‘The honeymoon is over’

Jack Smith, editor of  The Catholic Key, newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., has a link on his blog to an article headlined “The honeymoon is over,” by George Wesolek, longtime director of Public Policy and Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Wesolek writes that for him his “personal ‘honeymoon’ with President Barack Obama is over,” because of  Obama’s decisions on the Mexico City policy, embryonic stem-cell research and conscience protection for health care workers.

Smith points out that for years Wesolek has “worked tirelessly” in his own archdiocese on social justice issues and to create “a model of cooperation between the social justice and respect life functions.”

Catholic actor plays a role in racial healing

U.S. voters may have elected the first black president, but race issues haven’t disappeared from the county.

So I was pleased to see this article about a Catholic actor in Ohio in The Catholic Telegraph, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who sees his role as famed author Samuel Clemens as a way of making a social statement.

As the producer of the traveling play “Mark Twain’s Road to Freedom,” he also plays the title character and sees the role as a way of enlightening people about the dangers of racism in society.

Wrapping Western minds around African culture

Pope speaks to journalists en route to Africa.

Pope speaks to journalists en route to Africa.

Amid the ongoing discussion of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks on condoms and AIDS comes a highly nuanced, well-thought-out piece by Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, director of the African Jesuit AIDS Network.

He believes what Pope Benedict said about condoms not being a good strategy to reduce AIDS is a true statement.

“There are two distinct issues here: the moral status of individual acts; and the viability of a strategy targeting whole populations,” Father Czerny says. He discusses why African women are more vulnerable to HIV, how the church approaches ministry to married couples and the fact that “culture counts.”

“The promotion of condoms as the strategy for reducing HIV infection in a general population is based on statistical probability and intuitive plausibility. It enjoys considerable credibility in the Western media and among Western opinion makers. What it lacks is scientific support,” says Father Czerny.

The British Jesuits’ online journal Thinking Faith published the article, “A human and spiritual wake-up call.”