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Bishops' Corner
May 15, 2014
A codicil to the whole 'black mass' brouhaha at Harvard
By Bishop Christopher Coyne

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the story regarding the proposed staging of a black mass by members of the Satanic temple on the Harvard University campus allegedly using a "consecrated" host.  The "reenactment" was to be sponsored by a student group affiliated with the Harvard Extension School as an "educational" experience. Even after a strong and vehement plea from Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, the "mass" was going to be allowed to take place since...

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May 09, 2014
Our moral obligation to vote
By Bishop James D. Conley

Catholic education played a vital role in the founding of our nation.

Among the signers of the Declaration of Independence was Charles Carroll, a Catholic landowner who had been educated in Catholic schools in Maryland and in France—even receiving a Catholic legal education in France. Charles Carroll was one of the earliest advocates for American independence. In the early 1770s, he began writing newspaper columns supporting independence. He funded the early tea-protests against British...

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April 15, 2014
This Holy Week, innocents are at risk
By Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila

This week, as we recall the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, the theme of innocence has been on my mind and in my heart.

Jesus was, as Isaiah prophesied, oppressed and afflicted, “yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter” (Is. 53:7).

An address that Pope Francis gave this past week to representatives of the Italian Pro-life Movement also brings innocence to mind. He warned the group about the growth of a “throw away culture” that discards...

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April 10, 2014
Today’s fiery furnaces
By Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila

In the first reading for this Wednesday, April 9, we hear about three faithful Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—who disobeyed the king’s command to worship an idol, fully aware that a horrible death awaited them. For some of us, this famous story might be hard to relate to, but it is more relevant for our times than you might realize.

I am inspired by the profound courage of these men who trusted so deeply in God’s plan for them that they were willing to defy their king and...

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April 03, 2014
A gathering that needs our support
By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap.

This week's column is brief. But the subject matter warrants all our attention.

Again this June, our nation's bishops have asked Catholics across the country to observe a "Fortnight for Freedom." The theme this year is "Freedom to Serve." It highlights the many Catholic social and charitable ministries that serve the poor, the homeless and other vulnerable groups in our country, but that now face growing government interference. Details on the Fortnight will be made available throughout the...

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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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