The insanity of racism reared its hideous head in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. It is a sad and tragic blemish on what should be the beautiful face of our nation that such racial division should still exist here. We as Americans are better than this and we as Christians must recognize that racism is not only ignorant, but also a sin.
The Diocese of Brooklyn has begun the Year of Vocations called for by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. Led by Father Sean Suckiel, the diocesan vocation director, this is a remarkable time to reflect on the gift of priesthood and religious life in the Church and in the world.
On July 15, the New York Daily News reported that Democratic Councilman Peter Koo of Flushing has given close to $24,000 in donations to Bridge to Life, a not-for-profit organization which provides counseling to over 4,000 women who are in need, giving them free pregnancy tests, donations of maternity and baby clothes and supplies and referrals to housing and other services.
The conversation this week that most Catholic writers and intellectuals are having concerns the article that we mentioned last week by Fathers Antonio Spadaro and Rev. Marcelo Figueroa in La Civilta Cattolica. There have been so many commentaries about this article, some thoughtful and good, and others seeming to have no value except to agitate those who read it.
Father Antonio Spadaro, an Italian Jesuit priest, editor of the Italian journal, La Civilta Cattolica, and a close advisor to Pope Francis, and the Argentinian Presbyterian minister, Marcelo Figueroa, who is the editor of the Argentinian edition of L’Osservatore Romano, released an article that attempts to trace the roots of American conservatism and Evangelical Protestantism. The article goes further by stating a “Manichean” strain in American conservatism, as exemplified by President Donald Trump, has encouraged a strong political alliance between Catholics and American Evangelicals on issues of family values and pro-life.
This past week, at the urging of Pope Francis, the Vatican’s Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, issued an important circular letter about the matter, the bread and wine, used for the Eucharist. This is important and essential information for all churches and chapels in all Roman Catholic dioceses in the world.
The solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29, is a curious one. In many countries, it is a holy day of obligation. It is not one in the United States. In the Vatican, it is the day when the Holy Father presents the pallium, the symbol of service and authority, to metropolitan archbishops.
As we conclude another academic year in our Catholic schools and academies, we should stop and thank God for the blessings that He has truly bestowed on us as a Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens.
What a valuable saint Catherine of Siena is for our times. In an age of constant criticism of our priests, bishops, and the Holy Father, let us learn from her some lessons.
Once again, the fight to assure the future of Catholic schools goes on in our state of New York. The question of aid for mandated services, which many of our young people need to be successful in school (and, later on, in life), is in grave danger of being slashed severely.