One of the hot button issues that is sure to provoke controversy at, and after, the Synod on the Family is the Church’s teaching and pastoral practice regarding gays and lesbians. It is a difficult and complicated issue to be sure, and different cultures deal with homosexuality in vastly different ways. In what follows, I will address only the situation of the Church in the West.
Over at The Catholic Thing, John Zmirak has penned an essay entitled, "The Myth of Catholic Social Teaching." Zmirak does not argue that Catholic Social Teaching needs to be developed. He does not quibble with this application of the Church's teaching or that.
Last night, on "EWTN News Nightly," they ran a segment for Labor Day that highlighted, not just the Church's commitment to the dignity of work, but also the Church's historic support for organized labor. They even interviewed a woman from the American Federation of Teachers, not my favorite union, but nonetheless it was refreshing to see such a person on EWTN. Much of the broadcasting at EWTN strikes me as tendentious, but they deserve kudos for not ducking or downplaying the Church's commitment to labor.
Next month Pope Francis will convoke the Synod on the Family, the first of two synods that will discuss this topic. This autumn’s synod will focus on the state of the question and next year’s will make proposals for improving the Church’s pastoral care of families. This week, I will use my morning posts to do a “curtain raiser” on the first Synod.
Our friends at Jubilee USA have been working with a group of banks and investors to devise proposed reforms that would prevent a repeat of the Argentine foreign debt showdown with the vulture funds that epitomize everything that is evil in current capitalist practice. The other day, I mentioned that some of our friends on the right try and draw too stark of a contrast between moral principles and prudential judgment.
Father Zuhlsdorf speculates on the possibility of Cardinal Raymond Burke becoming the next Archbishop of Chicago, mimicking the transfer of Cardinal Canizares from the Congregation for Divine Worship to the Archdiocese of Valencia. Zuhlsdorf states, "And, truth be told, there is quite simply no churchman more pastoral than Raymond Leo Card.
Today, I conclude my treatment of Cardinal Walter Kasper’s book Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life.
Archbishop Bruno Musaro, the nuncio in Cuba, unleashed a forceful attack on the Cuban government and its oppressive regime. This comes at a time when the Vatican and the Cuban bishops are carefully negotiating with the regime for greater freedom, so the bluntness of Musaro's comments is striking.
Yesterday, I began a discussion of Cardinal Walter Kasper’s book Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life. Today, I continue the discussion beginning with Kasper’s treatment of mercy in the New Testament. My reason for undertaking this assignment is simple: Many have voiced their disquiet, or worse, at Kasper’s talk to the cardinals at the consistory in February, in which he addressed the family, and this prior book of his seems to me essential reading for anyone who tries to wrestle with that talk.