News, In the

This morning  Janet and I are in Rome for a few days awaiting our pilgrimage group as we embark across Italy and then by ship voyaging around Greece and Turkey to follow the footprints of St. Paul and the Early Church.

This morning, from the rooftop of our rented apartment as we eat breakfast, we’re looking out over the Vatican (see St. Peter’s dome over my head) and we can imagine the rushing wind and the flutter of wings as the Holy Spirit is busy at work – as the Synod on the Family takes place below. 

I can imagine the dust cloud as ideas and controversy and theology swirl about. Many of the Prelates from Africa and other conservative areas of the world are wondering why the West is so fixated on irregular marriages and homosexuality. And those in countries where these issues abound the question is, “What do we do?”

More than one Archbishop has asked if Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, not to mention St. John the Baptist, were wrong in their assessment of a irregular marriages. Others ask if the German Bishops think they know better than Jesus Christ.

As we sit sipping our espressos we pray for our Church, realizing it’s not really ours but Jesus Christ’s and He is the one building and protecting it. He’s done a good job for 2,000 years and we decided to trust him for the next 2,000 years :-)

So we pray for God’s wisdom and the superintendence of the Holy Spirit as we sit here looking out over the place where the Holy Spirit is certainly busy doing what he does best. We feel an anxious calm.

We pray for our leaders, the bishops and the Pope, that they will make decisions in compliance with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ and toward the salvation of souls and the integrity of our one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. 

UPDATE AT LUNCHTIME:  Here is what we saw as we walked out later in the day for lunch. The Synod must have let the bishops all out for lunch. Bishops and Cardinals everywhere. I saw five in a matter of two minutes! God bless them and their decisions.


Conscience and Communion and Marital Issues

by Steve Ray on October 21, 2015

STEVE RAY HERE: After the excerpts from an interview with Archbishop Cupich there has been a lot of discussion raging around the issue of conscience and divorce and remarriage and gay marriage.

There’s a fear that everyone knows the laws of the Church cannot be changed but they can possibly change the way the laws are applied by making conscience override the word of God.

This article by Jimmy Akin addresses a lot of these issues and it was so excellent I thought I would post it here.

There is a good bit of conversation about how conscience may play a role in the question of whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Holy Communion.

For example, Chicago’s Archbishop Blase Cupich discussed the subject at a press briefing in Rome during the synod of bishops.

What the archbishop said or was trying to say is not entirely clear to me from the quotations I’ve seen in the press, and I do not wish to speculate based on incomplete press accounts.

I have, however, received a number of queries about the role of conscience in this area, and a brief look at the question may be in order.

1) Acknowledging past abuses

Some people immediately become suspicious whenever the word “conscience” is brought up in connection with controversial moral subjects.

That’s understandable. The concept has been much abused.
After Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae there was a huge push to justify dissent from the Church’s teaching on contraception using conscience as a guise.

Dissidents were turning Jiminy Cricket’s slogan “Always let your conscience be your guide” into “Always let conscience be your guise.”

This is one of the reasons why the word “conscience” appears more than a hundred times in John Paul II’s 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor and why the Catechism of the Catholic Church has a lengthy section specially devoted to conscience.

The concept has been profoundly abused.

And it’s no surprise that many become suspicious whenever conscience comes up in a moral controversy.

On the other hand, not every invocation of conscience is contrary to Church teaching. So what does the Church teach?

2) The primacy of conscience

It is often stressed that one must obey one’s conscience. This can be a tactical dodge to justify rejection of Church teaching, but it is not necessarily so.

The Church agrees that one must obey one’s conscience. The Catechism states:

A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself [CCC 1790].

In other words, it is a sin to defy a certain judgment of your conscience. If you are certain that you must not do something and you do it anyway, you are sinning by violating your conscience. You are similarly sinning if you are certain that you must do something and you refuse to do it.

Notice that this applies when you are certain. If you are uncertain, the situation can be different.

Even when you are certain, that doesn’t mean that the judgment of your conscience is right. The Catechism continues:

Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

What happens when a person’s conscience is wrong? Does that mean he’s off scot-free?


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If Divorce and Remarriage are OK …

by Steve Ray on October 20, 2015

  If divorce and remarriage becomes acceptable (or gay marriage) then did St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher die for nothing? Was John the Baptist beheaded for nothing?

King Henry VIII was right after all?

Reas excellent article by Archbishop Samuel Aquila


Hard to Find Good News Sources? Check out this List

July 2, 2015

Thanks to Teresa Tomeo, I am passing along this excellent list of reputable news sources from a Catholic perspective. The National Catholic Register online Vatican News Agency Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly The Catholic News Agency Watch The World Over with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN and EWTN News online Watch EWTN News Nightly, 6pm ET. You [...]

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Draft of Pope’s Environment Encyclical Leaked: 12 Things You Should Know

June 16, 2015

Jimmy Akin has done a great job summarizing the situation and the encyclical to-date. It starts out: With just days to go before the release of Pope Francis’s highly anticipated encyclical on the environment, a draft copy has suddenly appeared on the Internet. Here are 12 things to know and share . . . 1) [...]

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Michael Coren Flops Again, this Time Joining the Anglican Church…what group will he join next?

April 28, 2015

So, a floppy commentator and author leaves the Catholic Church to become an Anglican. Michael Coren has seemed uncertain for a long time and switching around from one tradition to another. My guess is that he jettisoned the Catholic Church over the homosexual issue.  Wait a few years and see what he decides to join [...]

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Karl Keating Steps Down at Catholic Answers

February 3, 2015

This is good news for Catholic Answers and will open up a lot of new possibilities. Christopher Check is now President — a good move. You can read the official announcement here:

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Consecrated Host Back in the Hands of Archbishop Coakley and the Catholic Church!

August 21, 2014

 Posted by The Consecrated Host is back in the hands of Archbishop Coakley and the Catholic Church. Deo Gratias! Additionally, the Satanists have agreed to sign a statement saying that they will not use a Consecrated Host in a black mass – if it happens. Talk about a great victory! I work in politics. [...]

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How you can push back against Mozilla/Firefox’s gay marriage thuggery

April 22, 2014

National Catholic Register  Sunday, April 06, 2014 5:15 PM, by Jimmy Akin Brendan Eich is the creator of the JavaScript programming language and the co-founder of the Mozilla Corporation, which makes the popular web browser Firefox. Several years ago, he made a donation to support Prop 8, a California ballot measure designed to protect true marriage by definining [...]

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Egyptian Tragedy

February 18, 2014

The news of an attack in Eygpt by a muslim suicide bomb on a group of South Korean pilgrim bus is terrible, and our prayers go out for victims and their families. We ceased all pilgrimages to Egypt back in 2011 because we decided it was no longer a safe place to visit. On the [...]

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Time Magazine announced they have selected Pope Francis as Person of the Year

December 11, 2013

Zenit’s Comments Article below from   Another week, another media frenzy over our pope. This morning Time announced they have selected Pope Francis as Person of the Year. Good news? A non-story? What to make of this all? George Weigel has said that the late Blessed John Paul II regularly inquired of his visitors [...]

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Mixed Reviews on How Great Mandela Really Was

December 10, 2013

While the world has it’s eyes on South Africa and the funeral of Nelson Mandela, his praises are being sung around the world. No doubt he was a huge figure on the world stage, was unjustly imprisoned and did some important things for South Africa, but his legacy is mixed. He was a huge pro-abortion [...]

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Immoral Silence regarding Slaughter of Christians Around the World

October 8, 2013

Janet and I have been to parts of the world where it is dangerous to be a Christian: India, southern Philippines, Muslim countries, China, Egypt and more. It is distressing that the free world is silent about this massive persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope their plight is made known and [...]

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Are You SURE Syria Used Gas on its Own People? – linkfixed

September 9, 2013

I’ve said before that I doubt that President Assad gassed his own people. He would have everything to lose and absolutely nothing to gain. The Islamist terrorists invading Syria under the name of “freedom fighters” would have everything to gain by implicating Assad with using gas and nothing to lose. If we bomb Syria under [...]

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The Mystery Priest at the Accident Discovered…

August 13, 2013

…The mystery priest who recently showed up at a crash site, anointed a victim and then vanished has been identified — and he came forward by posting his identity in the comments section of a Catholic news site. The story began on Aug. 4, after Aaron Smith, 26, struck Katie Lentz, 19, in a head-on car crash. [...]

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Mysterious Priest Performs Miracle at Site of Mercedes Crash

August 8, 2013

by Rajah Maples, Posted: 08.06.2013 at 11:15 PM, Updated: 08.07.2013 at 4:30 PM CENTER, MO. – Rescue workers want to thank a higher power for coming to the rescue early Sunday morning. Emergency crews spent an hour and a half trying to extricate a 19-year-old Quincy woman trapped in her in crushed car on Missouri [...]

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