- October 21, 2016
Catholics are rightly frustrated with an overly rigid separation of faith and politics, but confusing the two is dangerous as well, because it can induce Catholics to shift their values to accommodate their candidate rather than the other way around.
While long-Christian villages are being liberated, the threats facing Christians remain real, even in areas outside of ISIS control. The result is a mixture of celebration and fear, hope and horror, faced daily by Christians seeking to remain in a land that embraced the faith during the time of the apostles.
How should the Church respond to the twin challenges of gender ideology and the suffering of those with gender dysphoria? So far popes and bishops have been better at the first, suggesting Catholics are more concerned with teaching than people -- but that is now changing.
Polish women again donned black and took to the streets on Sunday, launching another round of protests against efforts by the nation’s conservative leaders, bolstered by Poland’s Catholic traditions, to tighten an already restrictive abortion law.
The Jesuits aim to “move forward, overcoming the impediments which the enemy of human nature puts in our way when, in serving God, we are seeking the greater good,” Pope Francis told more than 200 Jesuits chosen to represent the more than 16,000 Jesuits at the order’s general congregation.
Priests from all over the nation of Colombia flocked to the Gran Estación Mall in the capital city of Bogotá Oct. 18-19 for the second “Confess-a-thon,” designed to be a concrete expression of the pope’s jubilee Holy Year of Mercy, with shoppers lining up to receive the sacrament.
Despite a reputation for being sympathetic to liberation theology, a close friend of the new Jesuit leader, Father Arturo Sosa, says he believes “that in countries where everything depends on the government, true democracy is impossible” — including his own Venezuela under Socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
After calling on his flock to “love others as Jesus has loved us,” the first thing Bishop Martin D. Holley did as the new leader in Memphis was to join Catholic Charities volunteers in assembling bags of food and other items for the homeless.
On Sunday Pope Francis’s ambassador in the United States, French Archbishop Christophe Pierre, celebrated a cross-border Mass at a large security fence dividing the U.S. and Mexico, in a gesture intended to demonstrate the Church’s support for immigration reform and humane treatment of migrants.
Pope Francis on Sunday decried the cold-blood killing of civilians in the ongoing fighting to free Mosul, in Iraq, currently a stronghold of the terrorist organization ISIS, which is reportedly using entire families as human shields.
In approaching difficult people with such a tempered approach, a person of good will can avoid being overwhelmed, hurt to the point of doubting, and strengthened in her convictions about human dignity and the transcendental, eternal identity of all people.
Although nobody believes there’s going to be a papal election anytime soon, the consistory taking place next month to create 17 new cardinals, 13 eligible to vote, is nevertheless the closest thing the Catholic Church has to the Iowa Caucus, when all the candidates are on display.READ MORE
Cardinals are by definition a big deal, but it’s by no means automatic that all will one day be hailed as saints. In the pope’s latest crop of new cardinals, however, one already is — Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of the Central African Republic, hailed as one of the “three saints of Bangui” for his peacemaking efforts.READ MORE
Monsignor Guido Marini, the papal master of liturgical ceremonies, says that when conflicts erupt in a parish over how the Mass ought to be celebrated, sometimes it’s better to walk away momentarily defeated “rather than generate divisions and conflict that do no good.”READ MORE
Critics have seen the idea of a ‘Consistent Ethic of Life’ as code for ignoring or playing down abortion, and in some cases they may have a point, but that’s not how the vast majority of Church leaders such as Pope Francis see it.READ MORE
In one of the tensest and most violence-prone corners of the world, the tiny Samaritan minority in the West Bank manages to create a zone of peace where both Israelis and Palestinians feel safe, in a tradition of compassion and understanding that stretches back to the Bible.READ MORE
The English bishop William Kenney is a key figure in the official Catholic-Lutheran dialogue, and will be with Pope Francis in Sweden at the end of the month. He believes unity is a matter of decades away, and it’s possible that Francis may use the trip to make a gesture on inter-communion.READ MORE