Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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December 16, 2012
As a hockey fan, I feel disappointed that there have been no National Hockey League games played this season due to the labor dispute following the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement last September. Negotiations between league officials, owners, players and their union have been going on now for months with no sign of agreement in sight.
December 02, 2012
"Fiscal cliff" is the term being used to describe the drastic consequences of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that will go into effect unless the White House and Congress can reach some solution by the end of this month. While concern about the "fiscal cliff" is certainly warranted, it pales in comparison to the "moral cliff" over which many weak souls are in danger of tumbling. The "fiscal cliff" threatens economic hardship in this world, but falling over the "moral cliff" lands one in eternal torment in the life to come.
November 17, 2012
"No matter what happens in the election on Tuesday, I know I'll wake up happy on Wednesday." That was the confident assertion of a person with whom I was speaking after our recent Diocesan Adult Enrichment Conference, held in Decatur. I was intrigued, so I asked, "Why do you say that?" She answered, "Because no matter what happens in the election, Jesus Christ will still be Lord!"
November 04, 2012
We have now begun the “Year of Faith” proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In civil society, the celebration of a New Year is generally over by Jan. 2 and most New Year’s resolutions are quickly forgotten. In the church, the observance of a holy year needs to be remembered throughout the year, not just on the first day. This Year of Faith will continue until Nov. 24, 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King. We should keep this celebration in mind until then.
October 21, 2012
Due to the volume of calls, letters and e-mails, it has been impossible to respond to most of them personally. But to those with whom I have spoken, like the football fan mentioned earlier, my first question is usually to ask if they have read the whole column or watched the entire video recording of it. The answer is usually no. They read a few excerpted sentences out of context, watched a pirated video with a brief clip accompanied by someone else’s spin on what they thought I said, or saw an editorial in the local secular newspaper that distorted and misrepresented my words. So it would help for people to read the whole column or watch the entire video recording of it before reacting.
October 07, 2012
This is the time of year when many dioceses are celebrating their annual "Red Mass" for judges, lawyers, politicians and others who work in the legal profession. The name "Red Mass" comes from the red vestments that are worn for Masses of the Holy Spirit, because the wisdom of the Holy Spirit is being implored to bless and guide the work of justice at the beginning of the new court term. Being one of the few bishops who has both a canon law and a civil law degree, I am often asked at this time of year to be a homilist for the Red Mass or speaker at gatherings of lawyers and judges around the country.
September 23, 2012
Much attention was given at the Democratic National Convention held recently in Charlotte, N.C., to the fact that all references to God had been purged from the draft version of the party platform. After outcries of protest from outside as well as within the Democratic Party, the sentence with the same reference to God used in 2008 was restored to read, "We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."
September 09, 2012
Last Monday our nation observed the national holiday known as Labor Day. For many people, the topic of "labor" was noticed mainly insofar as it was a day free from work. But before the subject recedes too far from our minds, I would like to take this opportunity to offer some reflections on the theological significance of human work. After all, if work is understood as nothing more than the performance of tasks in order to get paid, we will have a hard time seeing a deeper meaning as a reason for our toil and our labors will be viewed as no more than drudgery to be endured until they are completed.
August 26, 2012
On Aug. 1, the mandate of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) went into effect, requiring employers who offer group health insurance in a business of any size to provide coverage for contraception, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations. Some owners of Catholic-run businesses or organizations have asked what this means for them and what their options are in light of Catholic moral teaching.
August 12, 2012
Nearly 4 billion people are estimated to have watched the Summer Olympics in London the past couple of weeks. That is an astounding number of people, considering there are 7 billion people in the world. Of these, 1.6 billion have no access to electricity. A further 300 million may have access to electricity, but are under 5 years old. So why do so many people watch?