Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Under the radar: The Democratic Party is in dire straits by Stephen Schneck: “Unless the party can develop new leaders able to rise above the temptations of identity politics and base-mobilizing campaigns, unless it can reorient itself to its roots in the working class, immigrants, and needs of the economically disadvantaged, unless it can free itself from the chokehold of its own special interests and become again the party of the public interest and effective governance, then the future for the Democratic Party in America is pretty bleak.”

Why are some Catholics so afraid of change? by Fr. James Martin: “Fear of change holds the church back. And it does something worse. It removes love from the equation. In the past few weeks I have seen this fear lead to suspicion, mistrust and hate. And at the heart of this, I believe, is fear.”

Why Liberals Should Oppose Assisted Suicide by Michael Sean Winters: “Instead of seeing the elderly, and the entitlement programs that support them, as a burden, we should all find ways to celebrate their lives and keep them integrated into our own. We can start exercising this kind of social solidarity by opposing assisted suicide and reminding our seniors that they are not a burden, that they are needed and valued, that they have dignity and can never lose it. Here is an issue on which solidarity must trump personal autonomy or else we will all lose, and we might lose more than we first thought.”

Once the uprising was underway, violence and instability were in Libya’s future regardless by Kyle Orton: “Whether it is the threat of Islamists, the lack of civil society and the collapse of the State after Qaddafi, or the inflamed ethno-social and tribal divisions in Libya: these are the products of the Qaddafi dictatorship. Crushing all opposition except the Islamists, making the State the private property of a ruling family, and keeping control by divide-and-rule is a virtual algorithm of Arab dictatorship; it ensures that the only alternatives are fanatics, chaos, or both. Libya’s torments now are not the result of removing Qaddafi but of tolerating him for so long.”

In helping the Church stretch, Francis is securing its future by John Gehring: “Francis is trying to wake up Church leaders, tucked peacefully under the comfortable blankets of doctrine, to the more difficult task Jesus embodied. The pope wants a Church that walks into uncertainty, seeks out those on the peripheries, heals wounds, and encounters people.”

Lean in With Grace: Catholic Women Lead by Katherine Marshall: “These three remarkable women, inspired by faith, are a true inspiration for what they do and what they achieve, and for the grace with which they carry their responsibilities to care for others.”

The Syrian Catholic priest who escaped IS captivity by BBC News: “A Syrian priest who was held by Islamic State (IS) militants for nearly three months and threatened with execution has for the first time spoken about his ordeal. Fr Jack Murad was abducted from the central Syrian town of al-Qaryatain in May along with Botros Hanna, a volunteer at the ancient Mar [Saint] Elian Monastery.”

Read high schoolers’ contest-winning essays by NCR: “National Catholic Reporter asked high school juniors and seniors to reflect on their experiences of change and growth in the church and to describe their hopes for the church in the years ahead. After receiving and reviewing over 100 fantastic entries, we are proud to present the five winning entries — first, second and third, as well as two honorable mentions.”