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SSPX not in schism...

Posted on Sep 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Michael Voris and his initiative Church Militant have been militating pretty hard these days against the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX – a society of priests, not lay people, having a less than perfect canonical status).

Michael is pushing hard that the SSPX is schismatic.

I have been saying for years that the SSPX is not.  Canonically screwed up? Yes.  Schismatic? No.

So, in a recent piece (HERE) Voris provides the headline:

CM EXCLUSIVE: A Canon Lawyer Speaks on the SSPX
Former canonist for Holy See confirms Society is in material schism

But if you read that piece, which is an interview with a good canonist, Marc Balestrieri, you find that you could post the headline:

Former canonist for Holy See confirms Society is not in de iure schism

Material schism is vague.  Maybe they are in material schism.  Maybe they aren’t.  Formal schism, on the other hand, is not fuzzy.  I think we should throw “schism” around and about the heads of the SSPX, even though we don’t want to minimize that they are in a decidedly bad canonical situation and confusion surrounds their status.

Some excerpts:

It is the more probable opinion among approved authors that refusal of obedience of a Catholic to the Pope which is not predicated upon a rejection of the principle of his authority as Roman Pontiff as Caput Romanae Ecclesiae constitutes material, not formal schism. However, if those lay faithful receiving the Sacraments from them at any one point in time also severed themselves entirely from, or refused submission in principle to, the Roman Pontiff and per can. 1330 of the Code of Canon Law manifested in word or in deed externally such actions, then they are presumed to have descended into formal schism.

I don’t think SSPX members or followers do that. At least the sane one’s don’t.

The Prefect’s use of the term de facto emphasizes the factual divide in communion between the Holy See and the SSPX Bishops. If he had intended to emphasize clearly the existence of formal schism on their part, he most likely would have employed the term de iure given the context of the assertion.

The absence of the use of such term on his part, however, does nothing to mitigate the gravity of the material schism by which souls are at grave risk of not being saved for as long as the situation perdures.

Agreed.  The SSPX is canonically screwed up.  But they are not formally schismatic.

Concerning the invalidly of absolution involves, he explains what “common error” is and what it isn’t.

SSPX priests are presumed at Universal Law only to possess jurisdiction or the faculty to absolve from sin in two exceptional circumstances.  First, pursuant to the norm of can. 976, “Any priest, even though he lacks the faculty to hear confessions, can validly and lawfully absolve any penitents who are in danger of death, from any censures and sins, even if an approved priest is present.” “Any priest” according to this norm would include validly ordained SSPX priests. Second, in conformity with the norm of can. 144, § 1, whenever (1) Common Error of Fact or Law and (2) Positive and Probable Doubt of Fact or Law have been verified to exist in a certain fact pattern, the Church “supplies” a iure universali the faculty required for SSPX priests to absolve from sins validly. “Error” in this norm means a state of erroneous judgment; “doubt” in this canon means a grave, positive and probable doubt asserted by numerous doctors of Canon Law of unimpaired reputation extant on the part of the SSPX priest acting as confessor.

While canonists find no controversy in the assertion that SSPX priests who are validly ordained and not otherwise impeded have the faculty to absolve the faithful from sin in danger of death of a penitent (cf. can. 976), the jurisprudence of the Roman Rota does provide some rare official light into the other question of whether SSPX priests possess the jurisdiction required to witness marriage validly.

The canonist lays out really well the situation of priests of the SSPX and that they don’t possess faculties (right now) validly to absolve and they cannot witness marriages (thus, making them invalid because of lack of form. He explains that judgments of the Church’s highest tribunal on marriage has consistently ruled that the marriages were invalid because SSPX priests cannot witness marriages.

The thrust here is that the judgments of the Roman Rota has found SSPX marriages invalid because of lack of form.  This provides a parallel for understanding also that the SSPX also don’t have faculties to hear confessions.  “Error” of judgment is excluded, because the teaching of the Holy See has been clear.  “Doubt” is excluded because canonists are in line.

Canon 144 only refers to the Church supplying “potestatem regiminis executivam”, the “executive power of governance”.

Keeping with confession as an example, and one that involves internal forum, can. 144 covers instances wherein a priest who lacks the faculty to hear confessions at all, or he just lacks them in a particular place or situation, nevertheless believes he has the faculty and the penitent also believes he does.   Thus, it doesn’t quite cover the situation of SSPX priests, who know very what proper authority as instructed about their state: they lack faculties.  They, however, do not obey proper authority.   They might honestly believe that they can receive confessions because of some state of “emergency” that the Church is in, but, intellectually, they know that the Church has told them that they don’t.  They aren’t ignorant of the facts, though they – even with sincerity – may not accept them.  Some lay people are up to date on the controversy, though most are not.

More HERE.

I thank Mr. Voris, because he laid out will with this interview many of the issues that plague the sacramental life of followers of the SSPX and he explodes the claim that the SSPX is formally schismatic.

I’ll repeat also what I have written may times.  I look forward to the complete reconciliation of the SSPX.  They have great contributions to make.  I also think that Pope Francis might be the one to resolve this formally.  It took Nixon to go to China.

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On the World Meeting of Families...

Posted on Sep 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger is Gina Loehr, who wrote about meeting Pope Francis in the May 2015 issue of St. Anthony Messenger.

It feels a bit like Christmas. I’ve been waiting a whole year to attend the World Meeting of Families and now the event is inching closer. Just a few more days! Finally, all of the planning and prayer is about to come to fruition. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.

It was September ninth, 2014, when the letter from Archbishop Chaput arrived inviting my husband and I to speak at the Congress. We’ve been working with the team of organizers ever since to prepare our talk, arrange travel plans, and explore the relevant theological themes. Well in advance of the logistics of event planning, however, the leaders of this global gathering put together a beautiful document, Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive. This “preparatory catechesis” outlines ten topics that affect families, laying the groundwork for the sessions that will be going on at the Congress.

But the Congress and the catechesis aren’t the only exciting part of this package. Pope Francis is coming too! I feel a special love for this man whom I had the privilege to meet in person while I was in Rome in October, 2013, the same month my father and I turned in the manuscript for our book about him, Saint Francis, Pope Francis: A Common Vision.

I see in the Holy Father such an authentic witness to Gospel joy, and such astonishing courage to listen and love. Presently, his attention is focused on listening to and loving families. Not only has he invoked the Synod of the Family, he has also given a weekly catechesis on the family since December of 2014. And I’m sure we are about to hear more of his thoughts regarding the daunting and delicate task of being family amidst the challenges of the modern world.

What exactly he will say remains a mystery. Like the wrapped presents sitting under a Christmas tree, I know something wonderful will soon be revealed. So stay tuned. When the big day finally comes, I’ll be sure to tell you all about it!

*****
Photo: Catholic News Service

The post On the World Meeting of Families appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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On the World Meeting of Families...

Posted on Sep 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger is Gina Loehr, who wrote about meeting Pope Francis in the May 2015 issue of St. Anthony Messenger.

It feels a bit like Christmas. I’ve been waiting a whole year to attend the World Meeting of Families and now the event is inching closer. Just a few more days! Finally, all of the planning and prayer is about to come to fruition. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.

It was September ninth, 2014, when the letter from Archbishop Chaput arrived inviting my husband and I to speak at the Congress. We’ve been working with the team of organizers ever since to prepare our talk, arrange travel plans, and explore the relevant theological themes. Well in advance of the logistics of event planning, however, the leaders of this global gathering put together a beautiful document, Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive. This “preparatory catechesis” outlines ten topics that affect families, laying the groundwork for the sessions that will be going on at the Congress.

But the Congress and the catechesis aren’t the only exciting part of this package. Pope Francis is coming too! I feel a special love for this man whom I had the privilege to meet in person while I was in Rome in October, 2013, the same month my father and I turned in the manuscript for our book about him, Saint Francis, Pope Francis: A Common Vision.

I see in the Holy Father such an authentic witness to Gospel joy, and such astonishing courage to listen and love. Presently, his attention is focused on listening to and loving families. Not only has he invoked the Synod of the Family, he has also given a weekly catechesis on the family since December of 2014. And I’m sure we are about to hear more of his thoughts regarding the daunting and delicate task of being family amidst the challenges of the modern world.

What exactly he will say remains a mystery. Like the wrapped presents sitting under a Christmas tree, I know something wonderful will soon be revealed. So stay tuned. When the big day finally comes, I’ll be sure to tell you all about it!

*****
Photo: Catholic News Service

The post On the World Meeting of Families appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Always Count Your Blessings...

Posted on Sep 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Melanie Rigney, author of Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith.

The Beatitudes. Doesn’t it just make you smile to say that out loud, to think of Jesus going up that mountain, sitting down, and then speaking those beautiful words?

The challenge is that to Jesus and therefore to us, the Beatitudes are more than words. They are a way to follow him. They lay out an exceedingly difficult road map to live. Be meek? Me? Be a peacemaker? Me? Find something positive in mourning? Me? Yes, you. And all of us.

I often speak about the female saints to Catholic women’s groups, and two things tug at my heart. The first is the little boxes we try to put these holy women in. They weren’t perfect, folks, and they would have been the first to tell you about their struggles with the loss of loved ones, their health, their dignity. The faith and confidence they had in the Lord make them bigger than those little boxes.

That brings us to the second thing: Like them, you are blessed. Not tomorrow, not when the kids go off to college, not when you get that next promotion. Now. Today. How do I know that? Because Jesus told us. Note the Beatitudes are not in the future tense, or the past, for that matter.

You are blessed now, today and always, just like the women on these pages. Believe it. The blessings abound, whenever two or more are gathered in his name. And as women, we are great at gathering, aren’t we?

For more on Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith. click here.

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Photo: Gustavo Frazao/Shutterstock

The post Always Count Your Blessings appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Our Whole Being Should Speak of God...

Posted on Sep 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our blog today is an excerpt from Franciscan Media’s new book The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francisedited by Alicia von Stamwitz.

In our cities and villages there are brave men and others who are timid, there are Christian missionaries and others who are asleep. And there are many who are searching, even if they do not admit it. Everyone is called, everyone is sent out. However, the place of the call is not necessarily the parish center; the moment is not necessarily a pleasant parish event. The call of God can reach us on the assembly line and in the office, in the supermarket and in the stairwell, that is, in the places of everyday life.

Speaking about God, bringing the message of God’s love and salvation in Jesus Christ to men is the duty of all the baptized. And this duty involves, not only speaking with words, but in all one’s actions and way of doing things. Our whole being should speak of God, even in the ordinary things. In this way witness is authentic, and thus shall it always be new and fresh in the power of the Holy Spirit.

“Every Christian can witness to God in the workplace, not only with words, but above all with an honest life.” –Pope Francis

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.

COT_JPiWEAAvus9

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Photo by BABAROGA/Shutterstock 

The post Our Whole Being Should Speak of God appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Our Whole Being Should Speak of God...

Posted on Sep 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our blog today is an excerpt from Franciscan Media’s new book The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francisedited by Alicia von Stamwitz.

In our cities and villages there are brave men and others who are timid, there are Christian missionaries and others who are asleep. And there are many who are searching, even if they do not admit it. Everyone is called, everyone is sent out. However, the place of the call is not necessarily the parish center; the moment is not necessarily a pleasant parish event. The call of God can reach us on the assembly line and in the office, in the supermarket and in the stairwell, that is, in the places of everyday life.

Speaking about God, bringing the message of God’s love and salvation in Jesus Christ to men is the duty of all the baptized. And this duty involves, not only speaking with words, but in all one’s actions and way of doing things. Our whole being should speak of God, even in the ordinary things. In this way witness is authentic, and thus shall it always be new and fresh in the power of the Holy Spirit.

“Every Christian can witness to God in the workplace, not only with words, but above all with an honest life.” –Pope Francis

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.

COT_JPiWEAAvus9

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Photo by BABAROGA/Shutterstock 

The post Our Whole Being Should Speak of God appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Everything Belongs to God ...

Posted on Sep 16, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

St. Francis of Assisi considered “appropriation” as the root sin because it claims for a person what belongs to God alone. In calling us to live more truthfully, Pope Francis is inviting us to avoid claiming for ourselves what belongs to God alone.

To put it another way, Pope Francis, who was a servant leader as archbishop of Buenos Aires for 15 years, is encouraging Catholics and others to avoid appropriation, but, instead, to be humbly attentive to the truth, goodness, and beauty that come from God alone.

At his July 25, 2013, welcoming ceremony at Copacabana Beach, Pope Francis cited St. Paul’s advice, “Put on Christ” (Rom 13:14). The pope continued: “Place your trust in him and you will never be disappointed! You see how faith accomplishes a revolution in us, one which we can call Copernican, because it removes us from the center and restores it to God; faith immerses us in his love and gives us security, strength, and hope.”

Francis of Assisi would heartily agree.

This blog was taken from Pat McCloskey’s article entitle “Pope Francis: Why the Name Fits” in St. Anthony Messenger. To subscribe to this award-winning publication, click here.

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.

COT_JPiWEAAvus9

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Featured photo: miqu77 / Shutterstock

 

The post Everything Belongs to God  appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Everything Belongs to God ...

Posted on Sep 16, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

St. Francis of Assisi considered “appropriation” as the root sin because it claims for a person what belongs to God alone. In calling us to live more truthfully, Pope Francis is inviting us to avoid claiming for ourselves what belongs to God alone.

To put it another way, Pope Francis, who was a servant leader as archbishop of Buenos Aires for 15 years, is encouraging Catholics and others to avoid appropriation, but, instead, to be humbly attentive to the truth, goodness, and beauty that come from God alone.

At his July 25, 2013, welcoming ceremony at Copacabana Beach, Pope Francis cited St. Paul’s advice, “Put on Christ” (Rom 13:14). The pope continued: “Place your trust in him and you will never be disappointed! You see how faith accomplishes a revolution in us, one which we can call Copernican, because it removes us from the center and restores it to God; faith immerses us in his love and gives us security, strength, and hope.”

Francis of Assisi would heartily agree.

This blog was taken from Pat McCloskey’s article entitle “Pope Francis: Why the Name Fits” in St. Anthony Messenger. To subscribe to this award-winning publication, click here.

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.

COT_JPiWEAAvus9

*****

Featured photo: miqu77 / Shutterstock

 

The post Everything Belongs to God  appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Countdown to the Papal Visit...

Posted on Sep 15, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Tick, tick, tick. That seems to be the sound in my head this week as I get ready for Pope Francis’ fast-approaching trip to Cuba and the US. But that ticking is not just in my head. All of us at Franciscan Media are hearing it as we gear up for this event. You see, we’re going all out in our coverage of this historic visit.

In anticipation, we’ve adjusted our magazine production schedule so we can have our November issue finished sooner than usual, allowing us to focus on the visit. That will be important, since we’ll have staff members on the ground in the various cities of the trip, as well as at the World Meeting of Families. During that time, we’ll be posting on our company’s social media accounts, as well as this blog site, so that you can get a firsthand account of the visit.

Back at the office, staff members will be feverishly working to put together the official commemorative book of the papal visit (see ad below), which Franciscan Media is creating in collaboration with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic News Service.


COT_JPiWEAAvus9Love 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.

 

 


By the time the pope gets back to Rome, we’ll be busy wrapping up that project. But, wait, there’s more. Once that heads off to the printer, we’ll get going on our December issue of St. Anthony Messenger, which will feature our wrap-up coverage of the visit.

And, while it’s going to be a fun adventure, I suspect when it’s all said and done, we’re going to look back on all we’ve done and decide that we could use a little r & r.

The post Countdown to the Papal Visit appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Pope Francis goes to confession “every 15 or 20 ...

Posted on Sep 14, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Pope Francis confessionalCheck out

During an interview with a Portuguese radio station, Pope Francis spoke about his own discipline with the sacrament of penance. HERE

At the end of the interview, the Pope said he goes to confession “every 15 or 20 days” with a Franciscan priest who comes to him at the Vatican. “I never had to call an ambulance to take him back, in shock over my sins!” he joked. He also said he believed eternity would be a “mystery of encounter … almost unimaginable but it must be very beautiful and wonderful to meet with God.”

Were I Pope, for confession I think I’d wander up the path in the Vatican Garden to see Benedict XVI.

How long has it been since YOU have gone to confession?

Examine your consciences and GO TO CONFESSION!

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Running after Poverty...

Posted on Sep 14, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Like his patron, St. Francis, Pope Francis keeps the poor and vulnerable before our eyes, even going so far as to install showers at St. Peter’s Basilica for the poor and homeless. And when he came to Assisi in 2013, Pope Francis went first to a church-run center for physically challenged children and spent 45 minutes personally greeting them, and saying to them and their caregivers, “We are among the wounds of Jesus. Jesus is hidden in these young people.
We treat the wounds of Jesus here.”

That awareness of those who suffer, that compassion, is why people run after Pope Francis, and why they ran after St. Francis. It is why a little boy ran onto the stage in St. Peter’s Square and clung to the leg of Pope Francis. The boy felt drawn to this grandfatherly man who, like Jesus, welcomes little children and blesses them.

Nor is Pope Francis simply a saintly-but-sentimental man; for he also challenges us and reminds us of the dangers of our materialism. Those can create a culture of comfort that makes us think only of ourselves, a culture of waste that seizes God’s gifts only to savor them briefly and then discard them, a culture of indifference that desensitizes us to the suffering of others.


COT_JPiWEAAvus9Love 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.

 

 

 


Pope Francis reminds us that the Church itself can get caught up in this kind of materialism. In Assisi, in the room where St. Francis stripped himself of his material goods, the pope said, “Many of you have been stripped by this savage world, which doesn’t provide work, which doesn’t help, to which it makes no difference that children die of hunger.” Then he added, “This is a good occasion to invite the Church itself to strip itself.”

He has not let up on that message he delivered in Assisi. He gave a clear warning to the Vatican Curia last December, listing the dangers that positions of power can bring. It was an indication of the changes that are under way—bringing the Church away from temptation, into Christ-like action.

Compassion and the challenge of the Gospel: that is why people run after Pope Francis.

Murray Bodo, OFM, is a popular author and poet. His new book is Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality (Franciscan Media).

 

The post Running after Poverty appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Papa Stronsay Calendar 2016 Pre-Order...

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The Papa Stronsay Calendar has been growing in popularity over the years, and we hope that the year 2016 will be no exception!
The 2016 Papa Stronsay Calendar is nearing completion so we offer you the chance to get in early and pre-order your copy now!
Our calendar makes a great gift for friends and family (and even for yourself!).
You can even conveniently order you calendars right here on this very page:
Quantity:
Want to keep up-to-date with developments?  Just subscribe below, and we’ll let you know when each new Papa Stronsay Calendar is available!
Email:

 

Obviously we only send emails relevant to the Calendar, and we don’t share your address with anyone else.
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Pope Francis and Saint Francis...

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

When Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose to be called Pope Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, many people around the world were surprised but approved instantly.

Although Francis of Assisi was canonized two years after he died in 1226, no pope had ever selected that name. Cardinal Bergoglio’s choice was innovative (patron of ecology), yet traditional (Francis and Catherine of Siena are co-patrons of Italy). Pope Francis will certainly have more to say about his namesake when he visits Assisi on October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

A new papal style and new priorities have clearly emerged. Indeed, in one of the general congregations before the conclave, Cardinal Bergoglio stated that the Church needs to be less “self-referential” and more focused on calling attention to Jesus than to itself. Francis of Assisi could not have agreed more strongly.

Perhaps Popes Nicholas IV, Sixtus IV, Sixtus V, and Clement XIV (all Franciscans) didn’t choose the name Francis because they wanted to avoid setting the bar too high for themselves. Or maybe they passed over the name for the same reason other popes have not taken the name Peter—out of respect.

Pope Francis has certainly set the bar high for himself—and, by extension, for the Catholic Church. Other Christians quickly resonated with his name choice because St. Francis of Assisi can teach everyone a great deal.

Pope Francis in America

COT_JPiWEAAvus9Love 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.

 

 

 

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Photo: Catholic News Service

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The Joy of Pope Francis...

Posted on Sep 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Pope Francis radiates joy at public events (think World Youth Day in Brazil and similar gatherings in Korea and Albania) and in private meetings. His interviews with journalists for Catholic magazines and daily newspapers reveal a profound joy. Reporters who cover papal trips see that same joy when he answers their questions during flights back to Rome. So do people who receive a phone call from him in response to a letter they have written.

“The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus,” he writes to open “The Joy of the Gospel” (his November 2013 apostolic exhortation). He continues, “Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness, and loneliness. With Christ, joy is constantly reborn” (1).

Pope Francis has coined memorable expressions such as “There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter” (6), “An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral” (10), and we must not allow defeatism to turn us into “disillusioned pessimists, sourpusses” (85).

But Pope Francis is no Pollyanna, refusing to take seriously threats to human dignity on all fronts. Consider this quote: “Today, our challenge is not so much atheism as the need to respond adequately to many people’s thirst for God, lest they try to satisfy it with alienating solutions or with a disembodied Jesus who demands nothing of us with regard to others” (89). Earlier he had written, “We have to state, without mincing words, that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them” (48). Joy can indeed lead to deep compassion.

A lifetime of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ reflects a deep inner joy and encourages the same among all Christians.

Pope Francis in America

COT_JPiWEAAvus9Love 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.

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Photo: giulio napolitano/Shutterstock

The post The Joy of Pope Francis appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Is There Really a Heaven?...

Posted on Sep 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Have you ever wondered if there really was a heaven?  I know I have, but I have always been cautiously optimistic.

You’ve heard the stories of people that were clinically dead and a few minutes later come back to life with incredible stories of what they experienced–from bright lights to seeing a loved one on the “other side.”  The stories always seemed wonderful, but I was still doubtful. How can that be true? Would God really want us to know what was waiting for us when we were going to heaven?

One day, while working in the Customer Service department a woman called to cancel her subscription to the St. Anthony Messenger magazine. When I asked her why she was canceling she told me she was 80 years old. Two weeks before, while on the operating table, she died for four minutes.

She asked me if I had ever heard the stories of the bright, white light. When I told her yes she giggled and said it was absolutely true. I asked her if she was afraid and she said no. She had a great sense of peace as she was heading to the bright light. She knew she was dead and heading to heaven and then in an instant she heard a voice telling her that her job was not done. She had things to do before she could come Home.

I don’t know about you, but that put goosebumps down my arms! This lady was canceling her newspapers, magazines and bank accounts so that when she finally does go Home her responsibilities would be less for those that remain behind. She was so joyful, so inspiring, so awesome, I believed her!

Upon reflection of this woman’s story, I was thinking why is it I have no problem believing in the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. In a word, I have faith. Jesus is in my heart. He is a part of my being, of who I am.

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Featured image: Shutterstock

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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."