Spiritual freedom on display 1

By Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Pope Benedict’s resignation shows immense spiritual freedom.

Rare is the person who can, and will, relinquish such power voluntarily. It is an example of what St. Ignatius Loyola meant by being “disponible,” available, free of any disordered attachments, in order to be able to follow the will of God.

Pope John Paul II was free enough to carry on in the midst of a difficult illness, and in the face of having to show to the public his obvious infirmities; Pope Benedict is free enough to accept his inability to carry on as he believes God would want him to.

Spiritual freedom is on display today.

[This reflection on Pope Benedict’s retirement appeared on Fr. Martin’s Facebook page.]

“We owe him gratitude” 3

By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

I issued a statement earlier today regarding the announcement from the Vatican. I’m sharing the text here on my facebook page …
From his work as a young theologian at Vatican II to his ministry as universal pastor of the Church, Joseph Ratzinger has served God and the global Christian community with intelligence, eloquence and extraordinary self-sacrifice.
As Pope Benedict XVI, he has led God’s people through complicated times with uncommon grace, and his stepping down now, at 85, from the burdens of his office is another sign of his placing the needs of the Church above his own. Catholics worldwide owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. He will remain in our hearts and always be in our prayers.

“The system has sucked the life out of the people” 1

“I have no hope.” This is what a woman said to Bishop Richard Pates on his trip to Cuba with Pope Benedict last week. The Bishop said “Life is very hard … the system has sucked the life out of the people.” And yet American Democrats love Cuba and Fidel Castro. As the Chairperson of the Democratic Black Caucus said after her trip to Cuba, “The bottom line is President Castro is still charming, and our country still sucks.” Why is Cuba better than the U.S. in the eyes of so many Democrats? … More…

The State of Human Dignity 1

By Tom Quiner

The world is focused on the president’s State of the Union address last night.

This speech came the day after hundreds of thousands people marched and prayed for the dignity of human life right in his own backyard.

The president ignored this March for Life.

So did the New York Times.

So did the Des Moines Register.

The president has made a tactical error that may cost him his re-election bid. He has totally turned his back on the state of human dignity.

His executive edict last week that Catholic and all faith-based organizations provide abortion pills, sterilization, and contraception forces even social justice Catholics to rethink this man.

He has brazenly told the Church to get over her love affair with the fetus.

He has told her to get over her love affair with religious liberty.

He is saying: get over it, or go away.

Mr. Obama may do something even the Catholic Church didn’t think possible: unite Catholics.

You see, Mr. Obama doesn’t buy the line used by many social justice Catholics that “although I am personally against abortion, I can’t impose my religion on anyone else.”

The president is very comfortable imposing his secular humanistic religion on all of us, including the Catholic Church and all of its myriad hospitals, universities, and charities.

Bow at the altar of my religion where abortion is a fundamental right, says the president, or prepare to shut your doors.

Mr. Obama has no tolerance for dissent on this issue. Do it his way or cease to be.

Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston was stunned:

“Never before in our US History has the Federal Government forced citizens to directly purchase what violates our beliefs. At issue here as our President of the Conference stated it this past Friday, is the survival of a cornerstone constitutionally protected freedom that ensures respect for conscience and religious liberty.”

It is going to be very, very difficult for even the most liberal Catholic to pull the lever for Barack Obama in the November elections with his direct assault on our religious freedoms.

Pope Benedict XVI issued us a warning:

“It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be appreciated at every level of ecclesial life.”

Some social justice Catholics are primarily concerned with the consequence of war. God bless them. Their ministry is vital. But we’ve aborted 53 million babies in this country. We’ve lost more people to abortion than war. In fact, we have a war taking place right here at our doorstep. It’s the war for the mother’s womb.

As Mother Teresa suggests, peace begins in the womb.

Here’s where we’re at. Mr. Obama won 54% of the Catholic vote in the 2008 election. However, they swung to the Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections. The Associated Press said 58% of Catholics voted for Republicans just fifteen months ago.

And now, with the president’s newest assault on the state of human dignity, he is going to hard-pressed to win the vote.

Let us hope.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that the Catholic vote sent Barack Obama packing!

[If you are concerned with state of religious freedom, post this on your Facebook page. It is vital to get the word out.]