Category Archives: Faith & Reason

Unpacking the Pope’s World Day of Peace message for 2012

On January 1, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Mother
of God, the open the new civil year, and we observe the World Day of Peace. The
Pope gives a message on this day that sort of works as a programmatic statement
for his work throughout the year. 2012 is a year to work on the virtue of
justice. At some point the future I will define the virtue of justice more than
“giving another his or her just due.” The Pope clarified his thinking on justice which can be read here.

Mario Toso.jpg

The secretary of the Pontifical Council
for Justice and Peace
, the number 2 person at the Council, Bishop Mario Toso,
SDB, 61, spoke about the meaning of the Pope’s message for the Day, titled “Educate
Young People in Justice and Peace
.” His interview with Mercedes de la
Torre from January 10 with Zenit follows:

ZENIT spoke with the Salesian bishop,
professor of social philosophy, former rector of the Pontifical Salesian
University and Consultor for 20 years of the Pontifical Council for Justice and
Peace, about Benedict XVI’s message.

ZENIT: Why does Benedict XVI address young
people in particular in this 45th Message for the World Day of Peace?

Read more ...

Christopher Hitchens, 62, RIP

Christopher Hitchens.jpegThe widely known public atheist Christopher Hitchens, 62, died from complications of pneumonia and cancer of the esophagus. He was Oxford educated and the author of several books who worked as a new correspondent and literary critic.

There’s a YouTube 2008 presentation of an interview between Christopher Hitchens and Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete that I recommend. They are here: Video (you and access the video clips by looking at the index).
May God be good to him. (I can say this because I believe in God even if Christopher didn’t.)

Archbishop Wenski: Protect rights of conscience, Mr. President

Thomas Wenski.jpg

In today’s editorial piece, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski personally addressed the US President Barack Obama on matters pertaining to conscience and religious freedom. Conscience is more than a policy; conscience is a basic human right given by God Himself. It is good piece for all to read –especially Catholics– as it outlines recent history lest we forget. Wenski is right to bring to light the transgressions on conscience by this Administration. Our thanks to the Archbishop for teaching the faith. Thoughts?

In May 2009, President Obama gave the commencement address at Notre Dame University and received an honorary degree. That Notre Dame would confer an honorary degree on an elected official who advances abortion rights in contradiction to Catholic teaching caused no small controversy among many Catholics throughout the United States.

Those who supported Notre Dame felt vindicated, however, when in his speech the President promised tohonor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion,” stating that his Administration would provide “sensible” protections for those who wanted no involvement in the procedure. This would presumably include health-care providers, social-service providers, and consumers who might otherwise have to pay through their health-care plans for other people’s abortions. Obama later reiterated this position to Catholic newspaper editors, stating that he would make such protections “robust.”

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New subcommittee for Health Care Issues formed by Catholic Bishops

On 14 November the US Catholic bishops established a permanent Subcommittee on Health Care Issues to deal with the highly contentious subject. The subcommittee will be under the supervision of the Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine which is now chaired by Donald William Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC. Wuerl will appoint members of this new subcommittee. The bishops have followed through on their own recommendation from the June 2011 meeting to make this project a reality.

Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell strongly supported the new subcommittee of the relation of health care to “the Gospel mission of the Church” and because the bishops need to have a handle on the “billions and billions of dollars in funding.” Mansell also said, “We run the risk of losing a major ministry of the Church if we don’t keep a close eye on health care issues.” 
Cardinal Donald Wuerl will be succeeded by the Archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis John C. Nienstedt.
The list of the bishops and consultants to the Doctrine committee is noted here.
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Adult Stem Cell research, ethics –has support of the Catholic Church

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI met recently with the participants in the conference, “Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture,” meeting 9-11 November, in Rome. The Pope’s November 12th address can be read here where he underscores the unique opportunity to discover the beauty of human life in all its complexities through the work of science. He points out that there are possibilities for the healing of chronic degenerative illnesses. He advocates for an ethic that respects the integral good of human life and the common good of society, especially citing Dignitas Personae.

He’s lending his voice to scientific research which gives the best outcome to regenerative medicine. Dr Robin L. Smith and her company, NeoStem, organized the symposium with key Vatican offices.
Listen to a Rome Reports clip on the meeting.
Here’s a previous post about this meeting.
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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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