Archive for the ‘Church issues’ category

A Crisis of Masculinity

January 8, 2013

Here’s a short but insightful commentary on the state of masculinity in the Church. A must read for men with daughters who are not entering the convent any time soon.

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I agree with Sherry…

August 10, 2012

…the Diocese of Lansing gets it!  Read about it here, which is where I read about it.

Influencing the culture

July 28, 2012

Don’t miss this tremendous talk given by Philadelphia’s Abp Charles Chaput this past Thursday (26-July-2012).

When he said

But we can change that. Nothing about life is predetermined except the victory of Jesus Christ.  We create the future. We do it not just by our actions, but by what we really believe — because what we believe shapes the kind of people we are. In a way, “growing a culture of religious freedom” is the better title for this talk. A culture is more than what we make or do or build. A culture grows organically out of the spirit of a people — how we live, what we cherish, what we’re willing to die for.

it reminded me of some wisdom shared by Fr Cantalamessa several years ago:

The first Christians changed the laws of the state with their customs; we cannot expect today to change the customs with the laws of the state.

Abp Chaput’s conclusion

If we want a culture of religious freedom, we need to begin it here, today, now. We live it by giving ourselves wholeheartedly to God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ — by loving God with passion and joy, confidence and courage. And by holding nothing back. God will take care of the rest. Scripture says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). In the end, God is the builder. We’re the living stones. The firmer our faith, the deeper our love, the purer our zeal for God’s will — then the stronger the house of freedom will be that rises in our own lives and in the life of our nation.

was reminiscent of the challenge of JP2 23 years ago in Christifideles Laici:

To all people of today I once again repeat the impassioned cry with which I began my pastoral ministry: “Do not be afraid! Open, in deed, open wide the doors to Christ!

Open to his saving power the confines of states, and systems political and economic, as well as the vast fields of culture, civilization, and development. Do not be afraid! Christ knows ‘what is inside a person’. Only he knows! Today too often people do not know what they carry inside, in the deepest recesses of their soul, in their heart. Too often people are uncertain about a sense of life on earth. Invaded by doubts they are led into despair. Therefore-with humility and trust I beg and implore you-allow Christ to speak to the person in you. Only he has the words of life, yes, eternal life”(124).

Opening wide the doors to Christ, accepting him into humanity itself poses absolutely no threat to persons, indeed it is the only road to take to arrive at the total truth and the exalted value of the human individual.

This vital synthesis will be achieved when the lay faithful know how to put the gospel and their daily duties of life into a most shining and convincing testimony, where, not fear but the loving pursuit of Christ and adherence to him will be the factors determining how a person is to live and grow, and these will lead to new ways of living more in conformity with human dignity.

Humanity is loved by God! This very simple yet profound proclamation is owed to humanity by the Church. Each Christian’s words and life must make this proclamation resound: God loves you, Christ came for you, Christ is for you “the Way, the Truth and the Life!” (Jn 14:6).

Exercising fortitude

June 6, 2012

Our Guardian group in the Back Mountain will be studying the virtue of Fortitude (or Courage) today in our first session of our “Crossing the Goal” series on the virtues. We need to develop this virtue in times like these when the cause of Christ is unpopular in many quarters. If we proclaim the Gospel we may have to risk ridicule, disapproval, maybe economic loss as has happened before to Christians like Dietrick Bonhoffer, the Cristeros in Mexico and Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko of Poland – loss of freedom and life. The following quote by Blessed Jerzy appeared in a meditation of the day in the Magnificat this week. Something to consider as we prepare for the ‘Fortnight of Freedom” promoted by the Bishops of the United States to demonstrate our opposition to the infringement of Christians’ Freedom of Religion and Conscience by the State:

Bd Jerzy

A Christian fulfills his duties only when he is stalwart, when he professes his principles courageously, when he is neither ashamed of them nor renounces them because of fear or material needs. Woe betide a society whose citizens do not live by their fortitude. They cease to be citizens and become more like slaves. It is fortitude which creates citizens, for only a courageous man is conscious of all his rights and duties. If a citizen lacks fortitude, he becomes a slave and causes immeasurable harm not only to himself but to his family, his country and the Church…Fortitude is an essential part of one’s life as a citizen. That is why fortitude is, for a Christian, the most important duty after love.

Hope to see many of you in Scranton (Wiliam J. Nealon Federal Building, 235 N Washington Ave) on Friday at noon for the Rally for Religious Freedom!

“Give me liberty or give me death”

March 25, 2012

Fourteen members of the Guardian of the Redeemer Catholic Men’s Fellowship attended the National Rally for Religious Freedom held on March 23, 2012 at the Lackawanna County Courthouse Square with several hundred other patriots.

Simultaneous rallies were held in about 140 other US cities. The purpose of the rally was to protest the Obamacare mandate requiring Catholic employers to pay for abortion causing drugs, birth control and sterilization for their employees in violation of their conscience and constitutional right to the free exercise of religion. The Rally was held on the same date that Patrick Henry gave his famous speech “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.”

We assembled for the Rally in front of large granite slabs bearing famous quotes from famous Americans. We came across a poignant quote from an American patriot that few Americans would know.  Eric W. Slebodnick is quoted as follows:

For your liberty and your lives
For your homes and your friends
For the Constitution
For our Faith
I will fight for you.
—-August 18, 2004

Being curious I did some research and found that Eric was a sergeant in the Pennsylvania National Guard, 109thInfantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. He fought and was killed in action on September 28, 2005 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.  How disappointed he must be that  the faith and Constitution he fought and died for is being violated by intolerant fanatics that have shown again the wisdom of the founding Fathers in establishing a government of limited powers.

We should be inspired by Eric to make sacrifices necessary to defeat this attempted power grab.  Next Friday, March 30th, our Bishops ask us to join in a day of prayer fasting and almsgiving for religious freedom. We should contact our Representatives and send money to the religious organizations fighting the mandate in Court. Father Eric Bergman reminded us in his speech at the rally of the courage of St Thomas More and the primacy of conscience. Incredibly we may have to engage in civil disobedience to this unjust law and expect to pay the consequences of imprisonment or worse. It is now the time to choose sides. As the Bishops have said, we did not pick this fight but we are not going to run from it. Choose carefully. Choose life.

An Advent invitation

December 12, 2010

In this season of Advent, we strive to prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Christ, and to be watchful and ready for His return in glory.  In addition to our own preparation, charity calls us to be helpful to others, especially those most in need of help with their own spiritual preparation.

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of the Diocese of Providence has issued a brief “Open Letter to Inactive Catholics” in his diocese.  It is humbly worded, yet confidently presents the truth.  In it, one can sense Bp Tobin’s heartfelt concern for those to whom it is addressed.

Near the end, he hints at some help that he hopes to receive:

The irony of this letter, of course, is that if you’ve been an inactive Catholic, you might not see it. But I’m counting on a Catholic member of your family, or a friend, neighbor or co-worker, to see it and share it.

Obviously, this letter can be directed to inactive Catholics in dioceses other than Providence.  Ask our Lord to bring to your mind anyone who would benefit from reading this letter.  Then find a way deliver it:  mail, email, personal encounter, etc.  It would be a wonderful way to participate in the new evangelization.

On parish closings

November 9, 2010

Msgr Pope’s post this past Sunday on church closings was very relevant to what’s currently happening in our diocese.  Some of the comments were very insightful, too.