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The Pope Gave This Man A Promotion And He Could Dramatically Change The Focus Of The Catholic Church

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  • Cupich — and possibly others like him — are primed to be the new face of a more moderate, less antagonistic brand of American Catholicism.
  • Pope Francis: You Can’t Use Religion To Justify Violence

Jack Jenkins, Think Progress

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AP776234964511.jpgBishop Blase Cupich. Credit: AP

September 21, 2014 | The Archdiocese of Chicago announced on Saturday that Pope Francis has named Bishop Blase Cupich, a moderate bridge-builder with a history of supporting many progressive-leaning positions, as the next archbishop of Chicago. The Nebraska native will be replacing a highly political — and deeply conservative — bishop, and could potentially usher in a new era of American Catholic leadership that spends less time fighting culture wars and more time echoing the populist leadership of Pope Francis.

The move might not seem like much to a non-Catholic, but the elevation of Cupich represents a significant change in tone for the Catholic church in America. Politically and theologically speaking, the 65-year-old Cupich, who will be leaving behind his position as Bishop of Spokane, is notably different from his predecessor, Cardinal Francis George, on several counts. George, who is currently fighting cancer, has enjoyed prominence among Catholic conservatives for his hard-line stance against abortion and marriage equality, but has often stoked controversy for how he expresses his views: in 2011, George compared organizers of the Chicago Pride Parade to the Ku Klux Klan, and recently wrote that being a Catholic citizen under a pro-gay, pro-choice government is akin to living under Shariah law.

Jack Jenkins is the Senior Religion Reporter for ThinkProgress. He was previously the Senior Writer and Researcher for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress, and worked as a reporter and blogger for the Religion News Service. His stories and analysis have appeared in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Real Clear Politics, National Catholic Reporter, and Christian Century.

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Related:

Pope Francis: You Can’t Use Religion To Justify Violence, Jack Jenkins, Think Progress

“Let no one consider themselves to be the ‘armor’ of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression!” Pope Francis said.

The Pope Gave This Man A Promotion And He Could Dramatically Change The Focus Of The Catholic Church

I Was Traumatized by Christian Dogma: I Won't Do the Same to My Child

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  • A new father reexamines the destructive Christian dogmas he experienced as a child.
  • The lawless religious right: Time to stop caving to their ridiculous tantrums. 

Bill Moeller, AlterNet

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July 31, 2014 | Before I became a father, at the age of 36, I never suspected that adopting a young child, Nathan, would so powerfully dismantle my fortress-like evangelical beliefs. Nor did I anticipate the storm of turmoil, anger, and grief I would soon experience, as I relived my own childhood and confronted the dogmas I grew up with.

Nathan’s exuberant ADHD personality challenged and enchanted me and my wife from the day we first saw him. Nathan lived most of the first five years of his life in a dimly lit orphanage in western Ukraine. I will never forget the frigid November morning we first visited him at the orphanage. Although Nathan had never seen us or had any contact with us before, he dashed toward us with raised hands, exclaiming “mama, tata!” and kissed us on our cheeks. He instantly melted my heart.

Bill Moeller: I used to be a staunch evangelical. Then I adopted a child and realized how much I had suffered.

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The lawless religious right: Time to stop caving to their ridiculous tantrums, Katie McDonough, Salon

  • With a whole new set of complaints and demands, here's how to finally stand up to the terror they're wreaking
  • Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left

 

A Rabbi and an Imam Write Together About Israel and Gaza

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  • Seeking more blood for blood only perverts and discards the great traditions of Islam and Judaism. We abandoned an “eye for an eye” centuries ago. Now we urge our brothers and sisters in the Middle East to seek a solution that protects the self while fostering compassion for the other.
  • The lawless religious right: Time to stop caving to their ridiculous tantrums.

Sarah Posner, Religion Dispatches

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/posnerbookbig2.jpgVia Emily Hauser, I was alerted to this Joint Statement on Israel and Gaza by Imam Mohamed Magid and Rabbi Michael G. Holzman. Magid is the president of the Islamic Society of North America, and Holzman is the rabbi of Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, Virginia.

They write:

"The current military operations in Israel and the Gaza strip should disturb all people of faith. The only moral path to a solution between Israelis and Palestinians (Israeli Jewish/Muslim/Christian and Palestinian Muslim/Christian) will be dialogue and negotiation. This is a long and arduous path, but the faith that grounds our traditions can sustain the slow evolution of history. The current conflict is an outgrowth of over a century of opposing narratives and ideological differences that no military operations can resolve."

Sarah Posner is the author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American Prospect, The Nation, Salon, and other publications.

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Related:

The lawless religious right: Time to stop caving to their ridiculous tantrums, Katie McDonough, Salon

  • With a whole new set of complaints and demands, here's how to finally stand up to the terror they're wreaking
  • Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left

 

Gavin Aung Than | Self-Understanding Begets Wisdom / assets.amuniversal.com

"If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans."  --Max Ehrmann, author of Desiderata

Gavin Aung Than | Self-Understanding Begets Wisdom  / assets.amuniversal.com

The Evangelical Persecution Complex

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  • The theological and cultural roots of a damaging attitude in the Christian community
  • Tony Dungy, a Hypocritical Creature From the Ignorant Abyss of American Christian Extremism

Alan Noble, The Atlantic

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Members of the First Assembly of God Church in Waco, Texas, reenact the crucifixion of Jesus. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Aug 4 2014 | Persecution has an allure for many evangelicals. In the Bible, Christians are promised by Saint Paul that they will suffer for Christ, if they love Him (Second Timothy 3:12). But especially in contemporary America, it is not clear what shape that suffering will take. Narratives of political, cultural, and theological oppression are popular in evangelical communities, but these are sometimes fiction or deeply exaggerated non-fiction—and only rarely accurate. This is problematic: If evangelicals want to have a persuasive voice in a pluralist society, a voice that can defend Christians from serious persecution, then we must be able to discern accurately when we are truly victims of oppression—and when this victimization is only imagined.

There are some understandable reasons for this exaggerated sense of persecution. Globally, Christians face incredible discrimination. In North Korea and many Muslim-governed countries, Christians risk imprisonment and death for their faith. The Christian community in Mosul, Iraq, was exiled, and many Christians are still persecuted by the ISIS, a jihadist group. Christians with a global perspective on their faith rightly identify themselves as part of a persecuted people in the 21st century.

Alan Noble is the managing editor and co-founder of Christ and Pop Culture. He is an assistant professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University.

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Related:

Tony Dungy, a Hypocritical Creature From the Ignorant Abyss of American Christian Extremism, Mikey Weinstein, AlterNet

  • The U.S media has been pitifully remiss in sounding the clarion call alarm regarding this festering, open wound on the American body politic, allowing this sick sectarian infection of fundamentalist Christian fascism to appear “mainstream” and metastasize.
  • The lawless religious right: Time to stop caving to their ridiculous tantrums.

 

Child Sex Abuse Crisis of the Religious Right Grows, July 18, 2014

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  • We must confront the global sex abuse scandal and address the issues that contribute to the causes of systemic sexual abuse within the Religious Right.
  • Part 1: Calls for Resignation Mount for Minnesota Archbishop in Scandals
  • Part 2: Rubén Rosario: Archbishop Nienstedt needs to go. Now.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Calls for Resignation Mount for Minnesota Archbishop in Scandals

John C. Nienstedt, archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has been accused of having sexual relationships and protecting abusive priests. Richard Tsong-Taatarii / Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune, via Associated Press

Laurie Goodstein, New York (NY) Times

ARCHBISHOP-sub-articleLarge.jpg John C. Nienstedt, archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis Richard Tsong-Taatarii / Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune, via Associated Press

July 15, 2014 | Just two years ago, the Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis was making headlines as a leader in the battle against same-sex marriage. But for the last year and a half, the archbishop, John C. Nienstedt, has been battling to hold onto his post in the face of a series of scandals, which further deepened on Tuesday with the filing of an explosive affidavit by the former chancellor of the archdiocese.

The troubles started in May, 2013, when the accountant for the archdiocese pleaded guilty to stealing more than $670,000 in church funds, and intensified when the chancellor, Jennifer M. Haselberger, quit and went public that autumn with allegations that the archbishop and his inner circle had covered up the actions of pedophile priests in recent years and funneled special payments to them.

Laurie Goodstein: New York Times National Religion Correspondent. Covering the reverent and irreverent since 1993.

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Part 2: Rubén Rosario: Archbishop Nienstedt needs to go. Now. 

 

Archbishop John Nienstedt should step down or if he refuses, be removed from his post.

Rubén Rosario, St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press

07/18/2014 | I picked up a summer must-read this past week. It has drama, conflict, intrigue and zips along at 107 pages.

No. It's not "Invisible" by James Patterson, though I really wish it were fiction. This read has a decidedly boring title: "Affidavit of Jennifer M. Haselberger."

Ruben Rosario: Rican born, NYC raised award -winning writer --15 years at the NY Daily News. Joined St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press in 1991 as city editor. Switched to column writing in 1997.

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