Stories I’ve Found, 1/17/2014


Interesting Stories I’ve Found:

Four New Echoes in the ‘Francis Revolution’: John Allen brings up more new stories about the remarkable Pope.  In his Friday column he covers the Vatican’s appearance before the UN Committee on the child abuse scandal in Geneva, and Pope Francis’ old friend, a rabbi from Buenos Aires, who came to visit him in Rome.

Cardinal Marx, not Karl, clears up some misconceptions about Pope Francis’ critique of capitalism.

For the Vatican watchers out there, an analysis of the new Cardinals to be created on February 22 is here.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, says the pressure to have a “fairytale wedding” threatens the institution of marriage.  His comments about the commercialization of marriage are points that need broader attention: from my experience with weddings, I think he’s right on target.

New Cardinal Vincent Nichols made a remarkable stand to support ministerial outreach to gays in England.  He has been critical of marriage equality plans.

This editorial on Pope Francis’ interview on religious life is not only a good summary (with a link to Wake Up the World!) but also a good reflection on these principles can be expanded to the larger Church.

This summary of religious freedom restrictions around the world is heart breaking.  Around the world, 5.3 billion people face harsh restrictions; this article shows us how many and where.

Jonathan Merritt shares about one of the most misused Bible quotes: Phillippians 4:13.  His interpretation is more on target than those of Joel Osteen and Tim Tebow.

It Is Expensive to be Poor by Barbara Ehrenreich is an eyeopening account of life in America today.  This is true: “Poverty is not a character failing or a lack of motivation. Poverty is a shortage of money.” Nathaniel Romano, SJ gives us more about the loss of unemployment benefits and the unexpected results for a society.

Ross Douthat writes about the War on Women on the Internet. I followed the first link to Amanda Hess’ article, it was disturbing enough. The issue of male misogyny isn’t limited to the Internet, and cleaning that up is a daunting task.

Did the creator of the AK-47 regret inventing a legendary assault rifle?  He wrote a letter to his bishop asking the question before his death.

Omid Safi shares some of Rumi’s poetry with us, speaking eloquently about how words build up the heart.

Yesterday, January 16 was National Religious Freedom Day. The Pew Research Center released their latest report on social hostility toward religion around the world.  This report combines both government restrictions on religion as well as mob violence. Its findings are distressing.

An interesting approach to homelessness: give them homes.  This solution is actually more cost effective than letting people live on the streets, as this article about coping with homeless veterans describes. (Why there are homeless veterans is beyond me: seems to be severe ingratitude on our part.)

A list of Top 12 Pastor Stunts, in honor of the minister who recently announced he will live as a atheist for a year. No comment.

Curious about which videos are being downloaded illegally at the Vatican? It’s here, and it’s not what’s usually downloaded illegally.

The Trappist monks of Spencer, MS are now brewing beer in their community’s tradition.  Here’s to tradition!

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