Just another brief notice to let you know that another audiobook of mine is now available from Amazon, Audible, and iTunes: Icons as Resistance: Challenging the New Iconoclasm in the Catholic Church. The audiobook has been narrated by William Reese.
UPDATE: Here is also the latest pastoral letter The Challenge of Racism Today just released by Donald, Cardinal Wuerl (click on the above link).
Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father. Racism is the sin that says some human beings are inherently superior and others essentially inferior because of races. It is the sin that makes racial characteristics the determining factor for the exercise of human rights. It mocks the words of Jesus: “Treat others the way you would have them treat you.” Indeed, racism is more than a disregard for the words of Jesus; it is a denial of the truth of the dignity of each human being revealed by the mystery of the Incarnation.
Racism is a sin and a grave one at that. Unfortunately, not many people these days realize it whereas a multitude of others deny this basic truth outright.The latter category tends to include many, many Catholics and Christians who consider themselves ‘holy’ or ‘pious’ (no one is because no one is a saint down here; to say otherwise is a manifest lack of humility), and who would lay claim to being closest to God. Yet others have no clue about they engage in it despite their denials because they have no idea that what they call “innocuous” is actually racist discourse and actions. Not reinventing the wheel, therefore, here is the Pastoral Letter issued by the USCCB on the matter. The facts stated therein still hold very true today.
Read my article on Medium about Pope Francis, the Catholic Faith, and the Magisterium of the Church.
Those who approach the Body and Blood of Christ may not wound that same Body by creating scandalous distinctions and divisions among its members. This is what it means to “discern” the Body of the Lord, to acknowledge it with faith and charity, both in the sacramental signs and in the community; those who fail to do so eat and drink judgment upon themselves (Pope Francis, 2016, Amoris Laetitia, #186, p. 142).
It is sadly ironic that the Correctio Filialis signatories have fallen precisely into that which they have taken it upon themselves of accusing the divorced-and-remarried of doing, with regard to the discipline laid out in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
There is just one word to describe what is happening. That word is pride. In their attempts, likely unconscious for many, to turn the Catholic Faith into an ideology they can, at last, get fully behind and their desire to play at the cool kids’ table of the international press, they have forgotten the Will of God and the indefectibility of the Church.
On the outside, everything seems fairly regular to the unknowing eye. On the inside, however, de facto schism is in full swing these days in the Catholic Church in the United States of America. This schism, which has now become pervasive and proven truly recalcitrant to reason, is being fuelled not by ‘leftie’ clerics who may have become apostate, as may appear prima facie, but by lay Catholics of a rather traditional and conservative stripe, who deliberately keep on refusing to accept that Pope Francis is the reigning Vicar of Christ, despite all public evidence to the contrary. Continue reading here.
Read this article just penned by Spadaro and Figueroa, and which has been released by La Civilta Cattolica. It is an excellent analysis of what is happening and spot on. I can personally attest to what the authors of this article describe.
In Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis, the general executive decree released Wednesday by the Holy See and approved by Pope Francis:
In relation to persons with homosexual tendencies who admission to Seminary, or discover such a situation in the course of formation, consistent with her own Magisterium, the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’ Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.
In this context, if a candidate practices homosexuality or presents deep-seated homosexual tendencies, his spiritual director as well as his confessor have the duty to dissuade him in conscience from proceeding towards ordination. In any case, it would be gravely dishonest for a candidate to hide his own homosexuality in order to proceed, despite everything, towards ordination. Such a deceitful attitude does not correspond to the spirit of truth, loyalty and openness that must characterize the personality of him who believes he is called to serve Christ and his Church in the ministerial priesthood.
Let those who have ears to hear, hear, and those with eyes to see, see.
On the Western side of the Church, Benedict XVI (2000, The Spirit of the Liturgy) has emphasized five fundamental principles regarding both the need and the function of images in the universal Church, particularly holy icons. These principles are that:
- Icons are, “Images of beauty, in which the mystery of the invisible God becomes visible, are an essential part of Christian worship” (p. 131);
- “Sacred art finds its subjects . . . beginning with creation and continuing all the way from the first day to the eighth day” (p. 132);
- “Images point to a presence, they are essentially connected with what happens in the liturgy” (p. 132);
- “Their whole point [of images] is to lead us beyond what can be apprehended at the merely material level, to awaken new senses in us, and to teach us a new kind of seeing, which perceived the Invisible in the visible . . . It comes from an interior vision and thus leads us to such an interior vision. It must be a fruit of contemplation . . . a prayer and seeing undertaken in communion with the seeing faith of the Church. The ecclesial dimension is essential . . . [providing] an essential connection with the history of the faith, with Scripture and Tradition” (p. 133);
- “The Church in the West . . . must achieve a real reception of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, Nicaea II, which affirmed the fundamental importance and theological status of the image in the Church. The Western Church does not need to subject herself to all the individual norms concerning images that were developed at the councils and synods of the East . . . There must, of course, be no rigid norms. Freshly received intuitions and the ever-new experiences of piety must find a place in the Church . . . [Furthermore] art cannot be “produced” . . . it is always a gift . . . it has to be received, otherwise it is not there (pp. 134-135).