- Wednesday, 19 December 2012 11:00
Chicago’s archbishop, Francis Cardinal George, soon to be 76, spoke to 45 members of his Archdiocese Pastoral Council on November 17th about the need to clarify what we as Catholics believe and how we ought to live if we want to make a contribution to any of the national dialogues. For example, had the topic been center stage at the time of the meeting, the cardinal may asked a question like, given the tragedy in Newtown, CT, how would an informed and reasonable Catholic respond to matters: of mental health, to the Second Amendment, to God’s role in our life with such violence?
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- Wednesday, 19 December 2012 08:51
In the days following the Newtown tragedy many people are applying the concept of hero to those who lived and died with dignity offering themselves for the good of others. The adults at the Sandy Hook School can certainly be labeled as a heros. We can also bestow the title of hero on those who responded: police and fire personnel, healthcare professionals and social workers, and members of the clergy and consecrated religious.
Here on Communio I want to single out the good and exemplary witness of Monsignor Robert Weiss, Father Ignacio Oritgas, Father Luke Suarez, Sister Mary Ellen Genova, CSFN and Sister M. Thaddeus Rajka, CSFN. The deacons are to be mentioned here, too. Each of them, with affection for the self lived the law of the Gift given in spirit of the family.
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- Thursday, 15 November 2012 10:27
Alexia Kelly is the new president of a prominent Catholic fundraising office in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC.
Ms Kelley holds a Masters degree in theology from Harvard Divinity School is reportedly committed to dialogue with others for the sake of advancing the common good, and interested in Catholic charitable works. Her resume includes being a former employee of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development; the executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good; the Deputy Director and Senior Policy Advisor for the Whites Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; and the First Lady’s Office, for whom she launched Let’s Move Faith and Communities. Most recently Kelley’s been the director of the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the HHS.
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- Tuesday, 13 November 2012 11:24
The front page
of today’s New Haven Register carried an article by Jordan Fenster,
“Right-to-die bill may be discussed by legislature” by which the citizens of
Connecticut were alerted to the possibility that in the next session of the
legislature the question of assisted suicide will be on the table. Following
the defeat of Massachusetts ballot on the same subject last week, the contagion is now again flowing south. Already three US states, Oregon, Montana and Washington, allow for
physician assisted suicide. 34 states prohibit lethal doses of medication that
would end human life.
Let me say from the outset, this is not a Catholic issue. Persons of belief and unbelief ought to be concerned about the potential passing of a law that legalizes medically induced suicide. Hence, this is not a conservative issue. This is not a an anti-human dignity issue. It
is just the opposite: this is a human issue. Who we are a human beings, and how
we teach each other is a human issue that is informed by what we believe and
how we behave. Committing this legislative error is a problem of education.
Recall that in the past when a similar bill was brought to the CT voters it failed only 51-49%.
Several weeks ago there appeared in the New York Times an
intriguing OP-ED article that I believe we need to seriously consider in the
discussion of physician assisted suicide. Considering voices that differ from ours need to be thoughtfully taken into account because we are people use who reason to frame our moral lives. We can’t simply dismiss the other and therefore I appeal to people of belief and unbelief to reasonably discuss what’s at stake. When we rush the discuss without fact we always get burned.
In my opinion not enough attention has been devoted
to considering how this legislation has been lived out in this country and in
others, nor have we considered the philosophical, theological, sociological and
human consequences of such an act. Most often our heart-strings are pulled, even stretched leading us to decide weighty matters without due attention to the reality in front of us –to the person and people and intimately connected with life and death issues. We also don’t always adequately consider the eternal consequences of killing someone before natural death happens.
Who’s life are we “making dignified” by engaging death before it’s naturally
presented? What really is human dignity? What does it mean to be truly a man or
a woman in relationship with other men and women here-and-now, and following
death? To what extent does fear, anxiety and perceived suffering dictate how we
think and act toward others? Are we sufficiently aware of and sensitive to the difference between ideology and being a person, no matter how debilitated?
Here is Ben Mattlin’s October 31, 2012 New York
Times article published online.
Suicide by Choice? Not So Fast
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- Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:01
As a matter of good citizenship, as a concern for faith and public order, for faith and reason, you and I need to vote according to a fully formed conscience.
Don’t let your discouragement in the political campaigns be a good reason for not voting. In a democracy not to vote in a significant election is near sinful.