UP Catholic 05 06 2016 E Edition Page 7

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS May 6, 2016 7 GENERAL ELECTRIC APPLIANCES KIRKISH FURNITURE Largest stock in the U.P." Restonic Bedding Televisions - RCA - Hitachi - Toshiba Floor Covering Free Delivery in the U.P. 1-800-535-0258 1200 W. MEMORIAL HOUGHTON, MICHIGAN See our electronics department for more specials. Upper Peninsula Travelers Presents The Black Hills & Badlands of South Dakota 9 Days, 8 Nights - September 17 -25, 2016 - $836 Price Includes: Transportation, lodging, many meals, Wall Drug, Badlands National Park, Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Tour Deadwood, gaming, Corn Palace, And much more. For information and reservations, contact: Sheila Heikkinen (906) 524-7003 or shebob123@charter.net (CNA/EWTN News) - The denial of a playground resurfacing grant to a Lutheran school empowers re- ligious discrimination, not constitutional principles, the U.S. Catholic bishops said in a Supreme Court brief. Missouris religious discrimination not only contravenes the First Amendment, it is profoundly demeaning to people of faith, the U.S. bishops said in their April 21 amicus curiae brief. The brief backs Trinity Lutheran Church of Colum- bia, Mo. in its suit against the Missouri government. The churchs learning center had sought a state frant for playground resurfacing with scrap tire ma- terial to improve playground safety at its preschool and daycare center. The grant could have totaled $30,000 in aid to the school. The Missouri Depart- ment of Natural Resources rejected the grant appli- cation. The Catholic bishops brief argued that constitu- tional law does not authorize a blanket exclusion from public programs that provide religiously neu- tral benefits for secular purposes. Otherwise the government could exclude reli- fious institutions from basic public services like police and fire protection. The Catholic bishops said the religious school was otherwise eligible, but the State of Missouri denied it solely due to its religious affiliation. Since 1875, the Missouri state constitution has barred public money for the direct or indirect aid of any church or any minister or teacher. The bishops brief rejected the claim that such a frant would violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. This claim could be used as a pretext for penalizing religious groups whose beliefs or practices diverge from government-prescribed orthodoxy, they said. Official discrimination based on religion is no less invidious or stigmatizing than discrimination based on other protected traits, the brief said. It sends a message that religious people and their institutions are second-class citizens who deserve special disabili- ties and are not entitled to participate on equal terms in government programs. In 2015 the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court ruling against the school, on the frounds the U.S. constitution permits the provisions of the Missouri constitution. The Supreme Court could hear the case in its late 2016 session. Other signatories to the Catholic bishops brief in- clude the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the National Catholic Educational Association, the Salvation Army and the General Synod of the Re- formed Church in America. Catholic bishops speak up for Lutheran playground BY ELISE HARRIS CNA/EWTN NEWS In his April 28 homily, Pope Francis stressed the need to be open to the novelty of the Holy Spir- it, by discerning new movements and directions without being immediately closed off from them. Pope Francis asked Mass-goers at the Santa Marta chapel how the Church responds when faced with something new, and perhaps never done before, clarifying that this is not worldly newness, like fashions and clothes, but the new- ness and surprises of the Spirit, because the Spirit always surprises us. The answer, he said, is by meeting, listening, discussing and praying before the final decision. This is the same method the Church has used since the beginning, and is how she answers re- sistance based on assertions such as it was never done this way, or you must do it like this. This process of gathering to speak and pray about an issue is the so-called synodality of the Church, in which the communion of the Church is expressed, the Holy Father observed, noting that it is the Holy Spirit who creates this communion. What does the Lord ask of us? Docility to the Spirit. What does the Lord ask us? Not to be afraid, when we see that its the Spirit who calls us, he said. He focused his homily on the passage from the day's first reading in Acts 15, which recounts the Council of Jerusalem. It was the first meeting in which the disciples discussed whether or not the Church ought to impose Mosaic Law, including circumcision, on pagan converts. In his homily, the pope said that it was the Holy Spirit who was the protagonist from the begin- ning. Its the Spirit who does everything, who carries the Church forward, (even) with her prob- lems and when persecution breaks out, he added. The Holy Spirit is also the one who gives believ- ers strength to remain in the faith, even in times of resistance and fury from the doctors of the law. Pope Francis noted that in the case of the Coun- cil of Jerusalem, there was a double resistance to the Spirits work: that of those who believed that Jesus came only for the chosen people and that of those who wanted to impose the Mosaic Law on pagan converts. There was a great confusion over this, he said, explaining that the Holy Spirit put their hearts on a new path: they were surprised by the Spirit. Suddenly the apostles found themselves in situations that they would have never believed the Spirit brought a certain novelty, certain things that were never done. Never. Neither were they imagined. That the pagans would receive the Holy Spirit, for example. (They) had a hot potato in their hands and they didnt know what to do, Pope Francis continued, noting how the apostles were able to resolve the issue by gathering to discuss it. He pointed to how at one point the entire as- sembly fell silent in order to listen to the testi- mony of Paul and Barnabas, who recounted the signs and works God had done in and among the nations. The Holy Father stressed the importance of lis- tening, explaining that when a person is afraid to listen, they do not have the Spirit in their heart. Its also important to listen with humility, the pope added, noting how it was only after they listened to Paul and Barnabas that the Church decided the pagan converts werent obliged to undergo circumcision. This decision was communicated though a letter, but the protagonist is the Holy Spirit, he said. Just as he did for St. Paul and Barnabas, the Spirit stops us and redirects our path, giving us the patience and courage to walk along the path of Jesus and to be strong in the face of martyrdom, he said. Pope Francis concluded his homily by for the frace to understand how the Church moves for- ward, to be open to the surprises of the Spir- it, and for each person to have the grace of docility to the Spirit, to go along the path that the Lord Jesus wants for each one of us and for the entire Church. Be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis advises DANIEL IBANEZ CNA Pope Francis kisses a child in St. Peter's Square during the General Audience on April 20, 2016.

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