Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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June 17, 2012
Summer is upon us, bringing vacations, picnics and beach parties. Actually we have been blessed with summer-like weather for several weeks. The warm weather has also brought out summer apparel earlier than usual. Unfortunately, skimpy garb more suitable for vacations, picnics and beach parties has also made its way into church as the clothing of choice for many people. In visiting many of our parishes this spring for confirmation as well as attending some commencement ceremonies, I have noticed more and more people wearing short shorts, tank-tops and flip-flops. Even the more formal wear with slit-leg dresses, bare midriffs and strapless tops looks more suited to a House of Blues than the House of God.
June 03, 2012
There's a new movie opening in theaters this weekend called For Greater Glory. Normally I don't endorse or recommend movies, but this one is very timely given our current struggles to protect religious liberty from government encroachment. For Greater Glory is the story of the Cristero War, fought from 1926 to 1929 by devout Catholic rebels against the Mexican government's attempt to secularize the country.
May 20, 2012
In his best-selling book published over 20 years ago, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey wrote of the importance of what he called the Character Ethic, which “is based on the fundamental idea that there are principles that govern human effectiveness — natural laws in the human dimension that are just as real, just as ‘unchanging’ ... as laws such as gravity are in the physical dimension.”
May 06, 2012
Recently at the Vatican the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released their findings of the Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). In order to implement the findings of the doctrinal assessment, the Holy See, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has appointed Most Reverend Peter Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle, as its archbishop delegate for review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work of the LCWR. Most Reverend Leonard Blair, Bishop of Toledo, and I were also appointed as assistant delegates.
April 22, 2012
It was disappointing to see a gratuitous slap at the Catholic Church in a column published on April 7, the day before Easter, in the local secular newspaper, The State Journal-Register. Easter should be a time for all Christians to rejoice in their shared belief in the Lord’s resurrection, yet the Episcopalian priest-columnist Tom Ehrich took the occasion to write divisively, “In the Roman Catholic Church, where central control is everything, a wave of decentralized thinking is threatening Rome’s control over congregations, personal practices and even doctrine.” His point was that the Catholic Church threatens his view of what he calls “free thinking.” He claims that the method of the Messiah was to encourage “freedom from all constraints.”
April 08, 2012
Every year in October all of our parishes count the number of people who come to Mass each Sunday. The report with the detailed numbers for each parish in our diocese is available on our diocesan website at www.dio.org/chancellor/october-count.html.
March 25, 2012
In my March 11 column in the Catholic Times, I briefly made mention of the fact that, “The Catholic Church teaches that artificial contraception is wrong, but planning the size of one’s family can be done [in a morally acceptable manner] with natural family planning (NFP).”
March 11, 2012
The people of ancient Sparta were known for their valor, virtue and devotion in the Greek Golden Age. When I was in high school seminary, I learned about the notion of arete as taught by the ancient Greeks. In its basic sense, arete means excellence of any kind. This notion of excellence was ultimately related to one’s sense of fulfillment of purpose or function. Sometimes translated as “virtue,” arete can also be understood in the sense of “being the best you can be,” or “reaching your highest human potential.”
February 26, 2012
Earlier this month, I traveled to Rome with the bishops of our region (Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) for meetings with the Pope Benedict XVI and other Vatican officials. These are periodic meetings that bishops are expected to make every few years to report to the Holy See on the various ministries of our dioceses. This is called an ad limina visit because one of its primary features is a visit to the tombs of the Apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul.
February 12, 2012
Two weekends ago (Jan. 26-29), I was blessed to be able to attend the Cursillo weekend at Quincy University. It was very inspiring to see the deep faith of the speakers and the way that Cursillo was able to help people to deal with their struggles in life, change their lives to be more committed to Jesus, and put their faith into action. Because it was such a memorable experience, I would like to tell you more about it.