Dialogue with Masons? Is There Any Point?

02/17/2016 Comments (14)

Some Cardinal named Ravasi has apparently called for dialogue with Freemasons. Here's a translation of the passage from his letter, provided by a reader of Rorate Caeli:

“…These various declarations on the incompatibility of the two memberships in the Church or in Freemasonry, do not impede, however, dialogue, as is explicitly stated in the German Bishops’ document that had already listed the specific areas of discussion, such as the communitarian dimension, works of charity, the fight against materialism, human dignity and knowledge of each other.

“Further, we need to rise above that stance from certain Catholic integralist spheres, which – in order to hit out at some exponents even in...READ MORE

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The Cure for Everything Can't Be Contraception and Death

02/17/2016 Comments (5)

Ask any secularist liberal the solution to just about any societal ill and the answer is alarmingly the same.

What to do now that we're faced with the Zika virus? More contraception and abortion.

What to do about poverty? Contraception and abortion.

Genetic abnormalities in infants? Abortion.

Global warming or climate change? Contraception and abortion.

Healthcare for everyone? Make sure it includes free contraception and abortion, and hey, let's make Catholic institutions pay for it too.

Crime? Abortion and contraception. Don't believe me? Freakonomics would differ.

World hunger? Illiteracy? Women's equality? Abortion and contraception.

If dead and missing babies are the cure for...READ MORE

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Vatican Synod Symposium: Faithful Must Have Much Greater Say

Push to also give Synod of Bishops increased prominence and influence.

02/17/2016 Comments (22)

A recent Vatican symposium hosted by the Synod of Bishops secretariat has called for much greater emphasis on the contribution of the “People of God” in the work of future synods.

According to a statement released Feb. 17 which summarized the discussions of the Feb. 6-9 symposium, there was a need to conceive episcopal authority as a “service to the People of God”, rediscovering the “subjectivity of the People of God” as well as the relationship each bishop has with the local and universal Church.

The symposium, held to examine more deeply Pope Francis’ landmark speech last October in which he called for a more collegial, decentralized and “listening” Church, was made up of ecclesiology...READ MORE

Filed under collegiality, decentralization, pope francis, synod, synod of bishops, synodality

BBC Program Part of Predictable Lenten Attacks on the Church

02/17/2016 Comments (15)

Screenshot from Panorama program — YouTube

A program shown on British television Monday night about Pope St. John Paul II’s close relationship with a married Polish-born American woman has been swiftly dismissed as old news and criticized for showing little understanding of priestly celibacy.

The BBC Panorama program, The Secret Letters of Pope John Paul II, examined “letters and photographs” of the late Pope to American philosopher Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka to whom he showed deep affection. They were close friends for over 30 years.

The Vatican said it came as “no great revelation that Pope John Paul II had deep friendships with a number of people, men and women alike” and that it is known he had close friendships both with...READ MORE

Filed under john paul ii, lent, priestly celibacy

Pope Scolds Over-Exuberant Pilgrim After He Makes Him Fall Over Child

02/17/2016 Comments (7)

Pope Francis lost his temper with a member of the crowd during his visit to Morelia, Mexico, yesterday, after the enthusiastic pilgrim pulled the Holy Father towards him, causing the Pope to fall over a child in front of him.

The Pope, who was handing out rosaries to the crowd at the time, showed visible frustration and scolded the person who is out of shot, saying in Spanish, “Please! What is happening to you? Don’t be selfish! Don’t be selfish!”.

The Vatican’s Spanish language media attaché, Father Manuel Dorantes, tweeted that the Pope’s reaction was “completely understandable” given the circumstances, while one of the Pope’s closest advisors, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, tweeted...READ MORE

Filed under mexico, pope francis

Vatican on the Zika Virus: Attack the Disease, Not the Victims

02/16/2016 Comments (1)

Ana Carolina Cáceres (Facebook photo via CNA)

Amid growing fears that the  Zika virus epidemic sweeping Latin America could result in a surge of children born with birth defects, the Vatican repudiated efforts by UN agencies and other international organizations to call for the liberalization of abortion laws in the region.

On Feb. 16, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations released a statement that acknowledged the potential health threats posed by the epidemic, which the World Health Organization described as an international "emergency." But the Holy See said concerns about a possible link between transmission of the virus and a potentially serious birth defect did not justify the promotion of abortion...READ MORE

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Here's What Confirmation Is, and How It Changes You

02/16/2016 Comments (4)

Jean II Restout (1692-1768), “Pentecost”

Just a few days ago, I had the enormous privilege of performing my first confirmation as a bishop. It took place at Holy Cross Parish in Moor Park, California, a large, bustling, and bi-lingual parish in my pastoral region. I told the confirmandi - and I meant it - that I would keep them in my heart for the rest of my life, for we were connected by an unbreakable bond. In preparation for this moment, I was, of course, obliged to craft a homily, and that exercise compelled me to do some serious studying and praying around the meaning of this great Sacrament.
It is sometimes said that Confirmation is a sacrament in search of a theology. It is indeed true that most Catholics could probably...READ MORE

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If You Want to Understand the Bible, Listen to the Magisterium

02/16/2016 Comments (9)

(Photo Credit: markus 53, CC0, via Pixabay)

One key corol­lary to the Protes­tant doc­trine of sola scrip­tura is the belief in the “perspicuity”—or clarity—of scrip­ture. It has to be thus; if you claim that Scrip­ture and Scrip­ture alone is the infal­li­ble guide to faith and prac­tice, then you must also claim that Scrip­ture can be read and under­stood by any­one. Easy peasy. Else, what guards against dis­unity? What guards against two peo­ple pick­ing up the text of Scrip­ture and com­ing to wildly diver­gent doc­trines on bap­tism or the Eucharist or jus­ti­fi­ca­tion? That never hap­pens, except to igno­rant, unsta­ble folks. It cer­tainly does not hap­pen to sound-​thinking peo­ple such as myself. And yet, though there may...READ MORE

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