A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →
By Nora Connor
Pope Benedict completes his pilgrimage to Cuba today, having wrapped up his “pastoral” visit to Mexico, in which he tidily summarized that nation’s struggles with the drug war-industrial complex:
The pope also addressed Mexico’s struggle against violence on the plane trip here from Rome, where he blamed the “idolatry of money” for drawing young people into lives of crime. In a brief speech at the airport here, he also said he was praying for “those who suffer because of old and new rivalries, resentments and all forms of violence.”
And yet, the pope’s approach — framing Mexico’s violence as a personal moral failing — perfectly matches that of President Calderón, a devout Catholic. That message, experts say, will help shift the debate away from policy, and complaints about how the Calderón administration has managed the fight against drug cartels that has led to 50,000 deaths since late 2006.
From Michael Miller’s profile of the new Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, printed this week in the Miami New Times:
Wenski is unlike anything the church has ever seen. He’s a hard-charging, hog-driving cleric and licensed pilot who speaks six languages fluently. In the past seven months, he has come on like a blessed freight train, booting dozens of longtime priests from their too-comfortable parishes and suing the City of Miami for $140 million. He’s risked the ire of Miami Cubans by engaging the island’s communist government and had his phone tapped by the Castro regime. Just two weeks ago, he helped open the first seminary in Cuba since the revolution.
But on social issues, he has become a rabid, Tea Party-style conservative whose ban on even discussing condoms might have led to hundreds of Haitians contracting HIV.