Building the Common Good is not a Side Project

Heidi Schlumpf writes:

The common good means “we belong to each other,” said Meghan J. Clark, associate professor of moral theology at St. John’s University in New York and a faculty expert for the Holy See’s Mission to the United Nations.

“That’s not just something we’re supposed to do, but how we’re supposed to be and profoundly a matter of who we are as children of God,” she said.

She also noted that the “Imago Dei” (the idea that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God) can also be expanded as the “Imago Trīnitāte,” in which human dignity is relational and salvation is about “being human together,” even being saved together.

The question then becomes, “How are we imaging God in the world, not just as individuals but together?”…

“This call to build the common good is something we understand in Catholicism as at the very heart of our theology, not just this side project for those who are kind of ‘into’ social justice.”

Speaker Nichole Flores, assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, shared how her own experience of motherhood solidified her commitment to solidarity around the unjust separation of migrant families, noting that too often, society relegates parenthood to the private sphere “at our peril.”

For Flores, the birth of her son, Roberto, and his need to spend several days in a neonatal intensive care unit gave her a new perspective on other families’ suffering.

“We began to see their struggle as our struggle. We began to see their joy as our joy. We began to see their babies as our babies. We began to see their families as our families,” Flores said.

This implies a moral obligation of solidarity, which is “the most challenging virtue of our time,” she said, citing the U.S. bishops’ document “A Place at the Table.”


President Trump Faces New Rape Allegation

Warning: The following contains a description of an alleged rape.

E. Jean Carroll writes:

The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips. I am so shocked I shove him back and start laughing again. He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights.

I am astonished by what I’m about to write: I keep laughing. The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me. It turns into a colossal struggle. I am wearing a pair of sturdy black patent-leather four-inch Barneys high heels, which puts my height around six-one, and I try to stomp his foot. I try to push him off with my one free hand — for some reason, I keep holding my purse with the other — and I finally get a knee up high enough to push him out and off and I turn, open the door, and run out of the dressing room.

The whole episode lasts no more than three minutes. I do not believe he ejaculates. I don’t remember if any person or attendant is now in the lingerie department. I don’t remember if I run for the elevator or if I take the slow ride down on the escalator. As soon as I land on the main floor, I run through the store and out the door — I don’t recall which door — and find myself outside on Fifth Avenue.

via New York:

The cover story New York published today details an encounter the writer E. Jean Carroll had over two decades ago with Donald J. Trump, in which the then–real-estate mogul allegedly assaulted her in a dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in midtown Manhattan….

Carroll is now at least the 16th woman to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct and the 14th to accuse Moonves of similar offenses….

New York has verified that Carroll did disclose the attack to these friends at the time, and has confirmed that Bergdorf Goodman kept no security footage that would prove or disprove Carroll’s story. New York has also sought comment from Moonves and Trump. Through his representative, Moonves told New York that he “emphatically denies” the incident occurred. A senior White House official said in a statement, “This is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the President look bad.”

Indianapolis Archdiocese Cuts Ties with Jesuit School Over Refusal to Fire Gay Teacher

via Indianapolis Star:

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis is cutting ties with Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School after the school refused to fire a gay teacher.

Brebeuf, which is sponsored by the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, received notice Thursday that the Archdiocese will issue a canonical decree Friday stating that the Archbishop will no longer formally recognize Brebeuf Jesuit as a Catholic school in the Archdiocese.

Brian G. Paulson, provincial for the Midwest Jesuits, called the decision “disappointing” in a statement posted to the group’s website. He said the Midwest Jesuits and Brebeuf, which is in northwest Indianapolis, have been fighting the Archdiocese over the gay teacher for the last two years.

The school became aware in the summer of 2017 that one of its teachers married a person of the same sex. Paulson said it became publicly known via social media.

“Brebeuf’s administration and Board of Trustees have determined that following the Archdiocese’s directive would not only violate their informed conscience on this particular matter, but also would set a concerning precedent for future interference in the school’s operations and other matters that have historically been the right and privilege of Brebeuf Jesuit officials,” Paulson said in his statement.

He said the teacher is a “longtime valued employee of the school” and does not teach religion.

You can read the school’s full statement here.

Bishop Stephen Blaire (1941-2019)

via CNS:

Retired Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton died June 18 after a prolonged illness. He died at his retirement residence at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Modesto. He was 77.

The much beloved bishop was recalled by many both in California and across the country as a churchman who lived by a simple code: “We are here to serve, and to do it with a touch of class.”…

In 2009, he was elected to a term as chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice, Peace and Human Development.

In 2009, Blaire one of the first bishops to sign the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation, sponsored by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. The pledge offers a series of steps that people can follow to reduce their impact on the environment.

California Bishops Release Pastoral Statement on Ecological Conversion

via Christopher White:

Timed to mark the 4th anniversary of Laudato si’ – Pope Francis’s landmark document on the environment – the Catholic bishops of California have released a major pastoral statement calling for statewide ecological conversion.

“God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home,” was released on Tuesday by the California Conference of Catholic Bishops, “to animate and energize the implementation in California of what Laudato si’ calls us to do, and to offer a dynamic teaching and evangelization tool for our Catholic faith community and beyond, especially for young people.”

The 17-page document is divided into two sections, with the first half offering a reflection on the natural beauty of California, followed by a call to action on how all residents of the state are able to live out particular “ecological vocations” to aid the common good.

Bishop Flores to Fellow Bishops: We Must Express Ourselves More Strongly on Migration and Human Dignity

Embed from Getty Images
via CNS:

In less than a year, at least six children are believed to have died while in the custody of immigration officials along the border. While immigration along the U.S. southern border once involved almost exclusively men looking for work, women with children or entire families are now the ones regularly making the dangerous trek, fleeing poverty and violence.

“I know this gathering has been dominated by the question of abuse and we have to deal with (it),” Bishop Flores said in an interview with Catholic News Service June 12. “It has to be clear that this is something that will not be tolerated.”

However, he said, the church also must “express” itself more strongly about its teachings when it comes to migrants and the situation along the border is one affecting the most vulnerable in society, including many children.

“I feel that as a (bishops’) conference, we must express ourselves more strongly when it comes to the dignity of immigrants, to say that they are not criminals, that they are vulnerable families and we need to invite all the governments involved, not just the U.S., to defend the migrant as a human being, to not cast the person aside as someone who doesn’t matter and is a problem,” Bishop Flores said.