Fr. John Zuhlsdorf reports that Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, ordered that the Five Cardinals Book be removed from Synod particpants’ Vatican mailboxes.
Get the Five Cardinals Book here.
On November 17-19, 2014, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will host a colloquium in Vatican City, in cooperation with the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, on the subject of the Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage. It is a global, interreligious meeting featuring representatives from 14 religious traditions and 23 countries. The colloquium will be opened by Pope Francis.
Sessions will be opened successively by the leadership of each of the cooperating Vatican offices, followed by the presentations and witness testimonies of leading religious figures and scholars.
Each session will also premiere one of six short films treating men and women and marriage the world over (see trailer above, featuring Peter Kreeft). Each film features a variety of illuminating interviews with young and old, single and married, women and men, lay and religious, from many cultures, continents and religions. Topics range from the beauty of the union between the man and the woman, to the loss of confidence in marital permanence, to the cultural and economic woes that follow upon the disappearance of marriage.
The colloquy website is humanum.it. It contains information about the agenda, the presenters, the films, and media credentialing.
August 16, 2014
(All station breaks are removed here, saving 30 minutes of a 2-hour broadcast.)
May 12, 2014
Kresta in the Afternoon – May 29, 2014 – Hour 2
Defending Marriage the Right Way
Friday, Jan 11, 2013 – 7pm ET
How to Defend Marriage
Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 – 6pm ET
The Real Meaning of Marriage
Friday, Oct 1, 2010 – 7pm ET
In our Catholic faith tradition, young people around the age of junior high school or high school receive the sacrament of Confirmation, normally administered by the bishop. At a Confirmation ceremony I celebrated recently in a large, Hispanic parish, two of the young people shared some reflections on what their Confirmation meant to them. They said that their Confirmation gave them the grace to go forth and “build a civilization of truth and love.” I could not have said it better myself! And that, my friends, is why we are here. Both are necessary, both, together, if we wish to have a flourishing society: truth and love.
This is the legacy we have received from our ancestors in faith. To my fellow believers in Jesus Christ I would call our attention to those first generations of Christians in the city of Rome, who were so often scapegoated by the powerful pagan Roman government. But when a plague would strike the city and the well-to-do fled to the hills for safety until the plague subsided, it was the Christians who stayed behind to care for the sick, at great risk to their own health and very lives. And not just the Christian sick: all the sick, regardless of religion, of how they lived their lives, or even what they thought of the Christians themselves. The historian Eusebius noted about the Christians of his time, “All day long some of them tended to the dying and to their burial, countless numbers with no one to care for them. Others gathered together from all parts of the city a multitude of those withered from famine and distributed bread to them all.” Likewise, the Emperor Julian complained to one of his pagan priests, “[They] support not only their poor, but ours as well.”
It is this kind of love and compassion in the service of truth, especially the truth of the human person, that has marked the lives of the holy ones of our own faith tradition and others as well: hospitals, orphanages, schools, outreach to the poor and destitute – giving without concern for getting anything in return, seeing in each human being, especially in the poor and destitute, a priceless child beloved by God, whom God calls to turn away from sin and toward Him, so that they might be saved. In1839 Jeanne Jugan met one such priceless child of God, a blind old crippled woman whom nobody cared for. That night, Jeanne carried the woman home to her apartment, and put her to sleep in her own bed. From this profound encounter was born the Little Sisters of the Poor, who even today are loving, caring for and providing homes for thousands of elderly who deserve dignity as well as care. These are the very nuns who now face the possibility of being shut out of spreading the love of Jesus to the needy because of their refusal to comply with a healthcare mandate that violates their moral convictions, convictions which stand on the truth of basic human dignity.
Let us, then, take our cue from the best our predecessors in faith have inspired, and not humanity’s frequent failings and sins. Like them, we now in our own time need to proclaim and live the truth with charity and compassion as it applies to us today: the truth of a united family based on the union of the children’s father and mother in marriage as the foundational good of society. Every child comes from a man and a woman, and has a right, a natural human right, to know and be known by, to love and be loved by, their own mother and father. This is the great public good that marriage is oriented towards and protects. The question is then: does society need an institution that unites children to the mothers and fathers who bring them into the world, or doesn’t it? If it does, that institution is marriage – nothing else provides this basic good to children.
Yes, this is a foundational truth, and one to which we must witness by lives lived in conformity to it, and which we must proclaim with love. Love for those millions of loving single mothers and fathers who struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives and succeed in creating loving homes for their children – they need and deserve our love, affirmation and support. Love for the husband struggling with fidelity, for the woman who feels abandoned and pressured into abortion, for the teenager struggling to believe in the heroic vision of love that makes sense of chastity, for the single person who cannot find a mate, for the childless couple trying to cope with infertility, for the wife who finds herself nursing a sick husband in her marriage bed, for the young person trying to navigate through sexual identity issues and may feel alienated from the Church because of it, maybe even because of the sort of treatment received from those who profess to be believers. To all of you, I say: know that you are a child of God, that you are called to heroic love and that with God’s help you can do it, that we love you and want to support you in living your God-given call.
And let us not forget: we must also proclaim this truth especially with love for those who disagree with us on this issue, and most of all, for those who are hostile toward us. We must be careful, though, not to paint our opponents on this issue with broad strokes. There is a tendency in our culture to do this to groups of people the powerful don’t know and think they don’t like. We must not do that. We must recognize that there are people on the other side of this debate who are of good will and are sincerely trying to promote what they think is right and fair. It is misdirected good will. But even those from whom we suffer retribution – and I know some of you have suffered in very serious ways because of your stand for marriage – still, we must love them. That is what our ancestors in faith did, and we must, too. Yes, it is easy to become resentful when you are relentlessly and unfairly painted as a bigot and are punished for publicly standing by the basic truth of marriage as a foundational societal good; it is tempting to respond in kind. Don’t. For those of us who are Catholic, we just heard our Master command us in the gospel proclaimed at Mass the day before yesterday: “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44). We must not allow the angry rhetoric to co-opt us into a culture of hate.
Yes, we must show love toward all of these and more. Love is the answer. But love in the truth. The truth is that every child comes from a mother and a father, and to deliberately deprive a child of knowing and being loved by his or her mother and father is an outright injustice. That is our very nature, and no law can change it. Those with temporal power over us might choose to change the definition of marriage in the law even against all that we have accomplished through very generous participation in the democratic process, but our nature does not change. If the law does not correspond to our nature, such that there is a conflict between the law and nature, guess which will prevail? And people will figure it out.
We can take heart from what we see happening now in the pro-life movement. Back in the early 1970’s, just before the Court issued its infamous Roe vs. Wade ruling, public support for abortion was growing rapidly. And as with marriage redefinition today, a generation gap opened up in the polls, leading many to predict that opposition to abortion would literally die off. That was the future; before long, it would not even be an issue. Instead, something unexpected happened. A relatively small band of faithful believers held the line on the sanctity of human life in the womb, and today, two generations later, the pro-life movement is flourishing like never before. We now have the most pro-life generation of young adults since the infamous Roe decision. People have figured out that it is a human life that is within the mother’s womb, and that abortion, yes, really does harm women; they’ve figured out that it’s good to cherish that human life and surround the mother with love and support so a truly happy choice can be made, the choice for life.
People, too, will figure out that a child comes from a father and a mother, and it’s good for the child to be connected to his or her father and mother. These truths may seem obvious to us, but they aren’t to everyone while in the heat of controversy. They will figure out this truth about marriage, though, because it, too, is in our nature, and it is a key to individual and societal flourishing. All we have to do is look around and see that our society is broken and hurting in so many ways; there is so much work to do to fix it and bring healing. Yes, it is very complex, and many different things need to be done: we need to fix our economy; we especially need to pay a living wage to working class families; we need to fix our broken immigration system; we need to improve our schools, especially those that are failing children from poorer families. Yes, we need to do all this and more. But none of these solutions will have a lasting effect if we do not rebuild a marriage culture, a culture which recognizes and supports the good of intact families, built on the marriage between a man and a woman committed to loving faithfulness to each other and to their children. No justice, no peace, no end to poverty, without a strong culture of marriage and the family. This noble cause is a call to love we cannot abandon, that we will not give up on, and that in the end we know will triumph.
So take heart: the truth spoken in love has a power over the human heart. We are here today to March for Marriage, to pick up the torch, and pass on to a new generation the truth about marriage, not just the abstract truth, but the lived reality that makes a difference in children’s lives. So, my friends, we must not give up: the truth will not go away, and we will not go away. Let us take heart from the legacy we have received, let us place our trust in God, and let us go forth to build a civilization of truth and love.
The Most Rev. Jaime Soto, president of the California Catholic Conference and Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, issued the following statement upon word that the recently passed State Budget includes a 40% increase in rates paid to abortion providers, but continues a 10% cut in all other hospital and provider fees that endangers access to care for all women and families participating in the Medi-Cal Program:
“It’s no secret that millions of Californians, along with the Catholic Church, consider abortion the taking of an innocent human life. It is an intrinsic evil. No euphemism, no perversion of language can change that essential Truth.
“But buried deeply in the State Budget, and in the Medi-Cal Estimates provided by the Department of Health Care Services, is the fact that at a time when all health care provider rates remain slashed by 10% and women and families are struggling to find doctors, nurses and hospitals willing and able to provide essential medical care, abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and others are poised to receive a 40% increase in the fees they receive for performing abortions.
“This is insanely distorted health care. At a time when the state claims it is too poor to fully fund health care for nearly 10 million people, and women are struggling to find providers to give them basic medical care, the state returns a political favor by giving extra money to abortion providers.
“If that’s not bad enough, the Medi-Cal estimate that lays out this policy (attached), explains this is a cost-effective decision, because ‘Early statewide access insures services are less costly, whereas lack of access results in increased ongoing expenses for years.’
“In other words, it’s cheaper for state government to pay for abortions than care for mothers and children. By approving this budget, State elected officials are choosing abortion and pushing their preference on to women.
“What a callous and calculating thing for anyone to say, much less a government official.
“I call on Gov. Brown and the Department of Health Care Services to undo this wrong. Women deserve better. Children are not a threat to California. We believe abortion is bad health care for women and families. It is misguided to give special treatment to abortion providers. California should do better than this. Rollback this increase and fund essential health care, don’t double-down on something as wrong as abortion.”
By Michael W. Chapman | June 16, 2014
In response to a federal judge’s ruling that Wisconsin’s ban on homosexual marriage was unconstitutional, Bishop Robert Morlino, head of the Catholic diocese of Madison, Wisc., said the judge had “shaken one of the most precious and essential building blocks of our civilization,” and that when this “first ‘domino’ of civilization’” – man-woman marriage – is toppled, then “all subsequent ‘dominos’” of civilization fall.
The bishop also said that in felling this first domino, “everything that is good, true, and beautiful, which is rooted in the natural family, is seriously threatened.”
Back on June 6, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that Wisconsin’s 2006 prohibition against gay “marriage” violated the equal protection and due process rights under the Constitution, but on Friday, June 13, the judge put a stay on her ruling pending an appeal to a higher court by Wisconsin’s Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.
The appeal will be heard by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Ill. Between June 6 and June 13, a reported 600 wedding licenses for homosexuals were issued in Wisconsin. Pending the appeals, those wedding licenses are now in limbo.
Following Judge Crabb’s ruling, Bishop Robert Morlino, who represents nearly 270,000 Catholics in 130 parishes in southwest Wisconsin, released a statement on the issue.
“Marriage is, and can only ever be, a unique relationship solely between one man and one woman, regardless of the decision of a judge or any vote,” said Bishop Morlino. “This is not based on any private sectarian viewpoint, but on the natural moral law that is universally binding on all peoples, at all times, and inscribed into our human nature, as man and woman from the beginning of creation. It behooves us to safeguard the sacred ecology of all nature, especially of our human nature.” Continue reading
By Anne Hendershott | June 17, 2014 | Anne Hendershott is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Veritas Center at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is the author of Status Envy: The Politics of Catholic Higher Education; The Politics of Abortion; and The Politics of Deviance (Encounter Books). She is also the co-author of Renewal: How a New Generation of Priests and Bishops are Revitalizing the Catholic Church (2013).
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the U. S. House of Representatives Minority Leader, and one of the most powerful Catholic politicians in the United States, has recently warned the Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, the Archbishop of San Francisco, to cancel his plans to speak at the June 19 National Organization for Marriage march on the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Calling the event “venom masquerading as virtue,” Pelosi urged Archbishop Cordileone to stay away from the event, and “join us in seeking to promote reconciliation rather than division and hatred.”
Pelosi has partnered with other self-described Catholics including California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and progressive Catholic activists like Fr. Ray Bourgeois, Marianne Duddy Burk, Mary Hunt, and Jeannine Grammick in protesting in a letter the Archbishop’s appearance at the pro-marriage rally.
And, while the parade of progressive politicians and Catholic dissidents is not surprising, Catholics should be much more concerned about the real power behind Pelosi’s attacks on the Archbishop.
The real story here is the betrayal of the bishops by those like John Gehring, formerly the Assistant Director of Media Relations at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who now works at the George Soros-funded Faith in Public Life/Faithful America. It is activists like Gehring who are providing the real power behind Pelosi’s threats.
Faithful America is a 501c (3) organization that has been very involved in political activity during the past few years. Most recently, the group spearheaded a petition drive on Facebook and other social media decrying what they see as Archbishop Cordileone’s “lending the church’s authority to their [National Organization for Marriage] vitriol and hatred—and undermining Pope Francis’s call for a more compassionate church.”
While a tax-exempt organization, Faithful America sponsors political protests that the organization calls “campaigns.” One of their current campaigns is to mobilize citizen opposition to Michael Boggs, a Georgia state judge who is described on the Faithful America website as a “right wing judge who misuses our faith” when he supports the 2nd Amendment and opposes same-sex marriage. Through petition drives, the group seeks to derail his Republican-backed nomination for a seat on the U.S. District Court because “he built a political career by fear mongering about homosexual Boy Scout leaders.”
Most of Faithful America’s causes involve gay and lesbian issues including a campaign supporting the right of an 8-year-old girl to practice an alternative gender identity at her Christian school; attacking World Vision for refusing to hire openly gay employees; and protesting the new teacher contract issued by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that explicitly bans teachers who are involved in same-sex marriages. Furthermore, Faithful America distorts the new contract language, claiming that the Cincinnati Archdiocese will fire a teacher if he or she “attends a family member’s gay wedding,” or “shares kind words with a bullied student.” Continue reading
Notre Dame University has denied official recognition of a student group promoting policymaking that places primary emphasis on advocacy explicitly for the interests of children in considerations about so-called “Gay Marriage”. The quest for recognition by Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), was rejected in an April 30 letter from the university’s Student Activities Office.
In evaluating a proposal, approval is based on several things.…There was not a need for another similar-type club. The Club Coordination Council
SCOP’s Notre Dame Marriage Petition cites Pope Francis and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in support of the group’s quest to promote children’s interests as equally valid to the now-exclusive consideration given adults’ interests regarding so-called “Marriage Equity”.
“We reject the view that the young have agreed to redefine marriage. Rather, we think that they have not explored the meaning and importance of marriage.”
— Students for Child-Oriented Policy
The Federalist | Stella Morabito | May 5, 2014
“Marriage is the new bogeyman for our ‘progressive‘ friends. It’s worth asking why that is the case.”
Consider this recent Slate article entitled: “Just Say No: For White Working Class Women, it Makes Sense to Stay Single Mothers.” The co-authors Naomi Cahn and June Carbone both seem well connected to the school of feminist legal theory that claims marriage is generally an outmoded and “patriarchal” institution. So perhaps it should come as no surprise they would be interested in discouraging it for yet another demographic: white, working-class mothers.
Cahn and Carbone walk readers through their case study of Lily, employed but possibly pregnant by her boyfriend Carl, who’s unemployed and aimless. We’re told that Lily is not concerned about raising the child alone. She views Carl as more of a hindrance than a help, essentially just another mouth to feed.
The Slate piece rounds up various statistics and trends – socio-economic, cultural, and so on – to make the case against marriage for Lily and all women of her class and color. The authors emphasize that men are less marketable these days, while working class women are increasingly more employable. They then argue that “both men and women generally agree that a man who can’t hold a steady job shouldn’t marry.” Complicating matters further is that the men who do have better economic prospects, faced with a “choice of committing to a woman who outearns them or keeping their independence… seem to prefer their freedom.” They conclude that the dearth of “marriageable” men should convince Lily she’s better off going it alone. (Amusingly, the authors here seem to borrow from an old timey explanation of the facts of life regarding male behavior, like mother-scolds saying, “He’s just not marriage material, Honey.”)
There is a ream of statistics on the other side of this equation. Continue reading
Monday, April 7, 2014 – 3pm Pacific