.

So, for instance, when describing her life in the ghetto — after she and her family were torn from their home in the rural village where they lived — she describes a non-Jewish man who donated a cartload of food to help those who were being persecuted.

[…]

A few small gestures to save the world, concludes Edith Bruck, who today welcomed the Bishop of Rome into her home, where he had come to meet her.

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 Feb 26, 2021 10:51 am

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Brownsville diocesan agency ready to help asylum-seekers entering U.S. [In-Depth]
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A volunteer takes a selfie with children with a drone inside a migrant encampment in Matamoros, Mexico, Feb. 18, 2021. (Credit: Daniel Becerril/Reuters via CNS)

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Just as the coldest weather in more than 30 years brought new misery to asylum-seekers stranded in a refugee camp in Mexico, an end to their plight may be in sight.

A small group of 25 was the first to leave the camp in Matamoros, Mexico, and enter the United States Feb. 22 in Brownsville, said Sister Norma Pimentel, a Missionary of Jesus, who is executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in the Diocese of Brownsville.

Although hundreds are likely to follow, this vanguard is being kept small as a first step.

“It’s simply to start with a manageable number,” Pimentel told The Valley Catholic, Brownsville’s diocesan newspaper. “Because of COVID, there’s a limited number of (U.S.) agents to process them.”

She made the comments in an interview ahead of the scheduled date for the group’s entry.

All those entering the United States will first undergo screening for the coronavirus to make sure they test negative, she said.

The cold wave has caused real hardship for the asylum-seekers in the camp, Pimentel said.

[…]

Mexican officials did attempt to get the 700 to 800 people in the camp out of the cold.

“They tried,” Pimentel said. “They opened up a shelter and would have taken (the refugees), but they did not want to leave their camp. I guess they’re afraid to leave and lose their belongings, lose their space. They think they need to stay close to the bridge.”

The subfreezing cold hurt relief efforts on the U.S. side of the border as well. The Respite Center operated by Catholic Charities in downtown McAllen, Texas, to help asylum-seekers was without power for several days.

“We have 500 immigrants at our Respite Center. We don’t have electricity,” Pimentel said during the outage. “It went off the first night that we had the cold. We’re having to manage with generators in some rooms to at least have light.”

Power was later restored.

[…]

Pimentel suggested a few ways to help.

“It’s definitely important to pray — pray so that the changes can happen soon for these families, and that the process of asylum can be heard here in the United States and (they can) be with their loved ones sooner than later,” she said.

Pimentel also said people “can reach out to any organization that is trying to help these families in the meantime.” She also pointed to the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley website, https://www.catholiccharitiesrgv.org.

“You can reach out to us and go to the Amazon list and find out how you can give any of those items that we can definitely make available to the families.”

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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 » Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:36 am

+JMJ+

Pope praises Colombia for protecting 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants [In-Depth]
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Pope Francis delivers his blessing as he recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME — After acknowledging that he always looks with gratitude to those who assist migrants, Pope Francis on Sunday praised efforts being made by Colombian authorities to grant temporary protection for Venezuelan migrants who have fled their homeland’s economic hardships.

“I join the Bishops of Columbia in expressing gratitude to the Colombian authorities for implementing the temporary protection statute for Venezuelan migrants present in that country, fostering welcoming, protecting and integrating,” Pope Francis said after his weekly Angelus prayer.

He also highlighted that this is an effort being carried out “not by a super wealthy developed country,” but one that has “many problems of development, of poverty and of peace… Almost 70 years of guerrilla war. But with this problem they have had the courage to look at those migrants and to create this statute.”

Announced by President Iván Duque Márquez last week, the initiative will grant a 10-year protection statute to 1.7 million Venezuelans now living in Colombia, granting them permission to stay and the possibility to apply for permanent residency.

Venezuelan migrants hope the measure will make it easier to obtain work and access social services: there are currently over one million undocumented Venezuelans in war-torn Colombia, that only achieved peace through a 2016 agreement that today is contested by many due to the guerrilla’s lack of integration into society.

The relatively surprising announcement was made by Duque last Monday, and it applies to undocumented Venezuelan migrants living in Colombia before 31 January 2021. It also means that hundreds of thousands of migrants who have a legal status won’t need to renew their temporary permits or visas.

[…]

In a speech on Feb. 8, Duque, a conservative whose government is closely aligned with the United States, characterized the decision in both humanitarian and practical terms, urging those tuning in to his remarks to have compassion for migrants around the world.

“Migration crises are by definition humanitarian crises,” he said, before stressing that the move by his government would make things easier for officials who need to identify those in need and also to track down anyone who breaks the law.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi called Duque’s announcement “the most important humanitarian gesture” in the region in decades. Despite the fact that Colombia still faces a crisis of thousands internally displaced people from the decades-long civil war that plagued the nation, the government has had an approach towards arriving Venezuelans radically different from other countries in the region such as Ecuador, Peru and Chile, which have set up barriers to migration.

[…]

On Sunday, during his post-Angelus remarks, Francis said he was joining the Colombian bishops in praising the decision by the government, who applauded the move soon after it was announced.

“Migrants, refugees, displaced people and victims of trafficking have become emblems of exclusion because, in addition to enduring difficulties due to their migratory status, they are frequently the object of negative judgments or social rejection,” the bishops wrote in a statement last week.

Therefore “it is necessary to move towards attitudes and initiatives that promote the human dignity of all people regardless of their origin in line with the historic capacity of reception of our people.”

The bishops predicted that the implementation of this protection mechanism from the government “will be a fraternal act that opens the doors to guarantee that this population that comes to our territory can enjoy the fundamental rights of all people and can access opportunities for a dignified life.”

In their statement, the prelates also reaffirmed the commitment of the Colombian Church, its dioceses, religious congregations, groups and apostolic movements, with all its pastoral organizations in “giving a comprehensive response to the needs of our brothers and sisters who seek protection in Colombia.”

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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 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:16 am

+JMJ+

Restoring asylum at the border is a holy invitation [Opinion]
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Children carry empty water containers inside a migrant encampment in Matamoros, Mexico, Feb. 18, 2021. (CNS/Reuters/Daniel Becerril)

In the coming days and weeks, border communities like El Paso, Texas, will once again begin providing hospitality to asylum seekers for the first time in two years.

[…]

In the wake of the damage done by Remain in Mexico, we (Bishop Seitz and Hope Border Institute) formed the Border Refugee Assistance Fund to provide critical humanitarian assistance to refugees in our sister city of Ciudad Júarez. Tens of thousands of migrants have been returned there by Remain in Mexico as well as by policies that still remain in place, like Title 42, a pandemic-related measure by which asylum seekers are also forcibly returned without recourse to Mexico and other countries.

The assistance fund has supported the work of many migrant shelters operated by faith communities. We have also been able to provide COVID-19 testing and treatment for migrants during this time of pandemic. Through the fund we have been able to walk with brave women and families, for whom not even the most desperate circumstances could eliminate hope and openness to new life — the fund has supported the needs of over 150 pregnant women and new mothers with comprehensive maternal health care, counseling and pediatric visits.

As people of faith who minister to migrants at the border, we have seen first-hand how fear of the other, fueled by racism and a politics of exclusion, enabled us to turn our back on the most vulnerable searching for mercy at our nation's doorstep. In our frenzy to build walls, we have constructed borders of rivalry and polarization between neighbors throughout the country.

The opportunity before us now is to reject once and for all policies and practices that demonize people on the margins of our society, including migrants. Policies that militarize and criminalize, while they may have short-term political purchase, are never stable or dignified solutions to address social problems, be they poverty, racial inequality or immigration.

We welcome President Biden's recent actions that begin to reverse the damage done at our border, as well as his bold proposals for immigration reform.

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Migrants are detained by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in El Paso, Texas, Feb. 9, 2021, as they turn themselves in to request asylum. (CNS/Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez)

And we must do more. We must renew our asylum laws to reflect the drivers of forced displacement today and protect those who fall into global protection gaps, such as those forced to flee by climate change. We must ensure protections for women fleeing violence in a way that no future administration can reverse and that all women are given real supports so that the false choice of abortion is unthinkable. And we must guarantee protections for the many Central Americans who in recent years came to our border seeking safety from a toxic cocktail of political insecurity, drought, hunger and widespread violence.

Above all, we must change how we, as a country, view migrants. In our work every day with people on the move, we know that those who arrive at our border seeking safety and a better life are not a threat, but instead offer us a holy invitation to recognize our interconnectedness as a human family and to respond with compassion and solidarity.

As Pope Francis writes in his latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti: "Will we bend down to touch and heal the wounds of others? Will we bend down and help another to get up? This is today's challenge, and we should not be afraid to face it."

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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 Jester » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:16 am

This is The Christian Thread. Not the illegal immigration thread.
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Re: THE CHRISTIAN THREAD

Post by wosbald » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:12 am

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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

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



Read: Pope Francis’ prayer for the children of Abraham
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Pope Francis is pictured with religious leaders during an interreligious meeting on the plain of Ur near Nasiriyah, Iraq, March 6, 2021. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Standing alongside Muslims, Jews, representatives of different Christian Churches and other Iraqi religious minorities in the Iraqi city of Ur on March 6, Pope Francis offered a prayer for reconciliation and peace for the nation.
Almighty God, our Creator, you love our human family and every work of your hands: As children of Abraham, Jews, Christians and Muslims, together with other believers and all persons of good will, we thank you for having given us Abraham, a distinguished son of this noble and beloved country, to be our common father in faith.

We thank you for his example as a man of faith, who obeyed you completely, left behind his family, his tribe and his native land, and set out for a land that he knew not.

We thank you too, for the example of courage, resilience, strength of spirit, generosity and hospitality set for us by our common father in faith.

We thank you in a special way for his heroic faith, shown by his readiness even to sacrifice his son in obedience to your command. We know that this was an extreme test, yet one from which he emerged victorious, since he trusted unreservedly in you, who are merciful and always offer the possibility of beginning anew.

We thank you because, in blessing our father Abraham, you made him a blessing for all peoples. We ask you, the God of our father Abraham and our God, to grant us a strong faith, a faith that abounds in good works, a faith that opens our hearts to you and to all our brothers and sisters; and a boundless hope capable of discerning in every situation your fidelity to your promises. Make each of us a witness of your loving care for all, particularly refugees and the displaced, widows and orphans, the poor and the infirm.

Open our hearts to mutual forgiveness and in this way make us instruments of reconciliation, builders of a more just and fraternal society.

Open our hearts to mutual forgiveness and in this way make us instruments of reconciliation, builders of a more just and fraternal society.

Welcome into your abode of peace and light all those who have died, particularly the victims of violence and war.

Assist the authorities in the effort to seek and find the victims of kidnapping and in a special way to protect women and children.

Help us to care for the earth, our common home, which in your goodness and generosity you have given to all of us.

Guide our hands in the work of rebuilding this country, and grant us the strength needed to help those forced to leave behind their homes and lands, enabling them to return in security and dignity, and to embark upon a new, serene and prosperous life. Amen.

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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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