Monday, December 12, 2011

Bishops Behaving Boldly - 3 Stories

Because the myopic vision of those who insist on only passing along negative news about the Bishops represents a tiny minority of what our Shepherds do.

1) Michigan bishop explains how contraception decimates parishes

In an interview with Catholic World Report, Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Michigan, sees contraception as a major cause for the deterioration of American Catholic parishes.

Bishop Sample, who was ordained a bishop at the age of 50, describes himself as a member of “the first lost generation of poor catechesis.” He spoke with Catholic World Report about the critical need to restore proper religious education in order to bring young people back to the active practice of the faith.

When asked whether the prevalence of contraceptive use is a problem for the Church, Bishop Sample responded clearly:

"Absolutely. Not everyone wants to talk about it, but that is a clear factor in the decline of the Catholic community. When I speak to my pastors, I hear them ask, “Where are the children?” We’re struggling to keep our Catholic school population up. This is true in our public schools as well.
"My pastors want to have flourishing schools, but the children just aren’t there to fill them. Couples are using artificial contraceptives to limit the size of their families, and sterilization is also becoming a common practice. Families think they have the number of children they want, and then close off any further openness to life that God might want to bring into their family."

2) Archbishop Chaput: "Complacency is the enemy of faith"

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia faces “very serious” financial and organizational issues which mean some of its schools must close or combine, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has said in a new pastoral letter. He also warns of unavoidable continued fallout from the court cases tied to sexual abuse by priests.

Invoking Advent as a time of self-examination in the light of God’s word, the archbishop’s Dec. 8 pastoral letter spoke frankly about the conditions his archdiocese faces.

“Complacency is the enemy of faith. To whatever degree complacency and pride once had a home in our local Church, events in the coming year will burn them out.

“The process will be painful. But going through it is the only way to renew the witness of the Church; to clear away the debris of human failure from the beauty of God’s word and to restore the joy and zeal of our Catholic discipleship.”

3) Human dignity central to Catholic faith, Archbishop Dolan teaches

New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan gave the inaugural lecture for Notre Dame's Project on Human Dignity Dec. 6, citing the worth of each human life as a basic principle of Catholic faith.

“When we list Catholic doctrines, we usually mention the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Redemption, the Eucharist,” the president of the U.S. Catholic bishops' conference noted. “I wonder why we never include the doctrine of the dignity of the human person?”

“It’s pivotal; it’s way up there; it’s normative,” he told listeners in the McKenna Auditorium at the Notre Dame Conference Center.

“This doctrine of the dignity of the human person should be taught to our children along with the Sign of the Cross, for it is at the very essence of our Catholic faith.”

“God made me in his own image and likeness,” the archbishop taught. “I am worth the precious blood of his only-begotten Son … I have come from him and am destined to return to him forever.”

He cited the teaching of the second-century bishop St. Irenaeus, that “the glory of God is man fully alive.”
“If we really believed it, think of what a difference it would make in the way I treat myself, in the way I treat others. It would be lifesaving.”

The New York archbishop observed that secular critics of the Church often fail to grasp the Christian approach to the human person, and its contribution to the culture and laws of Western civilization.

And while the principles of human dignity necessarily lead to moral restrictions, Archbishop Dolan explained that these moral laws exist to guard the integrity and harmony of creation.

1 comment:

  1. Bishop Sample asks, “Where are the children?”

    Parents have been educated, despite the cover up of the Catholic church. Thousands and thousands of children have been sexually abused by Catholic priests and Catholic teachers, and this generation of parents doesn't trust their children with Catholic priests and Catholic teachers.