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Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love
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God’s greatest and most beloved treasure is human life
August 23, 2015
The Bible points us to the truth of what lies at the heart of every moral teaching of Jesus Christ and his church. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, we hear him warn the people to “[w]atch carefully how you live” (Ephesians 5:15). He does this not because he wants to control their lives, dictating what they can and cannot do. Rather, he provides this guidance to them so that they can experience the joy of living a Gospel-centered life.
The charism of infallibility takes several forms
August 09, 2015
A common misconception among many non-Catholics is that we Catholics are expected to believe that everything the pope says is infallible and therefore are obliged to obey blindly whatever he teaches. Actually, the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ endowed the church's shepherds (that is, the pope and bishops) with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals.
Planned Parenthood exposed again for what it believes
July 26, 2015
Recently, the Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos and documentation showing how people at the highest levels of Planned Parenthood are negotiating the sale of body parts and adjusting the way they perform abortions so that the body parts are more accessible. New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood's Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted fetuses, and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts. In the video, Nucatola is at a business lunch casually sipping a glass of red wine with actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company. As head of Planned Parenthood's Medical Services Department, Nucatola has overseen medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. She also trains new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles.
We are being called to put God above all else
July 12, 2015
Our nation has suffered a loss of virtue and honor that threatens our freedom with the decision of the United States Supreme Court last month attempting to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships. It was an "attempt" because the State has no moral authority to change what God has created. The government certainly has the legal power in civil law to coerce its definition, but that does not make it morally valid in the higher realm of supernatural realities. The tragic decision of the Supreme Court mocks the true meaning of marriage and thereby makes a mockery of itself.
Where are you and I after five years as your bishop?
June 28, 2015
Monday, June 22, marked the fifth anniversary of my installation as the ninth Bishop of Springfield in Illinois. Anytime we look back at a period of time in our lives, it is natural to look for highlights and accomplishments, as well as to take note of things that did not go as well as anticipated. Starting with the latter, it was a real disappointment that the civil unions act was passed and signed into law during my first year as Bishop in Springfield, resulting in the state of Illinois canceling our contract for foster care and adoption services because we would not place children with couples living contrary to the teachings of our faith. This misfortune was exacerbated in 2013 with the State attempting to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. I say “attempt” because the State has no moral authority to change a natural institution created by God. It certainly has the legal power in civil law to coerce its definition, but that does not make it morally valid in the higher realm of supernatural realities.
What that middle initial in my dad’s name could mean
June 14, 2015
Last month in celebration of Mother’s Day, I shared my brother Joe’s reflections about our mom, Veronica Paprocki. In anticipation of Father’s Day, I want to share with you some reflections from the homily that I gave at my dad’s funeral on Dec. 16, 1997.
Invitation to the faithful to participate in Corpus Christi processions
May 31, 2015
Sunday, June 7, is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known by its Latin name of Corpus Christi. Last year to mark this occasion I published my first Pastoral Letter, Ars Celebrandi et Adorandi (On the Art of Celebrating the Eucharistic Liturgy Properly and Adoring the Lord in the Eucharist Devoutly). The Eucharist is essentially God’s efficacious action, but we can either cooperate with God’s grace by celebrating the Eucharistic liturgy properly or hinder its effects by failing to do so. Celebrating Holy Mass properly, with a welcoming and caring community, good music, inspiring preaching, heartfelt prayer and an environment conducive to prayer, will attract people to participate and deepen their connection to God and the church. An unfriendly and uncaring community, bad music, poor preaching, insincere prayer and an environment distracting from prayer will turn people away.
My mother, Veronica, receives ‘the greatest gift you can imagine’
May 17, 2015
In celebration of Mother's Day on Sunday, May 10, my brother Joe wrote a wonderful tribute about our mother on his blog (http://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/) that I would like to share with you. It is titled, Veronica: True Icon — A Tribute to My Mom:
Episcopal motto of Cardinal George: ‘To Christ be Glory in the Church’
May 03, 2015
Shortly after I was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago by Pope John Paul II in 2003, I received a packet in the mail from a man whose hobby was tracing the genealogy of bishops, not in the sense of family ancestry, but in the terms of episcopal lineage. The fact that every Catholic bishop follows in an unbroken chain by the imposition of hands going back to the times of the apostles is called apostolic succession. Since I was ordained a bishop by Francis Cardinal George, this means that my lineage as a bishop traces back through him. Cardinal George was ordained a bishop by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, who in turn was ordained by Cardinal Jean Villot, Vatican Secretary of State, from 1969 to 1979. The fact that Cardinal Villot was French means that my episcopal lineage traces back through France. Although the records hit a dead-end after several centuries, there is no doubt in my mind that my apostolic succession goes back to the original apostles. It only means that meticulous records were not kept from the outset, but the early church relied heavily on oral tradition for handing down the faith from generation to generation.
Not a ‘license to discriminate,’ rather, fairness for all
April 19, 2015
There has been a lot of incorrect and misleading information about recent legislation in Indiana and Arkansas designed to protect religious freedom. Gay-rights activists have wrongfully characterized these laws as providing a license to discriminate against homosexual people. In fact, the state Religious Freedom Restoration Act adopted recently in Indiana and Arkansas is modeled on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)adopted by Congress with nearly unanimous bipartisan support in both the United States House and Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
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