Tuesday, February 4, 2014

U.S. CATHOLIC - February 4, 2014



February 4, 2014


The sick call: The healing power of presence
The young woman shared her difficult history, her crippling grief. Then she asked, "So what's a chaplain again?"
  
Hospitals, especially hospital emergency rooms, are one of those few places in our increasingly divided society where haves and have-nots still end up together when they encounter the business end of life. Even the most expensive SUV is no defense against a drunk driver--especially when the driver is piloting the SUV--and ice and steep stairs, not to mention heart attacks and strokes, defer to no human privilege. Read more.


50 years ago in U.S. Catholic: What makes Peanuts run?
In this month's trip to the U.S. Catholic archives, one author takes a look at Charlie Brown and Violet, Schroeder and Lucy, plus Linus and his blanket.

The popularity of Peanuts in the crowded comics field is due not to the inherent humor of the strip, but to the manner in which it is interpreted by its readers. Charles M. Schulz, the man behind the Peanuts drawing board, has created a strip which appears to deal--at its simplest level--with a group of ingenious cherubim who say and do things in an innocent, yet adult, way. Read more.

A Catholic schoolteacher takes on a new role: Activist
From another in a line of forced resignations of gay and lesbian teachers emerges a foundation to end discrimination.
  
A lifelong Roman Catholic, Mark Zmuda took a job as a teacher at Eastside Catholic School in part because he believed he could be a good Catholic role model. He was dismissed in December from his job as a vice principal and swim coach, precisely because he did not measure up as a Catholic model: Zmuda, who is gay, married his male partner. Read more.



Should laypeople have a role in choosing their bishops? 
It's time for the flock to have their say when it comes to selecting the shepherds of the church.
  
Pope Francis says that he wants a special kind of bishop for our church--he wants "shepherds who smell of their sheep." Let us take our Holy Father at his word: Who knows how the sheep smell better than the sheep themselves? No one. So then why not let the sheep make a modest proposal and ask that we laypeople have a significant say in the choice of our bishops. Read more.

What do you think? Should laypeople be consulted when new bishops are chosen? Or are the pope and other church leaders in a better position to pick shepherds for the flock? Be sure to take our survey and let us know what you think.


Brazil's simple solution to ending poverty: Give people money
Does the South American country offer us a way to cash in on ending poverty? 
  
Sometimes, the answer sounds too simple to actually work. Like this headline from the Washington Post Wonkblog: "Want to end poverty? Brazil's answer: Give people money." The piece discusses the Bolsa Familia cash transfer program in Brazil that gives cash to people in poverty--no strings attached, except for the strict condition that any children must be attending school. Read more.


Read: Zealot
By Reza Aslan (Random House, 2013) 

Reza Aslan's Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth has stirred up plenty of controversy. Some critics fault Aslan for offering an unoriginal and one-sided view of Jesus' life. Others, most infamously Fox News, claim his religious background disqualifies him from writing about Jesus. Aslan attempts to dispel these controversies in the book's opening and closing pages. Read more.




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February 2014

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