The recently published encyclical has some astonishing statements. While I differ with the Vatican on a number of issues, I cannot diminish the incredible stand the new Pope has taken on issues of global injustice, the environment, animal welfare and poverty.
It is a common and hyperbolic refrain that Democrats have been (and still are) the anti-religion party. Now, however, Republicans may be running into religion problems of their own as evangelical and Roman Catholics become more engaged with issues such as poverty and climate change.
The challenges the world faces today are sometimes so big and so many that they can scare us into inaction or nudge us into looking only at our immediate surroundings or our immediate needs. We need to resist the temptation to do both.
We want to welcome Pope Francis' voice into the clarion call, affirming black, brown and all the lives of the marginalized matter, by calling us all to see in one another's faces, our shared reflection of the Divine.