Fifteen Things that Caught My Eye Today: Ministering in Miami, Courage, Humility & More

POLITICS & POLICY

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3. A week after building collapse, Miami clergy still comforting families

The archdiocese also has priests in place at the rubble serving as chaplains to the fire and police departments as they work twelve-hour shifts.

“Our chaplains are there to comfort them, to emotionally support them, pray for them, pray with them,” [Mary Ross Agosta, the Archdiocese of Miami communications director] said. “(Wednesday) they found two children and days before they had found toys and so forth so many of these firefighters are young and have their own families so it’s devastating for them.”

St. Joseph parking lot is where many of the national and international media have set up, so there are priests that rotate through to offer them support. On Wednesday, Agosta got credentials for three priests to get into the main media area to offer people here pastoral support as well.

“It’s pouring rain and the priests just walked through the mud slowly talking to them,” Agosta said. “Three reporters came up in tears when they saw the priests. Some are asking for prayers. Some are asking for blessings. Some just want to hold the priest’s hand and say this is so awful.”

If there is a ray of hope amid all of the sadness and tragedy, [Bishop Thomas] Wenski said it’s the resiliency of civil society and willingness to come together.

4.  A Florida woman saw a crack forming in her condo and told herself, ‘You have to run to save your life’

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Iliana Monteagudo told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that the evening before the collapse, she put her pills and her credit cards in her purse and lit the candle for the Lady Guadalupe, considered a national symbol and matriarch for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, as well as an important Catholic figure. [Also known as the Mother of God.-KJL]

She went to bed, but around 1:00 a.m. she was woken by what she called a “rare force.”

Believing the feeling came from an open balcony door, she went to her living room to try to close it. But then behind her she saw a crack coming from the ceiling, quickly snaking down the wall and opening fast.

“Something inside of me said run,” Monteagudo said. “You have to run to save your life.”

5. Gerard V. Bradley: Grimm Indeed

On June 28, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case of Gloucester County School Board v. Grimm. It takes four justices’ votes to grant review. In Grimm there were just two—those of Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. So the best-known and longest-running of the “transgender bathroom” cases has ended with a whimper. 

6. Chabad rabbi stabbed and wounded in attack outside Boston Jewish center

The report said a man approached (Rabbi Shlomo) Noginski, who was outside talking on his phone. He drew a gun and told Noginski to take him to his car. When he tried to force him inside, Noginski tried to flee and the man stabbed him … eight times. 

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8. Gil Troy: ‘Jewish Supremacy’: A Nazi Slur Goes Woke 

Jew-haters’ obsession about Jewish “power,” as Jews endured centuries of powerlessness and persecution, proves that Jew-hatred, the world’s oldest hatred, is also the most plastic hatred—artificial, fungible and sometimes lethal. Jews have been persecuted for being rich and poor, Marxist and capitalist, fitting in too much and standing out too much. Nazis justified their mass murder of Jews by escalating the canard about Jews controlling the world into a struggle against “Jewish supremacy.”

There is no justification whatsoever for resurrecting this horrific Nazi term to now slander Zionism. Beyond the millions who were tortured and murdered based on this vile lie, the term remains rooted in an obsessive, distorting hatred of the Jewish people. Zionism is simply Jewish nationalism. Like all nationalisms—in fact, like all expressions of a particular identity—it necessarily distinguishes between “us” and “them.” That’s what Palestinian nationalism and Black nationalism do, what feminism and queer pride do, and what Americanism and Canadianism do as well. But commonality isn’t superiority; celebrating the bonds that form a community builds up the “us” without necessarily denigrating the “them.”

9. Ryan T. Anderson: The Bishops, Biden, and Communion

The Eucharist, Pope Francis writes, “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” But what if “the weak” deliberately champion their sin and relish confrontation with Christ’s chosen shepherds? The Eucharist is meant to help heal sinners, but that requires repentance.

Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a Catholic, responded not with repentance but by tweeting about his own support of abortion and daring the bishops to deny him communion. That’s not the posture of a “weak” man seeking medicine and nourishment. That is formal, public defiance of the church in which he freely chooses membership. And it’s not only Mr. Lieu. Nearly 50 years after Roe v. Wade, countless Catholic political leaders proclaim that the decades-old opinion of seven Supreme Court justices trumps millennia of church teaching and a basic understanding of biology, equality and justice.

10. Breastfeeding athletes will be able to bring children to Tokyo Olympics.

11. John Podhoretz: Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ adaptation is going to get him canceled

Why will he get canceled? Simple. Lin-Manuel Miranda and his co-author Quiara Alegria Hudes have just been eaten alive on social media and in the pages of The New Yorker and the Washington Post for supposedly mishandling the “representation” of Hispanics in the recently released “In the Heights.”

Miranda is the most celebrated culture creator of Puerto Rican descent. Hudes is a Pulitzer-winning Puerto Rican playwright. And they stand charged — and, therefore, convicted, given the guilty-until-proven-innocent logic of social media — of a form of cultural genocide because their movie somehow made “invisible” Latinos of a darker skin hue.

In a world in which Miranda can be accused of crimes against humanity by creating and producing the most mainstream Hispanic cultural product in history, what chance does Spielberg have in surviving the totalitarian commissars of our time looking to send artists to the cultural gulag for offenses they make up on the spot?

12. Fighting Depression, Finding Hope 

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty is an associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Bioethics Program at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, and the author of A Catholic Guide for Depression. He warns that if we “prematurely spiritualize every emotional or mental health problem, we risk ignoring important means of healing. We also risk unjustly stigmatizing the person who is suffering from depression, and blaming the victim for something that may not be his or her fault.”

In other words, depression does not mean that your spiritual life is lacking. In fact, some great saints have suffered from depression. St. Thérèse of Lisieux is thought to have struggled with it as a teenager, and Mother Teresa’s diaries after her death revealed she felt worthless and unloved. Being depressed is not a lack of trust in God.

13. Monsignor Charles Pope: On the Necessity of Friendship and the Loss of It In Our Times

The lack of deep friendships in the true sense of the word causes many issues. True friends help form our personalities, completing what we lack. True friends rebuke sins and other troublesome quirks we can develop. True friends encourage and enrich us. Without true friends we remain incomplete. Without the necessary rebuke that friends can give, we can suffer from pride and other egotistical character defects.

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15. Archbishop José Gómez:

In our current debates, we could use a little of their humility and realism about the human condition. It could help us to realize that America is not a nation whose founding ideals are false, but a nation whose founding promises have yet to be fully achieved.

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