Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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February 18, 2018
We come now to the fourth declaration of our fourth diocesan synod. The first three declarations of the synod addressed our communal commitment to the discipleship and stewardship way of life as a community of faith, setting our pastoral initiatives in relation to holiness, and growing both in terms of the numbers of followers of Jesus Christ as well as in the depth of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our fourth synodal declaration seeks to describe more for us as individuals what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
February 04, 2018
Previously we have discussed the first two declarations of our fourth diocesan synod, in which we declared our commitment as a diocese to the discipleship and stewardship way of life and pledged to set all pastoral initiatives in relation to holiness. Today we will consider the third declaration of our diocesan synod
January 21, 2018
In the previous issue of Catholic Times, we discussed the first declaration of our diocesan synod, in which we proclaimed a new mission statement. Today we will look at the second declaration of our fourth diocesan synod, which states, “In the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, ‘all pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness’ and will invite people to a life of discipleship and stewardship.” That seems quite simple and even obvious, but it is deeply profound.
January 07, 2018
In this and in the upcoming issues of Catholic Times, I will explore each of these 12 Synodal Declarations in more detail, not only in terms of what they say, but also why we have made these declarations. The first of these declarations proclaims a new mission statement for all of us as members of this diocese.
December 24, 2017
Welcome to the first issue of Catholic Times in our new magazine format. The changes you see are not just in appearance, but rather are a total redesign to a more modern, more convenient magazine format that I hope you will find more appealing. At the same time, we will continue to address matters of interest to our readers concerning issues and events involving the life of faith in the local communities of our diocese as well as in the universal Catholic Church throughout the world. My column will continue to be a regular feature of Catholic Times. Since breaking news is often readily available today through the internet, our approach through Catholic Times will not necessarily aim at giving you the latest scoop on current events, but will focus more on going deeper into a story to help you understand the spiritual dimensions and religious implications for people of faith trying to live as committed disciples of Jesus Christ and grateful stewards of his generous gifts of creation. We will also give you a Catholic perspective of the news to counter and correct the anti-religious bias often found in the secular media.
December 10, 2017
In recent days, news reports have been filled with stories about accusations of sexual harassment involving powerful figures in the entertainment and media industries such as Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K., political journalist Mark Halperin, veteran TV talk-show host Charlie Rose, Today Show co-host Matt Lauer, and the author and radio personality Garrison Keillor. Politicians such as Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and Congressman John Conyers of Michigan have also been accused of sexual misconduct. In light of these scandals alleging abuse of power to coerce sexual favors, some commentators have been asking questions such as: Is office romance still allowed? Are new rules needed for the workplace?
November 26, 2017
We are now coming to the conclusion of our fourth diocesan synod, which has spanned most of this calendar year. On Sunday, Jan. 22, we held the Prayer Service for the Opening of the Preliminary Phase of the Diocesan Synod at our Cathedral in Springfield. The Synod Preparatory Commission developed a series of questions inviting people to reflect on the meaning of discipleship in their lives, namely, that being a disciple is to have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
October 29, 2017
On Saturday, Nov. 4, I will run the Indianapolis Marathon, God willing. Since beginning my marathon training on July 1, I have run 535 miles, including three long training runs of 20, 21 and 21.2 miles, so I should be ready to go. If all goes well, this will be my 23rd marathon. One of the reasons why I run marathons is to raise money for worthwhile causes. In the course of my 22 marathons, I have raised more than $460,000.00 for various charities. This year, my designated fundraising cause for the Indianapolis Marathon is “Running for Priestly Vocations.” Why is this needed? From a financial perspective, those of you with children or grandchildren in college know the cost of higher education. The cost of sending seminarians to college seminary and graduate theology in the major seminary is comparable. To give you an idea of the costs for our seminarians, our budget this fiscal year for 24 seminarians is $1,029,391, which comes to approximately $42,900 per seminarian.
October 15, 2017
Gov. Rauner’s broken promise and signing of taxpayer-funded abortion is shameful, but it is even more disgraceful that so many of the legislators who promoted and voted for House Bill 40 are Catholic. No one can facilitate the killing of unborn babies and still be a Catholic in good standing. No one can support abortion rights and claim to be following the teachings of Jesus Christ and his church. Christianity and abortion are inherently incompatible. From the very first century, The Teaching of the Apostles (known as the Didache) taught, “Do not murder a child by abortion or kill a newborn infant.”
October 01, 2017
Earlier this year the Illinois General Assembly passed House Bill 40, an abortion bill that expands taxpayer funding of abortion to Medicaid recipients and to those receiving state health care. It also aims to preserve the legality of abortion in Illinois if the U.S. Supreme Court should strike down Roe v. Wade. Last April, Gov. Bruce Rauner promised to veto HB 40 if it reached his desk, saying, “What we should not do is take on controversial divisive issues right now when we don’t have a balanced budget, when we do not have proper school funding, when we do not have economic growth and job creation. We should not take on divisive, controversial issues, and expanding taxpayer funding [for abortion] is a controversial divisive issue.” In recent days, the governor’s spokesperson indicated that he is now undecided about whether to keep his promise to veto House Bill 40.