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Religion & Spirituality

With Creation of Little Noticed Department, Pope Francis is Securing Liberal Reforms

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Even if the conservative camp still holds an electoral majority at the next papal conclave, Pope Francis has at least begun to institutionalize his legacy within the Vatican bureaucracy, complete with a popular papabile leading the charge as he seeks to further secure his vision for the Church’s role in the world in 2017.

Cormac Shine, Religion Dispatches

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http://religiondispatches.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/popa.jpg February 17, 2017 | Unlike many of his fellow world leaders, Pope Francis had a good 2016. His emphasis on humanitarian kindness in a time of increasing political turbulence has been warmly received by many liberal observers, eager to find a source of hope in uncertain times. In particular, Francis’s statements on climate change, the migration crisis and the shortcomings of unfettered capitalism, and border walls, along with his obliquely progressive statements on social issues such as homosexuality and abortion, have won him continued plaudits in the secular media.

In an editorial on New Year’s Day, for example, the Guardian praised Pope Francis as a “champion of humanity,” outlining his paradoxical status as the defender of progressive causes now under attack around the world. Similarly, in a piece for the American Prospect, Alexander Görlach touted Francis as “A Sacred Populist,” lauding him for breaking with conservatives and preaching a simple message of acceptance in times of great political upheaval and conflict. Liberals have had all the more reason to rally behind the pope since the beginning of Trump’s presidency, as White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has allied with Francis’s bitterest opponents in an attempt to export his political revolution to the Vatican.

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Special Report | New Economic Perspectives: An Introduction to the Economics of Pope Francis

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Responding to Pope Francis’s Call for Dialogue

Robert M. Whaples, The Independent Review

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Francis%20I%2C%20Superpope%2C%20Italian%20Street%20Art.jpgWinter 2017 | As the contributors to this symposium show, Pope Francis’s views about the economy, especially about the poor and the rich, are deeply at odds with those of many economists. Several differences involve matters of economic fact and causation—and therefore in principle can be resolved by appeals for everyone to consider the same body of evidence. Although the clash over conflicting values is a chasm far more difficult to bridge, fruitful dialogue is the goal of this symposium.

Pope Francis has invited those concerned about the economy, the environment, and the destiny of the world—everyone—to join a dialogue. And there is a clear need for dialogue between Francis and economists because the pope and many in the economics profession do not see eye to eye at a fundamental level on many issues.

Robert M. Whaple is professor of economics at Wake Forest University and co-editor and managing editor of The Independent Review.

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For Such a Time as This: Building Our Prophetic Resistance

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  • For Such a Time as This: Building Our Prophetic Resistance
  • January 28th, 1-4pm, Shiloh Temple
  • “We were called for such a time as this...” Esther 4:14

ISAIAH

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/I%20Am%20Isaiah.jpgJanuary, 2016 | Today, we are facing a profound crisis. This January our call as people of faith will be tested as never before. We cannot continue ‘business as usual’ while our neighbor has their health care stolen from them or has their family torn apart. What is our response as we face an environmental crisis that could threaten our survival and threaten our commitment to God’s creation and future generations of God’s people on this Earth?

Through our faith, we have a unique and prophetic vision for the future that oppressive systems cannot overpower. Our strongest offense is our powerful defense.

We are in a new era. We have a renewed call on us as people of faith to come together and make a choice: We will choose either complicity to violence and dehumanization or prophetic resistance through our faith. This choice cannot be abstract or sentimental because for many it is about life and death. 

ISAIAH is an an ecmenical faith-based community organization in the Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota, Metro area.

Full story (registration form and related information) … 

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Council of the Baptized Open Forum: Women's Commission

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Please join us for the next stage of our "WomenPriest" journey to have the Roman Catholic Church recognize that women too have equal standing with men in the Church and be ordained as priests. 

Catholic Coalition for Church Reform

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Robert Wedl for this contribution. 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/CCCR%20logo.jpgJanuary 6, 2017 | Happy 2017 to all.

You are invited to join us at our Open Forum:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

7:00 to 8:00 p.m. 

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church 

700 Snelling Ave So, St.  Paul, 55116.

Did you know?  Our archdiocese used to have a Commission on Women. The Commission did important work advocating for women in our archdiocese, but it was disbanded by the bishop several years ago. Does that mean women's issues have all been addressed and resolved?  

Do we need to re-establish a Commission on Women in our local Church?   What needs should it address?  

The Council of Baptized will be publishing a position paper on women's roles in our Church, and we want your input. Please plan to join in this important conversation on Jan. 10.   

Please contact us at info@cccr-cob.org for more information on a future Women's Commission.

CCCR and Council of the Baptized

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Bob Wedl | Christmas, 2016

"What a wonderful time of the  year..." the song goes and of course it is a wonderful time indeed and we appreciate those blessings.  But it is also a time to think how we can make the world better for all because we can, but only if we try.  I hope my annual Christmas poem speaks to a better tomorrow by our actions today.  We cannot predict the future ... but we can create it.

Bob Wedl, Special to Evergreene Digest

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In earnest,

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http://voiceseducation.org/sites/default/files/images/peacegallupcolorsmall_1.jpgDecember 16, 2016 | During this holiday season and throughout the year …

Let’s learn from the November 2016 election that we thought was about issues … like our planet … and peace and justice … and eradicating poverty … like keeping Wall Street under control … and treating women with respect … and providing postsecondary education for our young people because the future success of our nation depends on it.

…and recognizing that it was our nation’s destruction of Iraq that created ISIS … and that welcoming immigrants, not building walls, is what America does

Rather than being focused on these things America decided to try a different route.

It is tempting to sit back and see how that works.  Let’s not do that.

Bob Wedll is a Contributor to Evergreene Digest.

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MN Churches Declare Themselves Sanctuaries for Illegal Immigrants

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“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate...But we’re getting them out of our country. They’re here illegally.” (Donald Trump on “60 Minutes” November 13, 2016)

Andrea Mayer-Bruestle, Alpha News

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016, leaders from 30 congregations held an event at the Church of the Redeemer to announce that 13 Minnesota churches plan to become “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants, including those sought by police.

The announcement stems from fears over President-elect Donald Trump’s statements regarding deportation of illegal immigrants during and after the election season. Comparing themselves to the “Underground Railroad” system during the years of US slavery, the religious leaders did not detail exactly how long they would house the people, nor the plan’s logistics.  One leader, Rev. Mark Vinge of the House of Hope Lutheran Church in New Hope, told the (St. Paul, MN)  Pioneer Press:  “That’s unknown, but we know that the Lord will guide us.”

Andrea Mayer-Bruestle serves as the chair of South Washington Citizens for Progress; a committee formed to hold South Washington County School District ISD 833 accountable to taxpayers. Her knowledge and research skills have helped guide legislators and political activists across the state.

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Christianity Needs to Clean Up its Own House

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There’s no unity with over 40,000 denominations. 

Devin Foley, Intellectual Takeout

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http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/church_0.jpgOctober 24, 2016 | Comments that one reads or hears from many Christians often revolve around the term “truth”. The “truth” is generally presented as synonymous with Christianity and is used as a way to push back against modern relativism.

But what is forgotten is the inherent relativism of modern Christianity.

According to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are now over 40,000 Christian denominations in the world, up from a mere 500 in 1800. For those who are not Christians, a denomination is generally a body of Christians who hold to certain doctrines and are usually united through an administrative body.

Devin Foley is the co-founder and president of Intellectual Takeout. Prior to co-founding Intellectual Takeout, he served as the Director of Development at the Center of the American Experiment, a state-based think tank in Minnesota, where he was responsible for meeting a $1 million annual budget. He has been a commentator on a variety of TV and radio stations.

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