Directly addressing many of the “hot button” issues plaguing our nation, Pope Francis was masterful as he “navigated a uniquely American minefield of political and religious divisions.” Pope Francis seemed to capture the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Catholics and protestants throughout this country. Just how influential Pope Francis’ visit will be on this nation remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Jim Yardley and Laurie Goodstein, in The New York Times, offer a rich overview of Pope Francis’ visit to America in this article, Pope Departs, After Showing A Deft Touch. CLICK HEAR to read more.
It remains to be seen how much influence Pope Francis’ visit to America will have on the White House, Congress, and the United Nations, regarding needs of the poor, women, environmental destruction and climate change, and his overall message to promote the common good. In particular, his grasp of the looming disaster to people and cultures throughout the globe as a result of climate change, should raise awareness among all of the worlds leaders. If you want to know the nightmare that awaits us, I invite you to read an article written by Peter Mellgard, Associate Editor of The WorldPost. CLICK HERE to read,The European Migrant Crisis Is A Nightmare. Climate Change Will Make It Worse.
Joan Chittister, OSB, and Maria Shriver have written a gallant letter of welcome to Pope Francis as he visits the United States this week for the first time. The open letter was posted by Time Magazine. It comes as no surprise these two women go directly to the heart of the critical issues facing the Catholic Church in the 21st century. They say to Pope Francis, “And while you’re at it, maybe you can shed some light on what the 21st-century Church will look like. You’ve proclaimed an upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy. Might that mercy ever be extended to divorced Catholics who want to remarry in the Church and take Communion, without getting an annulment? Might that mercy ever be extended to gay couples who want to be married in the eyes of God? Might that mercy be extended to those who choose birth control over having another child they can’t afford? Might that mercy be extended to women who feel called to celebrate the Eucharist?” There are no wasting of words. CLICK HERE to read the entire letter posted by Time Magazine.
As many of you know, Sr. John Chittister, OSB, has been an active participant in FaithandReason® events since 2000. She is loved and revered by hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. In late June 2015, Sr. Joan and others sat across the table from Grand Ayatollah Alavi Boroujderi, the highest ranking of six Ayatollah in Iran. Joan is fearless. She was the first to ask the Grand Ayatollah a question. Joan’s article in the National Catholic Report tells the riveting story of her experience. CLICK HERE to read further.
One would have to be living under a rock not to know of the papal visit rapidly approaching. Pope Francis will arrive in Washington, D. C. on September, 22, 2015. There will be a welcoming ceremony, a Papal Parade, and all sorts of festivities. From Washington, D. C., Pope Francis will visit New York City, and then on to Philadelphia. It is in Philadelphia where things get pretty interesting. If you are interested in the “behind the scenes” of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia, Religion Dispatches tells all in this article by Anthea Butler, PRICEY TICKETS, CRANKY CITIZENS, AND PRIEST BEHIND BARS AS PHILADELPHIA PREPARES FOR PAPAL VISIT. Click on the article title to view the story.