Faith & the Public Order: April 2013 Archives

The small, rural Scilian town of Trapani apparently is a crossroads of culture and history. It is now dealing with the murder of an elderly priest for allegedly giving bad homilies. His assailant, 33 and unemployed, wanted to teach Father a lesson one what he was saying in the pulpit. In some reports, Father Michele DiStefano is said to have spoken in a public fashion of the wrong-doings (sins?) of his people. I hope he wasn't revealing what he heard in the confessional.

Bad preaching can drive people away. Actually, I think music can equally disturbing. If priests read this report they may want to get their affairs in order, or pick up a Father Peter John Cameron's book on preaching, Why Preach: Encountering Christ in God's Word.

I suppose you could make many conclusions about this circumstance, but I think it's if we pray for God's mercy on Father Michele and the man who killed him.
The US Department of Defense has now listed Catholics and Evangelical Christians as religious extremists, that is, religious terrorists. Catholics and Evangelicals are now lumped in the same list as are the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, the KKK and Hamas.

The slide presentation, in the context of talking about the rise of extremism, gives the impression that religious belief, whatever it is, and however it frames its claims for truth and how these truth claims are applied, are the same and to be rejected. Religious tenets can be widely different from another but that doesn't mean they lead to violent actions. Ideas are not intolerant, people can be; faith is a way of knowing the world, a way of perceiving reality, faith relates to matters of salvation. It is true that we need "religious types" need to make sure that the faithful are properly taught what is held by the Church body. If you are interested, here is the offending presentation:  Extremism Presentation & Extremist Organizations.pdf

When I saw this news item the other day I had to say to myself that secularism has now gone to a new level of intolerance and ignorance.
Abp Gerhard Ludwig Mueller & Francis.jpgThe Pope is meeting with all the heads of the various departments of the Holy See. 

Today, there was a meeting with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, 65, to discuss the work of the Congregation and its competence in handling cases of sexual abuse.

Archbishop Müller is the bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Regensburg; he was appointed to his present work on 2 July 2012.

No surprise in that Pope Francis will continue the good work of Pope Benedict in acting quickly and decisively, in excising justice and compassion, and being close to the victims and their families. The unsaid part of this is being attentive to the needs of the people falsely accused. Sin and criminal behavior will not be tolerated in the Church.

No formal message was issued but several news agencies have carried their own analysis of the meeting. Read about the meeting here and the CNS story by Carol Glatz here.
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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page is a archive of entries in the Faith & the Public Order category from April 2013.

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