- Sunday, 24 June 2012 15:45
A person who attends a bible study I organize asked if indulgences are still possible, in vogue, as it were. “Weren’t they done away with at Vatican II?”, I was asked. I assured this person that indeed indulgences were still a common practice in the Catholic Church and that they have received a renewed sensibility with Benedict XVI. THE thing that catapulted the Church into the protestant revolution is now being talked about with seriousness and sincerity because it is realized that the practice of giving indulgences does help us to know ourselves and the mercy of God better.
In brief, the Catechism teaches that “The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance” (1471ff).
So, what is an indulgence? Why would a Catholic be interested in knowing more about indulgences?
“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”
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- Wednesday, 14 March 2012 06:58
Several weeks ago Jennifer Fulwiler published a story in the National Catholic Register, “Father, We’re Ready for that Homily on Contraception Now” where she writes about a priest who dealt with Humane Vitae and the problems of contraception. Remember Humane Vitae from 1968? It was THAT encyclical written by the Servant of God Pope Paul VI that spoke about the beauty of human love and was roundly dismissed for for being out-of-touch with contemporary human experience. It is far from being draconian.
Well, one ought to read Humane Vitae
without the ideological sunglasses and look around to see if Pope Paul was correct. Look at the Pope’s predictions and see if they are readily present in society today. Consider, though, the whole document to see if what the Pope is speaking of is germane to an authentic life of faith and beauty of human love. Sexuality and love are indeed beautiful gifts of God given to us for our happiness today leading us, God-willing, to full communio with the Trinity in the life to come.
Just for the record, two Dominican priests at the Church of Saint Catherine of Siena in New York City in recent weeks have spoken of Humane Vitae
in homilies. They advocated a new reappraisal of the letter and a grasp on its truth. So, you do hear the words “Humane Vitae” publicly at Sunday Mass and Vespers.
Fulwiler’s article has a link to her priest’s homily.
- Tuesday, 14 February 2012 19:55
Several days ago the Business Insider published a fascinating story: “Time To Admit It: The Church Has Always Been Right On Birth Control” by Michael Brendan Dougherty and Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry. Read it. You may agree with the exposition of the authors. Can’t contradict experience. Recall: this publication is not connected with the Catholic Church.
Pope Paul VI continues to be vilified for teaching the beauty of sex is indeed Catholic, beautiful and reasonable, that the contraceptive mentality leads to a wrong, destructive end of humanity, that abortion is always wrong and that women should not be used as objects (e.g., porn).
Let those who have ears, hear.
- Saturday, 09 April 2011 07:59
tell a story, they’re also worth a thousand words. OK, how much money would you
give to preserve an archive of photography devoted to the Second Vatican
Council? What is preserving photographic memories to such a legendary event
like Vatican II worth to you? I hope much.
In 2009, Sister Leideke Galema, who
managed Foyer Unitas for many years, gave Centro Pro Unione library a gift of 740
photographs taken at Vatican II. This precious collection not only records of
the sessions of the Council, but also include important ecumenical moments from
the pontiﬁcate of the Servant of God Pope Paul VI, including the historic
meeting when he gave his own episcopal ring to the archbishop of Canterbury,
Rome’s Centro Pro Unione is a long time work of the Franciscan
Friars of the Atonement dedicated to ecumenical action, research, and formation
at the Piazza Navona. The Centro’s mission is known through intensive programs,
conferences, courses, and dialogues that attract theologians and academics from
around the world. It’s staff works closely with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and with various ecumenical leaders as well as teaching in the
various theological faculties in Rome.
Foyer Unitas, a ministry of hospitality
operated by the Ladies of Bethany, had since 1950 collaborated with the Centro
in welcoming non-Catholic pilgrims arriving in Rome. During Vatican II, Pope
Paul VI asked Foyer Unitas to provide lodging for the ecumenical observers. The
Centro Pro Unione is working to make this collection available to the public
during the 50 th anniversary of Vatican II’s opening council in Rome later this
year. To support the project and
for more information visit the Friars’ website.