What do you say to graduates as they leave their universities and go out into the world? That was the problem I faced when I was invited to address the graduates of the Institute for Pastoral Studies and the Graduate School of Loyola University Chicago on Wednesday, May 7. I fear that I was not as encouraging as I would have liked because I see many challenges in their future. Here is what I said:
Peace & Justice
Pope Francis' exhortation for priests to smell like the sheep have made these priests more confident in engaging issues of labor and work.
In the current issue of Theological Studies, Kate Ward and Kenneth R. Himes of Boston College deliver a heavily documented and deeply penetrating analysis of economic inequality. It is an issue that affects not just the United States but other nations as well, they note.
Eight countries are on the State Department's "Countries of Particular Concern," and a commission recommended eight others be added.
The execution of Clayton Lockett did not go off without a hitch Tuesday night.
Instead of death by lethal injection, the Oklahoman inmate died of a heart attack, with the complication attributed to vein failure, the Associated Press reported. The state corrections department was using a new three-drug combination, and the botched execution led them to postpone the execution of Charles F. Warner, also scheduled for Tuesday night, for two weeks.
Wrote Pope Francis in a sharp a sharp seven-word Tweet April 28th: "Inequality is the root of social evil.”
His tweet was retweeted nearly 14,000 times by day two. Clearly it was resonating.
So what might be the consequences of greater inequality? Are people likely to sit back and accept it? Will they become increasingly angry? Will unrest and violence follow?
Just how deep is the sense of injustice ingrained within us?
This TED talk might provide some answers.
On the 39th anniversary of the closing of the Vietnam War, 20 percent of the countryside is still littered with thousands of unexploded bombs and munitions; the very poor have taken to diffusing them to sell for scrap, and many lives and limbs are lost each year by farmers and others who accidentally dig them up.
Despite progress in defeating extreme global poverty, most Americans see no end in sight, according to a survey sponsored by Compassion International.
Christians who attend church at least monthly and consider religion very important in their life overwhelmingly (96 percent) expressed concern about the world's poorest people. But they were skeptical that global poverty could be ended in the next 25 years. Only 41 percent of the group said it was possible.
A couple of years ago, a woman I'll call Ann saw me give a television interview about prison sentencing reform. She phoned me right away to tell me about her son, who, she said, received a 10-year sentence in federal prison for his second marijuana possession. A lawyer was filing an appeal, but she didn't know if he would be successful.
Alas, I didn't have any hope to hold out to her. Congress seems even less likely than the Missouri legislature to shorten drug possession sentences, and such reform benefits are almost never retroactive, though there's no reason they couldn't be.
A judge in Miami ruled that former Salvadoran Gen. Jose Guillermo Garcia "assisted or otherwise participated in" torture and assassinations, including the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero.