Don’t be holier than the pope
The latest defense comes from Faith in Public Life, which last month released a report, “Be Not Afraid?: Guilt by Association, Catholic McCarthyism and Growing Threats to the U.S. Bishops’ Anti-Poverty Mission.”I don't see Jesus or even the Church mentioned. There are people engaged in communism who think they are Holier than the Pope!
The hyperbole of the title and some of the language in the report is over the top. But it makes a good point in saying groups such as the American Life League and the Reform CCHD Now Coalition are guilty of creating “a culture of fear around community organizing.”
Community organizing has been a red herring for decades.
The agency’s mission is to “address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education.”
The agency revised its guidelines for grants in 2010 after critics who claimed the program had lost its way by funding groups that were part of coalitions taking positions contrary to Catholic teaching (mainly abortion and same-sex marriage). The agency said five of 270 grantees found in violation of CCHD requirements lost all funding.
An organization that promotes or participates in activities that support principles contrary to Catholic teaching or works against the USCCB’s priorities to defend the life and dignity of all human persons is not eligible for funding.
Why is community organizing necessary? Because power does not listen to the poor. Can the poor get appointments with a mayor or a governor? Organized as a community, the poor have a voice.
Money does not eliminate poverty. Being poor is not about being without money. It is about being without power. Power is simply the ability to act, to initiate. Lack of power results in having few, if any, options.We have communist spirals in the Catholic Church, but no good Holiness Spirals.
To cure poverty is to change the system, to change the structure. If the social order is to be changed, those affected can be expected to become alarmed. Community organizing is one way to do it.
Patriarchs call for Lenten fast in support of Middle East Christians
In two separate appeals, the heads of both the Chaldean and Melkite Churches have called on Christians worldwide to observe a fast on Ash Wednesday and to begin their Lenten journey mindful of the plight of persecuted fellow believers in the Middle East.Pope Francis: Capitalism is 'Terrorism Against All of Humanity'
From Baghdad, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako I wrote:
“The war in Iraq and Syria taking on apocalyptic dimensions. Without a doubt, we are already facing the largest humanitarian catastrophe since the end of World War II. Once-thriving cities such as Mosul and the villages on the Nineveh plains have been reduced to rubble. Those who could flee, did. Millions of children in refugee camps are waiting for their daily bread, but they thirst for a future; they want schools and a home. They want to return to their homelands, as do their parents and relatives. Aid organizations are tirelessly caring for the refugees. They are buying basic foodstuffs, clothing, drinking water, blankets and medicine.
“We are all very thankful for this help. However, what is most needed is mercy. For this reason I would like to ask you at the beginning of this Lenten period: pray and fast for peace in our country! Pray and fast that God has mercy on us! Pray and fast that we may remain in our homelands; that the refugees may return to their villages and cities. Pray and fast that we may remain in our beloved homeland. So that we may also experience a resurrection from the rubble, an Easter in the land of Abraham.”
Pope Francis surprised reporters on a flight from Krakow to the Vatican late Sunday when he blamed the "god of money" for extremist violence in Europe and the Middle East, saying that a ruthless global economy leads disenfranchised people to violence.Popes, Pilgrims, Poland and Panama
"Terrorism grows when there is no other option, and as long as the world economy has at its center the god of money and not the person," the pope told reporters, according to the Wall Street Journal. "This is fundamental terrorism, against all humanity."
The pope was responding to a journalist's question about whether there is a link between Islam and terrorism, particularly focusing on the fatal attack on a priest by Muslim extremists in France last week.
"I ask myself how many young people that we Europeans have left devoid of ideals, who do not have work. Then they turn to drugs and alcohol or enlist in [the Islamic State, or ISIS]," he said, Reuters reports.
The pope said that no religion has a monopoly on violence, the Wall Street Journal notes:
His own experience in interreligious dialogue had shown him that Muslims seek "peace and encounter," he said. "It is not right and it is not just to say that Islam is terroristic." And he said no religion had a monopoly on violent members.
"If I speak of Islamic violence, I should speak of Catholic violence. Not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent," Pope Francis said, dismissing Islamic State as a "small fundamentalist group" not representative of Islam as a whole.
"In almost all religions there is always a small group of fundamentalists," even in the Catholic Church, the pope said, though not necessarily physically violent. "One can kill with the tongue as well as the knife."
The remarks followed similar comments made last Wednesday, when Pope Francis argued that the current Middle East conflicts are wars over economic and political interests—not religion or so-called "Islamic terrorism."
"There is war for money," he said on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. "There is war for natural resources. There is war for the domination of peoples. Some might think I am speaking of religious war. No. All religions want peace; it is other people who want war."
The news of Father Jacques Hamel’s murder at the altar of his parish church during Holy Mass arrived as WYD was beginning. Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz of Kraków referred to the martyrdom that same evening at the opening Mass of WYD, stressing that the priest had been killed during the Eucharist. No doubt Cardinal Dziwisz thought of the martyrdom of St. Stanisław, bishop of Kraków, who was killed by the king in 1079 during Mass. At the catechetical sites, the killing of Father Hamel was often mentioned. Not a word though from Pope Francis during the trip, in the city of St. Stanisław. On the return flight home, the Holy Father said his murder was no more “Islamic violence” that domestic violence in Italy was “Catholic violence.”