Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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June 02, 2013
In my column in the May 5 issue of the Catholic Times, in the wake of the terrorist bombing at Boston Marathon in April, I wrote, "Identifying radical Islamist jihadism as the motivation for so much brutal terrorism will undoubtedly bring outcries from those who will complain that this unfairly labels all Muslims, but those energies would be better spent if peaceful Muslims would very vocally disavow the radical Islamist jihadists and publicly denounce their violent version of Islam. Perhaps then we could have a real conversation about how people of all religious faiths could live together peacefully in a pluralistic world."
May 19, 2013
The current issue of the Catholic Times and our diocesan website contain the list of official clergy assignments that will take effect on July 1. I will not recount the specifics here, but wish to provide some background information about some of these assignments and the implications in general when clergy are reassigned.
May 05, 2013
It was a more innocent day when I ran the Boston Marathon on April 20, 1998. The biggest security issue back then was dealing with the "bandits" who would run the race without qualifying, without registering, and without paying the entrance fee. They would not get a medal at the finish line and their time was not officially counted, but every year a few thousand bandits would sneak in to run the 26.2 mile course from Hopkinton, Mass., into downtown Boston.
April 21, 2013
The Catholic Church marks the 50th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations this Sunday, April 21. The late Pope Paul VI established this day to be observed each year on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, called Good Shepherd Sunday, because our Gospel reading this day is the passage where Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd who “lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:1-30).
April 07, 2013
While the term “commons” has been in use for centuries in various ways, the phrase “global commons” in more recent literature signifies the total inheritance of humankind upon which life depends. This includes more than natural resources such as forests, oceans and air. It encompasses our intellectual and cultural heritage — for instance, literature, art and the Internet. Seen in this light, our participation in the global commons is fundamental to being human.
March 24, 2013
It is no coincidence that Pope Benedict XVI chose to step down from the office of Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church two days before Ash Wednesday last month. It is also no coincidence that Pope Francis is beginning his pontificate as we approach Easter, the celebration of Our Lord’s rising to new life.
March 10, 2013
Much has been said by many who have voiced their opinions about what qualities will be needed in our new pope. After all is said and done, I simply place my trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the cardinal-electors in the conclave to choose wisely in accord with God's will. More important for our immediate consideration is our understanding of the qualities needed by us in relation to the pope and our attitude toward the new Holy Father, whoever he may be. The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides helpful instruction in this regard.
February 24, 2013
Since Pope Benedict's surprise announcement earlier this month, there has been much discussion about what to call a pope who steps down from office. The confusion is understandable since a pope has not left office alive for almost 600 years. It might even be said that a pope has never stepped down quite under these circumstances in the 2,000 year history of the church.
February 09, 2013
In her guest column in The State Journal-Register on Jan. 25, Elaine Boardman asked, "Why should I return to the Catholic Church?" Her column was in response to the study of drifting and former Catholics being conducted by researchers at Benedictine University.
January 27, 2013
President Barack Obama did not invite me to deliver the benediction at his second inauguration as president of the United States of America on Jan. 21. I didn't really expect him to do so. Despite the fact that I am the Catholic bishop of Springfield in Illinois, where he first announced that he would run for president of the United States at the Old State Capitol building on Feb. 10, 2007, I am not his pastor, he is not Catholic, and we really don't know each other. But even if I were his pastor, if he were Catholic, and we did know each other, apparently I would have been disqualified by a new litmus test for cultural acceptability in certain quarters.