Pope Francis discussed a range of issues in an interview published on March 9, in the German weekly Die Zeit. Among these topics was the shortage of priests, which led the Holy Father to reflect on possible solutions to this “crisis.”
The pope rejected one possible solution out of hand: opening seminaries’ doors to men “who do not have an authentic vocation.” He warned that those who are “not priests by vocation will ruin the Church.” I hope no Catholic would disagree with that stance.
It had been a while since I’d done a thorough cleaning of my home. I spent the good part of a day mopping, dusting, vacuuming, and moving furniture around to get into the deepest crevices. What always occurs to me, when I do these rare thorough cleanings, is the extent to which I can overlook significant dust and dirt build-up in my daily life.
Usually I am motivated by something outside myself, an upcoming overnight guest, a dinner party, to give my house a better cleaning than usual. You would think after all these years of living, I would establish a system.
The center of the Church’s year is the solemn three-day festival called the “Paschal Triduum.” These three days —Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday commemorate the Paschal Mystery: the Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Son of God died for our sins and rose for our justification. And so, for nearly 2,000 years, Christians have celebrated his dying and rising every Sunday. Indeed, the Catholic Church celebrates Eucharist, the memorial of Christ’s sacrifice nearly every day.
Many Christians find themselves angry a good portion of the time lately. Angry because hate crimes have escalated. Minorities have been scapegoated. Vulnerable communities are frightened. Sick people are concerned about losing their health care. Our country appears to be choosing “law and order” over human dignity and civil rights.
Our anger must be directed appropriately. We can’t direct it at people; it must be directed at policies, positions, executive orders. We need to be angry at actions and inactions that risk harming and oppressing our brothers and sisters.
Originally Appeared in : Issue 9704, Feb. 16, 2017 on p. 15
We have the good fortune this year to have sufficient time before Lent begins to hear from the first two chapters (out of three) of the Sermon on the Mount as recounted in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew at Mass on Sundays.
On January 31 in Augusta, Georgia, Bishop Felipe Estévez of Saint Augustine plans to hold a news conference at the Richmond County Courthouse, to let the court and public know that Father Rene Robert, a priest of the Diocese of Saint Augustine who was kidnapped in Florida but whose body was dumped in Burke County, in the Diocese of Savannah, had previously signed a Declaration of Life, stating, “Should I die as a result of a violent crime, I request that the person or persons found guilty of homicide for my killing not be subject to or put in jeopardy of the death penalty under any circumst