Category Archives: Faith & the Public Order

113th United States Congress took office


The 113th United States Congress was sworn into office today.

Our prayers ought to be with them,

O God, who arrange all things in wondrous order and govern in marvelous ways, look with favor on the assembled, for whom we now pray, and mercifully pour out upon them the spirit of your wisdom, that they may decide everything for the well-being and peace of all and may never turn aside from your will. 

By the numbers: 13 new senators, 84 new congress people. This freshman class has a Kennedy, a reindeer farmer and animal vet; 2 physicists in Congress. The longest in office, 38 years, is Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Catholics are concerned for the common good, the good working of the public order.

Locked doors, open hearts -to Satan

Father George Rutler, pastor of the Church of Our Saviour (NYC) wrote the following in a recent newsletter that ought to be part of our ongoing reflection on what happened to the good people of the Sandy Hook Elementary School:

Locking school doors will not keep Satan out if our
hearts are open to him. Nor will banning weapons ban murder if God is banned
from the conscience. Cain slew Abel without a gun. An illogical world can be
saved from self-destruction only by loving the Logos who was in the Beginning,
who was with God and was God.

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In a fractured world is Pope Benedict calling for political engagement?

benedict to curia.jpg

Pope Benedict
gave his annual address, a “State of the Church,” if you will, to the curial officials
of the Holy See today. 

You might say the content talk is crucially relevant for the
work of the Church and the proclamation of the Gospel as he reviews key events
and focuses on some themes.  Among many things which need our attention and reflection,
the Pope spoke about nature of man, family life, and inter-religious dialogue.
Regarding man in which he gave insight into, he speaks of how evil and destructive vague and
ideological the “gender conscious crowd” is to the nature of the person and removes God from conversation. Read the full text here.

The Pope notes the crisis of the family and its effect on society, caused by the
unwillingness to make a commitment and by unwillingness to suffer.  But he
goes beyond the symptoms to diagnose the cause of the crisis. This talk is not an attack, it is an appeal to truth.

Each of Pope
Benedict’s addresses to the Roman Curia are important, certainly the 2005
address stands out, but today’s will be memorable. 

Here’s a section:

First of
all there is the question of the human capacity to make a commitment or to
avoid commitment. Can one bind oneself for a lifetime? Does this correspond to
man’s nature? Does it not contradict his freedom and the scope of his
self-realization? Does man become himself by living for himself alone and only
entering into relationships with others when he can break them off again at any
time? Is lifelong commitment antithetical to freedom? Is commitment also worth
suffering for? Man’s refusal to make any commitment – which is becoming
increasingly widespread as a result of a false understanding of freedom and
self-realization as well as the desire to escape suffering – means that man
remains closed in on himself and keeps his ‘I’ ultimately for himself, without
really rising above it. Yet only in self-giving does man find himself, and only
by opening himself to the other, to others, to children, to the family, only by
letting himself be changed through suffering, does he discover the breadth of
his humanity. When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human
existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child – essential elements of the
experience of being human are lost”.

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Cardinal Francis George details keeping Catholic faith part of American consensus

English: Coat of arms of Francis cardinal Geor...

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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From Nazareth to the street

Srs Mary Ellen and Jude Thaddeus CSFN Newtown.jpgIn 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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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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