Casey Schoeneberger, Faith in Public Life’s Media Relations Assistant, came to FPL from NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby’s Associate Program after studying economics at Saint Joseph’s University. She blogs about tax and budget issues on Bold Faith Type.
Prominent clergy and faith activists from across America will join together on Wednesday, March 20 for a coordinated, multi-state “Loaves and Fishes” Day of Action to highlight the need for moral and political courage in federal budget negotiations. With 21 events across America, plus a press conference on Capitol Hill, the faith community will encourage Congress to question the austerity gospel, and remind them we have enough for all in this country.
John Gehring, Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, argued in yesterday’s USA Today that while the next pope may not radically change the Catholic Church, he will have an opportunity to actively encourage healthy dialogue in the pews:
The next pope, whether cheered by conservative Catholics or eyed warily by liberals in the flock, will not abruptly end the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage, the all-male priesthood and contraception even as many practicing Catholics and some clergy find these teachings flawed.
But a new pope — and no church rule requires the Vicar of Christ to be a cardinal or bishop — could send a powerful message by claiming less infallibility and listening more to ordinary Catholics, overburdened pastors and tireless nuns who live out the Gospel from blighted neighborhoods in Cincinnati to remote villages in Kenya. Instead of silencing theologians and stifling debate, a new pope could let it be known that discernment and discussion are signs of a healthy, flourishing faith.
John Gehring, Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, teamed up with Santa Clara University religious studies professor Kristin Heyer, to make a family values case for comprehensive immigration reform in yesterday’s San Jose Mercury News.
Heyer and Gehring write:
If you believe some conservatives, the biggest threat to “family values” is same-sex marriage. Yet these same elected officials wash their hands of a U.S. immigration system that tears parents from children, exploits migrants and leaves families in disarray.
In response to a New York diocesan priest who put a letter endorsing Mitt Romney for president in a weekly church bulletin, New York-area Catholics gathered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan yesterday to deliver 40,000 petition signatures calling on Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop of New York, to:
Immediately instruct the priests in [his] diocese to refrain from distributing partisan campaign materials and issue a pastoral letter clarifying that the church is not making any endorsements.
At the delivery, Tom Smyth, a petition signer and member of St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Baldwin, New York, said:
I love my Church, but it should stay out of partisan politics, Cardinal Dolan needs to tell his pastors to stop telling people whom to vote for.
James Salt, a petition organizer and Executive Director of Catholics United added:
The incident at St. Catherine of Siena demonstrates why Catholics are increasingly disheartened by the politicization of the faith. Instead of ministering to the needs of the faithful, too many priests and bishops are engaging in overt partisan activity. This alienates the vast majority of Catholics who want our Church to be known for its spiritual leadership, not its right-wing politics.
And Director of Faithful America and petition organizer Michael Sherrard had this to say:
Faithful America members, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, are appalled at the shameless exploitation of church resources to campaign for a presidential candidate. This wouldn’t be happening without Cardinal Dolan’s constant vitriolic attacks on the Obama administration’s health care policies, and he needs to personally ensure that such partisan campaigning never happens again in his diocese.
Although it has been two weeks since the publication of the endorsement, neither Cardinal Dolan nor the Archdiocese of New York has publicly acknowledged the priest’s error or assured local Catholics that churches will not be exploited for future partisan political campaigning.
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A Md. Catholic nun represents views of many in differences with Vatican By Michelle Boortstein — Washington Post
As for Curtis, the idea that she’d be on the side of what European media this weekend called “the rebel nuns” is disorienting. She grew up in a big, devout Rochester, N.Y., family, was close to sisters and priests growing up and attended Catholic schools her entire life.
Video:Radical Feminist Nuns By Colbert Report
NETWORK’s Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell responds to the Vatican’s “”radical feminist”" charges, and Stephen learns how to get into heaven.
Meeting with doctrinal office opportunity for dialogue, says LCWR head By Carol Glatz — Catholic News Service
“We are grateful for the opportunity for open dialogue, and now we will return to our members to see about the next step” and decide how to proceed in light of discussions with the doctrinal office, Sister Pat told journalists immediately after the meeting.
Family Net Worth Fell Almost 40% Between 2007-2010 By Kristina Peterson — Wall Street Journal
Median net worth of families fell to $77,300 in 2010 from $126,400 in 2007, a drop of 38.8%–the largest drop since the current survey began in 1989, Fed economists said Monday.
Romney’s All Wrong on Public Sector Employment By Bryce Covert — Nation, Editorial
This means that the eleven states that went red two years ago were responsible for 40 percent of these public sector job losses in 2011. If we add in Texas, a massive red state, we can pinpoint the source of 70 percent of those losses.
U.S., Florida face off over voter purge effort By Kevin Gray — Reuters
The U.S. Justice Department and Florida exchanged legal salvoes on Monday over the state’s controversial effort to remove non-U.S. citizens from its voter rolls ahead of this year’s presidential election.