I received this urgent call to action and prayer from Sojourners Magazine regarding the brutal anti-immigration legislation awaiting the signature of Arizona's governor. The stakes are particularly high for the church: anyone in a ministry that might involve transporting an undocumented immigrant will be at risk for arrest.
Arizona's three bishops -- Gerald F. Kicanas, Thomas J. Olmsted and James S. Walland --- and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony have joined those urging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto legislation.
Please read this and respond.
Wait. Am I missing something here?
According to Catholic News Service today, the bishops of England and Wales are asking Catholics to carry out acts of penance each Friday in May to help atone for clerical abuse crimes.
Is someone making this up?
Did you ever go to confession and say these words?
"Bless me father for I have sinned. ... For my penance I want you to say three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys!
Here is what CNS reports:`
In a statement to be read at all parishes April 24-25, the bishops assured Catholics that effective child protection procedures are in place. However, they said, it is "time for deep prayer and reparation for atonement" of the sins of priests and other Catholics who have abused children.
"We invite Catholics in England and Wales to make the four Fridays in May 2010 special days of prayer," the bishops said in their statement, released April 22.
They recommended visiting the Blessed Sacrament to pray for victims, their abusers and for church leaders who mishandled cases.
This 40th anniversary of Earth Day can be celebrated by watching "Oceans" in theaters or "The Cove" (reviewed here in St. Anthony Messenger) or catching the PBS special "Earth Days" in reruns. It details the history of Earth Day and is well worth the watch (my review here.)
If you were watching "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" on NBC last night, you would have noticed the theme was about the situation of beef in the meatpacking industry. "CSI: Miami" also had an episode on food that I commented on earlier in NCR.
The Oscar-nominated documentary "Food, Inc." covers the same territory, only more in depth, and embraces the food industry (agribusiness) in the United States. I think I have had small portions of beef maybe five times in the last several months because of it. (See my September 2009 review)
Just got a media release from the Partnership for Global Justice, a New York-based network of religious congregations and social justice groups and a U.N. recognized non-governmental organization:
NEW YORK, NY -- April 12, 2010 - Fr. Daniel Berrigan and his brother Philip Berrigan will receive the Seventh Annual Partnership for Global Justice Award on Friday, April 30th. Philip Berrigan’s daughter Frida Berrigan will accept the award posthumously on behalf of her father. The luncheon event, which is open to the public, will be held at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle at 60th Street and Columbus Avenue in New York City from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Both Fr. Berrigan and Ms. Berrigan are expected to speak.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the nation's largest environmental advocacy groups, has a special package of resources for celebrating Earth Day 2010.
On April 22, 1970, some 20 million people across the country rallied to protest the state of the planet. Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, a dump for steel mills and other industries, had caught fire. A massive oil spill swamped the coast off Santa Barbara, and concerns about smog, DDT and water pollution were rising. The very first Earth Day was a grassroots revolution that spurred Congress to create America’s core environmental protection laws, and continues to be a day of celebration and activism worldwide.
Catholic News Service reports:
VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican is looking into taking legal action against a company that failed to create a promised Vatican Climate Forest in Hungary.
The reforestation project was supposed to make Vatican City State the first carbon-neutral country in the world by offsetting its greenhouse-gas emissions.
Today's Wall Street Journal has an important article on how church-related pensions can fail miserably, shut down and leave its participants out in the cold.
"Pensions are protected by federal law, which requires employers to fund the benefits, and insure their pensions with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which ensures their pensions will be paid even if the pension plan fails and the employer files for bankruptcy.
But when the law was enacted in the 1970s, churches were exempt unless they opted in. In the 1980s, the IRS definition of "church plan" widened to include almost any organization affiliated with a religious group. That includes recreational groups, hospitals and schools, and publishers like Augsburg Fortress.
Now, a number of church plans are struggling in the wake of investment losses. How many is difficult to say. Church plans don't have to file annual reports with the Internal Revenue Service disclosing their pension obligations, assets and investment managers, among other details.
"The body of God is the entire universe; it is all matter in its myriad fantastic, ancient and modern forms, from quarks to galaxies. More specifically, the body of God needing our attention is planet Earth, a tiny piece of divine embodiment that is our home and garden. In order to care for this garden, we need to know about it; in order to help all creatures who constitute this body flourish, we need to understand how we humans fit into this body.
All understandings of creation and providence rest on assumptions about what the world is like and where humans belong in it... In our evolutionary, ecological view of reality, everthing is interrelated and interdependent. As we have seen, "ecological unity" is both radically individualistic and radically relational. In an organism or body, the whole flourishes only when all of the different parts function well; in fact, the whole is nothing but each and every individual part doing its particular thing successfully. Nothing is more unified than a well-functioning body, but at the same time, nothing relies more on complex, diverse individuality.
“Seek joy where joy may be found” is one of those rare aphorisms that seems to combine perfectly the human capacity to hope with an earthy sense of the practical. It occurred to me while reading Austen Ivereigh’s post about Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos’ decision not to preside at a special Mass in the extraordinary form here in Washington this coming weekend.
Ivereigh thought the Paulus Institute, which is sponsoring the Mass, missed an opportunity to clearly say that the change was a result of the recently released information about the cardinal’s complicity in encouraging a French prelate not to report the crime of sex abuse to civil authorities. He thought this would show that the conservative liturgical movement is not mindlessly tied to the kind of clericalism that permitted the cover-up of clerical sex abuse for so many years. I agree.