Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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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
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.
January 29, 2012
Last November, President Barack Obama assured Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, that he would rein in his administration’s attempts to require virtually all private health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives, abortion pills and female sterilization procedures. These requirements were included in an “interim final rule” issued on Aug. 1, 2011 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These were listed among “preventive services for women” that all health plans would have to include without co-pays or other cost-sharing — even if the insurer, the employer or other plan sponsor, or the woman herself object to such coverage. There have been many protests, including formal comments filed with HHS by many organizations and a petition signed by over 430 Catholic leaders. The president sought to assure Archbishop Dolan and all the bishops of the United States that our concerns were unfounded.
January 15, 2012
As the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Wednesday, Jan. 18, it is helpful for us to take note of some trends about Christianity in the world. While the secular media often portray Christianity in an unfavorable light, there is much good news about the spread of Christianity in the world that you may not have heard about.
January 01, 2012
Recently I participated in a meeting between Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn and several other Catholic Bishops of Illinois. Some reports of this meeting have been inaccurate or incomplete. Since I was present for this meeting, I would like to set the record straight.