Around the Web (Part 1)

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Francis has the chance to help Catholicism in Cuba by John Allen: “Francis earned a massive deposit of political capital by helping Cuba improve its relationship with the United States, and the trip amounts to a chance to cash it in by insisting on greater religious and political freedom.”

Church as an “On-Ramp” by Michael Sean Winters: “Many, probably most, parishes help the poor with immediate needs such as food and clothing. Many others have English as a Second Language programs which are vital for immigrants. But, how else can our parishes become on ramps for the poor?”

Most US dioceses have women in key posts, but some have none by Michael O’Loughlin: “Of three high-ranking jobs open to laypeople in Catholic dioceses across the United States — chancellor, chief financial officer, and schools superintendent — only one-third are filled by women. In fact, 35 percent of US dioceses have no women at all in these influential positions. On the other hand, given that leadership in the Church has been historically tied to to priestly ordination, that one third of these influential posts are filled by women may seem refreshingly high to some.”

If you cannot afford a baby, abort it? by Kristen Day: “All organs are present and functioning by 12 weeks, which is why many developed countries draw the line on abortions at 12 weeks. After that the child just needs time to grow. The prenatal child is almost ready to open its eyes by 20 weeks. Look at an 18-to-20-week ultrasound and it is hard to disagree that the image shows a little person.”

Living Well at L’Arche by Sophia Mason Feingold: “The disabled residents or ‘core people’ live side-by-side with assistants who help them meet their daily needs — everything from assistance in the bathroom and taking medications to tying shoes. In turn, the core people help the assistants grow in patience, understanding and faith.”

‘Asian Francis’ elected to lead pope’s ‘Solidarity Army’ by Inés San Martín: “A Filipino cardinal dubbed the “Asian Francis” for his similarities in outlook and personality to the pontiff has been elected the new global leader for the charitable outreach of the Catholic Church.”

Portraits of the Victims: Amtrak Train Derailment by NY Times: “Eight people were killed Tuesday, when Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train No. 188 derailed in Philadelphia shortly before 9:30 p.m.”

Something is stirring in the religious world by EJ Dionne: “Will we regard poverty as a haunting national problem, or will the focus groups continue to tell politicians of all stripes to talk only about the middle class because mentioning the poor is politically toxic?”