The Catholic Church in the U.S. is failing in its capacity to respond to climate change and to live up to its mission to safeguard God's creation, a theologian said during a lecture that spawned an act of contrition from the archbishop in attendance.
Daniel DiLeo, an assistant theology professor at Creighton University and director of its justice and peace studies program, made the comments during an online talk that provided an overview of Catholic teaching on the environment, climate science and how the two intertwine.
Toward the end of his presentation, DiLeo, who is also a consultant for Catholic Climate Covenant, said the U.S. church is in an "almost ideal" position to respond to climate change. "We've got the mission, we've got the ethics" and the call to evangelization, he said, but moreover, it has the logistics to make a serious difference — in terms of people (70 million Catholics in the U.S., or 20% of the population), institutions (176 dioceses, 17,000 parishes and thousands of schools, hospitals and advocacy networks), infrastructure (more than 100,000 buildings and millions of acres of land) and money.
"The Catholic tradition has a tremendous amount of potential," DiLeo said. "Unfortunately, we have not realized this potential."
Perhaps you heard about the Baptist preacher in Missouri who used his Sunday sermon to remind wives of the need to lose weight and "not let themselves go." He has since taken a leave of absence and is seeking professional counseling, according to the church's website.
"At least Catholic women don't have to put up with such blatant sexism from men in our church, right?" writes NCR executive editor Heidi Schlumpf in her latest column. "Wrong."
Schlumpf points out two Catholic authors and radio hosts who recently took to the airwaves to complain about how men have been emasculated by feminist women and liberal culture.
"Catholic men, in particular, are brainwashed to think that Jesus Christ was a nice guy and that your job is to imitate him," said Patrick Coffin, formerly of Catholic Answers, an organization dedicated to apologetics.
"Only slightly more obvious than their insecurity and homophobia was the fear of women that permeated the hour-and-a-half conversation," Schlumpf writes. "It would be laughable, except that it reveals a whole subculture in our church of folks who truly believe this stuff."
- NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters says
despite the U.S. bishops' absolutism, nondiscrimination proposals like
the Equality Act, if amended to remove restrictions on religious
freedom, represent no threat to religion or the common good.
- Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has expressed unhappiness with the Vatican's recent decree
banning Catholic priests from blessing same-sex couples, in what
appears to be the first example of a cardinal openly disagreeing with
- Recent events at the ecumenical community of Bose in northern Italy illustrate the difficulty of passing the torch to the next generation in communities born in the wake of Vatican II.
- Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement, now has one of the iconic orange ferry boats that travel between Staten Island and Manhattan named in her honor.