BY CHRIS KERR | June 17, 2015
With the media circling as the official (not the leak!) version of Pope Francis’s encyclical comes out early tomorrow morning (press conference set for 11 AM in Rome, 5 AM on the East Coast — I will be up!), I wanted to share a few of the top stories from the past 24 hours.
John Allen of The Crux offers some thoughts on the impacts of the leak. There has been a lot of controversy swirling around this. Media outlets have made different choices about why they did or did not report on the leaked copy. Allen predicts the leak will be the energy. People do love controversy!
A number of Catholic and secular news outlets have offered extensive analysis of a recent survey by Pew Research on Catholic beliefs on global warming. National Catholic Reporter offers some good analysis on the breakdowns from a variety of angles. The basic gist according to the Pew poll: About 70% of Catholics believe the Earth is warming but fewer than half believe it is caused by humans or a serious problem. Yikes! How will Pope Francis’s encyclical encourage people to reflect more deeply on these points? Stay tuned!
This is one of those articles where the Catholic politicians illustrate how much of a “best-kept secret” Catholic Social Teaching really is. This is not limited to one political party, this article just happened to focus on the Republican party, so they quoted Jeb Bush, who said, “But I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm.” Not sure how that really works. How can we be better people if we are making choices as individuals, communities, and countries that are harming the Earth and people who reside in it? Doesn’t the Gospel-imperative of our faith call us to be analyzing how our faith impacts our brothers and sisters?
Pope Francis gives us a reminder about how to take in the encyclical.
DO’s: 1. Open heart; 2. Open mind; 3. Concern for our brothers and sisters
DON’T’s: Anything that deviates from the above
I am not sure if RNS was trying to do a play on words with the word “hot” — but I like it even if it was unintentional. Clearly, they were a media outlet who chose to report on the leaked version. They actually highlight coverage from a variety of Catholic news sources. A collective leak if you will. If you like knowing the score before you watch the game on TIVO then this one is for you!
Chris joined the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) as executive director in 2011. He has over fifteen years of experience in social justice advocacy and leadership in Catholic education and ministry. Prior to ISN he served in multiple roles at John Carroll University, including coordinating international immersion experience and social justice education programming as an inaugural co-director of John Carroll’s Arrupe Scholars Program for Social Action. Prior to his time at John Carroll he served as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and secondary levels in Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Chris speaks regularly at campuses and parishes about social justice education and advocacy, Jesuit mission, and a broad range of social justice issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ). Chris earned a B.A. and M.A. from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. He and his family reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.