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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

240: Nov 11, 2020: Let's get catholic

What do we have to offer at this time when we face so many challenges? I think in large part we offer our catholicism with a small c. We welcome everyone, find kinship and generally remember and live by what our parents and the good sisters taught us. We love one another and we love the world... and we share joy in being togeher a vast reservoir of hope and a new president whose roots include memories of the good sisters...

Joe Biden met a group of sisters after leaving a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

“To me,” said Biden "these sisters epitomize everything Pope Francis stands for. About generosity to other people, about reaching out, about making it a point to understand that we are our brother’s keeper.” Biden said the idea that people have an obligation to look out for one another had been imprinted on him during his Catholic upbringing and “being educated by the nuns.” “That’s what those lovely women I’m talking to symbolize to me,” said Biden.

Recognizing that people are obligated to help each other is “the only way we’re gonna make the world better and safer.”

So what are the catholic principles we can bring to the world in this fraught political time? Thomas Reese wrote recently there are six Catholic principles that our country could benefit from right now.


Our country is divided, Republicans from Democrats, conservatives from liberals and whites from Blacks. In such a divided nation, we need reconciliation — the feeling of forgiveness, and that we are right with each other. Reconciliation is so important to Catholics that it is a sacrament, the one formerly referred to as Confession.

What this looks like in practice is the affirmation of the election by Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; “The American people have spoken in this election,” he said, without waiting for the president to concede. “Now is the time for our leaders to come together in a spirit of national unity and to commit themselves to dialogue and compromise for the common good.”

Reconciliation means finding common ground, not ceding territory.

This will have to be done carefully since a Republican judiciary will be waiting to strike down regulations that did not go through the proper procedural hurdles.

Heal the sick

The Catholic community has always felt an obligation to care for the sick. The first hospitals were in monasteries and convents where the sick came for care. Today, with greater scientific understanding, there is much more we can do to heal the sick and to prevent disease.

At the top of Biden’s agenda is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Having a president who respects science and supports efforts to reduce infections will help, but it will not be easy to convince Trump supporters that he is really trying to save their lives.

Chances of expanding healthcare in any significant way are slim, but that does not mean that the administration cannot join with Republicans in implementing reforms that reduce the cost of healthcare. It will be easier to expand healthcare in the future if we reduce its costs now.

International cooperation

Supporting multilateralism has been a central focus of Catholic teaching and Vatican foreign policy for more than a century. The Trump administration’s “go it alone” policy has alienated friends and hurt our nation. Biden needs to turn this around as quickly as possible.

We must return to the Paris Climate Agreement, settle our trade wars and unite our allies in the face of Chinese and Russian threats. America must once again stand for human rights.

Protect the earth

Time is running out before global warming brings apocalyptic disaster on the world. This has been a top concern of Pope Francis, beginning with his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’. Rejoining the Paris climate accord will help, but the Green New Deal as currently drafted will get nowhere in the Republican Senate.

The only way to get environmental legislation through the Senate is to package it so that lots of money goes to rural states. Greenbacks can beget green policies. While purists may object to such logrolling, it is as American as apple pie.

Scientists are discovering ways to reduce agriculture’s contribution to global warming. They have also found ways that agriculture can take carbon out of the air and permanently lock it away. The government needs to pay farmers to adopt these practices. If farmers like the programs, Republican senators will not be able to be obstructionist.

Meanwhile, the new administration must do everything it can through government regulations and executive orders to fight global warming and environmental degradation.

Respond to racism

The Catholic Church, a global institution, is the ultimate big tent. It includes people from every race, nation and culture. That has not stopped it from being racist, but the Church sees racism inside or outside the church as a sin.

In the U.S., more needs to be done in fighting racism in immigration, law enforcement, housing and employment. A lot can be done by the Justice Department and other federal agencies even if the Republican Senate stands in the way of new legislation. Bad executive orders and regulations need to be reversed. Laws need to be enforced. Domestic terrorism from white supremacists must be fought.

Reducing abortion

The Catholic Church has come to be defined by its opposition to abortion, while Biden was elected despite the efforts of pro-life groups. But Biden has an opportunity to look for common ground even here. He should appoint a presidential commission to come up with ways to reduce the number of abortions without touching the legal question.

The commission should contain pro-life Republicans and Democrats, including those who were defeated for reelection to Congress. Their mandate would be to come up with programs that can reduce abortions, a goal they should all support. This may include programs like parental leave, childcare, adoption and healthcare for mothers and children. If the commission can reach consensus, then it can help sell the programs to Congress.

Americans used to fear Catholics the way they currently fear Muslims, but I think this is a Catholic agenda that most Americans could get behind. We need reconciliation, healing, international cooperation, an end to global warming and racism and fewer abortions. Despite the likelihood of congressional gridlock, President Biden can do much to move forward this agenda. It would be very Catholic.

Once feared as Vatican meddling, Catholic ideas could help America move forward

Nov 10, 2020 by Thomas Reese, Religion News Service OpinionPolitics

- with love from David


VIDEO from Sunday November 8th online now!

Video from Emmaus Celebration on Sunday November 8th 2020

Here's the link:

In this video we hear stories of how to befriend the dark; how to learn from it, rather than dismiss it or anesthetize ourselves against it. We were all conceived in the dark; darkness can be the incubating space for new life to begin. This “Holy Dark” as Matthew Fox says, has much to teach us.

- How do you, as a person of faith, live with, and hold both the light and dark aspects of life?

- As a person of faith, what can you do to confront the deep-seated beliefs and assumptions of light as good and superior over darkness as bad and inferior?


Enchilada Bake Recipe from Linda Wildman


1 pound ground beef*

2 cans (4 oz. each) taco sauce

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

1 can cream of chicken soup

12 corn tortillas

1 cup milk

½ pound cheese, shredded

2 cans (4 oz. each) chopped green chiles

Brown meat and onions in frying pan. Add soup, milk, green Chiles, and taco sauce.

Cut tortillas into quarters. Cover bottom of casserole with sauce and alternate layers of tortillas, cheese, and sauce until all are used.

Bake in 325 degree oven for I hour.

You may substitute ground fresh turkey.

Leslie Keys, Las Cruces (U)

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