Category Archives: Church (ecclesiology)

Church has role proposing a more excellent way: happiness & freedom


At 11:30 am, Rome time, Pope Benedict XVI met with the bishops of region IV (Baltimore, Delaware, Virginia, DC and the Military Services) to give his address during their Ad Limina

Below is a selection of the Pope’s text, (emphasis mine):

For her part, the Church in the United States is
called, in season and out of season, to proclaim a Gospel which not only
proposes unchanging moral truths but proposes them precisely as the key to
human happiness and social prospering
(cf. Gaudium et Spes, 10). To the extent
that some current cultural trends contain elements that would curtail the
proclamation of these truths, whether constricting it within the limits of a
merely scientific rationality, or suppressing it in the name of political power
or majority rule, they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also
to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate
vocation, our relationship to God. When a culture attempts to suppress the
dimension of ultimate mystery, and to close the doors to transcendent truth, it
inevitably becomes impoverished and falls prey
, as the late Pope John Paul II
so clearly saw, to reductionist and totalitarian readings of the human person
and the nature of society.

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Cardinal Francis Eugene George, OMI, turns 75, submits resignation

Cardinal George OMI.jpgToday is Cardinal Francis Eugene George’s 75th birthday. Congrats and continued blessings!!!

His Eminence is this nation’s highest profiled cardinal and bishop who is a superb public thinker as well as a pastor of souls. Since 1997 he’s been the archbishop of Chicago and since 1998 he’s been a member of the College of Cardinals. Both positions were given to him by Blessed  Pope John Paul II.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law says of a bishop who reaches his 75th birthday:
A diocesan bishop who has completed the seventy-fifth year of age is requested to present from office to the Supreme Pontiff, who will make provision after he has examined all the circumstances (401).
The Chicago Tribune ran this article today.
Pray for Cardinal George and for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
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Ordination of bishops

Today the Pope ordained, or consecrated, if you will, two priests as bishops of the Holy Roman Church. Noteworthy is the New York native, now Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Charles John Brown, 52, until now an official in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. May I note that among other things Archbishop Brown is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Rome’s Benedictine school, Sant’Anselmo (places close to my heart)! A snippet of the Benedict’s homily follows:

Charles Brown.jpg… how can we fail to recognize in all this certain essential elements of episcopal ministry? The bishop too must be a man of restless heart, not satisfied with the ordinary things of this world, but inwardly driven by his heart’s unrest to draw ever closer to God, to seek his face, to recognize him more and more, to be able to love him more and more. The bishop too must be a man of watchful heart, who recognizes the gentle language of God and understands how to distinguish truth from mere appearance. The bishop too must be filled with the courage of humility, not asking what prevailing opinion says about him, but following the criterion of God’s truth and taking his stand accordingly – “opportune – importune”. He must be able to go ahead and mark out the path. He must go ahead, in the footsteps of him who went ahead of us all because he is the true shepherd, the true star of the promise: Jesus Christ. And he must have the humility to bend down before the God who made himself so tangible and so simple that he contradicts our foolish pride in its reluctance to see God so close and so small. He must devote his life to adoration of the incarnate Son of God, which constantly points him towards the path.

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John Patrick Cardinal Foley: God’s voice dies

John Patrick Foley and Benedict.jpgEarlier today, John Patrick Cardinal Foley, 76, died as a result of cancer.

Until February Cardinal Foley was the Grand Master of Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre, and before this, he was the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
He’s universally recognized as the Church’s voice for many years having been the commentator for papal events for 24 years in Rome.
A priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for 49 years, Foley was anchored to his home wherever he went.
With the Church we pray…

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The Church is alive, complacency is not an option, Archbishop Chaput told his people

Of any fair-minded and competent person it is a daunting task of taking on the work of the Chief Shepherd of a very large (nearly 1.5 million Catholics) local church is enough to make one have second thoughts but imagine taking on a project that’s been rocked by low morale among the faithful and clergy, numerous victims of sexual misconduct, of a troubled school and parish systems and the like. But that is what the 67 year old Capuchin Friar-Archbishop is doing in Philadelphia. Rebuilding the Lord’s church as Saint Francis of Assisi was exhorted, Archbishop Charles has completed only 3 months of service in Philadelphia and he’s fresh from a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and now a letter oriented to setting a straighter path to Christ.

Consider in brief, Chaput’s words:

Charles J. Chaput coat of arms.jpeg

Complacency is the enemy of faith. To whatever degree complacency and pride once had a home in our local Church, events in the coming year will burn them out. The process will be painful. But going through it is the only way to renew the witness of the Church; to clear away the debris of human failure from the beauty of God’s word and to restore the joy and zeal of our Catholic discipleship.

These words may sound sobering, but they are spoken with love as a father and a brother. They are a plea to take our baptism seriously; and to renew our local Church with Christian charity, justice and zeal. As Scripture reminds us so frequently: Do not be afraid. God uses poor clay to create grandeur and beauty. He can certainly use us to renew and advance the work of the Church — and he will.

The full text of the pastoral letter can be read here: Pastoral Letter to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Abp Charles Chaput December 8, 2011.pdf

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]yahoo.com.
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