Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Anglican Catholic Church

Last week, it was announced that there will be newly created ecclesiastical structures for those Anglicans wishing to come into communion with the Catholic Church. This is great news and sad news. It's great in that I have always been very supportive of allowing greater diversity in the Church. Although the details of these new structures are forthcoming, it seems that Anglican ways of prayer may be preserved in their "Catholic" liturgy, much like it is allowed in the Eastern Catholic Churches.

This is also sad news, because this is another example of posturing to a conservative group of Christians by the Vatican to make them feel more welcome, while the Vatican is incalcitrant to liberals who would like greater diversity in Church liturgy.

This announcement will also create a new dynamic locally between Catholics and Episcopalians and possibly a small exodus of Catholic priests. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Episcopal diocese of Milwaukee have traditionally agreed not to accept each other's priests, meaning that priests who wish to switch denominations would need to relocate and to travel to a different diocese. With this document, all bets are off, so to speak.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, October 19, 2009

Double Standard at Notre Dame

Doesn't it seem odd to anyone that no one batted an eye when Cardinal Mahony spoke at Notre Dame last month? If one takes Cardinal Law out of the picture, Mahony was one of the premiere bishops in moving child molesters under the radar. He even moved a molester-priest to another parish in another county after he promised the police that the priest would be moved to a monestary in a deal to avoid sexual assault charges against the priest (See 2006 documentary "Deliver Us From Evil"). Although Obama may be pro-choice and as president will have the opportunity to perform plenty of evil acts, his rap sheet at this time is pretty small compared to Mahony.

I do realize that it was a minority of bishops that did not want Obama at Notre Dame and that Mahony was not among that minority, but why weren't these same bishops protesting Mahony speaking at Notre Dame? This is clearly a double standard. The only issue that matters to these bishops is abortion, not child abuse, the economy, the war, etc.

In truth, I really do not have a problem with any public figure speaking at any university. I like to think it can promote thought and ideas, and even disagreement. Nevertheless, Mahony shouldn't even be an active bishop right now and should perhaps be in prison. He's a criminal.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, October 12, 2009

Catholic Bishops Want Polygamous Women to be Able to Recieve Sacraments in the Church

Basic Catholic doctrine is that marriage is between one man and one woman, right? Well, even if that is the case, Archbishop Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi of Sunyani in Ghana recently told an African Synod of bishops meeting at the Vatican that special provisions should be made for women wanting to join the Church who are already in a polygamous marriage. To ask these women to get a divorce, especially when children are involved is unconscionable. Not only do they risk not being able to see their children, but they lose their financial and social stability. In the process, the Catholic Church receives the name of home wrecker.

According to Gyamfi, there are many women in this situation that see a beauty in Catholicism and would like to join the Church. Unfortunately, because of their situation, they are denied the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, and reconciliation. Often these women will attend Mass regularly and help out around the parish, but are denied the sacramental life of the Church. It is too bad that at this moment the Church cannot reach out sacramentally to these women. Bringing these women into the fold could be a means of bringing Catholic faith and values into their families. The long term effects of being pastorally compassionate to these women could have a large impact in their communities

A Faithful Catholic

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

All Saints Day

All Saints' Day is on the horizon. It really is a wonderful day that is underutilized by most congregations. There are so many great saints in our wonderful Church. Unfortunately, our saint calendar is primarily focused on European saints. Although there is nothing wrong with European saints, our church is so much more than that. There is wonderful diversity in our Church that Americans and European Catholics often are ignorant of or purposely ignore. Just from a pure numbers standpoint that seems odd when we consider that 60% of Catholics today live in the "Third World." There are saints to our south in Juan Diego and Martin de Porres. There are the Ugandan martyrs from the 19th century in Africa. There is St. Paul Miki of Japan. Each of these countries and areas of the world also have particular Catholic prayer styles that differ from our region of the world, but from which we could benefit greatly. If the early Church did not later accept some German inculturation, we would have neither the Christmas tree nor the Advent wreath. I cannot imagine a Catholic Church in Advent without an Advent wreath.

We are not done growing as a Church and All Saints' Day is the perfect opporntunity to learn more about Catholic piety in other parts of the world. If only our churches took All Saints' Day as seriously as Advent & Christmas.

A Faithful Catholic