We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'March, 2011'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.
Even if the Church is beset by problems, it is still a gift of God, Pope Benedict told several hundred pastors of Rome parishes.
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A British court has effectively disqualified a couple from becoming foster parents because of their Christian views on premarital and homosexual intercourse.
For the past 60 years, teachers and administrators at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans have wielded an 18-inch-long wooden paddle to administer corporal punishment to students for tardiness, sloppy uniform dress or other minor rules infractions.
Irish Catholic leaders formally announced plans for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.
Frequently, the Christian outlook is characterized as a comforting collection of certitudes that preserve adherents from doubt and save them from the hard toil of self-analysis. Religious dogmas are shrouded in mystery and beyond rational verification, but are guaranteed by power of an all-knowing authority. The fruits of such certainty are intolerance, intellectual servitude and self-righteousness.
One reason why we don't often find a good Christian apologetics today is because so many of our best theologians write at such a level of academia that their thoughts are not accessible to the ordinary person in the pews. Apologists like C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton are rare. We have great thinkers in theology today, but unfortunately many of them cannot be profitably read outside of academic settings.
If we confine our acquaintance with the Gospels to the readings set out for the Masses, we run a risk of missing an interesting something, namely the difference in the writing style of the evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
By way of example: Reading the complete Gospel of Luke and that of John makes the point. Luke's Gospels, often so spare in their details can occasionally read like a police report, like a response to Sgt. Joe Friday's challenge to witnesses in Dragnet, that TV series of long ago. "All we want are the facts," he would growl.
One of the great problems I have faced in my Christian walk is that of grasping the enormity of God's love. Quite simply, I can not internalize or understand the immense love behind the cross. For Christ to willingly suffer and die to save someone such as me is too much for my puny mind to comprehend. I must simply accept that it is true. It is a mystery that confounds me.
Easter breaks my heart. How can I possibly repay Christ for what he has done for me? It is impossible. All I can do in response by surrendering to Christ's perfect love is to try to love him in return.
In this column I raise everyday ethical issues. Occasionally, unique ethical quandaries trigger reflection as in last month's column around boundary setting without judging or abandoning people living with addictions.
But certainly all of us can relate to managing another moral boundary — accepting gifts that come with strings attached. In this case, how do we ensure gift-giving practices do not cause us to abandon our own integrity?
Why does Pope Benedict bother to write books? Long before his election to the See of Peter he was established as a leading theologian of his generation. Being universal pastor of the Church is a crushing job, so why add to it by embarking on a massive scholarly project?
Evidently the pope enjoys writing theology. The deeper reason though is that Benedict knows, with all humility, that he is better at it than anyone else. Just as the soon-to-be-Blessed John Paul II knew that he had a special gift for leading massive, history-changing public manifestations of the faith, Benedict likely concludes that if the Lord wanted him as pope then he should do what God gave him the talent to do.