Commentary

By: Father Kenneth Doyle (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9924-11/21/19

Q. At the Last Supper, Jesus told the apostles to take his body and his blood. But Christ knew that Judas was in a state of serious sin. So how could he have let him receive? (Alexandria, Louisiana)

 

A. Scripture scholars indicate that there is room for debate as to whether Judas was still present at the Last Supper after Jesus had instituted the Eucharist. Luke’s account (22:17-23) would lead one to believe that Judas did share in consuming Christ’s body and blood.

 

By: Father Douglas K. Clark
Originally Appeared in : 9924-11/21/19

On the day of his resurrection, that first Easter, the Risen Christ accompanied two of his disciples, one of whom was named Cleopas (the other’s name is unknown), on their way to Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. So disheartened were they by the gruesome death of Jesus of Nazareth and so baffled by reports that “some women from our group” had found his tomb empty and that they “had seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive,” that they simply did not recognize the stranger in their midst.

By: Father Douglas K. Clark
Originally Appeared in : 9923-11/7/19

Two weeks ago, I mentioned “the puzzling optics of an informal interreligious prayer service held in the Vatican Gardens on the Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi (also on Oct. 4),” which I thought distracted from the important theme of the Synod on the Amazon, that is, “inculturation.”

 

By: Father Kenneth Doyle (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9923-11/7/19

Q. At the Second Vatican Council, Catholics were told that we should accept non-Catholics as our “separated brethren” and that we shouldn’t be overly concerned if they don’t want to join the Catholic Church. But I was taught since childhood that the only way to salvation was through the Catholic Church. Why the change? (Texarkana, Texas)

 

By: Father Douglas K. Clark
Originally Appeared in : 9922-10/24/19

This has been a very busy month for Pope Francis. On Oct. 4, he ordained four priests as bishops; on Oct. 5, he created 13 new cardinals (10 eligible to vote in conclave)—including one of the newly-ordained bishops; on Oct. 6, he opened the Synod on “Amazonia,” and on Oct. 13, he canonized five new saints, including John Henry Newman. Yet these significant events were overshadowed in some Catholic social media sites by the puzzling optics of an informal interreligious prayer service held in the Vatican Gardens on the Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi (also on Oct. 4).

 

By: Mary Hood Hart
Originally Appeared in : 9921-10/10/19

I have just finished reading Douglas Murray’s new book, The Madness of Crowds, a trenchant critique of the push to “identify” ourselves as narrowly as possibly by race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.  Murray essentially argues that the divisions between the current advocates for the “communities” currently in the limelight threaten to undermine our common humanity and thus do not provide a firm foundation for a new “post-modern” (“post-Judeo-Christian”?) ethic.

 

By: Mary Hood Hart
Originally Appeared in : 9920-9/26/19

In 1993, I was asked to write a family life column for the Catholic Miscellany newspaper of the Diocese of Charleston. At that time, my four children were ages two through 10, and my Catholic faith and the opportunity to write were great gifts in my life. A convert to Catholicism, I had studied writing in my college and graduate years.

 

By: Father Douglas K. Clark
Originally Appeared in : 9920-9/26/19

The Catholic News Service (CNS) reported a few weeks ago that “a Pew Research Center survey released Aug. 5 found that nearly 70% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine used for Communion during Mass are ‘symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ,’ while about 30% believe that the bread and wine ‘actually become’ Christ’s body and blood.”

 

By: Mary Hood Hart
Originally Appeared in : 9918-8/29/19

Imagine if it were determined that 20% of mass killers were afflicted with diabetes. Imagine if the public discourse revolved around diabetes being a factor that prompted them to commit their horrific crimes. On the face of it, the idea of blaming diabetes for mass murder seems absurd and insulting to people who have diabetes. But the same argument is being made about mental illness and gun violence, linking horrific massacres to people who suffer from mental illness.

By: Father Douglas K. Clark
Originally Appeared in : 9917-8/15/19

When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 b.c., the Judean captives gathered in Ramah before being driven to exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 40:1). Inspired by God, the prophet Jeremiah wrote about this gathering: 

 

“A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”—Jeremiah 31:15

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