Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bishops, Profit, and Land Speculation

A week ago, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article, informing their readers about the incoming Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki's land dealings with a friend who had defrauded the Archdiocese of Chicago while Listecki was a priest in Chicago. The article seemed more concerned about his relationship with the thief, who Listecki believes was wrongly accused. My greater concern as a Catholic reading the article was why a Chicago priest and now bishop is involved in land speculation. It is this sort of land speculation that is partly responsible for the current economic crisis.

In addition, a priest is taken care of for life with a suitable salary, health care, and all the rest. Why is a priest involved in this activity? The article also mentioned that Portland Archbishop John Vlazny was involved with Listecki in land speculation. Why are bishops involved in land speculation? They are even better taken care of than priests... just ask Cardinal Law. The other half of the equation... if we assume that priests do not make enough to support themselves, why are they still involved with these economic dealings after they become bishops, as the article indicates is the case?

This whole scenario also begs the question, can the bishops involved in such dealings be moral authorities for the economic sphere? How many more bishops are involved in this type of activity that we are not aware of because no fraud was involved. I find these dealings very troubling and do not think that bishops should be involved in profiteering.

A Faithful Catholic

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pope, Sustainability, Peace

I probably neglect sustainability (or environmental issues) too often on this blog. Thankfully, Pope Benedict seems to be keeping up with the issue. His peace day message for January 1st was released to the press yesterday. His theme this year is the environment and our proper stewardship of it, which has been greatly lacking. As Catholics, we are told that we cannot sit idly by and pretend that issues of climate change, desertification, erosion of farming lands, pollution of rivers and drinking water, loss of biodiversity, and deforestation are not our responsibility. As Church, we have a responsibility to protect the environment because it is God's gift to us that needs to also sustain future generations.

The name of this document is: "If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation." Here is a link to it. It also has great terms like "intergenerational solidarity." It is really a wonderful document that stresses the special relationship between God, humanity, and the rest of God's creation. He states that the current neglect of this relationship is leading to a loss of human dignity with such things as environmental refugees and will lead to future violent conflicts if we do not change our current practices.

Good job Benedict. We need this document right now.

A Faithful Catholic

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Young Catholics that Still Care about Being Catholic...

I was very surprised tonight to see a segment on Channel 6 news about a group of young Catholics, aptly naming themselves, Young Catholics for Choice, announcing that they had partnered with Wisconsin based Family Planning Health Services to make commercials stating their belief that they can be Catholic and use Emergency Contraception.

These commercials will start airing in the Milwaukee area any day. Fox 6 even had an interview with soon-to-be Milwaukee Archbishop Listecki, who stated the incompatibility of abortion with Catholic thought. He did not mention the views of Augustine and Aquinas about the soul not entering the embryo until weeks after conception. Although aborting the fetus immediately after conception was not viewed as a positive, it was not viewed as murder.

It will be interesting to see these commercials. It is also great to know that young Catholics that disagree with the Church's teaching on birth control and abortion are not simply leaving the Church or giving up religion. They are obviously passionate about their faith. I'm very proud to call these young people fellow Catholics.

A Faithful Catholic