Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Catholics organize to promote pope’s climate change message by Rachel Zoll: “When Pope Francis releases his much-anticipated teaching document on the environment and climate change in the coming weeks, a network of Roman Catholics will be ready. These environmental advocates – who work with bishops, religious orders, Catholic universities and lay movements – have been preparing for months to help maximize the effect of the statement, hoping for a transformative impact in the fight against global warming.”

Should It Be Illegal for Supermarkets to Waste Food? by Edward Delman: “For reference, about one in seven Americans lack reliable access to food, and an extra 15 percent in saved food could feed over 25 million Americans, according to the NRDC. The retail sector in the United States accounts for approximately 10 percent of the available food supply, suggesting that a law similar to the one just passed in France could make a difference in reducing U.S. food insecurity.”

Wages & Worker Rights in Red & Blue by Michael Sean Winters: “The social contract has been frayed in the new Gilded Age in which we live. But, we have been here before. As Robert Putnam continually makes clear, America responded to the social ills of the first Gilded Age magnificently, ushering in universal high school and other reforms of the Progressive Era that made America a more just society. It is time to renegotiate the social contract again, and find news solutions for a new century.”

‘I Would Prefer to Be Judged Too Kind than Too Rigid’: An Interview with Bishop Patrick J. McGrath by Jim McDermott: “I think it’s a simple thing with the people: they want the church to be relevant. That doesn’t mean you agree with everything that comes down the pike, but it means you do look at everything that comes down the pike, and then you ask how do we work together and still remain faithful to the deposit of faith. How do we present it in such a way that we won’t be burdensome to people, that in fact they will feel helped, rather than turned off or rejected.”

Caring for the Flock in the Breadbasket of the Nation: An Interview with Bishop Armando Ochoa by Jim McDermott: “But what happens when the inmates are released? There’s not that same presence and connection with the church. When they come out, do they feel comfortable looking for that in the local parish? I’m sorry to say more times than not, we don’t do that very well.  We’re not good at being a receiving community. We need to sensitize our clergy more about being more open to bringing those people back.”

‘The Social Teaching of the Church Can’t Just be in a Book’: An Interview with Bishop Stephen Blaire by Jim McDermott: “Personally, I think at the national level the church has to always be a voice for legislation that protects the poor. Right now in the budget several of the programs that have been cut are programs that have been successful in helping the poor. So I think we have to keep our eye on legislation and not be afraid to voice our concerns and support for legislation that helps the poor.”

The pope is coming; bishops, start your tweets by Michael O’Loughlin: “Not only is the social media platform valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s become a chief communications tool for Pope Francis and scores of cardinals and bishops, including Wester himself. Now, as American Catholics prepare to welcome Pope Francis, a handful of tweeting bishops are pushing their reluctant peers to sign on and get tweeting.”

The human toll of FIFA’s corruption by Christopher Ingraham: “In the light of the new Justice Department investigation, Swiss authorities are announcing a new inquiry into the process that gave Qatar the cup in 2010. If FIFA board members did indeed accept bribes from Qatar to let it host the 2022 cup, it would show how backroom corruption can have real human consequences.”

The personal stories of Christianity’s new martyrs by John Allen: “Given the scale of this global horror, it’s sometimes easy to forget that behind the statistics are flesh-and-blood people whose experience is no less intensely personal for being part of a broader pattern. Two encounters in Colombia last week — where a civil war has dragged on for a half-century and left 220,000 people dead, including scores of new Christian martyrs — drive that point home.”

What makes environment encyclical unusual? by Austen Ivereigh: “The encyclical will almost certainly look to St. Francis of Assisi, the inspiration for Jorge Bergoglio’s choice of papal name, as a model for a renewed sense of interdependence and solidarity rooted in a biblical sense of wonder. Just as St. Francis needed to strip himself down to achieve a greater oneness with God, with nature and with others, so Pope Francis will call on Catholics to live more simply, that others may simply live. Perhaps more than any other encyclical in recent times, it will ask Catholics to make significant changes to the way we eat, dress and travel, opening a new era of Christian witness and orthodoxy,”

Vice President Biden’s family announces death of his son Beau Biden: “Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.”

Strengthen Minimum Wage – and EITC by Robert Greenstein: “Both vital policies need strengthening. The current minimum wage is far from sufficient, having fallen well below its historical value relative both to inflation and to what the typical worker earns. The minimum wage now equals just 37 percent of the median wage; by contrast, it equaled about half the median wage in the 1960s. On the EITC side, one immediate priority is making permanent key provisions of the EITC and related Child Tax Credit scheduled to expire at the end of 2017. Failure to do so would push some 16 million people in working families with modest incomes — including 8 million children — into or deeper into poverty.”

Pornography, Violence and Sexual Entitlement: An Unspeakable Truth by Laura McNally: “Marches and protests against domestic violence rage on, discussions continue to unpack male entitlement, yet the elephant in the room remains unacknowledged. One of the most omnipresent and unavoidable drivers of sexist violence is seemingly invisible. To address sexist violence, advocates must challenge the lie that pornography is progressive.”