The Jan. 12 news that a 7.0 earthquake had hit Haiti near the capital city of Port au Prince held a special poignancy for me because I had just finished writing a story for NCR about an October trip I took to Haiti’s northern section and the Dominican Republic.
"I find particularly beautiful the following formula of St Hilary: 'God knows not how to be anything other than love, he knows not how to be anyone other than the Father. Those who love are not envious and the one who is the Father is so in his totality. This name admits no compromise, as if God were father in some aspects and not in others.'"
--Pope Benedict XVI on Saint Hilary of Poitiers
Hilary was a pagan, who became a Catholic, and a husband and father who became a bishop. He lived from about 300 to about 368.
He fought against Arianism, which "denies that the Son is of one essence, nature, or substance with God; He is not consubstantial (homoousios) with the Father, and therefore not like Him, or equal in dignity, or co-eternal, or within the real sphere of Deity".
tEcclesiastes may want us to believe there’s nothing new under the sun, but according to a UN report issued this week, not so. Rapid aging of the human population, the report asserts, is a demographic trend of mammoth consequence, and one “without parallel in the history of humanity.”
tThat’s a bold claim, especially since the modern science of demography really didn’t take shape until the 18th century. But without doubt, today’s demographic landscape – dominated by declining birth rates and rapid aging across the planet – represents a startling inversion of the assumptions that have long dominated the field, the sound-bite version of which was the “population bomb.”
If the old demographic worry was relentless population increase, today’s anxieties cut in exactly the opposite direction.
The USCCB’s bulletin insert on health care reform is problematic in several regards. Unlike the video on their website, it does not praise the central objective of the bill, namely, extending health care coverage to more Americans. It notes that the bishops have long supported health care reform but they fault the current bill for a variety of reasons. Like the USCCB, I deplore the provisions limiting the access of immigrants to the new health care options the bill enacts. And, I agree that the conscience provisions could be tightened, though the current ones do not, to my mind, constitute a deal breaker and I suspect any language will be clarified by the courts.
There is one bullet point, however, that seems very arguable. The bulletin insert states: “On December 24, the U.S. Senate rejected this policy and passed health care reform that
requires federal funds to help subsidize and promote health plans that cover elective
In remarks made on the Apostolic Visitation Web site, the Vatican appointed Apostolic Visitator, Mother Mary Clare Millea, has offered a few more details about the process of the ongoing Vatican look at women religious congregations.
Millea says that a core team from her office is currently analyzing information culled from questionnaires returned to her office by women religious congregations. After examining that information she said she will decide which congregations will receive personal visitations from teams of women and men religious.
According to the plan outlined by Millea, the first congregation visits will take place in April and these will be with selected religious congregation leaders. A second round of visits will take place next fall.
Millea say that there is a lot of good to tell about the history and reality of religious women in the United States. There are also a lot of challenges, she said.
The Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has issued a statement of support for U.S. women religious, who are facing a Vatican Apostolic Visitation.
The statement follows another one of support by the California bishops last November.
The U.K. publication Spectator announced that it will host a public debate to answer this proposition: England should be a Catholic country again
Speakers for the motion included Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor.
Here's the description:
The debate is scheduled for March 2. Here's more details.
A new piece of artwork that portrays former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland is causing a stir in Milwaukee. The bronze relief pedestal to the Mary statue at the Cathedral of St. John depicts Weakland with Mary, St. John and other figures, including children.
Among those criticizing the artwork is SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Weakland resigned in 2002 after revelations that he had had a relationship with an adult seminarian whom he paid to keep quiet about the affair. He also has admitted to moving around pedophile priests.
Conservative Catholics also have blasted the pedestal as well as the fact that Weakland was on the altar at new Archbishop Jerome Listecki's installation last week.
The Catholic church calls us to be responsible stewards of this planet and to put into action Catholic social teaching. The National Catholic Rural Life Conference (NCRLC) has developed a web-based study guide to introduce you to a structured approach to help move through the steps of understanding and applying Catholic teachings as these relate to climate change.
Climate Change: A Catholic Response Study Guide is designed to help you apply Catholic social teaching to climate change and prudent energy use. Visit the Rural Life Conference website and use the guide for a self-guided study session.