Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October 19, 2014
In the previous issue of Catholic Times, I wrote about the plight of Christians and other religious minorities who are being slaughtered or forced to flee from their homes in the Middle East by the terrorist militants known as the Islamic State. Some Muslim leaders have spoken out against the Islamic State, but their statements have not received widespread media coverage or their statements have been ambiguous.
October 05, 2014
As the genocide of Christians by the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) militants continues, our government and several countries of the international community, including some nations in the Middle East, have begun to mobilize against the terrorists accused of indiscriminate killings, abductions and rapes. The Islamic State militants are also killing other religious minorities and even fellow Muslims whom they do not consider to be true Muslims.
September 21, 2014
My dear brothers and sisters, I am asking that each of you see yourself as a missionary disciple in assisting in the important work of growth in our parishes and in our diocese. This begins with gratefully recognizing that all that we have is a gift from the Lord, and out of that generosity, we respond with generosity by sharing those gifts with others and by supporting those services which assist the faithful to deepen their relationship with Christ so that they may become missionary disciples themselves, stewards of the gifts that they have received.
September 07, 2014
We should not dismiss the situation in Iraq as a far-away matter of no concern to us. U.S. intelligence officials said last month that the gains made in recent months by the Islamic State have bolstered its long-term ambitions in the West, including the United States. In light of this situation, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has called for all people to pray for peace in Iraq. Catholics are also encouraged to let their elected representatives know of their concern for Christians and other religious minorities who are in dire straits in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and other countries.
August 24, 2014
“Excommunication” is one of the most highly-charged and feared words connected with the Catholic faith. It is also one of the most misunderstood. Many people incorrectly believe that a person who has been excommunicated has been “kicked out” of the Catholic Church. They may also think that this is a permanent and irreversible punishment. The penalty may be viewed as harsh, lacking in charity, even un-Christian.