Viewpoint

January 28, 2016

Lay ecclesial ministry programs need careful implementation

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Lay ecclesial ministry programs are a significant development in the Catholic Church in the U.S. Candidates are proposed by the pastor, trained by the diocese, installed by the bishop, and officially designated as lay ecclesial ministers. Lay ecclesial ministry is still in the early stages of implementation and, understandably, exhibits some growing pains. Among these are a lack of clarity about this ministry and some exorbitant claims made for it. It is, for instance, held that lay...

(Read more)

January 21, 2016

Some items that caught my attention recently

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

I find that my occasional brief commentaries on news and other items are popular with readers. So here are some things that caught my attention recently. 1. Against my better judgment, I went to see the movie “Star Wars” recently. I hated it! I couldn’t stand the silly dialogue, the talking machines (who were ugly as sin), the junky space ship (which was much uglier than sin), and the deafening noise. I left half way through. Since the movie is an unprecedented box office hit, my...

(Read more)

January 07, 2016

Broken reeds, smoldering wicks, and the Church’s ministry

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Every time we come to the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord, I think of one of my favorite scriptural passages taken from the prophet Isaiah. God’s servant, the prophet declares, brings forth justice “not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street.” And in powerful words, the passage says of God’s servant: “A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench.” Applied to the Church today, the fundamental message is that the role of God’s...

(Read more)

December 17, 2015

Child sexual abuse is not just a Catholic problem

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The movie “Spotlight” (which I saw last week, and thought remarkably fair—not at all expressive of the familiar media attacks on the Catholic Church) has again opened up discussion about the issue of child abuse in the Catholic Church. The movie portrays the disastrous handling of sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston over a number of decades. “Boz” Tchivividjian (don’t ask me how to pronounce the name) offered an insightful commentary in a Religion News Service blog last week entitled...

(Read more)

December 10, 2015

'Spirituality' without 'religion' does not hold up

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

When Bill de Blasio was elected Mayor of New York in 2013, he told reporters at a press conference that he was “spiritual but not religious”—thus giving a familiar theme nowadays heightened publicity. For many people, being spiritual has to do with inner feelings and conscience and a vague belief in God. There is no need of religion; in fact religion, with its creeds, codes of conduct, scriptures, sacraments, teaching authority, and clergy, gets in the way of a truly spiritual life....

(Read more)

December 03, 2015

The Pact of the Catacombs is still relevant today

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

On November 16, 1965, near the end of the Second Vatican Council, 42 bishops attending the Council met together in the catacombs of St. Domatilla in Rome, celebrated Mass, and signed a covenant committing themselves to lives of simplicity, frugality, and humility. The document is known as “The Pact of the Catacombs.” Drawn up anonymously, so as to avoid the appearance of grandstanding on the part of the signatories, the Pact was circulated to all the bishops at the Council, and...

(Read more)

November 12, 2015

Reception of Communion from the chalice is intrinsic to the Mass

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2003) provides the protocol for the reception of Communion from the chalice by all members of the assembly, not just the clergy: “Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it is distributed under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clear expression is given of the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant in ratified in the Blood or Christ, as also the relationship between...

(Read more)

November 05, 2015

Liturgy is work — not 'fun' or entertainment

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

I was taken aback recently when a sixth-grader from our parish school told me as he left the church with his classmates after a school Mass that he thought the Mass that day was “fun.” I tried to interpret this in benign terms, thinking that the young man’s liturgical vocabulary was still underdeveloped. Yet, I still wince at the thought that Mass is “fun.” Because we live in a society notable for its entertainment and consumer culture, we are easily inclined to see everything in...

(Read more)

October 29, 2015

All Saint’s Day includes every man and woman of goodwill

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The month of November opens with the celebration of one of the richest feasts of the liturgical year, the Solemnity of All Saints.  On this day, the Church celebrates the festival of God’s holy city and the redeemed citizenry of heaven. The feast of All Saints celebrates all those who lived in the model of Christ and inspired their fellow men and women in a remarkable way.  The saints made a great difference in the world, and even now they continue to inspire us to do great...

(Read more)

October 19, 2015

Prosperity Gospel is a travesty of the Good News of Christ

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Perhaps the most appalling aspect of televangelism is what is called “the prosperity gospel,” that is the conviction that God rewards faithful Christians with money and a prosperous mode of life when they support a ministry financially.  Sums of money that often stretch the finances of the faithful to breaking point are implicitly encouraged by television pastors. By donating “seed” money to the ministry, the congregant is promised a bountiful harvest. This kind of preaching and...

(Read more)

Recent activity:

Follow us:

Check out Catholic News Agency Polls on LockerDome on LockerDome