Nothing is ever simple in Vietnam, including Catholicism. Yesterday we published an article reporting that relations between the church and government are warming, and that it is even possible that Pope Benedict could visit Vietnam in 2010.
Today there are reports that thousands of Catholics marched on Vietnamese streets July 26 to protest the beating of two Catholic priests and the detainment of seven other Catholics.
It is one thing for conservative Catholics to ignore the Pope’s recent encyclical calling for more not less social justice when they denounce the different proposals for health care reform. And, it is another thing when they ignore the bishops’ statements supporting health care reform. But, it is quite another when they simply distort the truth and claim the mantle of the faith for their efforts.
What a delight to get up this morning and check out the front page of my Washington Post. Instead of dismal war stories, or a Senator’s diatribe against health care reform, there was a photo of six Franciscan monks walking their way across Virginia!
In yet another sign of growing environmental advocacy under Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican announced this morning that the theme of its World Peace Day in 2010 will be, "If you want to cultivate peace, take care of creation."
According to a statement released this morning, the thrust of Benedict XVI's message for the next World Peace Day will be that promoting peace in the world requires resolving what the Vatican referred to as "the present ecological crisis."
This from a reader who says he is tired of hearing people refer to "fallen-away" Catholics. He offers some other terms. Some seem to make more sense than others:
If we are to move to a world without nuclear weapons two practical steps will be required: 1. The actual dismantling of nuclear bombs. 2. The verification of the process -- without revealing sensitive security information. That why I find this report of the actually dismantling process of special interest.
In case you did not get a chance to read the letter sent early this month to all U.S. senators and representatives by Bishop William F. Murphy, Chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee Domestic Justice and Human Development, you can find it here.
With comprehensive health care in the balance and strong vested interests making every effort they can to slow or stop health care reform, the position of the Catholic church on health care reform matters.
"No Recess for Reform” was the mantra at a press conference and prayer meeting at the U.S. Capitol this morning. The event, sponsored by PICO, a faith-based community organizing network, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Sojourners and Faith in Public Life, was the kick-off of a campaign to pressure legislators to pass comprehensive health reform legislation this year.
During the congressional August recess, the coalition is planning a hundred meetings at the district offices of fence-sitting congressmen and senators. Additionally, the coalition will be running radio ads and collecting signatures for petitions. “The Good Samaritan was called upon to provide affordable, accessible health care,” Rev. Stevie Wakes of the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kan., told the gathering.