Tag Archives: faith and the Public Order

Priest killed allegedly for giving bad homilies

The small, rural Scilian town of Trapani apparently is a crossroads of culture and history. It is now dealing with the murder of an elderly priest for allegedly giving bad homilies. His assailant, 33 and unemployed, wanted to teach Father a lesson one what he was saying in the pulpit. In some reports, Father Michele DiStefano is said to have spoken in a public fashion of the wrong-doings (sins?) of his people. I hope he wasn’t revealing what he heard in the confessional.

Bad preaching can drive people away. Actually, I think music can equally disturbing. If priests read this report they may want to get their affairs in order, or pick up a Father Peter John Cameron’s book on preaching, Why Preach: Encountering Christ in God’s Word.
I suppose you could make many conclusions about this circumstance, but I think it’s if we pray for God’s mercy on Father Michele and the man who killed him.

A focus on mission, Pope Francis points to direction

Pope Francis met with media

Pope Francis met with media

I don’t think Pope Francis will be too different from the last several Roman Pontiffs. As bishop of Rome he will preach and teach, govern and sanctify.The Pope’s un-programatic homily is in fact programatic if you can read the details. In some ways Francis’s homily is an Aesopian creature.

First, style is substance. Second, the liturgical preaching thus far indicates a trajectory. Third, focus on the Pope’s connection with people of belief and unbelief because this connection ought to be assessed for the facts and and not cliché. What the Pope said and what he’s done matters. Who’s present, and who’s not. (And this data is not to be reduced to politics.) All this is to say that you can’t miss “a trick” if you really want to know what and who Pope Francis is, and why he is doing what he’s doing and with whom. 
We are living nothing different from what Blessed John Paul and Pope Benedict did in their pontificates. Three things to pray for daily: conversion, vocation and mission.
A “news” man and priest whom I respect very much is the editor-in-chief for AsiaNews.it, Bernardo Cervellera. Tonight, his article, “Like Benedict, mission is Pope Francis’s focus,” captures what I am indicating and what I am urging you to attend.
Want to be informed about Christianity, and the global Church of Christ, read AsiaNews.it.
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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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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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