By the time that you are reading this, the Holy Season of Lent has begun. Lent is a season of penitential preparation for the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter. As we progress in this season, it might be good for us to recall that the Church prescribes three main ways for us to grow in our spiritual life during Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Here are some practical suggestions on how we can grow in these three disciplines this Lent:
As we write this, the Vatican is holding its meeting for the heads of the Catholic Episcopal Conferences from around the world on the sad and distressing topic of child sex abuse.
The release by the Diocese of 108 names of ordained men credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors has caused great concern and consternation. The clergy sexual abuse crisis has been revived at a time when the Church has been making great strides to heal the wounds caused by this sorry chapter in its history.
While excommunicating Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his pro-abortion flunkies is a popular notion, it may not be the solution to the problem. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio says he will not excommunicate the governor who last month signed into law the most permissive abortion law in the country. The bishop bases his decision on sound reasoning. First of all, Cuomo and his allies would wear such an action as a badge of courage. He could play the martyr and say, “Look what the big bad Church has done to me.”
In 1983, ABC Television broadcast a “made-for-TV” film entitled “The Day After.” This film helped shape the consciousness of a generation of young people who watched it. It tells the story of what would occur if a nuclear war actually occurred between the then-Soviet Union and the United States. Watching the film today, nearly 36 years later, one is aware that, artistically perhaps, it has not aged well. Regardless, the message remains the same. To engage in a nuclear war would be catastrophic.
Recently, some in the Catholic community have called for the excommunication of Governor Andrew Cuomo and those Catholic members of the legislature who supported the change in the law to allow for the termination of a pregnancy up until the moment of birth.
If we can learn anything from the Covington Catholic event which so overshadowed the real intent of the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., perhaps it is to be aware of how quickly we respond to news we read on the internet. As has become known since more video footage has been released, some of the immediate reactions of the media like that of The New York Times has been proven wrong.
We are now several weeks into the shutdown of all non-essential services of the U.S. Government. Several branches of the government have employees working at this moment without pay. The issues that the President and the Congress face are serious and they are not easily served by some of the sound-bites you hear. His Eminence, Sean Cardinal O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, Mass., released a powerful statement on the governmental shutdown:
Once again, the annual March for Life was held in Washington, D.C., this year on Friday, Jan. 18. Buses left from various stops in our diocese and there was the witness of tens of thousands of people of faith (and people of no faith in particular), all of whom recognize a simple fact: life begins at conception.
As if the political scene in the United States couldn’t get crazier, now come charges from two U.S. Senators that the Knights of Columbus is an extremist organization.