By Joyce Rothermel
The first speaker of the Association of Pittsburgh Priests’ Spring Series is Jeffrey Sachs, Ph.D., an award-winning economist with degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities. His topic will be: “Poverty Requires a Faith Response: What Can We Do?” The event will be held on Monday, March 25 at 7 PM at the Kearns Spirituality Center, 9000 Babcock Blvd. in Allison Park (behind the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Divine Providence). Sachs has concretely responded to the dire poverty in our world by guiding policies and efforts in developing countries toward sustainable development.
Sachs is currently the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. As an advisor to the United Nations, he helped to develop the current global Sustainable Development Goals. A coeditor of the World Happiness Report, Sachs is also the author of 17 books, the most recent of which is: Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair, and Sustainable.
Although Dr. Sachs is Jewish in faith, Popes John Paul II and Francis have sought him out for input into encyclicals, most recently for “Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home.” Sachs calls it “magnificent, breathtaking… compellingly holistic. It inspires in its profundity.” He is similarly enthusiastic about the Church’s social teaching: “I love the leadership the Church shows in goodwill to humanity. Pope Francis has said repeatedly that his encyclicals are a call to all of humanity…they touch me very deeply.” If you have wondered what responses we can make to poverty, join us as Sachs shares ways on how the Social Gospel of the Church can bring justice and peace in our world.
Plan now to hear the second speaker in the series, Greer Gordon, Ph.D. Dr. Gordon is a theologian, author, and lecturer, known for her teaching, publications, and work in the fields of evangelization and catechesis. Among her publications is A Profound Understanding of the Feminine Person and the Plan of Salvation. Dr. Gordon is one of eight women invited by the Vatican to respond to John Paul’s Encyclical on Women and is the author of the monthly prayer journal Give Us This Day.
Gordon will speak on the topic: “Truth in the Heart: The Church, Entitlement, and Sexual Crimes” on Sunday, April 14 at 2 PM. Rape, molestation, seduction, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment have all become exposed in the Church. The perpetrators and their silent accomplices who hid such acts are slowly being identified for their sinfulness. If we would be, as we claim to be, Christ in the midst of the world, then we must identify and reject the spirit of entitlement that has allowed priests and bishops to set themselves above the standards of Christian moral-ethical living. We must be bold in our analysis of facts, uncompromising in our defense of truth, and unrelenting in eliminating clerical entitlements. Dr. Gordon will present an analysis of what has happened and offer concrete suggestions as tohow the Church may proceed in returning to a people who cherish God’s love for “truth in the heart.” Please join us for a prayerful exploration of thecrisis in our Church.
A final Listening and Sharing Event will be held on Tuesday, April 30 at 7 PM. The clergy sexual abuse of minors, the cover up by our bishops, and the up to now inadequate response of the Vatican is perhaps the greatest scandal in the history of the American Catholic Church. After a brief report on initial efforts being made to respond locally, those who gather will share their feelings, thoughts and recommendations. Opportunities for involvement afterward will be offered.
The fee for the upcoming talks is $20 each. For the April 30 event, there is no charge. Participants can register at the door the day of the talks. For more information and questions, contact Fr. John Oesterle at 412-232- 7512 or firstname.lastname@example.org You are also invited to visit www. associationofpittsburghpriests.com Pre-registrations can be made to the Association of Pittsburgh Priests, P.O. Box 2106, Pittsburgh, PA 15230.
The Association of Pittsburgh Priests is a diocesan-wide organization of ordained and non-ordained women and men who act on our baptismal call to be priests and prophets. Its mission, rooted in the Gospel and the Spirit of Vatican II, is to carry out a ministry of justice and renewal in ourselves, the Church and the world. Members of the APP have faithfully supported themission of the Thomas Merton Center throughout its decades long history.
Joyce Rothermel is a member of the Association of Pittsburgh Priests and the Thomas Merton Center
(TMC newspaper VOL. 49 No. 2 March 2019. All rights reserved.)