Chaput: “We just have to be insistent. Catholic identity takes precedence over everything.”

Abortion, Archbishop Chaput says, “is very serious issue that requires absolute adherence on the part of Catholics,” Chaput explains. “And if we don’t stand united on this issue, we’re bound to failure — not only in the area of protecting unborn human life but in maintaining our religious freedom,” he continues.

And lest you worry he’s forgotten he’s a spiritual shepherd and become a canvasser for the Grand Old Party in the latter-days of a presidential election, he cautions: “You cannot trust Republicans to be pro-life twenty years from now,” Chaput says. “You can’t let any party take your vote for granted. That’s unfortunately what’s happened. . . . That’s why the position of the Democrats has gotten worse and worse and worse . . . Catholics haven’t abandoned them.”

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Triumph of faith: Lithuania’s awesome “Hill of Crosses”.

Lithuania’s national treasure, the Hill of Crosses, has a troubled and mysterious history. The Soviets repeatedly tried to destroy it. Now, it’s become a symbol of the nation’s struggle and spirituality.

The Hill of Crosses — a small mountain of approximately 100,000 crosses — is a curious phenomenon. No one manages or organises it — it just is. The Soviets razed it again and again, only to have the crosses reappear. As Prof Viatanis Rimkis explains: “During the struggle for our freedom, the crosses became a weapon that was invincible.”

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Reader comments extensively on Liberal Catholicism article

Re: The Failure of Liberal Catholicism

That is a very interesting (though rather long winded) and thought-provoking article. I fear however that it depends too much on a pick and serve mentality. For example, the author does seem to rather promote Conservative ideals and denounce opposite ideas as being of a Liberal persuasion. That on scrutiny simply is incorrect and is in danger of self glorification because of the force of ego.

It is true of course that within the Church two sides of theology often clash and it is upon the shoulders of the Pope and Bishops that the cross often lies. That the clerical authority of the Catholic Church is often attacked as either too over bearing or too weak and sinful which remains rather a failing of our human identity and the notion that I AM RIGHT if only you knew it . .so listen to me!

There is no identity however, in the Spirit, that allows for either Conservative or Liberal assumptions as these are more political power bases that define identity. Christ is not about the ego rather the pouring away of self. It really is time that Catholics started to step away from the politic of philosophical identity and sought the identity of Christ. If we are to follow Christ then we must pick up OUR cross everyday and follow him and not bemoan the state of our rotten neighbour because they obviously have failed to appreciate that we hold the one true apostolic faith.

If we truly follow Christ however it will mean that we are not Conservative or Liberal anything but as Children of God we stop finger pointing, name calling and assuming that we are correct. If we seek Christ over everything else including our own identity or at least the will of me over you then we will start towards that road of Love that should be our hope and inspiration.

Of course there are many people and ideas in any organisation that we will find hard and difficult to understand or accept. We are human frail creatures and the Church on earth is composed of weakness and all too often a self serving humanity. Yet we also believe in The Gospels and we have in faith a great hope but should not allow it too be crushed by ignorance or argument.

Seek rather reconciliation, pray for those that you find it hard to accept and put aside the ego for the Logos. If we do this then ideas about whom has said this or done that will fade into the shadows from whence they came. Labels of Conservative Catholic or Liberal Catholic cease to have their influence and we work rather for the kingdom of God and not for our own benefit but Christ’s Glory.

It is absurd that many Catholics two thousand years after the birth of the Church complain against this or that bishop without noticing the plank in their own eye. That there are problems, some very large in the Catholic Church is to be expected, regretted and corrected. Yet it will never be done in cynical accusation and finger pointing. Notions from the political enlightenment are not morally binding in the Catholic Church because they fail to centre Christ in everything and depend rather too much on the self.

If Catholics truly live for Jesus then they must love their neighbour and put aside notions of worldly power or authority. That does not mean that we all agree with the leaning of such-and-such a bishop or a pope but it does mean that we should have humility of heart and allow for variation and tolerance. We are not a democracy in the Catholic Church nor is it going to become one but we must allow for diversity and interpretation. The Councils of the Church have enlightened the road we travel but unless we walk in humility and the evacuation of our own ego then we will walk in ever decreasing circles into oblivion. The best leaders of The Church try as humanly possible to help the faithful follow Christ and we really should stop bickering over titles and identity that confuse and cause alarm to the people of God.

Submitted by Paul

When the Kids Grow Up and Find Out About the Test Tubes

Although they clearly face elevated health risks for a number of diseases and physical disorders, the psychological effects on these children have not been thoroughly studied. Nevertheless, children born from other, closely related technologies, like anonymous sperm donation, are starting to be tracked, and researchers are finding that these children face significant difficulties in dealing with their feelings and emotions as they grow older. They oftentimes struggle with their own sense of dignity and identity, with their need for a father, and with a desire to understand their family connection.

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The Catholic Church still “works” only because God still “works”: Ideal vs. Reality.

The members of the Catholic Church rely on their fellow sinners (our priests) to accomplish the supernatural for us, in the real presence of God himself.

This is where, in the Catholic liturgy, according to the will, the plan, and the providence of God, the  IDEAL (Jesus Christ) and REALITY (the Church on earth) truly become one (which is the authentic meaning, significance and purpose of Holy Communion.)

Without our priests and the sacred liturgy, all of this would remain purely theoretical and for the most part, unobtainable (in this life.) The proof for this is  … outside of the Mass … things generally don’t go nearly as well, since when not in the REAL presence of God, we Catholics often fail to stand out (at least significantly) from the general population.

All the more reason for Catholics to learn to understand and appreciate the critical role of the Mass and the sacraments in their lives … since without these great and awesome gifts from God … we (and all the rest of humanity) would probably have long ago been hopelessly lost to the world, the flesh and the devil.

We who have (at least once) fallen away from the church (and since returned, praise God) often tend to understand and appreciate these things more fully than those who have never experienced similar tests of faith.

Here’s a real, true-to-life example

Submitted by Nancy W.