Pope Francis made headlines worldwide when a lengthy interview with Italian Jesuit journal “La CiviltÃ Cattolica” published last Thursday suggested his leadership would alter the Catholic Church’s focus on social issues. Notre Dame theology experts said it is clear that Francis’ statements provide a potential perspective change but not a radical upending of Church teaching. Pope Francis’s words on abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception generated controversy. “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” Pope Francis said in the interview. “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the Church are not all equivalent. The Church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.” Theology professor Fr. Brian Daley, a member of the Jesuit order like Pope Francis, said he does not find Francis’ ideas revolutionary but rather just a demonstration of different style and points of emphasis. “As [Pope Francis] has said, what he’s saying has been there in the Catechism, it’s been there in the teaching of the Church, but people perhaps haven’t realized it,” Daley said. “Part of it is the way the media picks it up and spins it. But I do think the style of the Pope is distinct, and it’s very much his own. And to a great extent, I think it comes out of his Jesuit spiritual background and the Jesuit way of approaching pastoral issues.” Daley said the Jesuit tradition has been to be at the service of the Church, training the members of the order intellectually “in the highest standards of the day,” but also to be deeply rooted spiritually in prayer, contemplation and the Gospels. “I think the basic instinct of the Jesuits and modern Ignatian spirituality in general is a pastoral one,” Daley said. “It’s a matter of asking what can we do to help people come into contact with Christ and follow him. “And as Francis says, it’s not that the rules that the Church presents us with are false or irrelevant, but the Church is not basically there to announce rules. It’s there to pronounce God’s love to people.” John Cavadini, theology professor and director of the Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame, said he sees Francis’ statements as a continuation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s reminder to focus on the essentials of Catholicism. “What [Pope Francis] has been saying is very much in keeping with Pope Benedict,” Cavadini said. “I think people see there being this division between them, but remember that Pope Benedict published his first papal encyclical on love, called ‘God Is Love.’ I don’t think you can get more essential than that.” Benedict’s next two encyclicals were on hope and faith, respectively, and Cavadini said Francis’ statement last week highlights the same focus on these essentials in a different way. “Pope Francis has a very distinctive pastoral application of this emphasis on the essentials,” Cavadini said. “What he’s basically saying is that you don’t attract people to the faith and you don’t keep people in the faith by concentrating all the time on things that aren’t part of the essential proclamation. “And so what you end up doing, maybe, is making people forget what the essentials are if you’re always talking about other things and you have what he called a kind of ‘fragmented message.’ I think there is a very fundamental continuity with Pope Benedict’s emphasis on the basics, but I think there is a difference in style and a difference in pastoral application.” Pope Francis said the Church must find a new balance or else its moral edifice would be in danger of “[falling] like a house of cards.” Cavadini said Francis is trying to steer the attention to the most essential parts of Catholicism that make the faith vibrant to believers. “The whole point is to convey the beauty of the whole so the more difficult teachings don’t seem like just isolated invitations to desolations, but part of a larger piece and part of a Church that cares about everybody,” Cavadini said. “If the Church shows itself to be a caring communion, then it’s easier for people because there’s something lifted in their lives all the sudden if someone is willing to help them.” This “pastoral framework” for approaching people could transform the whole communion of the Church without altering any of its moral teachings, he said. Pope Francis’ new approach to these teachings partially stems from his different background compared to that of Pope Benedict. “Pope Benedict was a professor … and he became a bishop not out of a pastoral parish experience as much as from a professorial experience,” Cavadini said. “I don’t like people saying Benedict is bad and Francis is good; I think that’s just very superficial because Pope Benedict was a very loving person, a very smart person, but a professor. “He focused on the essentials but spun it as saying ‘these are our foundations, and that keeps us from succumbing to cultural relativism.’ I think Francis, taking the same emphasis on the essentials, says ‘how do we translate this into a way of pastoring or shepherding?’ I think Francis thinks that it translates into a pastoral care of warmth and presence … carries those essentials of the Gospel with them.” Daley said he sees Pope Francis as “an intellectual but not an academic,” especially taking into account his background in Argentina and his appreciation for world culture. “I think [Francis] operates on a fairly imaginative level,” Daley said. “And Benedict does too, but Benedict is the shyer person; he’s kind of an introvert, I think. And he’s a first-class intellectual theologian … where Francis is much more of an extrovert, a charismatic personality. “I think what he’s doing is a typically Jesuit approach, training himself as well as possible in human culture and human understanding … I think he’s really someone who tries to think in contact with the present time, but the reason for this is always to do the work of God and bring the Gospel to people.” Cavadini said viewing these issues as part of the larger context of the essentials of faith makes it clear that the Church’s mission goes beyond rule-making and finger-pointing. “These are pastoral issues before they’re political issues,” he said. “I think that makes a big difference to people’s lives. With this new approach, you create new possibilities with that warmth and presence and a willingness to bear people’s burdens with them.”
Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said cities’ priorities in using technology varied widely.The Colombian city of Medellin – once notorious for its drug cartels but now a posterchild for smart planning – has seen crime drop after introducing free wifi, which made it easier for people to report crime, he said.Although many cities around the world have introduced car sharing schemes in a bid to cut congestion, Bris said Moscow had been particularly successful in persuading drivers to join them after introducing free parking for users.Experts say COVID-19 has accelerated a shift towards more inclusive, greener, smarter cities.Bris also predicted a growing trend towards smaller cities.”I think we’re moving to a world where we will be more dispersed. We will be safer if we live in smaller cities,” he added.He said the survey underscored that megacities often found it difficult to become smart.”Smaller cities have an advantage,” he added. “In the case of Singapore, Helsinki and Zurich, their size allows them to invest significantly in technology that reaches all citizens.”Although China is developing hundreds of smart cities equipped with sensors, cameras and other gadgets that can crunch data on everything from pollution to public health, they ranked relatively low in the index.Bris said this was because of their size but also because of concerns about data privacy and surveillance. Topics : The Smart City Index, now in its second year, surveyed more than 13,000 people in 109 cities, focusing on how they perceived the impact of technology in five areas: health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities and governance.Others in the top 10 included Auckland, Oslo, Copenhagen, Geneva, Taipei City, Amsterdam, New York, while Abuja, Nairobi and Lagos ranked bottom.The index, a collaboration with the Singapore University for Technology and Design, showed that many countries are developing smart secondary cities beyond their capitals.The Spanish city of Bilbao ranked higher than Madrid, while Britain’s second city Birmingham has risen up the index faster than London. Singapore, Helsinki and Zurich are the world’s smartest cities, according to an index published on Thursday amid a growing debate on the future of urban design for a post-COVID era.From smart traffic cameras and car sharing apps to pollution monitoring and free wifi for all, cities around the world are racing to embrace technology, but researchers said the real test was whether citizens felt the benefits.”The world’s ‘smart’ cities don’t simply adopt new technology, they make sure it truly improves citizens’ lives,” said Arturo Bris of the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD), which published the index.
Franklin County, In. — The Whitewater Valley REMC Community Trust, Inc. has awarded a $500 grant to the Imagination Library. Library officials say the money will be used to purchase quality preschool books to be mailed directly to students each month.
Guyana battle Trinidad today in RAN 15s South Zone FinalONE of the biggest rivalries in Rugby within the Caribbean will take centre stage today at the St Stanislaus College ground, Carifesta Avenue, when Guyana do battle against Trinidad and Tobago in the final of the Rugby Americas North (RAN) 15s South Zone Final. Kick-off time 16:00hrs.Brendan O’Farrell, Trinidad and Tobago’s head coach, told Chronicle Sport yesterday that his side is anxiously anticipating the encounter today with Guyana, especially since the ‘Soca Ruggers have been beaten in their last two encounters.Guyana, more popularly known as the ‘Green Machine’ are acknowledged by many as the most-feared Rugby team in the Caribbean, more so in the game’s shortest version – sevens.However, in the 15s format, Guyana have made some historical strides, with their victory 30-27 against the USA (South) in 2014, to win their maiden NACRA (now known as RAN) 15s title in Atlanta – their biggest achievement yet.In both 7s and 15s, Trinidad remain Guyana’s toughest opposition. In last year’s Ran South Zone 15s final, Guyana prevailed 23-18 over Trinidad, but this time around O’Farrell is hoping for a different result.“Guyana have had the upper hand on us over the last couple of years. We know each other very well and on the day it’s who want it the most,” O’Farrell said, adding, “Both teams would have prepared as well as they can, but at the end of the day it’s who want it the most.”Despite being tough in their defence, Guyana outscore their opposition using their quickness on the wings, with former national Patrick King and West Indies skipper Claudius Butts doing the damage; but O’Farrell pointed out that adjustments will be made to not only stop the Guyanese from using their advantage.(But also) “You have to try and negate the strength of the team. Fortunately, we have quite a few of them playing in Trinidad so we’re familiar with them,” the Trinidad and Tobago head coach said.Asked about the possibility of winning and what it will mean for Rugby on his Island, O’Farrell pointed out, “The win will do well for us in Trinidad. Guyana have won the Southern Championship for the last two years and it will be nice to take the trophy back to Trinidad and move on to play the bigger countries.”Meanwhile, with a clash against Mexico (RAN’s North Zone Champions) on the horizon, Guyana’s captain Ryan Gonsalves is hoping to replicate their performance against the Trinidadians last year and urged all to come out and support his side.It was not all smooth sailing for the Guyanese side, who only on Thursday were able to secure a venue for the game, since their usual battleground, the National Park, was deemed unplayable because of the heavy rainfall experienced over the last couple of days.The team had to deal with their usual lack of support from both Government and corporate Guyana; something Gonsalves is “challenging”.“It is challenging and frustrating to see such a good team, playing this good all the years, being faced with these difficulties year in, year out. It is about time someone from the Government put his/her foot forward, or major sponsors help us out,” Gonsalves said.“It is always a challenge for any team playing home or aboard. We are trying to see how we can leave the off-field stuff from affecting us and try to focus on today’s game,” Gonsalves pointed out.But despite the challenges, Gonsalves is adamant that the ‘Green Machine’ will be ready for today’s game both mentally and physically.“We are pretty ready for them. We have been working on certain tactics to work the big guys out and see how long they can last. We will be very mobile and attack them rather than sit and wait for them to come to us.”Banks DIH, a long-time supporter of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), will be partnering with the Union through its world famous Banks Beer brand, for today’s clash.Communications Manager Troy Peters pointed out that the company is more than happy to continue its alliance with the GRFU and also made a call for the public to support the team.
A limited contingent of athletes shone for the USC track and field team at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., on Friday and Saturday.Sprint · Sophomore Blake Shaw ran a 3:44.66 in the 1500-meter. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan The highlight for USC was junior Zsofia Erdelyi, who broke her own school record in the women’s 10,000-meter run on Friday night with a time of 33:18.75, finishing fourth among collegiate runners at a meet known for its high level of competition in the distance events.“She turned a lot of heads out there,” said USC distance coach Tom Walsh. “She’s really worked hard this year after a sub par cross country season and came out with some fire this year.”Erdelyi ran identical 5,000-meter splits, a tremendous feat in a race as long and grueling as the 10,000-meter.“It was a very smart race for Zsofia,” Walsh said. “Stanford is the benchmark for distance running, and for her to run such an even, intelligent race was great to see.”Sophomore Blake Shaw also ran a tremendous race for the USC men, finishing third among college runners with a new personal best of 3:45.66 in the 1500-meter run. The race continued Shaw’s surge up the USC all-time ranks in the event, moving him to sixth a week after jumping from ninth to seventh. Shaw also ran a solid 800-meter race, finishing 11th overall with a time of 1:51.51.Despite the meet’s heavy concentration on distance, the USC women’s sprinters had a solid showing. Senior sprinter Judith Onyepunuka advanced to the finals in the women’s 100-meter dash with a new season-best 11.86, and finished fourth overall in the finals with an 11.89.Senior Shalina Clarke only missed a first place finish in the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.39, just .01 seconds behind winner Kimyon Broom of California. Also, senior Elizabeth Olear finished fourth for the Trojans in the women’s 400-meter dash with a time of 55.11.Onyepunuka, Clarke, Olear and senior Myra Hasson teamed up for the women’s 4×100-meter race and placed third overall with a blistering 45.51.Next up for USC are the Texas Relays, a meet that earlier this week USC coach Ron Allice said would feature “the most intense competition [the Trojans] have seen so far this season.”