John Paul II Institute Scholars Notably Absent from Synod

09/10/2014 Comments (32)


The Vatican yesterday published the names of participants for the upcoming Synod on the Family, but strangely absent from the list are experts from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, despite the organisation having a faculty in Rome.

Professors from the Institute have been some of the most vocal in criticising the possibility of changing pastoral practice regarding Holy Communion for divorced and “remarried” Catholics.

Family life will be the focus of the extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops that will meet at the Vatican between 5-19 October 2014. The 150 synod fathers taking part will discuss the "pastoral challenges of the...READ MORE

Filed under divorce and remarriage, family, john paul ii institute, marriage, synod, synod_2ol4

Two Novels That Made Me Think This Summer

09/10/2014 Comments (14)

This summer, I read a lot of fiction. And it felt good. Stories are important…they convey truth (and Truth) in a way that straightforward discussion rarely, if ever, can.

You don’t have to turn far to see a discussion of same sex attraction. It’s everywhere, and it’s heated wherever you turn. People who seem to be otherwise calm and orderly suddenly sprout extra appendages and the ability to use words you’ve never heard.

So I was interested to see a small publisher release a book early this summer tackling this topic. In 200 pages, The Lion’s Heart, by Dena Hunt, combined masterful storytelling with uncomfortable topic matter.

The story: Paul’s a gay guy, and it turns out that so is Max,...READ MORE

Filed under catholic fiction, dena hunt, fiction, good reading, john green, same sex attraction, ya fiction

Beauty to Warm the Soul: Ordained as He Lay Dying

09/09/2014 Comment
Archdiocese of San Antonio.

The example of Father Carmona's parish priest and his prayerful father inspired his vocation to priesthood at 12. His bishop made sure death did not rob him of following Christ's call.

– Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Sometimes you can read the news  and the world can seem as if it is falling apart. That “things fall apart; the center cannot hold” as the poet Yeats* once wrote. But the sin and evil behind the events that we reporters have to tell you doesn’t really have the last word. Our loving Father does not permit it. As St. Paul observed in Romans 5:20, “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

Grace much more abounds, and where grace is, there good news stories can be found.

Here is a story of beauty, which amid all the sorrows of our world and our own lives, should warm the heart and give us joy.

Meet Father William Carmona Lopez. He’s dying of cancer, but on Sept. 8 became “a priest...READ MORE

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Love, Blame, and Hope in the movie Mud

09/09/2014 Comments (17)

The other night, we watched the 2012 movie Mud with Matthew McConaughy and Reese Witherspoon

My husband and I both enjoyed it immensely, both for its skillful artistry and for its desire to entertain. At no point were we whacked over the head with messages, symbolism, or art (none of that, "Lookit me artist the heck out of this fillum!" stuff that gets so tiresome in so many thoughtful movies). It certainly could have: it has heavy with astonishing imagery: a boat in a tree!  A floating house! A pool full of black snakes!  A string of pearls!  A diver who needs more light! While no second of dialogue was wasted and no scene was framed carelessly, the story worked fine on its own, and...READ MORE

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The Runt Of The Liturgy

09/08/2014 Comments (54)

Since the Council, the reformers of the Church have promised all kinds of things that were to improve upon the old, stale, and dusty Church. The dustiest place of all was seen to be the liturgy.  It is not my intent here to rehash the last 40+ years of the liturgy wars.  Rather, I want to focus on one narrow point to contrast the promises of the reformers and what was delivered.

Even though the Second Vatican Council in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium did not call for the multiplication of the Eucharistic prayers, for the reformers of the liturgy, this was a key objective.  

Before the reform of the liturgy, we had one Eucharistic prayer essentially unchanged...READ MORE

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Is Sacramental Grace Magic?

09/07/2014 Comments (25)

My friend Ludwig was troubled again. We had talked before about the Catholic understanding of grace, but he still found the notion of sacraments uncomfortable to his Evangelical bones. Ludwig said to me, "It seems to me that the Catholic image of grace is vaguely magical, as though grace is some sort of substance God "pours out" through baptismal water, Eucharist and the like. But I thought the biblical reality is that grace was God's attitude of unmerited, forgiving favor toward us, not some magical something or other that must be bestowed like a charm or "good medicine." Why does grace require matter to get the job done in the Catholic scheme of things?"

To answer this, we must first...READ MORE

Filed under catechesis

Why is this Lord’s Day no different from any other day?

Thoughts on the Third Commandment

09/06/2014 Comments (31)

In our neighborhood, on almost any day of the week, you might walk into a supermarket and notice a conservatively dressed woman with a hat and skirt and a rather large number of children in tow, and you might make a shrewd guess that she was a conservative or orthodox Jew, and there’s a good chance that you would be right.

On almost any day, that is, except the Sabbath. From sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, those women and their children vanish. The kosher aisle is deserted, the kosher deli shuttered. Conservative and orthodox Jews take the Sabbath seriously.

The Muslim women are easier to spot. The women wear the hijab or head scarf, sometimes with Western clothes, sometimes with the...READ MORE

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Register Radio - Aid to Persecuted Christians and the Church in Africa

09/05/2014 Comment

This week on Register Radio Jeanette De Melo talks with the president of Catholic Relief Services, Dr. Carolyn Woo.  They’ll discuss how CRS is providing aid to persecuted Christians. And in the second half of the show Elena Rodriguez talks with Father Maurice Emelu about his new EWTN Television show "Word for the Wounded World" about the Church in Africa.

Dr. Carolyn Woo and Catholic Relief Services’ Aid to Persecuted Christians

Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo is President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. Before coming to CRS in 2012, Dr. Woo served as dean of the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza...READ MORE

Filed under catholic relief services, church in africa, dr. carolyn woo, fr. maurice emelu, persecuted christians, register radio

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