Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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July 22, 2018
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the papal encyclical, Humanae vitae, on the gift of human life, written by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1968. This landmark document provides beautiful and clear teaching about God’s plan for married love and the transmission of life. Three key issues framed the context for the writing of this encyclical: the introduction of the birth control pill in 1960, changes in the understanding of the dignity of women and their role in society and growing concern that the earth’s natural resources would not be able to handle the huge population explosion that many people expected.
July 08, 2018
The United States Supreme Court on June 27 decided that public sector employees can no longer be required to pay mandatory fees to support unions to which they do not wish to belong. When the case was decided against the union, Bishop Frank Dewane, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed his disappointment with the Supreme Court’s decision, citing “the long-held view of so many bishops” in support of unions. I respectfully disagree. Let me explain why.
June 24, 2018
Over the past six months, I have used my column in Catholic Times to explain the 12 declarations of our fourth diocesan synod that concluded last November. My hope is that this explanation will help to advance the cause of implementing these 12 declarations so that our diocesan commitment to discipleship and stewardship will take root and flourish.
June 10, 2018
The 12th (and last) declaration of our fourth diocesan synod has three paragraphs. It is an essential aspect of our Catholic identity that we understand that we belong to the wider Catholic community beyond our local parish. The word “catholic” in fact means “universal,” so we belong to the universal church throughout the world as well as to our local diocese. Priests are collaborators with their diocesan bishop and bishops are successors of the Apostles in union with the Pope, who is the successor of St. Peter. As individuals tithe to their parishes, the parishes in turn will tithe with the diocese, which in turn contributes to the needs of the universal church in Rome and throughout the world.
May 27, 2018
The 11th declaration of our fourth diocesan synod was one of the more highly discussed and debated topics of the synod. Tithing is a concept that is not familiar to many Catholics despite its strong biblical roots.
May 13, 2018
The 10th declaration of our fourth diocesan synod makes clear the connection between discipleship and stewardship. The word “disciple” comes from the Latin word “disco,” which is not a dance, but means “I learn.” A disciple is someone who learns from someone else. A disciple of Jesus is someone who follows Jesus in order to learn from him and live accordingly.
April 29, 2018
The ninth declaration of our fourth diocesan synod states: “The art of dying in God’s grace is the key to everlasting happiness in eternal life. The Christian faithful die to sin through the saving waters of baptism. By dying to their selfish desires through acts of mortification and self-sacrifice, the Christian faithful grow in love of God and neighbor. The whole Christian life aims at reaching this goal of everlasting happiness in eternal life by turning from sin and growing in virtue through God’s grace.”
April 15, 2018
Continuing our overview of the 12 synodal declarations of our fourth diocesan synod, we come now to the eighth declaration, which says: “The art of celebrating the liturgy properly and adoring the Lord in the Eucharist devoutly (ars celebrandi et adorandi) is the key to fostering the active participation of the people of God in divine worship. The clergy of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois must consider the celebration of the liturgy as their principal duty.” This declaration is taken from the opening paragraph of my first pastoral letter, which I issued on June 22, 2014.
April 01, 2018
Taking to heart our Risen Lord’s command to “go and make disciples,” this great commission pertains not only to religious missionaries who go off to foreign lands to preach the Gospel, but also to the responsibility of our local parish communities to pass on the faith to the next generation. The seventh declaration of our fourth diocesan synod addresses how to carry out this responsibility.
March 18, 2018
Previously we saw that the fifth declaration of our fourth diocesan synod addresses the life-long catechetical formation needed to prepare people to be disciples of our Lord and stewards of his creation. This relates to the proper sequence and age for receiving the sacraments of initiation, which is addressed in the sixth declaration of the fourth diocesan synod.