BY STEFAN GIGACZ
American sisters have started out on a 10,000 km bus drive across 15 US states in their latest campaign for immigration reform, notes Elizabeth Flock:
The "Nuns on the Bus," a Washington-based Catholic pressure group that previously fought against GOP budget cuts and spoke at the Democratic National Convention, has now turned its attention to immigration reform as a massive reform bill is expected to hit the Senate floor in June.
To get their pro-immigration message across, the nuns are making a nationwide bus tour that will pass through 15 states, make 54 stops and cover some 6,500 miles. They began Wednesday near Ellis Island, the passageway for millions of immigrants to the United States during the early 1990s. The nuns will end in mid-June near Angel Island, once a processing point for many Asian immigrants and today known as the "Ellis Island of the West."
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Tony Robertson recalls the story of a mission on North Stradbroke Island:
170 years ago four Passionist priests began Australia's first Catholic Mission to Aboriginal People on North Stradbroke Island. In a homily at a Mass to mark the occasion, Archbishop Mark Coleridge reflected on an experiment that only lasted four years with the clergy abandoning the mission due to physical hardships and lack of a common language. This experiment was also to have a significant impact on Australia's first Catholic Bishop, John Bede Polding's support for Indigenous People.
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Samuel Gregg weighs in on Pope Francis' political orientation:
So is Pope Francis a closet liberation theologian, or someone with strong sympathies for the school of thought? It’s a question that’s been raised many times since Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s election to the papacy in March. Most recently, theNew York Times weighed in on the subject. While discussing the tone adopted by Bergoglio since becoming pope, the NYT article claimed that Francis has “an affinity for liberation theology.” “Francis’s speeches,” the article argues, “draw clearly on the themes of liberation theology.” It also suggested that “Francis studied with an Argentine Jesuit priest who was a proponent of liberation theology.”
I’m afraid, however, that if one looks at Francis’s pre-pontifical writings, a rather different picture emerges. Certainly Bergoglio is a man who has always been concerned about those in genuine material need. But orthodox Christianity didn’t need to wait for liberation theology in order to articulate deep concern for the materially poor and to remind those with power and resources that they have concrete obligations to the less fortunate. From the very beginning, it was a message that pervaded the Gospels and the Church’s subsequent life.
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For another view on Catholic Social Teaching...
The Distributist Review – The Trouble with Catholic Social Teaching distributistreview.com/mag/2011/04/th…— John Médaille (@JohnMedaille) May 30, 2013
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And at a more theoretical level, JL Liedl argues that while philosophical liberalism is unacceptable, it is possible to be a "pragmatic eudaimonist living in a liberal society":
This perspective upholds the proper Aristotelian-Thomistic conception of eudaimonia, while still allowing for participation within a liberal political order. It allows one to operate within the conceptual framework of a liberal regime, while actively attempting to restore an understanding of politics that orientates man and society toward authentic eudaimonia. It responds both to St. Augustine’s call to participate in politics as an act of charity, and St. Thomas Aquinas’s insistence that certain conceptions of society and forms of government are, in fact, better than others and should be sought after.
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Meanwhile, here's a good question from Francis:
Do I take the Gospel message of reconciliation and love into the places where I live and work?— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) May 23, 2013
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Back in Australia, John Menadue warns that Catholic Health's proposed solution to health funding problems may not work:
It is understandable that Catholic Health should be concerned with the most disadvantaged. Martin Laverty must be well aware of what has happened in the USA, where hospitals under the umbrella of the Catholic Church, such as those nominally operated by the Sisters of Mercy, have become big profit-making enterprises with little if any connection to their original mission. http://livingwithmcl.com/BitterPill.pdf
But turning over Catholic hospitals and other facilities to provide care for the “most disadvantaged” www.theage.com.au/national/catholic-health-plan-for-disadvantaged-20090818-ep4u.html is fraught with the curse of unintended consequences.
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While Bishop Anthony Fisher celebrates a major milestone:May 26, 2013
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Colin Garbarino offers a guide to the gods of social media:
You can follow multiple Twitter accounts that claim to speak for God, and most of them tend to be fairly snarky. God attempts to tweet ironically, but unfortunately he’s not very funny. TheTweetOfGod tends to be a little cleverer and a lot angrier. He also seems to be very concerned with selling his snarky book. I’m not sure that TheTweetOfGod actually believes in himself. More than 500,000 people followJesus on Twitter, but I can’t figure out why. Though he attempts to be witty, his tweets don’t even make sense half the time.
Facebook’s divine presences tend to be kinder, gentler deities. The Gods of Facebook like posting cute pictures. GodQuotes doesn’t really post very many quotations from God, but he does upload numerous pictures of landscapes. Nothing says “God” like light breaking through the clouds. Sometimes he mixes it up and gives us a picture of a cute child or a puppy. Don’t just settle for “liking” GodQuotes because you won’t want to miss out on God’s official page. This Facebook page specializes in scary pictures of Jesus coupled with inspirational sayings. Speaking of Jesus, don’t forget to check out Jesus Daily. This page delivers just the right mix of sentimentality, humor, and guilt.
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Looks like Francis is not ready for a holiday yet.June 1, 2013
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Franciscan Francis Horan laments the standard of theological writing:
I have been frustrated with the generally poor quality of academic writing for years — and here I’m referring primarily to theology, my own field, but recognize this is a much broader phenomenon.
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Finally, Sr Helen Prejean recalls a significant anniversary this month in the struggle against the death penalty.June 1, 2013
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