Bishops' Corner

February 12, 2016

‘Selfies’ and the Search for Self-worth

By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

In 1506, at the age of 23, Raphael produced a beautiful self-portrait now found in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery.  Leonardo da Vinci also gave us a picture of himself in his 1512 Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk.  Likewise, Michelangelo left us his portrait by placing his own face on the flayed skin held by St. Bartholomew in the Sistine Chapel’s Last Judgment.  And then there is Van Gogh.  He painted thirty-seven self-portraits between 1886 and 1889.  Ever since the Renaissance, artists have been...

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January 12, 2016

Truth, Compassion, and Mercy

By Bishop James D. Conley

This week, representatives from high schools across Nebraska will vote on policies to define the scope of participation in high school athletics and other extra-curricular activities.  They will consider whether students should participate in sports and other activities according to the sex into which they were born, or according to a gender of their own choosing.  By the time many of you read this column, the votes will have been cast: if three Nebraska regions support the truth that the...

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December 25, 2015

Bethlehem: The School of Divine Mercy

By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

During the height of her political prowess, ancient Rome boasted of her influence throughout the world. Romans had planted their culture in Athens, Corinth, Jerusalem and Alexandria. They had extended their rule to North Africa to Hadrian's Wall in England and the Antonine Wall in Scotland. Great roads, theaters, public baths, gymnasia and the military muscle of the Roman Empire fostered a sense of security and prosperity. But, there was one thing notably missing from the heart of the Roman...

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December 11, 2015

What good does it do to pray?

By Archbishop José H. Gomez

The terror shootings in San Bernardino continues to trouble me and make me sad. I am praying for the families and loved ones of those who were killed and praying that those who were wounded and traumatized will find comfort and healing. In the aftermath of the shooting, I was sad to see that this simple act of offering prayers is becoming controversial and complicated in our society. On news shows and in the social media, there were some politicians and journalists and...

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December 08, 2015

Consumerism vs. Christmas

By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

In a rather clever social experiment, Coby Persin turned the spotlight on human behavior and motivation. He taped 50 $1 bills to his suit; and, on a bright November day this year, he walked around Manhattan for an hour and a half. With his hands, he held up a sign that said, “Take What You Need.” Some people just passed him by, but not everybody.  A well-dressed businessman stopped and took some money. When questioned if he needed it, he responded that he was taking it because it was...

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November 26, 2015

Let's honor God for the blessings in our lives this Thanksgiving

By Bishop James D. Conley

(Today), most of us will celebrate Thanksgiving around family tables, gathered with those we love, to give thanks to God for the blessings of our lives. We will share a festive meal together, celebrate the gift of family life, and enjoy the comforts of friendship. But as we give thanks for the blessings of our own lives, we should also remember those who suffer tragedy around the world.   As we give thanks this year, we might remember those who were victims of the horrible...

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November 17, 2015

Secular slums and the Francis option

By Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila

In a few short weeks, we will celebrate the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which has great potential to bring many people back to the Lord, and to serve as a launching pad for bringing the Gospel to the spiritual slums created by secularism. Bl. Mother Teresa frequently pointed out that the modern mission field for the West is not overseas but on our shores. The greatest poverty of the West, she would say, is not material poverty but the spiritual poverty that can be seen in...

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October 21, 2015

Holy spouses, holy families: Reflections on the final days of the synod

By Archbishop José H. Gomez

As synod 2015 began its final week of work, Pope Francis canonized a married couple, Louis and Zélie Martin, whose nine children included the Doctor of the Church, St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Louis and Zélie led a humble, hidden life. It was rooted in the rhythms of daily Mass and everyday duties — earning a living, making meals and doing the housework, teaching the children, serving in the community, and simply enjoying time together as a family. The couple knew love and joy and also...

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October 20, 2015

Did Thomas More and John Fisher die for nothing?

By Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila

The idea that Catholics should be allowed to remarry and receive communion did not begin with the letter signed by Cardinal Kasper and other members of the German episcopate in 1993. Another country’s episcopate – England’s – pioneered this experiment in Christian doctrine nearly 500 years ago. At stake then was not just whether any Catholic could remarry, but whether the king could, since his wife had not borne him a son. As with those who advocate for communion for the civilly...

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October 06, 2015

The 2015 Synod: From Confusion to Clarity

By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

Last year, the Extraordinary Synod on the Family took place in Rome from Oct. 5 to19. The participants boldly examined family life in the light of today’s culture. They did not shy away from topics such as the breakdown in marriages, multiple marriages, polygamy, divorce, inter-religious marriages, cohabitation, same-sex relationships, domestic violence as well as the effects of war and immigration on the family. The heated debates, news leaks and media reports stirred vigorous discussion...

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