Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

7 Questions: keeping college students Catholic by Michael J. O’Loughlin: “Katie Diller: Young adults are filled with passion and they are thirsty to live radically. Atheism can seem radical to students who might be shrugging off a flavorless experience of growing up Catholic. We have to talk about the mystery of faith in our lives. Pope Francis keeps encouraging us to go out of ourselves, to live mysterious lives in solidarity with the poor. Encounters with that mystery of love and self-sacrifice will always inspire curiosity about the mystery of Jesus and the Church.”

The Spirituality of Sports Fanaticism by Michael Rossmann, SJ, TJP: “But what makes something like the Olympics so beautiful, however, is that it unites people from around the world – athletes and fans both. Even if we might cheer in a special way for our own country, we can all stand in amazement at someone like Usain Bolt. I once watched the World Cup with a group of people from thirteen of the 32 teams that played that year, and while we would give each other a hard time if our countries competed, we were united in watching this display, even when we were not united by language, religion, sex, occupation, or personality.”

Syria crisis: Incendiary bomb victims ‘like the walking dead’ by BBC News: “A BBC team inside Syria filming for Panorama has witnessed the aftermath of a fresh horrific incident – an incendiary bomb dropped onto a school playground in the north of the country – which has left scores of children with napalm-like burns over their bodies.”

Catholic schools provide a beacon of hope to Washington families by Cardinal Donald Wuerl: “Our faith can never be relegated to just an hour inside church on Sunday. As Pope Francis has urged us, we need to “go out” and bring Christ’s love and hope to our communities and our world.”

Francis’ comforting phone call to Argentinean rape victim Alejandra Pereyra: “The Pope’s telephone call at 15:50 local time on Sunday 25 August caught Alejandra Pereyra di Villa del Rosario – who lives in the Province of Cordoba, Argentina’s second biggest city – completely by surprise.”

Our fantasy: A Congress that gets stuff done by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein: “A little more than a year ago, we published a book about American politics — and particularly Congress — titled “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.” In our book and in these pages, we lamented the ideological divides in Washington, which had become almost tribal in nature, and the skewed nature of political polarization, emphasizing a Republican Party gone off the rails.  Unfortunately, little has happened in the time since to lift our spirits.”

Five myths about millennials by Mark Glassman: “Millennials also set loftier social goals than prior generations. Each year, a survey conducted by the University of Michigan asks high school seniors to rate their life’s ambitions. Data compiled by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University, shows that millennials rated ‘contribute to society,’ ‘correct inequalities’ and ‘be a leader in the community’ higher than baby boomers did when they were younger.”

Francis and the Very New Evangelism by Thomas C. Fox, NCR: “The Very New Evangelism preached by Francis is simple, practical stuff. It’s about what it means to live the beatitudes in today’s life.”

How Dr. King Shaped My Work in Economics By Joseph Stiglitz: “Much of my scholarship and public service in recent decades — including my service at the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration, and then at the World Bank — has been devoted to the reduction of poverty and inequality. I hope I’ve lived up to the call Dr. King issued a half-century ago.”

Diocese of San Diego: Domestic Violence Victims Need Not Apply

Does the Catholic Church consider being a victim of domestic violence reasonable grounds for getting fired?  Does the Church really want to incentivize staying silent in the face of such violence?

Most Catholics would naturally say “no” to both of these questions.  Apparently some key decision-makers in the Diocese of San Diego are not “most Catholics.”  A second-grade teacher at Holy Trinity School in El Cajon has been fired because of her ex-husband’s threatening behavior.  Her four kids have also been pulled from the school.  Diocesan officials are not permitting her to teach anywhere in the diocese.

Now no parent would want a guy like this showing up at their children’s school, but neither did Carie Charlesworth, the victim.  The Diocese admits that this entire situation has occurred  through “no fault of her own.”  Yet apparently that’s not enough.

It takes courage to be an authentic follower of Christ.  That means making the right decision even if there are economic costs, such as losing the tuition payments of those who don’t want to be members of a community that is rooted in love and mutual support.  That means choosing justice over comfort and ease.  That means standing on the side of victims.

In her letter of termination, Diocesan representatives indicated that they were “deeply, deeply sorry about this situation.”  They should be.  They should be sorry, embarrassed, and ashamed.

Carie Charlesworth has not stepped inside a Catholic church since this happened.  It’s not surprising.  If this is acceptable behavior by the Church, then everything it claims to stand for, the principles that she taught, are merely a façade for an institution that has shifted from its original orientation, corrupted by the contemporary allure of individualism and utilitarianism.

Instead, let us hope and pray that members of the community step up and show their support for her and the true values of Catholicism—a faith animated by the radical way of Christ—and overturn the vapid, bourgeois mentality that has apparently infected those working for the Diocese of San Diego.  Then, perhaps Carie Charlesworth will see that the Church stands for justice and with the vulnerable and will want to come home.