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Just reminding erryone of my current location #rio #papafrancis #skyline #beautiful

Posted by on 7-22-13

El Jueves salgo para Puerto Rico y estare participando del JMJ en PR. Un Evento unido al JMJ de Brasil. Seran dias de mucha gracia, poder y misericordia. Contamos con sus oraciones! Para mas info porfavor visiten www.jmj2013pr.com #jmj #jmj2013pr #brasil #puertorico #unasolaiglesia #jovenes #catholic #catolico #papafrancis

Posted by on 7-22-13

“Não tenho ouro nem prata.. Vim aqui transmitir o maior presente que recebi nessa vida: Jesus Cristo” – Papa Francisco, no Palácio Guanabara, na sua chegada no Rio de Janeiro

Posted by on 7-22-13

Nada mejor que coger cosas de los hoteles y encontrartelas un tiempo mas tarde #recuerdoson #abril2013 #antequera #campeonatoespañaporescuelas #catalunya #buenequipo #genialrelevo #granada #bocadecaballo #dientesdeleon #mojopicon #bananas #pasajeros #titofrancis #papafrancis #yayofrancis #quierovolver

Posted by on 7-22-13

El papa Francisco acaba de recitar: “Necesitamos santos sin velo, sin sotana. Necesitamos santos de jeans y zapatillas. Necesitamos santos que vayan al cine, escuchen musica y paseen con sus amigos. Necesitamos santos que coloquen a Dios en primer lugar y que sobresalgan en la Universidad. Necesitamos santos que busquen tiempo cada dia para rezar y que sepan enamorar en la pureza y castidad, o que consagren su castidad. Necesitamos santos modernos, santos del siglo XXI con una espiritualidad insertada en nuestro tiempo. Necesitamos santos comprometidos con los pobres y los necesarios cambios sociales. Necesitamos santos que vivan en el mundo, se santifiquen en el mundo y que no tengan miedo de vivir en el mundo. Necesitamos santos que tomen Coca Cola y coman hot-dogs, que sean internautas, que escuchen iPod. Necesitamos santos que amen la Eucaristia y que no tengan vergüenza de tomar una cerveza o comer pizza el fin de semana con los amigos. Necesitamos santos a los que les guste el cine, el teatro, la musica, la danza, el deporte. Necesitamos santos sociables, abiertos, normales, amigos, alegres, compañeros. Necesitamos santos que esten en el mundo y que sepan saborear las cosas puras y buenas del mundo, pero sin ser mundanos”. Amen!!!!!!! (Esta parte la dije yo) :) #santidadenjeans #santidad #PapaFrancis #Iglesia #yes #holiness

Posted by on 7-21-13

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Off the cuff Francis on the family...

Posted on Sep 29, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Francis in Philadelphia speaking off the cuff about the family with a more or less simultaneous translator.

Start at 1:58:29 to about 2:20:30

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The World Meeting of Families...

Posted on Sep 29, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Gina Loehr whose work has been featured in St. Anthony Messenger magazine.

“It was like Catholic Disneyland.” That’s how my friend, Rachel Bond, described the exhibitor plaza at the World Meeting of Families which she attended with her husband and two young daughters. Nearly five hundred Catholic organizations, ministries, companies and communities set up their booths at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Some twenty thousand attendees visited these vendors in the moments between the densely packed schedule of masses, keynote addresses and breakout sessions – all in all close to one hundred talks in the course of four days. It was a whirlwind week of Catholic formation and celebration that culminated in the visit of Pope Francis at the Festival of Families Saturday night and the Papal Mass on Sunday morning.

Just being there amidst these thousands of Catholic pilgrims, just experiencing the jubilant and faith-filled atmosphere, just witnessing the coming and going of so many families from so many places was all worth as much as hearing the inspiring talks or participating in so many special activities. We were among friends – strangers, yes, but also friends. There was a spirit of fraternity and camaraderie among people that was like a little foretaste of heaven. Here we were together, the Church universal, with all of our diversity beautifully melding into a true unity.

Simply put, it was encouraging to be there in Philadelphia. It was refreshing to be in the company of tens of thousands of people who agree with Pope Francis’ comments Saturday night that “the family is a factory of hope,” and that children “are the future, the strength that moves us forward.”

But I have to say, the best part of the trip was coming home. The time we spent in the presence of our global Catholic family helped me to appreciate our little domestic universe. Here in our home, we have the privilege of living out the noble mission of Catholic family life. “How precious is the family,” says Pope Francis. Indeed, being part of a family is one of the greatest blessings that God the Father gives to us, his beloved children.


 

Love Is Our Mission: Pope Francis in America is a rich collection drawn from Catholic News Service photographers and journalists to be released October 30. It will be a keepsake for anyone interested in the papal visit. Learn more about the book, and about Pope Francis’ visit, by clicking here.

CommemorativePopeBook_460x340 (1)

 

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Pope Francis: Women priests? “NO.”...

Posted on Sep 28, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Women don’t have the capacity to receive the sacrament of holy orders because they lack maleness.  That is the case for both the priesthood and the diaconate.  Not male? No ordination.

During the during his flight back to Rome from these USA, Pope Francis was asked by a female reporter if there could be women priests.

Of course, the Pope said “No.”  He said “No.” again, of course.

Over at the non-Catholic National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap), there is a piece entitled: Francis again rejects women priests without specific reasoning

“Without specific reasoning”?

Here’s what Francis said:

On women priests, that cannot be done. Pope St. John Paul II after long, long intense discussions, long reflection said so clearly. Not because women don’t have the capacity. [i.e., it’s not because women are not (fill in blank with “skilled, talented, able to get things done… capable”)] Look, in the Church women are more important than men, because the church is a woman. It is “la” church, not “il” church. The Church is the bride of Jesus Christ. And the Madonna is more important than popes and bishops and priests. I must admit we are a bit late in an elaboration of the theology of women. We have to move ahead with that theology. Yes, that’s true.

BTW… papal pressers will be eliminated during the upcoming reign of Pius XIII.  So will papal trips and virtually all audiences.  Pius XIII will be seen so rarely that the MSM will run stories that he may actually be dead.  But I digress.

So, if you listen to Francis’ “No.” on the impossibility of women’s ordination and want to know more, turn to the pontificate of John Paul II and read Ordinatio sacerdotalis.  (Spoiler: He said “No.”) Then you can read Card. Ratzinger’s explanation of Ordinatio sacerdotalis. (Spoiler: He said that the teaching which OS repeats is infallible).  And if you want, you can follow the footnotes and references back to Bl. Paul VI. (Spoiler: He said “No.”)

By the way, the chief task of the Roman Pontiff is to say “No.”  The same goes for bishops and priests.

Anyway, I bring this up because you might want to make some popcorn, put on some teflon bibs and gloves and eye protection, and go look also at the combox under that piece at NSR.  Some people are having a nutty.  Better yet, put on bibs and gloves made of BAM if you are venturing into the fever swamp that is the Fishwrap combox.  Blech.

You will notice, inter alia, that some are basically saying, “Well, he’s not an intellectual.” (Read: He doesn’t think that women should be ordained so he’s not very smart.)  Others suggest that referring to John Paul II was bad.  Their brass ring is, of course, the elimination of the Magisterium of John Paul II.  Others say, “He didn’t really mean it.” Uh huh.

Note well: Fishwrap adherents demand that you accept – without specific reasoning – everything Pope Francis utters about their pet projects.  But if he says something Catholic about the fact that women can’t be priests or that homosexual sex is a sin, gender-bending theory is harmful and that it’s wrong to redefine marriage… no no!… he apparently has to explain himself.   Still others are quivering over the word “capacity”.

 

 

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Pope Francis in Philly: Hope Lives...

Posted on Sep 28, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Pain, Healing, and Hope

Pope Francis brought his well-documented humility to the United States. The timing could not be better. He has come to what was once the most powerful nation on the planet and reminded us that we, too, are human—a part of the family, not the whole. Pope Francis looked our nation’s leaders in the eye, then the world’s, and yesterday ours. And he did so “as a brother.”

Yesterday, he stopped to bless a disabled child. Today, he reminded all of us we are no different with a warm embrace. Francis confronted the mistakes made by Church leaders in the United States regarding sexual abuse. With the same voice, he offered gratitude to the victims and their families for offering us hope for forgiveness.

“These survivors of abuse have yourselves become true heralds of hope and ministers of mercy. We humbly owe each one of you and your families our gratitude for your immense courage to shine the light of Christ on the evil of the sexual abuse of children.”

The AP has clarified that Francis is structuring a new Vatican Tribunal that will hold bishops who cover up for abusive priests accountable for their actions—or lack thereof. Truly, Pope Francis is a shepherd of men.

“This ‘watchfulness’ is not the result of talking but of shepherding. Only one capable of standing ‘in the midst of’ the flock can be watchful, not someone who is afraid of questions, contact, accompaniment.”

Francis called on the bishops further. “Christians are not ‘immune’ to the changes of their times. This concrete world, with all its many problems and possibilities, is where we must live, believe and proclaim.”

Notable Quotes

“When a priest abuses, it is very grave because the vocation of the priest is to make that boy, that girl grow toward the love of God. For this reason, the Church is strong on this and one must not cover these things up. Those who covered this up are guilty. Even some bishops who covered this up.”

“I hold the stories and the suffering and the sorry of children who were sexually abused by priests deep in my heart. I remain overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm. I am profoundly sorry. God weeps.”

The Crowd Reaction from Day 5

Even the locals seemed more relaxed. Though some families seemed exhausted, it was more a reminder that Sundays are meant to be restful. Something we should recall more often in our nation.

There were food trucks serving during Mass, pubs were open, souvenirs being sold. But it felt as though Francis already threw the tables of division over. We were embracing a new model together as the faithful.

There were climbers, dancers, and violinists on street corners. There were newborns snuggled tightly to their mothers, cameras everywhere, and thousands piled in front of jumbo trons as if Philadelphia was one giant Catholic living room.

Pope Francis in Philly

*****
CNS/Paul Haring

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Popaphobia in Philadelphia—Part Two...

Posted on Sep 27, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.“—Plato

Reading about the preparations Washington, New York, and Philadelphia have made for the Papal Visit are scaring me. One might be lax. Another is over-buttering their bread. The third seems indifferent. All of them seem at the same mad tea party of constant propaganda campaigns against one another. All of them reading newspapers aloud to the other in stuffy accents, over too-long moustaches. One is the conservative network. Another is the liberal. The other cares more about their 401K, or maybe that’s all three?

I suppose I am beginning to see this week-long hullabaloo as a type of metaphor for what it means to be American in today’s day and age. We want everything to be four-dimensional, but we don’t want to teach our children the physics of the fourth dimension. We want the political angles, the money angles, the people story, the security story. Who will live? Who will fall in love? Who will miss their appointment due to gridlock? Who makes the best sandwich? Who has the most ironic mustache? The best-tailored suit? Where will the terrorists be? When will we all die?

If you sit on Twitter for 24 hours, you might notice a very specific tone of voice. You might hear a resemblance to your three year-old nephew’s constant, forever stream of questions. You might also forget the Pope’s visit here is historic. You might not remember we are supposed to be celebrating.

Your nephew is capable, but ignorant. Happy, but afraid. Aware, but unable to tie his own shoes. At the same time full, not sure what he just ate, and one hundred percent certain it was shaped like a brontosaurus and filled with some yellow substance vaguely resembling cheese. Your nephew also only remembers his birthday when you remind him every day for a month.

It’s a wonder any of us ever lives past that state of hyper-vigilance and constant learning that can only be found within a three year-old’s mind. But we do. And we learn about things like urban planning, states of emergency, martial law, and heavy metal concerts. We learn acronyms like FEMA or FOMO or LOL. And we use them regularly in conversation, sometimes out loud, while laughing.

I wonder if my phobia of the mall around Christmas time stems not from my fear of crowds, but of the overwhelming greed in the air. I wonder if my fear of air travel stems not from my fear of heights, but of the heightened state of fear in an American airport. I wonder if my fear of the Pope’s Visit stems not at all from His Grace, but from all the nephews I might be surrounded by in Philadelphia.

In closing, I’d like us all to pray for our fellow Americans. I would ask we learn how to take a deep breath. Slow down, just a bit. I would ask we listen to and look out for one another. I would ask that our forever-vigilance turns into instinctual empathy for the unknown. I would ask that a fearful sideways glance dissolve into a head-on embrace. I would ask airbnb owners and uber drivers to demand the rates stay even.

The pope’s visit to our country should be remain—what it always was in my mind—a reason to celebrate. I hope one day we can evolve past the degradation of finding the next terrorist or labeling the Pontiff as a socialist Marxist Communist. These topics are not even worthy of discussion or argument. They’re from your three year-old nephew. Let’s pray all the nephews can feel pure joy like they should. Let’s pray soon, they grow up. Strong and happy and American.

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Pope Francis in Philadelphia—Day 1...

Posted on Sep 27, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Remaining True to Our Founding Principles

After day 1 of Pope Francis in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love was certainly not disappointed. Nor did his seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy wane. After remarkable trips to both our nation’s capital and New York City, the indestructible Francis seemed more in his element.

In D.C., Francis spoke English often. In New York, he spoke Spanish, but was more formal at the UN than in Harlem. Each day, his heart seemed perfectly set for wherever he was, but his eyes seemed to tell a different story. Pope Francis prefers to look us in the eyes as humans. He revels in shaking hands, looking close, saying a blessing. He seems most at ease when blessing the disabled or a child.

Upon his arrival, after one such incident on the way from the airport, we heard the pope give Mass at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to a crowd of 2,000. During his homily, he reminded the attendees of their faith and the contributions it allows them to make.

“I would like to think, though, that the history of the Church in this city and state is really a story not about building walls, but about breaking them down. It is a story about generation after generation of committed Catholics going out to the peripheries, and building communities of worship, education, charity and service to the larger society,” he said.

Then it was on to a respite and, later, to an address at the famed Independence Hall. The city seemed abuzz despite overwhelming security and an ever-shifting labyrinth of road and sidewalk openings and closings.

Pope Francis seems ever-ready to gently remind Americans of where we came from and why it is important to the globe: “We remember the great struggles which led to the abolition of slavery, the extension of voting rights, the growth of the labor movement, and the gradual effort to eliminate every kind of racism and prejudice directed at successive waves of new Americans. This shows that, when a country is determined to remain true to its founding principles, based on respect for human dignity, it is strengthened and renewed.”

But that wasn’t all. The pontiff had a round of improvisation ready for us. At the Festival of Faiths, his prepared remarks were tossed out the window. “Beauty leads us to God,” were his first remarks after thanking the artists present. He went on: “In the family, truth, goodness and beauty can grow.”

Notable Quotes from Day 4

Homily at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

“One of the great challenges facing the Church in this generation is to foster in all the faithful a sense of personal responsibility for the Church’s mission, and to enable them to fulfill that responsibility as missionary disciples, as a leaven of the Gospel in our world. This will require creativity in adapting to changed situations, carrying forward the legacy of the past not primarily by maintaining our structures and institutions, which have served us well, but above all by being open to the possibilities which the Spirit opens up to us and communicating the joy of the Gospel, daily and in every season of our life.”

Independence Hall

“The Quakers who founded Philadelphia were inspired by a profound evangelical sense of the dignity of each individual and the ideal of a community united by brotherly love. This conviction led them to found a colony which would be a haven of religious freedom and tolerance. That sense of fraternal concern for the dignity of all, especially the weak and the vulnerable, became an essential part of the American spirit. During his visit to the United States in 1987, Saint John Paul II paid moving homage to this, reminding all Americans that: “The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones.”

Festival of Families

“Two things we really have to take care of: the children and the grandparents. The children are the future. The grandparents are the living memory of the family….They transmitted the faith to us.”

The Crowd Reaction from Day 4

The mood on the streets of Philadelphia seemed vibrant and reverent. Although the locals weren’t happy about some of the dramatic changes made to the city, they seemed willing to play along given the historic nature of the pope’s visit.

Thousands were allowed inside the Basilica for Mass. Thousands more watched outside. As is often the case in America, the most passionate members of the faithful crowds were chanting “Papa, Papa, Papa!” They seemed overwhelmed by his presence and celebratory in the moments of his arrival or departure.

These voices of the faithful were with Francis all along his first day in Philadelphia, seeming to bolster his energy more and more instead of the opposite for his 78-year-old body.

Though the security is overwhelming in the city and many local businesses were slower than usual during the day, the mood of the locals seemed to rise as the roads began to open. At the end of the night, the entire city seemed ready to celebrate.

Let’s pray that, as his visit ends, America will retain the words and spirit of Pope Francis long after he leaves.

The post Pope Francis in Philadelphia—Day 1 appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Pope Francis in Philadelphia—Day 1...

Posted on Sep 27, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Remaining True to Our Founding Principles

After day 1 of Pope Francis in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love was certainly not disappointed. Nor did his seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy wane. After remarkable trips to both our nation’s capital and New York City, the indestructible Francis seemed more in his element.

In D.C., Francis spoke English often. In New York, he spoke Spanish, but was more formal at the UN than in Harlem. Each day, his heart seemed perfectly set for wherever he was, but his eyes seemed to tell a different story. Pope Francis prefers to look us in the eyes as humans. He revels in shaking hands, looking close, saying a blessing. He seems most at ease when blessing the disabled or a child.

Upon his arrival, after one such incident on the way from the airport, we heard the pope give Mass at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to a crowd of 2,000. During his homily, he reminded the attendees of their faith and the contributions it allows them to make.

“I would like to think, though, that the history of the Church in this city and state is really a story not about building walls, but about breaking them down. It is a story about generation after generation of committed Catholics going out to the peripheries, and building communities of worship, education, charity and service to the larger society,” he said.

Then it was on to a respite and, later, to an address at the famed Independence Hall. The city seemed abuzz despite overwhelming security and an ever-shifting labyrinth of road and sidewalk openings and closings.

Pope Francis seems ever-ready to gently remind Americans of where we came from and why it is important to the globe: “We remember the great struggles which led to the abolition of slavery, the extension of voting rights, the growth of the labor movement, and the gradual effort to eliminate every kind of racism and prejudice directed at successive waves of new Americans. This shows that, when a country is determined to remain true to its founding principles, based on respect for human dignity, it is strengthened and renewed.”

But that wasn’t all. The pontiff had a round of improvisation ready for us. At the Festival of Faiths, his prepared remarks were tossed out the window. “Beauty leads us to God,” were his first remarks after thanking the artists present. He went on: “In the family, truth, goodness and beauty can grow.”

Notable Quotes from Day 4

Homily at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

“One of the great challenges facing the Church in this generation is to foster in all the faithful a sense of personal responsibility for the Church’s mission, and to enable them to fulfill that responsibility as missionary disciples, as a leaven of the Gospel in our world. This will require creativity in adapting to changed situations, carrying forward the legacy of the past not primarily by maintaining our structures and institutions, which have served us well, but above all by being open to the possibilities which the Spirit opens up to us and communicating the joy of the Gospel, daily and in every season of our life.”

Independence Hall

“The Quakers who founded Philadelphia were inspired by a profound evangelical sense of the dignity of each individual and the ideal of a community united by brotherly love. This conviction led them to found a colony which would be a haven of religious freedom and tolerance. That sense of fraternal concern for the dignity of all, especially the weak and the vulnerable, became an essential part of the American spirit. During his visit to the United States in 1987, Saint John Paul II paid moving homage to this, reminding all Americans that: “The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones.”

Festival of Families

“Two things we really have to take care of: the children and the grandparents. The children are the future. The grandparents are the living memory of the family….They transmitted the faith to us.”

The Crowd Reaction from Day 4

The mood on the streets of Philadelphia seemed vibrant and reverent. Although the locals weren’t happy about some of the dramatic changes made to the city, they seemed willing to play along given the historic nature of the pope’s visit.

Thousands were allowed inside the Basilica for Mass. Thousands more watched outside. As is often the case in America, the most passionate members of the faithful crowds were chanting “Papa, Papa, Papa!” They seemed overwhelmed by his presence and celebratory in the moments of his arrival or departure.

These voices of the faithful were with Francis all along his first day in Philadelphia, seeming to bolster his energy more and more instead of the opposite for his 78-year-old body.

Though the security is overwhelming in the city and many local businesses were slower than usual during the day, the mood of the locals seemed to rise as the roads began to open. At the end of the night, the entire city seemed ready to celebrate.

Let’s pray that, as his visit ends, America will retain the words and spirit of Pope Francis long after he leaves.

The post Pope Francis in Philadelphia—Day 1 appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Popaphobia in Philadelphia—Part One...

Posted on Sep 26, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I will not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

—Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, Frank Herbert’s Dune

Though a cradle Catholic, I am more interested this week in observing the human condition, and less in its religious specifics. Instead of imagining who will sneeze on my back in Church this week, I am cringing at the thought of how people will treat one another in three of our biggest American cities. How will people treat one another when they are packed like eggs in crates wrapped with barbwire?

Instead of praying for a friend who has a loved one fallen ill, I am praying that mass-hysteria will not prevail. I have lived through two category five hurricanes and attended the ill-fated Woodstock ’99. I have seen people at their worst. But, I’ve also seen them at their best. One of my fondest memories is of my street in Pensacola coming together to clean up fallen oaks with only two chainsaws and a few axes after Ivan struck.

During this week of preparations, my head has been filled with questions ranging from the mundane: Who has the best pork sandwich in Philadelphia? I’ve wondered about wi-fi and how quick my walks might be. To worst-case scenarios: Why does Philadelphia think closing all its roadways is a good idea? I’ve wondered about credentials and if it might be better to attend as the public.

This week, I am making a conscious effort to remain optimistic. My head goes back to seeing the Milky Way the first time when we lost power for two-and-a-half weeks that Fall of Ivan. Remaining positive is usually one of my strongest attributes. So is staying busy.

I’ve been making lists, printing maps, doing (past-due) laundry, checking lists, packing bottled water and survival gear (everything short of crossbows and nail clippers), making more lists, and checking them again has probably gone beyond beneficial. I think I’ve strained my planning muscles like a line cook can strain the English language. I feel like if the zombie apocalypse happens this weekend, I’ll be ready. But, it won’t be my home turf.

So what next? Action. Another thing I’m usually good at in life. Doing has become a sort of specialty of mine. Part of my reputation. But there are certain things that just put a fear into me. This goes beyond planning a trip to the mall around the holidays. This brings me back to the massive, uncontrollable crowds of Woodstock, and seeing some Gerald Scarfe-inspired riot-geared black hammers of fear and death approaching through fire and over death.

Come back tomorrow for Part Two. Get past your fear.

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Pope Francis in New York City...

Posted on Sep 26, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

A Healthier, More Peaceful Earth

Yesterday we saw Pope Francis in New York City, completing a majority of his visit to the Big Apple. The previous night was relatively quiet for him, after the excitement over his arrival at JFK Airport. He attended vespers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but there were no other events scheduled. Could it be that the indomitable Pope Francis was finally starting to get tired? Perhaps. But yesterday’s events suggest otherwise.

Yesterday morning, he was back to meeting and speaking with world leaders, this time at UN headquarters. “We human beings are part of the environment,” the pope said in his address. “We live in communion with it, since the environment itself entails ethical limits which human activity must acknowledge and respect. . . . Any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity.”

Following his speech to the UN, the pope visited the 9/11 Memorial. He prayed alongside Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York next to the south reflection pool. Afterward, he entered the 9/11 Museum, took a tour of the exhibits, and gave a short speech. “I feel many different emotions standing here at Ground Zero, where thousands of lives were taken in a senseless act of destruction. Here, grief is palpable,” he said.

His trip to an East Harlem Catholic school, Our Lady Queen of Angels, points to his abilities as a pastor to those on society’s periphery. His Mass in front of about 20,000 faithful shows that he has popular appeal. Both qualities suit a pope in the 21st century.

Notable Quotes from Day 3

Address at the United Nations

“War is the negation of all rights and a dramatic assault on the environment. If we want true integral human development for all, we must work tirelessly to avoid war between nations and between peoples.”

Speech at the 9/11 Memorial

“This place of death became a place of life, too, a place of saved lives, a hymn to the triumph of life over the prophets of destruction and death, to goodness over evil, to reconciliation and unity over hatred and division.”

The Crowd Reaction from Day 3

It seemed that Pope Francis hit his stride in New York City today. He was able to see a wide variety of human life on Manhattan, from the chambers of the United Nations to the barrio in East Harlem.

At the 9/11 Memorial, the crowd was passionate but controlled, pushed back far away from the site of the attacks. You could still hear people chanting, “Papa Francisco,” but it was somewhat distant. This was a place for reflection, for meeting with families of the victims, and for dialogue with interreligious leaders.

In East Harlem, on the other hand, there was a festive atmosphere and closer access to where the pope’s motorcade was to drive through. Every passing service vehicle, whether police car, firetruck, or ambulance would receive a cheer from the crowd. When the pope’s car approached, there was no doubt it was him as a tremendous applause and cries for blessings in Spanish poured out from the people lining the street.

Pope Francis in New York City

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Methods of Travel—Part Two...

Posted on Sep 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

“I, too, am a son of this great continent, from which we have all received so much and toward which we share a common responsibility.”
—Pope Francis

I’ve spent a lot of time going over the river and through the woods of how Philadelphia will be handling the influx of over 1.5 million new bodies in their city, but these little questions keep nagging. I chose to drive in to the city for this very reason. I want to experience that fast-moving Philadelphia air filling my nostrils through an open car window as an adult. Flying might have been more convenient. I chose to use airbnb, despite many locals diving into a trend of gouging. I want to hear how a local feels. I am excited that his perspective will be that of a Quaker and that he has signed up to host a Catholic family during the week’s World Meeting of Families and ‘Francis Festival’ as it has come to be called. This will probably be much more rewarding than the sad solitude so often found within the four walls of a traditional hotel room and its HBO subscription. And for more than just the good company.

I look forward to learning from my host and his potential transient tenants. I look forward to walking down a different Walnut Street in Philadelphia, though I walk one daily here in Cincinnati. I look forward to the fact that this route will cross a river called the Schuylkill that I don’t recall ever seeing or hearing in motion. And, yes, I look forward to hearing Pope Francis speak in person about religious freedom and immigration with We Hold These Truths. I look forward to hearing him give Mass on Sunday. And, yes, I look forward to the World Meeting of Families, of course. But maybe not for the reasons others might.

I already feel closer to my own family in this planning phase. I have called to tell them so. We had great conversations about shared memories of shared trips together and what travel meant to us as a family. And how others just don’t seem to get travel the way we do. At the same time, I genuinely feel closer to other Catholics for our upcoming shared and historic experiences together. Though it is rare my own life has swam in such a metanarrative, I will not forget the small things. I pray the rest of our brethren will remember the multiplication of loaves by both Christ and Reprebus on their respective journeys. Let’s look for ways to provide rejuvenation and sustenance for those we encounter along the way. Let us not forget the inevitable confrontation of self that happens in strange lands. Let us provide those loaves for ourselves too.

Safe planning and safe travels everyone. Next stop, Philadelphia!

The post Methods of Travel—Part Two appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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The Pope Francis Universal Translator...

Posted on Sep 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The secular press and media are having a field day spinning and extrapolating what Pope Francis’ words mean and imply. Politicians and pundits alike pontificate as if they were biblical scholars doing exegesis on passages from scripture. Opinionated commentators posing as journalists dissect and scrutinize every papal utterance as if they were all of the same weight and importance. Curiously, Jesus’ opponents did the very same thing. They took his words and deeds OUT OF CONTEXT. This is what is happening now with Pope Francis.
Just as the words of Sacred Scripture must be taken in CONTEXT in order to be correctly interpreted and understood, likewise, the same must be applied to the Vicar of Christ on earth. The Bishop of Rome is the supreme head of the Catholic Church. As Pope, he has full, supreme, immediate, and universal authority. He is infallible, however, only on matters of faith and morals. Supremacy and infallibility are different aspects of the Petrine ministry often misunderstood as being the same thing. They are distinct yet still interrelated. As Pope, the Holy Father is supreme pastor, which means he enjoys full primacy. There is no authority other than God higher than papal authority. No ecumenical council can overrule him. This is a juridical component as opposed to his infallibility that is a teaching or didactic aspect. The trifold munera (offices) of Christ’s ministry as Priest, Prophet and King are continued in the sanctifying, teaching and governing offices of the Church. The Roman Pontiff possesses supremacy in all of them. He is the supreme teacher on matters of doctrine; he is the high priest in matters liturgical; he is the supreme leader of the church in governing the universal church. Infallibility resides in his teaching or magisterial authority only. Nevertheless, since he possesses supreme authority in governance and in sacred worship, while non-infallible, it is still absolute. In other words, the Pope’s prudential judgments are not protected by divine intervention. Historically, some popes have made imprudent decisions while a few even made bad or immoral choices. The overwhelming majority, Deo gratias, have made reasonable and sensible judgments.
Pope St. John Paul the Great spoke as a philosopher and with a theatrical flavor. Much like Archbishop Fulton Sheen who took full advantage of the television when he had his weekly program, JP2 used both content (what he said) and context (where he said it). He was conscious of the scene and backdrop. He utilized the stage at every World Youth Day and at every international papal visit. His words and his gestures (like kissing the ground the first time he visited a country) spoke volumes. His words were deliberate and well thought out.
Pope Emeritus Benedict spoke as a gentile professor of theology. Unlike his predecessor, he was no actor, so his sense of theater was not the same. He was a scholar, like JP2, but he used the world as a classroom to teach, discuss and dialogue with his pupils. At times, one could feel like a high school freshman in chemistry class being taught by Albert Einstein, yet, very quickly, we learned that B16 wanted nothing less than to enlighten all his students with the same light of faith he himself found essential and fascinating.
Pope Francis, on the other hand, speaks and acts like a pastor. More like a parish priest than a diocesan bishop, in fact. He preaches unrehearsed sermons and speaks in colloquial vernacular that his flock immediately knows he is speaking to them about issues of a spiritual nature. Whereas Pope Benedict would give erudite theological explanations, Pope Francis gives mini-sermonettes and ferverinos often given by a parish priest at a weekday Mass. DE GUSTIBUS NON DISPUTANDUM EST.
Each pope has his own style and flavor of the papacy. It is unfair to compare JP2 with B16 and both with F1. Pope Benedict wore red shoes. So what. They were gifts. Pope John Paul wore red shoes and a red cape as well. Big deal. Pope Francis chooses to wear old comfortable shoes. Who cares? Just as each pope has his own taste of music, his own favorite sports team and his own favorite cuisine, likewise, each has his own opinion on economics, politics and science. Obviously, his prudential judgments on the latter warrant our attention and consideration (while the latter are purely personal), nonetheless, they are not exercises of papal infallibility.
When these distinctions are not made and when the secular media compare apples with oranges, you get non sequitur fallacies that would give any logician a migraine. If Pope Francis wanted, he could amend the Catechism, which would then be part of the Ordinary Magisterium. So far, he has chosen not to do so. Homilies, sermons and impromptu talks do not have the same weight as encyclicals, apostolic exhortations and constitutions, et al. Particular scientific, political and economic theories are similarly not the same and do not carry the same magisterial authority as do general moral principles and doctrinal tenets and canonical decrees.
The Pope has every right as an individual to express his personal opinions even though the faithful are not obliged to give them the assent of faith. As supreme head of the church and as the mouth of the Magisterium, he has every right, duty and obligation to comment on any issue or topic that might have an impact on Catholic faith and morals. You and I may disagree with non-infallible teachings but we cannot merely ignore, discount or casually repudiate them at first glance. We owe the Successor of Saint Peter a prayerful and intelligent deliberation of his position instead of dismissing without proper consideration.
Ecology, economics and politics do impact human life and each has moral implications. Subsidiarity, however, requires that those who have expertise in these areas and those at the local level first, have legitimate claim to the first word. Enunciating moral principles and dogmatic facts are the purview of spiritual leaders and shepherds, of whom the Pope is first and foremost. Applying those general principles to specific instances and particular cases is the responsibility of every person with a well formed conscience AFTER he or she has heard all the facts and pondered all the arguments.
One can licitly dispute the existence or the effect and response to global warming just as one can have a reasonable debate on the merits of democratic-republic vs constitutional monarchy, or whether the best from or governance is parliamentary or presidential. Catholics can also differ on big government or little; on the primacy of federalism or states’ rights. They can register democrat, republican or independent. What the clergy must and ought to do (be they popes, bishops, priests or deacons) is identify moral principles and issues that transcend opinion. A legitimate political or economic system must respect the Natural Moral Law and abide by the principles of justice. When it does not happen or when it seems that there may be breach, then the religious authorities have a duty to inform the electorate and those in power.
As a pastor, I often hear parishioners say “well Father So-and-so said this” or “he did it this way.” Leaders are often compares to their predecessors and we should be able to learn from their (and our own) mistakes. Opinion and style are personal choices particular to the individual. Hence, if the pastor wears a cassock or a clergy shirt with a white tab; whether he drives a fiat, a buick or a Honda; whether he wears tie shoes or loafers, French cuffs or button; none of these matter as long as he teaches the truth, celebrates the sacraments validly and reverently, and treats his people with pastoral love and mercy.
The papacy does not enjoy divine inspiration as does the revealed word of Sacred Scripture. It does have the charism of infallibility on matters of faith and morals and Holy Mother Church as a whole has the charism of indefectibility. Either we believe and trust in those or we do not. The former is orthodoxy, the latter is dissent. On prudential judgment matters, we can agree to disagree yet we must also submit to those in authority over us in areas where they have proper jurisdiction.

Pope Francis is no threat. He is the Successor of Saint Peter and he is the visible head of the Catholic Church. I must give an assent of faith to all infallible papal decrees and give respect and consideration to his opinions, views and prudential judgments. Just as we may not have agreed with everything our dad said and did, we still were required to obey (as far as possible) and respect and honor him. No less should be given to Our Holy Father, either.
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Pope Francis in the U.S. Day 2—DC and NYC...

Posted on Sep 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

On This Day in History

When Pope Francis addressed a joint session of the US Congress on Thursday, he became the first pontiff to ever do so. And he did not let the opportunity to go to waste. Framing his message around four well-known Americans—Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton—the pope addressed a wide range of issues, many of which he had mentioned the previous day during his speech at the White House. He told members of Congress: “Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ (Mt 7:12).

“This Rule points us in a clear direction,” he said. “Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”

After leaving Congress, the pope headed to the St. Patrick’s Parish, where he told those gathered, “I want to be very clear. We can’t find any social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever for lack of housing.” The pope then blessed a meal for clients of St. Maria’s Meals, a program run by Catholic Charities of Washington, D.C.

With that, Pope Francis ended his time in Washington D.C., and headed to New York City for a brief but busy stay. On Thursday evening, the pope got started, taking part in Vespers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the City. Priests and religious brothers and sisters who were in attendance heard the pope remind them of the need for rest. “But we need to learn how to rest in a way that deepens our desire to serve with generosity,” he told them.

Notable Quotes from Day 2

Address to Congress

“Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission—a personal and social responsibility. Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.”

Vespers with the Clergy, Men and Women Religious

“In a special way, I would like to express my esteem and gratitude to the religious women of the United States. What would the Church be without you? Women of strength, fighters, with that spirit of courage which puts you in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel.”

More Highlights from Day 2

One day after the canonization ceremony of Junipero Serra, the Franciscans celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land.

When he arrived at Kennedy International Airport on Friday evening, Pope Francis was once again greeted by local schoolchildren. The children presented the pontiff with gifts, including a Pope Francis Bobblehead.

Love is Our Mission Pope Francis in America

The post Pope Francis in the U.S. Day 2—DC and NYC appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Pope Francis in a Post-9/11 World...

Posted on Sep 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I can remember my parents talking about where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Looking back to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, I’m starting to get the feeling that I’ll talk about it in much the same way as time goes on.

I had just started my senior year of high school at St. Xavier, a Jesuit high school in Cincinnati, Ohio. In a somewhat ironic twist, I was in the middle of a class called “20th-Century History” when news of the attacks was announced. Our professor stopped his lesson for the day and said, “Gentleman, forget 20th-century history for today. This is 21st-century history.”

He turned on the TV, and we watched in both horror and disbelief as the events unfolded. I remember some of my classmates already starting to conjecture about whom they thought was responsible. Some immediately brought up Al-Qaeda. Although they were right about the particular terrorist organization, I also distinctly remember hearing the murmurings of instant vengeance and Islamophobia sprinkled in to their analyses.

Today, Pope Francis attended a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. He paid his respects to the victims of the attacks, and met with leaders from myriad religious backgrounds.

It’s part and parcel of the pope’s approach to our wounded world. Yes, we need to look to the past and mourn the human losses, the devastation of terrorism and all violence. But we also need to look to the future and mend the division that exacerbates and leads to future violence.

Communicating well with and understanding people of other faiths is vital to the healing process and the promise of a safer world. May Pope Francis’ example lead us and our political leaders to embrace peace instead of retribution.

Follow me at @StAnthonyMag for more coverage of Pope Francis’ in New York City!

Love Is Our Mission: Pope Francis in America is a rich collection drawn from Catholic News Service photographers and journalists to be released October 30. It will be a keepsake for anyone interested in the papal visit. Learn more about the book, and about Pope Francis’ visit, by clicking here.

51dnUgKdvKL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

*****

Photo: Giulio Napolitano / Shutterstock

The post Pope Francis in a Post-9/11 World appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Pope Francis in a Post-9/11 World...

Posted on Sep 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I can remember my parents talking about where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Looking back to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, I’m starting to get the feeling that I’ll talk about it in much the same way as time goes on.

I had just started my senior year of high school at St. Xavier, a Jesuit high school in Cincinnati, Ohio. In a somewhat ironic twist, I was in the middle of a class called “20th-Century History” when news of the attacks was announced. Our professor stopped his lesson for the day and said, “Gentleman, forget 20th-century history for today. This is 21st-century history.”

He turned on the TV, and we watched in both horror and disbelief as the events unfolded. I remember some of my classmates already starting to conjecture about whom they thought was responsible. Some immediately brought up Al-Qaeda. Although they were right about the particular terrorist organization, I also distinctly remember hearing the murmurings of instant vengeance and Islamophobia sprinkled in to their analyses.

Today, Pope Francis attended a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. He paid his respects to the victims of the attacks, and met with leaders from myriad religious backgrounds.

It’s part and parcel of the pope’s approach to our wounded world. Yes, we need to look to the past and mourn the human losses, the devastation of terrorism and all violence. But we also need to look to the future and mend the division that exacerbates and leads to future violence.

Communicating well with and understanding people of other faiths is vital to the healing process and the promise of a safer world. May Pope Francis’ example lead us and our political leaders to embrace peace instead of retribution.

Follow me at @StAnthonyMag for more coverage of Pope Francis’ in New York City!

Love Is Our Mission: Pope Francis in America is a rich collection drawn from Catholic News Service photographers and journalists to be released October 30. It will be a keepsake for anyone interested in the papal visit. Learn more about the book, and about Pope Francis’ visit, by clicking here.

51dnUgKdvKL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

*****

Photo: Giulio Napolitano / Shutterstock

The post Pope Francis in a Post-9/11 World appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Pope Francis to US Congress on threats to the fami...

Posted on Sep 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

GTY_pope_congress_11_mm_150924_4x3_992As I am in Tokyo, I haven’t kept my eyes glued to coverage of the papal visit of Pope Francis. I did, however, tune in via Slingbox to watch His Holiness address Congress. I had wished for stronger, clearer, obvious, inescapable words on some important issues, but he got the job done… at least if the listener is willing to hear him properly.

That said, one of my correspondents texted me:

CNN is reporting (Anderson Cooper) that Francis was intimating in his speech before Congress that he’s pro- gay marriage.

If I haven’t been tapping the live feed of Pope Francis, even less have I followed CNN.  Why bother with them if you can catch Fr. Murray and the gang on EWTN’s coverage. Still, it is hard to fathom how anyone could construe that from what Pope Francis said.

His words about the family:

I will end my visit to your country in Philadelphia, where I will take part in the World Meeting of Families. It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. [Pretty clear what he means, no?] I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.

His delivery at that moment was energetic, thus underscoring his intent.

 

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."