Bishop Poprocki further explains what should have already been widely understood about Catholics living in various irregular (objectively sinful) ways

…Critics have been urging me to rescind my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” However, this decree is a rather straightforward application of existing Catholic doctrine and canon law to the new situation of legal marital status being granted in civil law to same-sex couples, which is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. All clergy before they are ordained take an Oath of Fidelity which includes the statement, “In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it. I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.” Pastors and bishops repeat this oath upon assuming their office to be exercised in the name of the Church. Thus, deacons, priests and bishops cannot contradict Church teachings or refuse to observe ecclesiastical laws without violating their oath, which is a promise made to God.

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In this season of joy, some profound insights into the value of suffering

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Saint Pope John Paul II
– All of those who suffer, especially the innocent, may feel themselves called to participate in the work of redemption, carried out through the cross
– The suffering of the innocent is especially valuable in the eyes of the Lord
– Even when the darkness is deepest, faith points to a trusting acknowledgment: ‘I know that you can do all things’

Sacred Scripture
– Is it not logical that we accept suffering?
– Taking up the cross is the obligation of whoever follows Jesus
– The sufferings of Christ are a cause of rejoicing
– The future glory surpasses all suffering

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Death and all consequent bodily defects are punishments of original sin

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Original sin subjected all human nature to suffering
– Sufferings: a means of cooperating with God
– Means of purification and of salvation
– From the greatest of all moral evils God has brought forth the greatest of all goods

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– A new meaning for suffering – participation in the saving work of Jesus
– Makes a person more mature, helping to discern what is not essential

Saint John Chrysostom
– The remedy against pride; the power of God in weak men

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Pope’s revised annulment procedures might make synod back room shenanigans unnecessary

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The changes move the church away from a set of 18th-century safeguards meant to make sure that the annulment process wasn’t subject to abuse, Martens said. Those changes, set up by Pope Benedict XIV, included a provision that would require a mandatory appeal of the lower court’s decision.

“What guarantee do you have for a fair trial if you take away those guarantees that were put in the past?” Martens said. “Sometimes you want to go so quickly, you miss elements and make mistakes. Procedure law takes time to unfold.”

Martens said the way Francis changed the annulment process was unusual, because he did not go through the Synod on the Family, as expected, in October. [It takes some things off the table for the Synod, which explains something of the timing of this.]

“If I were a bishop, I would be upset,” Martens said. “It’s a bit strange and even a sign of contradiction that a pope who is big on consultation and collegiality seems to forget that on something like this. It’s highly unusual for legislation like this to get through that way.”

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How are we doing, lately? Annual statistics from The Official Catholic Directory.

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The clergy and vowed religious “workforce” of the Church in the United States is 57% smaller than it was in 1965 with about 144,000 fewer in ministry (note that some counted below are retired). Most of these losses have come among religious sisters and nuns. There are also about 21,000 fewer priests (diocesan and religious) now than in 1965 while the workforce has also experienced the addition of more than 18,000 permanent deacons.

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In Search of Authentic Universal Christianity

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Although the Bible tells us that Jesus established a Church (Matt. 16:18) and reminds us of our Savior’s desire for Christian unity (John 17:20-21, Eph. 4:16, 4:12-13), we’ve seen a recent explosion of new churches. They claim to be “Bible-based” churches; often they have broken off from some larger church or denomination. With as many as 28,000 different Christian churches today, the mystery to many is <which one is Jesus’ true Church?>

In this article you will learn how to solve that mystery. You’ll be the “gumshoe” (detective) in an interactive scriptural investigation.

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USCCB report: Girl Scout website contains strong references to contraception and other non-abstinence measures related to sexuality

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The bishops’ report focuses on three issues: 1) Girl Scouts USA’s relationship with groups like Planned Parenthood and international affiliate World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts ; 2) Girl Scouts’ views on issues related “to human sexuality, contraception, and abortion;” and 3) various materials and resources Girl Scouts USA has that may have “inappropriate content.”

With regards to Girl Scout affiliations, the report largely accepts Girl Scouts USA’s claim that they have no relationship with Planned Parenthood. However, it says that “attentiveness” is needed to prevent local groups — which act independently as their own 501c(3) organizations — from partnering with morally objectionable organizations, including Planned Parenthood.

Link

Where there is no objective truth there can be no intelligent debate.

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While high emotion often accompanies hot topics like sex in schools what we are seeing in the current moral debate in America is more than a typical emotional reaction to sex education. Instead of this being an emotional element in a heated debate, the debate seemed to consist of nothing but heated emotions. This is not emotion about morality this is emotion instead of morality, and there is a philosophical term for it: Boo-hurrah morality.

Another term for Boo-hurrah morality is emotivism. Emotivism is a gut level theory of the origin of ethics which suggests that moral judgements are no more than emotional reactions expressed forcibly to change someone else’s attitudes and actions. If you think this is all made up academic hocus pocus you would be correct. It was first proposed by the logical positivist A. J. Ayer in his 1936 book Language, Truth and Logica book which should have been titled, There’s No Such Thing As Language, Truth and Logic. 

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