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Word and Worship
Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love
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We must recognize, name and resolve to overcome evil
March 08, 2015
The season of Lent is a time for us to accept that we are weak and sinful people born into a beautiful but broken world and then to renew our faith joyfully in the meaning of our baptism. For it was through our baptism that we entered into the mystery of Christ as redeemer.
Examine your life; conformity to God’s plan or contrary to it?
February 23, 2015
The season of Lent has begun, during which every year we examine our lives to see where we have strayed from God and how we can turn our hearts back to the Lord in preparation for the celebration of his resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday. This examination of conscience is both an individual and a communal task, that is, each person examines his or her own personal life to turn away from sin, but we as a society also need to take a look at how together we are living either in conformity with God’s plan or contrary to it.
Can our diocese handle marriage nullity cases free of charge?
February 08, 2015
Pope Francis recently gave his annual address to the judges of the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota, which serves as a court of appeals principally for marriage annulment cases. In his remarks on Jan. 23, the Holy Father said, “Sacraments are free of charge. The sacraments give us grace. And marriage processes touch on the sacrament of marriage. How I would like all marriage processes to be free of charge!”
Our rights of conscience must be recognized and guarded
January 25, 2015
On April 1, 2005, the day before the death of Pope John Paul II, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued an “emergency rule” that required pharmacies that sell contraceptives to fill prescriptions for birth control without delay. There was no provision for pharmacists who objected in conscience to filling prescriptions for contraceptives as a matter of their religious beliefs. In fact, the reason Blagojevich issued his executive order was precisely because some pharmacists had refused to fill such prescriptions as a matter of conscience. It was the former governor’s position that pharmacists had no rights of conscience, saying, “Just fill the prescription.”
Religious freedom must be led by the United States
January 11, 2015
Four years ago at my first Midnight Mass at the Cathedral in Springfield I spoke in my homily of the plight of Christians who are being persecuted and killed in the Middle East, saying that “we should count our blessings that we enjoy the freedom to [celebrate Christmas] in relative safety. But we should not forget our Christian brothers and sisters in other parts of the world that are not so fortunate and for whom Christmas is not so joyful.” Then and on some subsequent occasions that I have spoken or written about the persecution of Christians by radical Islamist extremists, my remarks have been criticized as being anti-Muslim. So let’s take a look at what others have been saying about this.
Replace division with love by looking into our own hearts
December 28, 2014
My prayer for this new year is that racial hatreds will be overcome, that ethnic prejudices and discrimination among all races may stop, that violence everywhere may cease, that lawful authority may be respected, that employment and educational opportunities may abound, that families and communities may abide in harmony, and that everyone will be able to live together in peace.
Father Edwards to direct our stewardship ‘way of life’
December 14, 2014
Last September in the Catholic Times newspaper I wrote about the Diocese of Wichita’s model of stewardship, which is nationally known and recognized as effective. Since that visit, it has been my hope that we could also become a diocese where people are deeply committed to a stewardship way of life.
With God, we can restore a community of intentional disciples
November 29, 2014
As bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, I am grateful for this opportunity to offer my reflections on the results from the online surveys of active and inactive Catholics in central Illinois conducted by researchers from Benedictine University in Lisle and published under the title, Joy and Grievance in an American Diocese. I am especially thankful to Dr. William Carroll, president of Benedictine University, for authorizing this study, and to Dr. Phillip Hardy of the Department of Political Science and Dr. Kelly Kandra and Dr. Brian Patterson of the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice, for gathering, analyzing and summarizing the survey responses from several hundred participants.
What happens when we die? Here’s a refresher
November 16, 2014
What happens when we die? This question was the topic of my presentation for “Theology on Tap” at the Knights of Columbus Hall at Lake Springfield on Oct. 29. The answer to this question is given by the Word of God as revealed to us in the Holy Bible and handed down authoritatively by Sacred Tradition in the Catholic Church. God’s revelation has been definitively revealed to us in Jesus Christ, so we should not expect or be looking for something new or different to be revealed to us.
Was the Synod of Bishops ordinary or extraordinary?
November 02, 2014
There was a lot of publicity, much of it misleading, about the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that took place last month on the topic of “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” The title itself is the source of some of that confusion, so it will help to explain some of these terms.
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