US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Weekly roundup: Crisis in Iraq, parents packing heat, and 'Black Jesus'

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It's that time of year when people disappear for relaxing summer getaways and the rest of us keep up with the workload in our eerily quiet offices. If you've been out of town, out of touch, or just out of the loop, here is your weekly roundup:

The number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border into the United States continued to be a heavily debated issue this week, with Catholics still on the front lines when it comes to welcoming the stranger. Michel Martin of NPR talks to other religious leaders about the role of faith communities in responding to the crisis. 

The U.S. bishops have called on all parishes to offer prayers next weekend for peace in Iraq. Many Christians are fleeing their homes and villages as they are overtaken by the group known as the Islamic State. Meanwhile the U.S. continues to launch airstrikes against militants in Northern Iraq. 

On a much lighter note, our friend Dan Burke of CNN delivers an episode of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Episcopal" by looking into the lavish homes that some U.S. archbishops have. None of them come close to the infamous "Bishop of Bling," however.

You knew this was coming sooner or later: Children's books about the value of carrying guns. Our own Caitlyn Schmid explains why this might not be a great idea. 

People got really worked up this week about a new TV show featuring "Black Jesus." And if they don't like that, they're really going to hate this artist's blend of Disney characters and religious symbols, including an image of Pope Francis presiding at the wedding of two Disney princes. Click that one at your own risk. 

Speaking of Francis, he's still keeping busy during the lazy days of summer. This week he told some kids to put down those darn phones and get off the Internet, lifted a suspension on an 81-year-old priest, and geared up for a trip to South Korea. North Korea, however, has declined the invite to participate in a papal Mass. Francis also might want to take a page from fellow Catholic Stephen Colbert and play a game of "Who's Not Honoring Me Now?" with the U.S. Congress

And on that note, enjoy a nice summer weekend!