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Monday, October 19, 2015

Synod Diary: “The Church’s mission is to save souls."

Intrinsic Evils, Final Realities, and the Synod | Dr. Samuel Gregg | As St. Pope John Paul II's "Veritatis Splendor" reminds us, the idea that there are intrinsically evil acts has always been central to Catholic ethics. Without it, Catholic morality would cease to be Catholic.

The template the Synod seems to have forgotten | Mary Beth Bonacci | The discussion of doctrine by bishops seems to revolve primarily around “where is the line between doctrine and discipline?” and “how far can we cut into the doctrine without formally changing it?”

No Cross, no Kingdom. Know the Cross, know the Kingdom. | Carl E. Olson | “No pain, no gain.” The well-known saying became popular among exercise enthusiasts in the 1980s. None of those sloganeers, I’m guessing, had the Passion and death of Jesus Christ in mind.

Synod Diary: “The Church’s mission is to save souls." | Mary Jo Anderson | The parents of St. Therese of Lisieux were canonized this morning in Piazza San Pietro. And a Romanian doctor offers a stunning intervention.

Cardinal Marx openly promotes Communion for divorced-and-remarried | CNA | The German prelate tells fellow bishops at Synod that "we should seriously consider the possibility to admit civilly divorced and remarried believers to the sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion.”

“Spiritual Friendship” and Ministering to the Same-Sex Attracted | Dr. Rachel Lu | The “Spiritual Friendship” bloggers are the most visible spokesmen for what it means to be orthodox Christians and gay, but elements of their approach are inconsistent, and can hamper those genuinely anxious to help.

Thoughts and Questions about Immigration | James Kalb | It’s evident that immigration, like most issues of public policy, is a matter of prudence, and serious Catholics will disagree on the answers--so informed and intelligent discussion is needed

The Quebecoise Alternative to the St. Gallen Mafia | Tracey Rowland | Cardinal Marc Ouellet, author of Mystery and Sacrament of Love, does not think it possible to allow Communion to the divorced and remarried without doing violence to the sacramental ontology

Newman, The Oxford Movement, and the Hunger for Dogma | Edward Short | There are some fine essays in The Oxford Movement: Europe and the Wider World 1830-1930 but the collection ultimately fails to address the real heart of the movement that Newman left behind.

Annulment Reform and Pastoral Challenges for Struggling Couples | Leslie Fain | While recent reforms to the annulment process may be a blessing for some, other struggling couples may find them an additional source of anxiety.

"The Church has no authority...”: On the Limits of the Pope | Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille | Papal authority cannot be used to promote favored papal causes, no matter how noble. It is to be used to keep the Church one and focused on the one true God.

Law and Lawfulness, Obedience and Justice | James Patrick | Although the post-modern, secular state may write codes, exact penalties, and levy punishments, these legal entities are ultimately responsible before a higher court.

Assisted suicide: The nightmare has become the reality | Russell Shaw | Although even advocates of the right to die generally concede the need for safeguards against abuses, the dynamic of the underlying ideology encourages step by step movement in a radical direction.

Love, Truth, and Pastoral Care | Mary Jo Anderson | Encouraging any disorder—whatever it may be—is not an act of love, but an act of surrender that leaves the person in bondage to the disorder.

Pius XII, co-conspirator in tyrannicide | George Weigel |A new book adds a mass of new evidence to what we know about what the Pope and the Church did to deal with Hitler and German National Socialism.

Pope Francis and True Mercy | Bishop Robert Barron | Why I balk at the suggestion that the new Pope represents a revolution or that he is dramatically turning away from the example of his immediate predecessors.

The Martian is an interstellar Robinson Crusoe, without the introspection | Lauren Enk Mann | Ridley Scott’s latest sci-fi film is compelling and entertaining, but avoids deeper questions.

“Christ was truly present”: Some personal reflections on the World Meeting of Families | Suzanne Schoen H armon | More than 20,000 pilgrims from more than 100 countries attended the six-day event, held in Philadelphia’s enormous and handsome Convention Center. Delegates came in every shape, size, and race and spoke a wide range of languages.

Cardinal Kasper resorts to the "F" word in addressing critics | Mark Brumley | The German prelate needs to stop acting as if nuanced, critical theological reflection happens only on his side of the debate and that his opponents are unthinking Bible-thumping "fundamentalists".

The Mystery of Creation and the Sacrament of Marriage | Carl E. Olson | Divorce is rampant, adultery is common, and “same-sex marriage” now appears to be an inevitable social and cultural "reality". It is not surprising, then, to sometimes hear that marriage is doomed.

Thomas More: The Saint for the Synod | Dr. Samuel Gregg | Just as some contemporary Northern European bishops are presently seeking to fudge similarly settled Church teaching, considerable efforts were made by bishops in 1533 to persuade More to be more flexible with Henry VIII's demands.

With Papal Visit Concluded, It's Full Synod Ahead | Carl E. Olson | As the Synod of Bishops approaches, Catholics are faced with contradictory perceptions and pressing questions about Francis' longterm goals.

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