During the past several months, the U.S. bishops have not only followed the health-care debate; but, we — like other citizens interested in the common good — have also tried to shape it.
This past July 25 marked the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s controversial and still little heeded encyclical, “Humanae Vitae” (“On the Regulation of Birth”). Many, both within and without the Church – heady from the many changes initiated by the Second Vatican Council – fully expected that the Church would change her clear and constant teachings on human sexuality and procreation. Proponents of change then argued that the development of the contraceptive pill made such change in teaching not only possible but imperative.
It might seem relatively easy for Congress to reauthorize the lifesaving program for global HIV/AIDS that has enjoyed wide bipartisan support. But for many reasons, it hasn't been.
One of the most compelling scenes of the Gospel is that of Jesus being awaken in the boat by his frightened apostles in the midst of a storm (Matthew 8: 23-27). Jesus calms the storm by rebuking the rain and the wind; but, He also rebukes the disciples for their lack of faith.
I offer this column as an open letter to the young people of our diocese. It is an invitation to vocational discernment, to prayer.
Next week "Shepherd One" will land at Andrew's Air Force Base, and Pope Benedict XVI will begin his brief visit to the United States.
During Lent — and of course in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary — our minds and hearts are turned to meditating on the sufferings of Our Lord: his agony in the garden before his arrest, his painful scourging, the mocking crowning with thorns, his carrying the cross and his crucifixion. We do well to recall how this was visited upon Jesus with state sanction if only to understand why the Church in her teachings condemns torture. Pope Benedict XVI, in a Sept. 6, 2007, address, said, “I reiterate that the prohibition against torture ‘cannot be contravened under any circumstances.’” Torture undermines and debases the human dignity of both victims and perpetrators.
Comprehensive immigration reform midwifed by Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez was stillborn earlier this summer. The consequences of this failure are real.