Bishops' Corner
March 20, 2014
Individual confession and Pope Francis
By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

During the pontificate of the warrior Pope Julius II, in 1510, Martin Luther visited Rome. On entering the city, he dropped to his knees, exclaiming “Salve, Sancta Roma!” He was in awe of this great city. Here Peter and Paul had walked. Here both apostles preached the Gospel. Here the Prince of the Apostles and the Apostle to the Gentiles both died for the faith. Luther went to Rome with pious thoughts of martyrs and saints. He left the city disappointed. The young monk from Erfurt had...

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February 26, 2014
Euthanasia in Belgium: Its true name
By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

In the English language, the word “Spartan” has come to mean austere. The culture of ancient Sparta was so harsh that mothers would send their sons off to war with the warning, “Return with your shield or on it.” Spartan austerity began at birth.  New-born infants were examined and if they were not fit, they were left to die.

Infanticide was not unusual in the ancient world. But in Sparta, it was managed by the state with chilling efficiency. What mattered most was not the...

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February 20, 2014
UN committee's scolding of the Church falls flat
By Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila

When the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a Feb. 5 report criticizing the Church for her beliefs on abortion, contraception and homosexuality and suggested that changing them would help children, it became clear that it has a bigger agenda than protecting kids.

The Vatican does not frequently issue strongly-worded statements, but spokesman Father Federico Lombardi reacted to the committee’s report without mincing words. He charged that the committee not only glossed over the...

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January 30, 2014
Catholic principles and American renewal
By Archbishop José H. Gomez

This is the time of year when our political leaders give their assessments about where we stand or the “state of things.”

Last week, Governor Brown delivered his “state of the state” report for California. And as I write, President Obama is preparing to deliver his State of the Union address.

It is clear that we are living in changing times. Our politics, economics and culture — even our morality and our ideas about human nature and the meaning of life — seem to be in a state of...

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January 30, 2014
What does 'spiritual, but not religious' really mean?
By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

What does 'spiritual, but not religious' really mean?

One of the fastest spreading phrases popping up in serious conversations is the slogan “I am spiritual, but not religious.” Not surprising. Everybody wants to be spiritual, from Hollywood celebrities to sports figures.

Fortunately, today, it is very acceptable to be “spiritual.” Not so acceptable to be “religious.” For some, religion has become a synonym for institution, organization, power and corruption. Yet, “spiritual”...

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January 16, 2014
In need of your prayers
By Bishop James D. Conley

Democracy depends on sound moral judgment.  Of course, that’s true for any political system: good laws are made by good people, by men and women with a well-formed moral sensibility: a sense of justice, and of obligation to fellow citizens.

The idea of democracy is that laws can be made by all of us, that the collective judgment of citizens is sufficient for a nation to rule itself rightly.  The Founding Fathers of our country believed in that idea: they were dedicated to the notion...

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January 09, 2014
Government must not dictate our beliefs
By Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila

Anyone who has ever visited Mullen Home for the Aged and the Little Sisters of the Poor is well aware of the ministry of charity they provide to the elderly and dying at their residential home. They serve those who are on limited incomes and provide a home for them imbued with the values of the Gospel.

The Little Sisters of the Poor have to be one of the least likely groups to sue the federal government, but they did so last September because they cannot compromise their Catholic faith...

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November 22, 2013
The conclusion of the Year of Faith
By Bishop James D. Conley

On Sunday, November 24th, Pope Francis will conclude what Pope Benedict XVI began. With a Mass celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis will call to a close the Church’s Year of Faith.

The Holy Father will end the Year of Faith with an invitation, and with a reminder. He will invite all Catholics to be disciples of Jesus Christ, and he will remind them that Christ’s disciples must always be evangelists.

Last week, Pope Francis sent a message...

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October 03, 2013
Pope Francis - The Reformer
By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

This past August, two men sat and quietly discussed major issues facing the world and the Church. Rev. Antonio Spadaro and Pope Francis. The one, the editor of La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit journal based in Rome; the other, the head of the Catholic Church, the world’s largest Christian Church. On Sept. 19, their thought-provoking and engaging conversation ignited a media explosion. The New York Times headlined its story: “Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed With Gays, Abortion and...

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September 26, 2013
The Pope's interview
By Archbishop José H. Gomez

Everybody is talking about the Pope this week. All over the world, the interview he gave to some Jesuit journalists has been the constant subject of headlines, talk shows, editorials and conversation.

But in our media culture, we have to watch out that we’re not relying too much on secular sources for our news about the Pope and the Church. That’s why the Catholic media is so vital in our day.

Unfortunately, most mainstream reporting on Pope Francis has not been really accurate. The...

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