Lord, You Said There Would Be Wine

01/20/2016 Comments (2)

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), ”The Wedding at Cana”

How can you tell a great work of art from a merely pleasant one? A great work of art never runs out. It can hang on your wall for years and years, and you'll still be struck, from time to time, with some new aspect you never considered before. 

So it is with the Gospel. Last Sunday, we heard the account of the Wedding at Cana, which is when Jesus began His public ministry, and which I've heard so often, I could tell it in my sleep. I've thought before about what it means that He chose to make wine (the first thing He wants us to do, when Jesus comes into our lives, is to rejoice!); that it was an enormous quantity of wine (when He comes through, He comes through big time); that it was wine...READ MORE

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New Study Finds More Teens and Pre-Teens Turning to Porn

01/20/2016 Comments (4)

American teens are watching porn and seeking it out more than any previous generation. According to a report released January 20 by the Barna Group, today's teens and young adults are exposed younger, are viewing more, and are increasingly desensitized to the images.

The Barna Group presented the results of their wide-ranging, nationally-representative sample of nearly 3,000 American teenagers, Christian pastors, and the Christian church. The Barna analysis did not compare Catholic teens and religious leaders with those from other denominations, but similar results are likely.

Christian author and speaker Josh McDowell, speaking at the Barna Group's press conference on “The Porn...READ MORE

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Muslims Officially Invite Pope Francis to Visit Rome's Grand Mosque

Pope called for Christian-Muslim reciprocity during the meeting.

01/20/2016 Comments (14)
Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi

– Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

A delegation of Italian Muslims today personally invited Pope Francis to visit the Grand Mosque of Rome, thought to be the largest mosque in the Western world.

The Holy Father thanked the delegation for the invitation, presented to him in the Paul VI hall after this morning’s general audience, but has yet to agree to visit. If he does so, Francis will be the first pope to visit the Rome mosque which was inaugurated in 1995 and financed by Saudi Arabia.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope will “study the invitation, and come to a decision,” but added that he “would be cautious about a date.” He said any dates being publicized in the press are “without foundation.” Some...READ MORE

Filed under interreligious dialogue, muslims, pope francis, reciprocity, rome mosque

Pope to World Economic Forum: Do Not Forget the Poor

01/20/2016 Comment

For the second time during his pontificate, Pope Francis has sent a message to the annual World Economic Forum, currently meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

In his message, addressed to WEF’s executive president, Klaus Schwab, and delivered this afternoon by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Holy Father appealed to the world’s political and business not to forget the poor, nor let a culture of prosperity “make us incapable of feeling compassion” for them.

Let their cry “become our own,” the Pope said, adding that once we realize this, “we become more fully human, since responsibility for our brothers and sisters is an essential part of our...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal turkson, davos, pope francis, world economic forum

Love is Not All You Need

01/20/2016 Comments (6)

Here's an amusing snapshot of the American genius for combining Puritan high-mindedness with base self-interest.  A few years back, something called the "Campaign for Love and Forgiveness" by something called the Fetzer Institute teamed up with the Public Programs Office of the American Library Association, six public broadcasting stations, Gather.com and Paper Source to start "a series of community conversations--first about love and later about forgiveness" according to their press release.  The campaign sought to "spark new attitudes and actions in relationships, in society and in the world."  Also included in the initiative was a PBS film "The Mystery of Love," virtual conversations on...READ MORE

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Cardinal Pell: The Free Market Is Here to Stay

01/19/2016 Comments (11)

Cardinal George Pell speaks at the Voice of the Family’s Rome Life Forum, Many 9, 2015. Credit: Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Cardinal George Pell has told religious and business leaders in Rome that the free market is “here to stay” and “no better” economic model is currently available.

Addressing delegates at a conference on Sunday hosted by The Global Foundation, a sustainable development group, the prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy said market economies must be “evaluated and improved”, but have the “capacity to rejuvenate” after such calamities as the Great Depression and the recent global financial crisis.

“They are not producing the massive alienation that Marx predicted,” he said. “We might have too much sugar in our society, such as consumerism, but we are not being poisoned by deserts...READ MORE

Filed under acton institute, capitalism, cardinal george pell, economics, free market, market economies, pope francis

Is the Legend True? Did Jesus Write a Letter to King Abgar?

Was there an exchange of letters between Jesus and King Abgar?

01/19/2016 Comments (6)

Abgar receives the Image of Edessa (the Mandylion), 10th century.

The obvious answer to our titular question is, of course, no. Jesus left no writings, and that wasn’t an oversight or something on his to-do list that he forgot. Christianity is not nor has it ever been a “religion of the book.” Jesus left the Church, and the Church in turn gives us the scripture.

Christianity produced a massive body of written literature, some becoming canon, some entering the patristic tradition, some condemned as heretical, and some which early Christians thought were real or contained elements of truth, but which subsequently fell into disfavor, such as the document traditionally called The Abgar Letter.

Although a fake, the Abgar Letter letter not only reveals...READ MORE

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St. Maximilian Kolbe Relic Tour Begins in U.S.

01/19/2016 Comments (7)
Our Lady of the Angels Province, Franciscan Friars Conventual

St. Maximilian Kolbe, late 1930’s, with beard from which hairs were preserved to create his relics.

– Our Lady of the Angels Province, Franciscan Friars Conventual

The major relics of Maximilian Kolbe, who was canonized by St. John Paul II, began an 8-month tour Jan. 15-17 in Ellicott City, Md., at the Shrine of St. Anthony. The tour started with noon Mass at the shrine.

The tour sponsored by the Franciscan Friars Minor Conventual of the Our Lady of the Angels Province will continue until August 14, the date commemorating the 75th anniversary of Kolbe’s martyrdom in the World War II Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland.

The pilgrimage will be historic — the largest tour of his relics ever mounted in the United States. Traveling up and down the east coast and also into Canada, St. Maximilian's relics will visit 39 sites. At each site there...READ MORE

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