10-8-19 Justice Updates

Keep in your prayers the attendees at the Amazon Synod. There are some significant issues being discussed.  At the Amazon synod, the church must stand with indigenous people to protect creation.

The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was controversial long before it began this fall. Self-described orthodox Catholics have worried over its potential impact far from the Amazon. One of the issues to be discussed at the synod is the acute shortage of priests in the nine countries that make up Amazonia.

A proposal that has been kicked down the road for years is the ordination of what are known as viri probati, a Latin expression best translated as “family men of virtue.” Some view it as an opening for the wider church to begin accepting married men for the priesthood. (News flash, it already does in a number of traditions united to Rome.) Worse, they suspect the crashing of the male celibate priesthood by male not-so-celibates could be a vanguard move to women’s ordination.

These anxieties are confounding to the bishops and laypeople who actually live in the Amazon, who are acutely aware of the spiritual devastation the priest shortage is causing. Many Amazon communities may not see a priest more than two or three times a year.

But the synod’s working document, building on the agenda set out in the pope’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home), actually devotes most of its ink to different crises of the Amazon—the unique fragility of its ecology and a related threat to the self-determination of its indigenous people. And the Amazon bishops’ intervention on these matters could not be more timely.

For more information and some excellent articles about it, click here.  I recommend Amy Woolam Echeverria’s From Cry to Song: Protecting our Climate and Biodiversity.

Take action.  

Senate Bill 102:  A bipartisan bill called Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 has been introduced into the Senate.  It sets a rebate for all prescription drug price hikes above inflation, prohibiting pharmaceutical companies from arbitrarily raising their prices to increase profits.  For more information, see this backgrounder from Network.  Call you senators and urge them to support S. 2534.

Senate Bill 2137: The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2019. Increasing energy efficiency could meet more than 30% of our expected electricity generation needs by 2030.  This bipartisan legislation would improve energy efficiency in homes, businesses, and major industry including federal buildings and facilities.

House Representatives 2143: The administration just reduced the number of refugees who could be resettled to 18,000. Call your representative and ask him/her to support HR 2146, the GRACE (Congress has the power to uphold America’s legacy by passing the Guaranteed Refugee Admission Ceiling Enhancement (GRACE) Act, a bill that would ensure the U.S. welcomes no fewer than 95,000 refugees a year, in line with the historic norms.

Dayton, Ohio’s Mayor Nan Whaley has been a vocal advocate for gun safety legislation. Here is a sign-on letter to get the Senate moving on a Background Check Bill.

From Mayor Whaley:

I have been fighting for our leaders in Ohio and D.C. to take action on gun reform. Too many lives have been lost while our elected leaders have failed to act.

It’s time to do something. 

This February, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to take action on the bill, despite 90% of Americans supporting the universal background checks for gun sales in H.R. 8.

SIGN NOW: Add your name to demand Mitch McConnell to take a vote on H.R. 8!

Together, we can enact commonsense gun reform legislation.

Thank you,

Nan Whaley

Mayor of Dayton, OH

Can Meatless Monday make a difference? Check out this article from NCR.

Phil St. Romaine of the Heartland Spirituality Center penned this “Impeachment Survival Guide: How to Retain Your Sanity and Get Along with Others During a Time of Political Crisis.”  Read it here or you can purchase a Kindle version on Amazon for $1.00.

What happens when an asylee gets sent back to Mexico to wait for an asylum hearing?  Advocates argue “that the program violates U.S. law because it forces migrants to wait in places where they’re not safe and can’t get lawyers…. The human toll is enormous, with vulnerable migrants targeted in dangerous Mexican border towns.”  Read more in this NPR story.

The International Dominican Commission for Justice and Peace released this statement in conjunction with the UN summit on climate change. They invite us to commit to all levels with an ecological conversions and spirituality, consistent with the lines of guidance and action of Laudato Si’ with children and youth as protagonists. Read the entire statement.

The 10th Anniversary Talitha Kum General Assembly took place on September 21-27 in Rome.  During the assembly delegates reflected on the reality of human trafficking around the world and the priorities for the work of Talitha Kum International for the next five years.  Read the Final Declaration from the Assembly.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

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