EDITORIAL: Continuing pro-life fight

Posted February 15, 2019 at 12:00 am

Abortion has been a moral stain on the conscience of this country since 1973, when Roe v. Wade legalized the murder of unborn children.

But just when it appeared momentum might have been swinging more toward a pro-life bend, a ghoulish New York law, potential infanticide in Virginia and a turncoat Supreme Court justice have seemingly not only derailed whatever progress might have made but might be the first tumble down a slippery slope that could potentially end in government sponsored euthanasia.

The New York law is perhaps the most heinous, allowing abortion up to the time of birth. There is a caveat restricting late-term abortions to the so-called “health of the mother,” but that phrase is riddled with legal and moral potholes.

The “health of the mother” is so arbitrary that in New York state the baby’s life is fundamentally in peril until he

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    Ecumenism – The path forward

    I was very blessed during my theological formation to have had the privilege of taking classes from two very renowned Catholic scholars, Avery Dulles and Raymond E. Brown. The former was an ecclesiologist whose books often became textbooks which were prescribed reading in seminaries and theology schools. The latter was a scripture scholar whose scholarship stands out, almost singularly, still nearly 30 years after his death. Nobody questions the scholarship, the personal integrity, or the faith-commitment of these men.  

    They were in different

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    Doyle.pdf

    Properties of the Eucharist / Do miscarried children go to heaven?

    Q I firmly believe that at Mass the Eucharist becomes Christ’s body and blood. But here’s what I don’t understand: Why then do the properties of the bread and wine still affect people for example, those with wheat allergies or alcoholics? (Danville, Indiana) 

    A Not surprisingly, this is a bit difficult to explain: It is, after all, a mystery of our faith a miracle of Christ’s doing and there is nothing else to which it can be compared. 

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    Fanucci, Laura-color.pdf

    Wanting what Jesus is doing

    “I – want some of that -what Jesus is doing.” 

    My young son tugged at my elbow, pointing to our pastor who stood at the front of the church, praying with each person who came forward for the sacrament, anointing their heads and hands with the oil of the sick. 

    “I want some of that,” he insisted. “What Jesus is doing!”

    I could have chuckled at his request, a classic “kids say

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    Carville.pdf

    What Bible did Jesus use?

    Near the start of his ministry, Jesus returned to Nazareth where he had lived as a boy and a young man, and he was given a scroll of the prophet Isaiah to read to the congregation and add a homily. Apparently his home folk recognized his chosen role as a wandering rabbi. They had heard that his ministry had been quite successful elsewhere. However, when he told them that what Isaiah had prophesied was being accomplished through him in their midst, they got quite upset. Isaiah was quite

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    EDITORIAL: Social media fallout

    A confrontation that went viral cast an unfortunate pall over the recent March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.

    Although conflicting reports continue to surface, once again the warts of social medial were clearly exposed, as well as the harmful effects of rushing to judgment. 

    In the immediate aftermath of the incident, students from Covington Catholic High School in Covington, Kentucky were demonized, even by some Catholic leaders. Social media portrayed the students, especially Nick Sandmann, as heinous racists, and posts were filled with hatred and vitriol. Some even appeared threatening.

    In modern parlance, various sites

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    Doyle.pdf

    Holy days of obligation/Disposing of relics

    Q Here in Columbus, the solemnity of Mary (Jan. 1) is a holy day of obligation. I have sisters, though, who live in Charlotte, North Carolina, and in Los Angeles, and Jan. 1 is not a holy day of obligation in either place. Why would it not be the same everywhere? 

    It seems this is such a serious matter (a mortal sin if missed) that it should not be left up to local bishops to decide. Certainly, I would think, it ought to

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    Carville.pdf

    Does any wedding need 600 bottles of wine?

    Two weeks ago I was preparing a sermon on the marriage feast at Cana in St. John’s Gospel.  It was difficult, because a quick scan of several commentaries produced many different possible meanings of the story – the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, a symbol of the Eucharist he would give us at the end of his ministry, a rare shift in Johnnine theology, which often stresses Jesus’ divinity, to a human Jesus who hesitates to do anything about the scarcity of wine, a symbol of salvation often

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    Snake-bitten

    Everything is of one piece. Whenever we don’t take that seriously, we pay a price.  

    The renowned theologian, Hans Urs Von Balthasar gives an example of this. Beauty, he submits, is not some little “extra” that we can value or denigrate according to personal taste and temperament, like some luxury that we say we cannot afford. Like truth and goodness, it’s one of the properties of God and thus demands to be taken seriously as goodness and truth. If we neglect or denigrate

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    Major and minor addictions

    few years ago, I wrote a column on the topic of the “Cell Phone Addiction.” Today I’m expanding my focus to include addictions of every kind. It’s a well-known fact that minor addictions can disrupt your life, but major addictions can destroy your life. 

    People are glued to their iPods, cell phones, iPads and computers. They text messages all day long, and in the process lose their ability to engage in the art of conversation, while

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    La Mision y la Espiritualidad de los Laicos

    Padre Donnell Kirchner, CSsR

    Paroquia de San Geraldo

    El Papa San Juan Pablo II escribió un documento muy importante para los laicos….”Christi Fideles Laici”. Vamos a ver cómo él trato’ la dignidad y el valor de los fieles laicos en la Iglesia-Ministerio.

    El Papa comienza usando la imagen de una viña donde los fieles son los sarmientos. Así se entiende la presencia y el sentido del Pueblo de Dios en la Iglesia.

    Quiénes son los laicos? son las personas del Pueblo de Dios que no pertenecen a congregaciones religiosas o al clero mas buscan

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    Carville.pdf

    Blessings instead of New Year’s resolutions

    Do you read the newspaper comics in your daily Advocate? I do, and have for just about all of my adult life. I like comedy. Besides enjoyment, there is another benefit from the comics. Dean Rusk, who was JFK’s Secretary of State, said that he always turned immediately to the comics and read them first, because they gave him balance and courage to then look at the front page. I suspect if he were living today, he would have even greater need to daily fortify those virtues. The

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    Fanucci, Laura-FAITH AT HOME.pdf

    Ten pockets of prayer for the new year

    January dawns, fresh and clean. The beginning of a new year.  

    Although Advent is technically our new year in the church, January offers another jump-start a chance to change and a renewed resolve to eat better, exercise more or waste less time online. 

    Making time for prayer is a common resolution. We might try to read more Scripture, make a Holy Hour each week or start praying the rosary. 

    But

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    Doyle.pdf

    Mary ever-virgin/Memorial Mass for Protestant?

    Q Would you please explain the apparent contradiction in the verse in Matthew’s Gospel (1:25) that says, “He (Joseph) had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus”? The use of the word “until” would seem to indicate that conjugal relations may have occurred after the birth of Christ. This is confusing to those of us who have constantly heard Mary referred to as “ever-virgin.” (Freehold, New Jersey) 

    A  You are correct on the Catholic teaching: that Mary

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    Struggling for sustenance

    We all struggle to not give in to coldness and hatred. This was even a struggle for Jesus. Like the rest of us he had to struggle, mightily at times, to remain warm and loving. 

    It’s interesting to trace this out in the Gospel of Luke. This is the gospel of prayer. St. Luke shows Jesus praying more than all the other Gospels combined.  Moreover, in St. Luke’s Gospel, Jesus’ disciples were intrigued by his prayer. They sensed something extraordinary about Jesus, not

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    Carville.pdf

    Who really were those Magi?

    The Gospel of St. Mark begins with Jesus being baptized by St. John the Baptist as a grown man who will soon begin his own ministry. St. John begins with Jesus as God’s divine word through whom he creates the universe. It is this word who becomes man and lives among us having the “glory of the Father’s only Son.” Again there is no description of Jesus’ birth or youth. Only St. Matthew and St. Luke begin their Gospels with infancy narratives. Their narratives, however, focus on different

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    Doyle.pdf

    Become Catholic to marry?/ Luminous mysteries

    Q I was browsing the internet today, ran across your column and have a question. I am in a long-term relationship with my partner, and we are planning on getting married next year. But we are having some conflict as to where (i.e., in what church) we are going to celebrate our wedding. 

    My family are all born-again Christians and actively participate in many church activities and ministries. My partner, though, is a devout Roman Catholic and wants me to become a Catholic.

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    The double message of Christmas 

    I’ve never been happy with some of my activist friends who send out Christmas cards with messages like: “May the Peace of Christ Disturb You!” Can’t we have one day a year to be happy and celebrate without having our already unhappy selves shaken with more guilt? Isn’t Christmas a time when we can enjoy being children again? Moreover, as Karl Rahner once said, isn’t Christmas a time when God gives us permission to be a happy? So why not?

    Well, it’s complex. Christmas is time when God gives us permission to be

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    Carville.pdf

    Hope is the blessing that the birth of Jesus brought and still brings

    There is a hymn in the Office of Readings, found in the Breviary which we priests read as our daily prayer, entitled Venez Divin Messie (Come, Divine Messiah). The refrain is “O Come, Divine Messiah/ The world in silence waits the day/When hope shall sing its triumph/ And sadness flee away.” 

    This captures perfectly the true meaning of Christmas. 

    We live in a world that can be so cruel. Right now thousands of young men and women in

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    Outside the city

    God, it seems, favors the powerless, the unnoticed, children, babies, outsiders and refugees with no resources or place to go.  

    That’s why Jesus was born outside the city, in a stable, unnoticed, outside all fanfare, away from all major media and away from all the persons and events that were deemed important at the time, humble and anonymous. God works like that. Why?  

    In the rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” that question is asked of Jesus: “Why’d you choose such a

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    Doyle.pdf

    Confessing a murder/The church and single parents

    Q I am an old-time Catholic. We were taught that, to be forgiven in confession, we had to: 1) be truly sorry; 2) resolve firmly never to commit the sin again; and 3) make it right (e.g., give the money back, tell people that the gossip was a lie, etc.).  

    On television and in the movies, sometimes a murderer confesses to a priest who is unable then to break the seal of confession. My question is this: Are murderers forgiven if they do

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    Carville.pdf

    Advent preparing to hope

    I sit here on “Black Friday,” the most commercial day of the year, trying to write about Advent, a time of waiting for the world’s salvation to be born as a shelterless infant in a manger for animals, a sign of his solidarity with the poor. 

    I did a piece about 20 years ago on Advent and waiting in a spirit of poverty. So I pulled it up and realized that the more things change, the more they remain the same. But then,

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    When is our life fulfilled?

    When is our life fulfilled? At what point in our lives do we say: “That’s it! That’s the climax! Nothing I can do from now on will outdo this. I’ve given what I have to give.”  

    When can we say this? After we’ve reached the peak of our physical health and strength? After giving birth to a child? After successfully raising our children? After we’ve published a best-seller? After we’re famous? After we’ve won a major championship? After we’ve celebrated the 60th anniversary

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    Meek color.pdf

    A season of mixed emotions

    During my formative years, when phones still had chords and folks hung out on porches to talk to their neighbors, one of my favorite times of the year was Advent. 

    My own memory, fading as it is, always associated Advent with a time of joy, a time of anticipation. Naturally, as with any young person, I eagerly anticipated the holiday season, especially those magical Christmas mornings. 

    But even as a young Catholic, including my days as an altar boy,

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    Can Lutheran receive Catholic Eucharist?/ Possible to confess online?

    Q One of my sisters who is Lutheran recently moved to an area where there is no Lutheran church, so she started attending Mass at a nearby Catholic parish. She has been receiving the Eucharist at Mass even though she is not Catholic. She says that she asked the Catholic pastor and he said that it was OK. Is it? 

    I find this completely wrong because when I converted to the Catholic faith 30 years ago, I was required to complete RCIA classes.

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    Dual citizenship

    I live on both sides of a border. Not a geographical one, but one which is often a dividing line between two groups.  

    I was raised a conservative Roman Catholic, and conservative in most other things as well. Although my dad worked politically for the Liberal party, most everything about my upbringing was conservative, particularly religiously. I was a staunch Roman Catholic in every way. I grew up under the papacy of Pope Pius XII (the fact that my youngest brother is named

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    Fanucci, Laura-FAITH AT HOME.pdf

    Use your words

    Two groups ask me often what they can do to help their children grow in faith: parents of toddlers and parents of young adults.

    Surprised? While their ages and stages of life may differ, the two groups are closer than you might think.

    When I write about faith at home, I often hear from new parents. They want to know what prayers or books they can use to make sure their child

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    Doyle.pdf

    Is annual confession mandated?/ Can’t understand priest

    Q Could a person go to daily Mass and receive Communion without having gone to confession in four years? (Batesville, Indiana)  

    A The answer, technically, is yes. If the person had committed no serious (mortal) sins over that four-year period, he or she could go to Mass and receive Communion every day. Strictly speaking, the obligation of annual confession applies only to those in serious sin.  

    The church’s Code of Canon Law reads this way: “After having reached

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    Carville.pdf

    Fatima, a message of prayer for peace

    On Nov. 8, I returned from a three-week trip to Portugal, Spain and Liberia, Africa. It began with plans of parishioners of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Prairieville to go to Fatima to see the shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Two couples in the group and I sponsor children in an orphanage in Liberia. We decided to tack on an extension of the trip to Africa when the rest of the group returned home. Liberia Mission Inc. includes the orphanage and a school for the orphans plus

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    Father Ranzino’s eulogy for Father Vavasseur

    Henry.

    Those who do not believe in a Higher Harmony will balk when told an accident crunched in the parking lot at the very moment the altar boy’s nose began to bleed. He bled on the surplice, the cassock, the candle, the other altar boy, and the priest’s unlaced shoe which bulgingly carried an Ace-bandaged ankle. The priest was stuffing a purificator up the boy’s nose, damming the blood into his eyeballs, when the Lector asked “how do you pronounce E-L-I-S-H-A?

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