Category Archives: Faith & Reason

“Why I am a Catholic?” is a good question to ask

McGill University professor of History John Zucchi, Canada’s national leader for Communion and Liberation, asks the provocative question in a brief essay, “Why I am a Catholic.” John is a great guy, he’s serious about his faith and he’s sensitive to the movement of the Holy Spirit, but no one would claim he’s a mediocre follower of Christ. The claims of faith in Christ, Zucchi tells us, have to have two criteria borrowing from Luigi Giussani: faith in Christ has to be reasonable and it has to broaden my humanity, a gift given by God Himself. Reason and humanity lead to and exude Mercy. Paraphrasing Cardinal Ratzinger in God and the World, to be a Christian means that you are sympathetic toward one’s humanity that of another; a Christian is accepting of one’s injuries and within these wounds a deeper healing is found.

I highly recommend you read, and re-read God and the World (2002),Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s conversation with Peter Seewald. It’s more than right on target….

Anti-Catholicism, Again: a deeper look into clergy sex abuse

Joseph (Jody) Bottum, Editor of First Things and a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard, wrote what may go down as THE best essay on the sex abuse crisis facing the Catholic Church in the current issue of the Weekly Standard, “Anti-Catholicism: The permanent scandal of the Vatican” (May 3, 2010). Bottum’s piece is long but it’s worth a thorough read. For those looking for the print edition, the article hit the news stands on Saturday in most places but the link is noted above.

MedConference: Medical Care and the Person: The Heart of the Matter

MedConferenc banner.jpgThe MedConference is a three-day medical conference open to physicians, nurses and students of medical and nursing schools.

The theme of the 2010 MedConference will highlight the central role of the ‘person’ in medical care and will focus on the complex need of the patient, including the need to be healed and the need to find a meaning for their suffering.
Medical Care and the Person: The Heart of the Matter
July 16-18, 2010
Hyatt on the Hudson
Jersey City, NJ
Visit the website to see the preliminary program and to enroll (keep in mind that places are limited): 2010 MedConference

Some nuns are against bishops in support of Obama’s healthcare bill

Yesterday, Network: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, released a letter in support of Obama’s bill (HR 3590) to overhaul US healthcare. Obama proposal and the bill put forward is morally flawed.

The signatories claim that they represent 59,000 –an overstated number– religious sisters while they join the Catholic Health Association which has 1200 healthcare related organizations and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) directly oppose the Catholic teaching. The letter advocating the passing of the healthcare bill is being delivered to each member of Congress today. The text of the letter can be read here.
The Council of major Superiors of Women Religious rejects the position of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and all other groups who stand against the Church and her bishops.
This is not about mere differing views on a hot topic. It is about faith AND reason, doing justice in an effort to safeguard the dignity of each person, from conception to natural death. No healthcare bill can be supported with provisions for abortion or any other medical procedure that offends life. We have a right to good healthcare but not at the expense of the unborn and morally unsound principles. This is a matter concerning the well-being of those who are vulnerable, poor and everyone else because they have a right to life and a right healthcare. What the Church wants most of all is a healthcare bill that protects life, dignity and freedom of conscience of each person with an ethically sound judgment on healthcare.
The letter the sisters are giving today to Congress is an act of disobedience toward the leadership of the US Bishops and against solid, verifiable Catholic teaching. The sisters neither represent the Church nor are they charged with the salvation of souls as ordained bishops are and therefore are purposely misleading the faithful and any other person of good will. Do not be fooled into thinking that the congregations of sisters think with the Church for the good of salvation. These religious orders of sisters have set themselves against communion with the Catholic Church and against the US bishops position for a comprehensive, wholistic healthcare package that is affordable.
The US Catholic Conference statement on the healthcare bill under consideration
Family Life & Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of New York has a good plan of action.

Seminary and Sex

Creation of Eve Michelangelo.jpgSexuality is a beautiful part of being human and it is a gift from God that needs to be known, understood, appreciated and embraced (no pun intended). Sexuality is a holy part of being a man or a woman. Unfortunately, that’s not the message we receive in secular society and it is infrequently heard from the pulpit in Catholic churches and very likely not in other Christian communities. Unheard of from the pulpit, that is, until Pope John Paul II introduced his monumental work, Theology of the Body. But that’s a topic for another time. Sexuality is not just a religious issue, it is a human issue and everything human is of our interest.

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly ran an interesting story on sexuality. I will say it makes some good points BUT there are some views that are inconsistent with Catholicism. OK, but that’s a not a good reason not to watch the story! Familiarize yourself with the issues –watch the video and read something on the Theology of the Body. AND don’t be scared.
At places like St Joseph’s Seminary there’s a course on human sexuality taught by Father John Bonnici, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Father Bonnici deals with the physiological, psychological, relational, spiritual and theological aspects of human sexuality viz. priestly ministry. AND I am glad to have the class. It is a forum for us to intelligently speak about human sexuality matters while considering the pastoral issues at hand that we will encounter in the parish setting. Learning on the job is not an adequate response any longer… sorry….

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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