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Seven Silent Spiritual Practices in the Workplace

Seven silent spiritual practices include meditation, prayer, reading, journaling, self-assessment, lightheartedness, and generosity. Anyone can utilize these almost anytime in our workplace. They can be, brief, unobtrusive, yet highly effective for the individual and the organization.

Tom Zender, The Restless Spirit

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

The practical application of universal spiritual practices by individuals in the workplace is a growing trend. Google teaches meditation techniques to 30,000 employees on an optional basis. The company also provides space in its facilities where employees can meditate. Note the rapid success of Google: great products and services, an excellent place to work, and strong profits.

Benefits from individuals who use their own spiritual practices in their jobs and work include:
    •    Less stress
    •    More creativity
    •    Increase in spiritually based values such as trust, respect, inclusion, collaboration, and compassion
    •    Customer attraction
    •    Employee retention

Full story...

Choosing Jail: Experimenting With Redemptive Suffering

  • I'm heading off to jail in 2 weeks so I thought I'd post a short essay on why I'm choosing prison.
  • We can offer up whatever we are able to risk and endure when we think of those on the receiving end of these illegal and indiscriminate weapons.

Steve Clemens, Mennonista

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

It was in reading Mohandas Gandhi that I first learned about his “experiments with truth” – a term he used in perfecting the tactics of nonviolent resistance to the apartheid regime in South Africa and the British colonial occupation of his homeland of India. Martin Luther King Jr. took lessons from Gandhi’s campaigns in designing his own strategies to throw off the shackles of racial prejudice and legal discrimination. King used the term “redemptive suffering” drawing from his training as a Baptist minister and his understanding of the nonviolent response of Jesus to persecuting authorities.

Even though I’m now on the far side of 60, I feel I’m just a novice when it comes to creative nonviolence when I read the accounts of Gandhi, King, Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan, and many others. I’ve been arrested now more than 30 times; jailed more than 10 (for periods of a few hours up to six months). Some trials were before just a Judge, other times with a jury; some acquittals but more convictions. All of them learning experiences but I find each time I enter the courtroom, I find I have fewer expectations of “justice” from an entrenched system to is clearly in service to empire.

Full story...

Catholic Hospital Denies Gay Man HIV Medicine

  • The complaint says that after admittance he met Dr. Susan V. Borga. She asked him how he had acquired HIV and “closed the plaintiff’s file, put it down and looked at plaintiff with disgust on her face and asked, coldly, ‘Is that from sex with men?’”
  • Ugandan Catholics Want “Kill the Gays” Bill Revived
  • Catholics Plan Bomb Attack On Gay Parade

Paul Canning, Care2

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A Catholic hospital is being sued for denial of HIV medication to a gay man “for going against God’s will.”

Trinitas Regional Medical Center, says Joao Simoes, admitted him last August but then denied him the medicine he needed and also would not let his sister see him.
Denial of access to medicine for people living with HIV/AIDS, even for short periods, can have serious consequences for long term survival because of drug resistance. This can result from missing as few as five doses — which Simoes says he missed.

Full story...

Related:

Ugandan Catholics Want “Kill the Gays” Bill Revived, Paul Canning, Care2
Uganda’s Catholic Bishops have reversed their position and joined other religious leaders in demanding the revival of the notorious bill which allows for gays to be executed.

Update: Catholics Plan Bomb Attack On Gay Parade,
Paul Canning, Care2
A gay pride parade in the Croatian city of Split, which Catholic nationalists in Croatia said they were planning to bomb, went off without trouble on Saturday. Authorities brought in 700 police and closed off much of the city and banned counter protests.
 

God's Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters ~ Sarah Posner, Joe Conason

  • Admired by Republican strategists for their antigovernment ideology and authoritarian leadership styles, these televangelists work together to maximize profits; protect themselves legally; influence elections, judicial nominations, and promote their pro-war, apocalyptic ideas.
  • Excerpt: God's Profits: Faith, Fraud and the GOP Crusade for Values Voters

Described in Google Books

Keenly observed and meticulously reported, "God's Profits" examines the unholy alliance between a new breed of corrupt televangelists and the Republican Party, which is eagerly courting "values voters" in the nation's largest megachurches. Author Sarah Posner exposes the activities of Kenneth Copeland, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, T.D. Jakes, and other politically connected, skillfully marketed, and increasingly influential religious leaders. Preaching the "prosperity gospel" (the notion that faith and tithing alone can ensure financial security) both in their churches and over the airwaves, these charismatic leaders scam the gullible even as they enjoy unprecedented access to top Bush Administration officials. Admired by Republican strategists for their antigovernment ideology and authoritarian leadership styles, these televangelists work together to maximize profits; protect themselves legally; influence elections, judicial nominations, and promote their pro-war, apocalyptic ideas.

Full story...

Related:

Excerpt: God's Profits: Faith, Fraud and the GOP Crusade for Values Voters, Sarah Posner, AlterNet
A look into the shady finances and manipulative politics of America's leading televangelist hucksters.


 

Milwaukee Archdiocese, Under Dolan, Paid Sex Abusers to Leave Priesthood

Timothy Dolan, now a Cardinal and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, but at the time the Archbishop of Milwaukee, authorized the payments. He did not respond to several requests for comment, according to the Times.

Sarah Posner, Religion Dispatches

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Laurie Goodstein reports in the New York Times:

[A] document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.

Full story...

Related:

Vatican criticizes US nun's book on sexuality, Associated Press

  • Farley said Monday (June 4) she never intended the book to reflect current official church teaching. Rather, she said, it explores sexuality via various religious traditions, theological resources and human experience.
  • What the Nuns’ Story is Really About
  • Sister Brigid McDonald calls Vatican's reprimand of U.S. nuns group a 'misuse of power'
     

Vatican criticizes US nun's book on sexuality

  • Farley said Monday (June 4) she never intended the book to reflect current official church teaching. Rather, she said, it explores sexuality via various religious traditions, theological resources and human experience.
  • What the Nuns’ Story is Really About
  • Sister Brigid McDonald calls Vatican's reprimand of U.S. nuns group a 'misuse of power'

Associated Press

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The Vatican has sharply criticized a book on sexuality written by a prominent American nun, saying she has a "defective understanding" of certain core church teachings on issues like masturbation, homosexuality and marriage.

The Vatican's Congregation to the Doctrine of the Faith said Monday the book, "Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics" by Sister Margaret Farley, a member of the Sisters of Mercy religious order and emeritus professor of Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School, posed "grave harm" to the faithful.

Full story...

Related:

What the Nuns’ Story is Really About, Fr. Doug Koesel, Pastor, Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, Cleveland, OH

  • The problem with the Vatican approach is that it places the nuns squarely on the side of Jesus and the Vatican on the side of tired old men, making a last gasp to save a crumbling kingdom lost long ago for a variety of reasons.
  • Some MN priests differ with Catholic church over marriage amendment
  • Chris Hedges | The People’s Bishop

Sister Brigid McDonald calls Vatican's reprimand of U.S. nuns group a 'misuse of power' Beth Hawkins, MinnPost
At 79¾ years old, McDonald is not about to stop calling things like she sees them. One of three biological sisters who are all members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, where she devotes her time to the peace movement, she doesn’t seem to fear Rome’s displeasure. All of which must make her precisely the kind of radical the Vatican hopes to whip into doctrinal shape.

 

What the Nuns’ Story is Really About

  • The problem with the Vatican approach is that it places the nuns squarely on the side of Jesus and the Vatican on the side of tired old men, making a last gasp to save a crumbling kingdom lost long ago for a variety of reasons.
  • Some MN priests differ with Catholic church over marriage amendment
  • Chris Hedges | The People’s Bishop

Fr. Doug Koesel, Pastor, Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, Cleveland, OH

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Roger Dick for this contribution.

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Many of you have asked me to comment on the recent investigation into the US nuns. Here goes. In short, the Vatican has asked for an investigation into the life of religious women in the United States. There is a concern about orthodoxy, feminism and pastoral practice. The problem with the Vatican approach is that it places the nuns squarely on the side of Jesus and the Vatican on the side of tired old men, making a last gasp to save a crumbling kingdom lost long ago for a variety of reasons.

One might say that this investigation is the direct result of the John Paul II papacy. He was suspicious of the power given to the laity after the Second Vatican Council. He disliked the American Catholic Church. Throughout his papacy he strove to wrest collegial power from episcopal conferences and return it to Rome.

One of the results of the council was that the nuns became more educated, more integrated in the life of the people and more justice-oriented than the bishops and pope. They are doctors, lawyers, university professors, lobbyists, social workers, authors, theologians, etc. Their appeal was that they always went back to what Jesus said and did. Their value lay in the fact that their theology and their practice
were integrated into the real world.

The Vatican sounded like the Pharisees of the New Testament;— legalistic, paternalistic and orthodox— while “the good sisters” were the ones who were feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, educating the immigrant, and so on. Nuns also learned that Catholics are intuitively smart about their faith. They prefer dialogue over diatribe, freedom of thought over mind control, biblical study over fundamentalism, development of doctrine over isolated mandates.

Far from being radical feminists or supporters of far-out ideas, religious women realized that the philosophical underpinnings of Catholic teaching are no longer valid. Women are not subservient to men, the natural law is much broader than once thought, the OT is not as important as the NT, love is more powerful than fear. They realized that you can have a conversation with someone on your campus who thinks differently than the church without compromising what the church teaches. (For example, I could invite Newt
Gingrich here to speak. You’d all still know what the church teaches about divorce in spite of him) Women religious have learned to live without fear (Srs. Dorothy Kazel, Maura Clark, Ita Ford) and with love (Mother Teresa). And the number of popes and bishops and cardinals following in their footsteps, Jesus’ footsteps, is_____?

This is what annoys American Catholics. The Vatican is  hypocritical and duplicitous. Their belief is always that someone else needs to clean up their act; the divorced, the gays, the media, the US nuns, the Americans who were using the wrong words to pray, the seminaries, etc. It never occurs to the powers that be that the source of the problem is the structure itself. We can say that now with certainty as regards the sex abuse crisis. It was largely the structure of the church itself, the way men were trained and isolated, made loyal to the system at all costs and not to the person, that gave us the scandalous cover-up.

US nuns work side by side with the person on the street. They are involved in their everyday lives. Most cardinals spent less than five years in a parish, were never pastors, are frequently career diplomats.

Religious women in the US refuse to be controlled by abusive authority that seeks to control out of fear. They realize that Jesus taught no doctrines, but that the church, over time, developed what Jesus taught in a systematic way. Nuns have always tried to work within the system. This time their prophetic voices may take them out of the system. They may take a lot of Catholics and a lot of their hospitals, schools, colleges, orphanages, prison ministries, convents, women’s shelters, food pantries and, of course, the good will they have  earned over the centuries with them.

This investigation is not about wayward US nuns. It is the last gasp for control by a dying breed, wrapped in its own self-importance. It is a struggle for the very nature of the church; who we are, how we pray, where we live, who belongs, why we believe. The early church endured a similar struggle. The old order died. The Holy Spirit won. Happy Pentecost Sunday!

Related:

Some MN priests differ with Catholic church over marriage amendment, Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio

  • "Back then (during the Civil Rights era), nobody told me I had to support a civil rights plank or had to speak out for it. It was a matter of conscience," said Paul Mohrbacher. "I call for similar restraint today on the part of church leaders: people of faith can be opposed in good conscience to this amendment."
  • MN Star Tribune defends rejection of priests' anti-marriage-amendment letter

Chris Hedges | The People’s Bishop, Chris Hedges, Truthdig
Packard bears the weight of the war. His life is a form of atonement. He does not fear arrest or jail or defying police in the streets; he fears not doing what is right. He is determined to make amends.

 

Some MN priests differ with Catholic church over marriage amendment

  • "Back then (during the Civil Rights era), nobody told me I had to support a civil rights plank or had to speak out for it. It was a matter of conscience," said Paul Mohrbacher. "I call for similar restraint today on the part of church leaders: people of faith can be opposed in good conscience to this amendment."
  • MN Star Tribune defends rejection of priests' anti-marriage-amendment letter

Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio

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Retired Catholic priests Fr. John Brandes, Fr. Timothy Power and Fr. Thomas Garvey, left to right, wrote a letter to the Star Tribune expressing their opposition to a constitutional marriage amendment that would deny same-sex couples the right to marry. The letter, which was not published, urged Minnesota Catholics to vote against the amendment. The priests were photographed Thursday, May 17, 2012 near the Lake Harriet bandshell in Minneapolis. (MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson)

As Minnesota voters prepare to go to the polls this fall, the Catholic Church has mounted a major effort to convince them to approve a constitutional amendment that would only allow marriage between men and women.

But Catholics are not united behind the church's official position, a point made clear today, when a group representing 80 former Catholic priests spoke out against the marriage amendment. They said the amendment violates Christian principles of love and justice.

Full story...

Related:

MN Star Tribune defends rejection of priests' anti-marriage-amendment letter, David Brauer, MinnPost
MPR reporter Sasha Aslanian calls the (Star Tribune editorial page editor Scott) Gillespie’s contentions “wildly inaccurate,” adding, “The Strib has tangled these two stories together.”
Sister Brigid McDonald calls Vatican's reprimand of U.S. nuns group a 'misuse of power'

 

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