Around the Web (Part 1)

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Cantu and Cupich: Families are more than groups of consumers by Patrick Reardon: “Catholic social teaching about the family and the human person ‘flies in the face of the modern individualist attitudes that pervade our culture,’ Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, N.M., told a gathering of economists, theologians, bishops and social theorists April 30 on the campus of the University of Chicago. The church, he said, ‘stands, in some respects, in direct opposition to the reduction of the individual to nothing more than an autonomous rights-bearing consumer.’”

Politicians must get bolder about treating America’s urban problems by Michael Gerson: “Public policy related to concentrated, intergenerational urban poverty requires a better question. What can be done to encourage economically and socially healthy communities where order is self-creating rather than ­imposed?”

What Catholics can teach America about polarized politics by Jacob Lupfer: “For people who claim to derive their political values from their religious traditions, polarization raises vexing questions. More than perhaps any other group, faithful Catholics struggle to reconcile their Church’s teachings with the platforms of the two major parties.”

It Ain’t the First and It Ain’t the Last by Ralph McCloud: “Many of us said after the Ferguson turmoil, polarity, and finger-pointing that it could happen anywhere. We acknowledged that issues in many of America’s inner cities were at a boiling point. Twenty-three years since Rodney King and twenty three days since Freddie Gray.  From the west coast to the east coast and countless cities in between, lives have been lost and reduced because of racism, classism, unjust laws, oppressive systems, and benign neglect. From coast to coast we have seen a rapid rise in hatred, racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, inattention, and abandonment.”

The Catholic Case for Campaign Finance Reform by Daniel Dobrygowski: “Active participation and a realistic ability to shape governance are the hallmarks of true democracy and of the type of government that the church advocates. But active participation, inclusivity and accountability are the very qualities threatened by the accelerating influence of money on our political system.”

Editorial: Unseemly behavior by OSV Newsweekly: “It’s true that Catholics are not required to agree with every word that is proclaimed by the pope. His infallibility is used sparingly, as is prudent. But to prejudge his teaching is unacceptable. To disparage, cast aside and belittle the leader of the Church is worse. Not only is it profoundly disrespectful to the office, it’s simply the wrong behavior for Catholics to be engaging in. It’s nasty, negative spin.”

Obama to attend Georgetown University poverty summit next week by Michael Sean Winters: “President Barack Obama will head to Georgetown University on Tuesday to participate in a Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty organized by John Carr, the longtime USCCB point man on social justice issues, and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). The president’s appearance will be part of a three-day meeting of 120 civic, religious and political leaders hosted by Carr’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at the Jesuit-run university.”

Cafeteria Catholicism at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast? by John Gehring: “Catholics who worship together on Sunday can disagree over public policy on Monday. But when a national Catholic event that attracts leading Republican politicians and Catholic bishops consistently sends a message that being ‘pro-life’ or ‘pro-family’ can be reduced to a narrow agenda that aligns with one political party that is a problem.”

Syria Is Using Chemical Weapons Again by NY Times: “Two years after President Bashar al-Assad agreed to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, there is mounting evidence that his government is flouting international law to drop jerry-built chlorine bombs on insurgent-held areas. Lately, the pace of the bombardments in contested areas like Idlib Province has picked up, rescue workers say, as government forces have faced new threats from insurgents. The Assad government has so far evaded more formal scrutiny because of political, legal and technical obstacles to assigning blame for the attacks — a situation that feels surreal to many Syrians under the bombs, who say it is patently clear the government drops them.”