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Pope Francis Prays for Church to Be ‘Free of Clericalism’ (15597)

The Holy Father encouraged Christians to have a prophetic spirit and avoid the clerical legalism of the Pharisees.

12/17/2013 Comments (41)
CNA/Elise Harris

– CNA/Elise Harris

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis emphasized the need for prophets in the Church in order to prevent a negative spirit of legalism from taking over in his daily homily preached in the St. Martha guest house chapel.

“May our prayer in these days, in these during which we prepare for the birth of the Lord, be: ‘Lord, let there not be a lack of prophets among your people,’” he said on Dec. 16.

“Lord, free your people from a spirit of clericalism and aid them with a spirit of prophecy,” Pope Francis prayed.

Pope Francis said that, in the Gospel, those who met Christ with a spirit of prophecy welcomed him as the Messiah, but without it, “the void that is left is occupied by clericalism; and it...READ MORE

Filed under clericalism, jesus christ, pope francis, pope's homilies

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone Takes St. Francis’ Mission to Heart (4753)

San Francisco’s shepherd discusses the challenges and opportunities that go with being the bishop in a large multicultural region.

12/16/2013 Comments (7)


Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco was installed as the metropolitan archbishop in 2012. In 2008, he came to national attention when, as an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of San Diego, he helped spearhead a campaign that won voter approval of Proposition 8, which effectively banned same-sex “marriage” in the Golden State. Proposition 8 was subsequently overturned following a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

In 2009, he was appointed the fourth bishop of Oakland and was named the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

Since his arrival in San Francisco, he has focused on priestly renewal, seminary...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop salvatore cordileone, catholic faith, faith formation, immigration, pope benedict xvi, pope francis, same-sex "marriage", san francisco, the priesthood

Pope Francis Addresses Marxism Accusations, Women Cardinals (7248)

In a new interview with La Stampa, Pope Francis sets the record straight on several questions raised about his papacy.

12/16/2013 Comments (31)
Stephen Driscoll/CNA

– Stephen Driscoll/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis responded to several questions touching controversial topics that have arisen in his papacy, including accusations of Marxism and rumors of women cardinals, in an interview published over the weekend in the Italian journal La Stampa.

Vatican analyst Andrea Tornielli interviewed Pope Francis and asked him about the accusations of Marxism from “ultra-conservative Americans,” who took issue with certain passages of the Pope’s recent apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. The Holy Father flatly denounced the economic ideology.

“The Marxist ideology is wrong,” he said.

The Pope had severely criticized the assumptions behind “trickle-down theories” in the...READ MORE

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ACLU Lawsuit Puts U.S. Bishops’ Health-Care Directives on Trial (7983)

The legal action claims the directives interfered with proper treatment of a pregnant woman, but Catholic authorities insist they promote moral, high-quality medical care.

12/16/2013 Comments (23)

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit in federal court that holds the U.S. bishops, through their health-care guidelines, accountable for alleged negligent treatment of a pregnant woman at a Michigan Catholic hospital.

The lawsuit, Tamesha Means v. the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, claims that the plaintiff, who had begun to miscarry during her 18th week of pregnancy, was sent home twice and denied appropriate medical information and treatment because the U.S. bishops’ "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs)" prevent Catholic hospital staff from providing abortion services or referrals, “even when doing so...READ MORE

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The Hobbit’s Pilgrimage of Grace (4136)

Book Pick on Bilbo’s Journey by Joseph Pearce.

12/14/2013 Comment


Discovering the Hidden Meaning in The Hobbit

By Joseph Pearce

Saint Benedict Press, 2013

120 pages, $12.95

To order: benedictpress.com


Like all great literature, the work of J.R.R. Tolkien speaks to readers on multiple levels, appeals to all ages and stands the test of time.

In the decades since the publication of Tolkien’s stories of Middle Earth, many books of commentary have deepened our appreciation of them. Now, Joseph Pearce, a self-taught scholar who is well-known for his “literary biographies,” has added his insightful analysis to this body of work.

But Pearce’s analysis is anything but a heavy tome of scholarly erudition. It is intended for the...READ MORE

Filed under j.r.r. tolkien, book picks, the hobbit

‘Am I Not Here Who Am Your Mother?’ (5839)

Remembering Newtown and the Precious Lives Lost

12/13/2013 Comments (9)
John Moore/Getty Images

Paper angels adorn a tree outside the St. Rose of Lima Catholic church Dec. 18, 2012, in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

– John Moore/Getty Images

Editor’s note: The following homily originally appeared Dec. 25, 2012, on the website of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph. Dominican Father Peter John Cameron gave the homily Dec. 23, 2012, at St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, Conn. On the one-year anniversary of the Dec. 14 tragedy, where 20 children and six adults were shot and killed by Adam Lanza, the message is no less relevant. It is reprinted with permission from the author.

December 14th — a day that we will never forget for the rest of our lives — is the feast day of St. John of the Cross. In one of his poems, which is really a prayer, St. John of the Cross says:

Where have You hidden,
Beloved, and...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, coping with tragedy, jesus christ

Bishop Paprocki Defends Faith and Family in the Land of Lincoln (6088)

A conversation with the shepherd of Springfield, Ill.

12/13/2013 Comments (23)

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill.


On Nov. 20, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed same-sex “marriage” into law using President Abraham Lincoln’s desk and incorrectly citing Pope Francis.

Simultaneously, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., performed a minor exorcism at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.

In his homily that day, the bishop also quoted Pope Francis — correctly. As cardinal of Buenos Aires, the Pope said that same-sex “marriage” legislation was a “move of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

Bishop Paprocki, in his words and actions, has shown his people what he stands for, fulfilling the scriptural duties of a bishop, as outlined in Mark...READ MORE

Filed under bishop paprocki, marriage, church teaching, evangelization

Pa. Sexual Orientation Bill Could 'Coerce' Catholic Institutions (6669)

Religious liberty is under attack in a state bill that would prevent Catholic schools from enforcing the morals clause in teacher contracts.

12/13/2013 Comments (28)

– Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Legislation introduced in Pennsylvania to prevent discrimination could end up prohibiting Catholic schools from requiring teachers to abide by Catholic teaching, religious-freedom advocates in the state are warning.

“The Church has been precise, in its moral teachings, in distinguishing between sexual orientation and sexual behavior. It has condemned all forms of hostility to any individual on the basis of her or his actual or perceived sexual orientation,” said Amy Hill, communications director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.

“However, the Church also teaches that sexual activity between persons of the same gender cannot be reconciled with its beliefs and...READ MORE

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