US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Weekly roundup: Interview with the pope, guns in Starbucks, and SNAP decisions

By Kira Dault | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Yet another week, and yet another roundup.

This week in the news, the pope made a big splash in an interview that was released in Jesuit publications around the world. (He was even trending on Twitter!) In the U.S., America published the full interview, in which Pope Francis talked about a broad range of subjects, from his own self-perception to gay marriage and abortion. A few people believe that the GOP here in the states could learn a thing or two from the pope. See Scott Alessi's comments about the Pope's explosive interview here.

A homeless man in Boston found a backpack that contained $42,000 in cash and traveler's checks. And he turned it in. Since then, donations have been pouring to help him out. The fundraising campaign, as of this afternoon, has raised more than $130,000.

In less uplifting news, the House of Representatives yesterday voted to cut the SNAP (food stamps) program, passing a bill that will cut 3.8 million people out of the program in 2014. Read Kira Dault's comments about food and justice here.

The House of Representatives passed a stopgap spending bill that would stop funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The bill goes on to the Senate, which is unlikely to pass the bill as it stands, putting us into yet another fiscal showdown. Oh boy.

It is football season, so are you ready to shake out your couch cushions? According to this article in the Atlantic, the NFL, which enjoys non-profit status, has made an art out of squeezing the taxpayers dry. No food stamps for hungry people, but let's not let our football teams down.

Starbucks has asked its customers to please stop bringing guns into its stores. The coffee chain previously had a policy to simply conform to the local laws with regard to open-carry laws. However, following a number of "demonstrations" and "Starbucks appreciation days," in which gun-toting customers would fill the stores, reportedly startling other customers, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wrote a letter asking customers to refrain from bring firearms into their stores. Customers will not be refused service or asked to leave if they do take guns into the stores, but please, says Starbucks, leave your guns at home.

In Springfield, IL, Bishop Paprocki has returned Fr. Thomas Donovan to ministry, after an incident after Donovan called 911 from the rectory of St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Springfield, where he was pastor, and told dispatchers he had placed himself in handcuffs and needed police help to free himself. Fr. Donovan will be living as the chaplain to the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.

In Italy, a young gypsy woman had an affair with an older priest. But don't start imagining an Italian version of the Thorn Birds. The affair was actually an extortion racket that cost the priest somewhere in the ballpark of 350,000 euros.

An adjunct professor at a Catholic university in PA died underpaid and under appreciated. Duquesne University refuses to recognize the adjunct professor's union, which pushes some of its adjunct faculty into poverty.

Here at U.S. Catholic, we hold in our prayers the families of the victims of the mass shooting that took place at Navy Yard on Monday as well as all those affected by the Colorado floods.

That's it for now. Here's hoping you have a safe and enjoyable weekend!