Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/16/2014 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Bishops meet in New Orleans.

There can be no more question that Pope Francis has had an impact on the clergy of the Catholic Church in the United States, as he has around the globe. American clerics have been challenged to reevaluate their practices and messages in light of a renewed emphasis on the whole body of Catholic Social teaching, including giving a love of preference to the poor.

The bishops gathered in New Orleans to discuss issues facing many Catholics today.

The bishops gathered in New Orleans to discuss issues facing many Catholics today.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/16/2014 (4 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Bishops, Catholic, New Orleans, issues, Pope Francis


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When the Holy Spirit guided the election of Pope Francis, the Cardinals of the Church confirmed a man who would reform the Church. It is not that the Church needed some sweeping doctrinal reform, but a refocus on the fullness of the Social Doctrine of the Church, including the obligation we have in solidarity to show a special love of preference to the poor. 

Some try to analyze this refocus as some kind of split between defending the Right to Life of children in the womb versus reaching out to the poor. When they do so, and that includes some Catholic analysts, they make a major mistake. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta rightly referred to children in the womb as the "poorest of the poor."

While some Catholic clerics in the United States have emphasized the defense of marriage and the unborn as key issues -which they remain - perhaps they have not spoken out as as much about other pastoral issues, such as care for the poor and the stewardship of creation.

Or so claims a recent article in the New York Times which discussed shifts in attitudes on behalf of the Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The sick and hungry cannot wait. Do something to help, today.

In reality, we should acknowledge the fact that our Bishops have been tireless in advocating the cause of the poor in our nation. It should also be understood that issues such as abortion also uniquely impact the poor community, imposing forms of virtual warfare on women advanced by propaganda and producing real casualties.

Still, at a recent conference for Catholic Bishops in New Orleans, there seemed to be a consensus that they could do yet more to share the teaching of the Church as so beautifully espoused in both word and deed by Francis, of the obligation we all have in solidarity to love the poor. 

A few bishops in the Church have been criticized for allegedly living a lifestyle which is too lavish. One was removed from his Diocese by Pope Francis. Last year, the Holy Father recalled the "Bishop of Bling" from his Diocese in Germany to Rome.

This, combined with Pope Francis' witness of an evangelical simplicity and regular preaching on the importance of all Christians living gospel simplicity and reaching out to poor, has American bishops examining their own lifestyle.

Many Bishops already live simple lives. However, because some have lived in homes and driven cars which prompted folks in the pews to wonder, a review is underway.  No inquiry was made as to who owned the homes, how or why they they lived in them - for example, sharing them with the less fortunate.

Bishops need cars and homes. Most Bishops are not members of religious orders with a vow of poverty. They are chosen from the ranks of what are called the secular clergy. But, they are all called to live exemplary lives. That includes bearing witness to evangelical simplicity.

Some who are quick to criticize the Catholic Bishops emphasize that an upgraded vehicle or an expanded residence may mean less money that can go towards the sick and the poor, the addicts and the homeless.

There is nothing new about this allegation. It can also come from many different motivations.

Remember the Gospel accounts of people in the time of the earthly ministry of Jesus criticizing the woman who washed his feet with expensive perfume. (Matt.26:9, John 12:5) And, we can never forget the allegations of Judas. (See, John 12:6)

In the United States, too many are quick to criticize the allegedly lavish lifestyle of the Bishops in the media. In fact, anyone who knows a Bishop also knows the  the judgement is usually without merit - and sometimes based on anti-Catholic bias.

Sadly, many more also judge the poor, somehow blaming them for their plight and doing nothing to help.  That is what is most important. We are called to love the poor as Jesus loved the poor- as Jesus loves the poor. (See, Matt 25) We are to find Jesus in the poor.

There was also a decision made during the New Orleans conference to update the Faithful Citizenship document which is issued by the Bishops every year to help Catholic citizens to inform their voting patterns by the principles offered by their faith.

It will be updated to include the insights offered in the writings of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, especially concerning our obligations toward the poor.

Finally, it is imperative that that we understand that we are Catholic first, members of the One Human Family discussed by Pope Francis last year. We are Catholic Christians before we are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, or whatever other political affiliation we may prefer.

We are Catholic first, before our jobs and incomes, before our educational level, the color of our skin, or  the choices we have made in the past. It is this Faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ - who can make all of men and women new - that unites us. We are called to live our lives differently now, by living them in Him and with one another, for the sake of the world.

Pope Francis has asked us to pay attention to all of the social and cultural and economic issues which need attention. Our bishops are doing just that and will remind us to evaluate our own choices in living our lives as morally coherent Catholic Christians. For what is good for a bishop is also good for a parishioner.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

The Parable of the Rich Man: Becoming Rich in What Matters To God

Image of

By Deacon Frederick K. Bartels

What leads to permanent and lasting happiness? As Jesus points out, becoming "rich in what matters to God" is the key. When we place God first, and love our neighbor as another self, we soon begin to experience a perceptible, lasting happiness that is not of this ... continue reading


Finding the Path to Peace Through Forgiveness Watch

Image of For he (Jesus) is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one Body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father- St Paul

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In 1999 I was a part of Project Reconciliation led by a true peacemaker, paralyzed police officer Detective Steven McDonald. This trip was a part of Steven McDonald's mission of preaching peace through forgiveness. It had the goal of helping to heal the wounds ... continue reading


Pope Paul VI closer to sainthood with beatification by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Paul VI cleaned house, abolishing the pontifical court and simplifying the Curia, the Vatican's administrative arm. Pope Francis is continuing his predecessor's effort to reform to this day.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis cleared the process for sainthood for Pope Paul VI after his beatification over the weekend. Pope Paul VI led the Catholic Church through internal reform during a tumultuous time of social and political change before his death in 1978. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


We Need Courageous Bishops: Ignatius of Antioch is a Model Watch

Image of Ignatius of Antioch - I know what is to my advantage. At last I am becoming his disciple. May nothing entice me till I happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We need Bishops like Ignatius in this new missionary age of the Church. There is a literal assault on marriage and the family in much of the West. Yet, what the Church has to offer on the truth about marriage and the family paves the path to a future of true ... continue reading


Need a chapel? Pope Francis to rent Sistine Chapel for charity Watch

Image of Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity. The decision marks the first time that the chapel has ever been rented out for charity. It will be used for a private concert hosted by Porsche. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Vatican has announced ... continue reading


On World Food Day, a reminder of Pope Francis' mission for the Church Watch

Image of It's time to ensure that everybody has enough.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today is World Food Day and we are all called to do what we can to feed others. This year's World Food Day falls during Pope Francis' 'Week of Action' where all Catholics are called to pray and act to feed the world's hungry. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today, ... continue reading


Pope Francis: The only thing that counts for Jesus is 'faith working through love' Watch

Image of Pope Francis related former Jesuit leader Father Arrupe's lesson in humility in his recent talk.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis reiterated in his morning homily that faith is not about appearances and superficially following Church laws. The Pontiff said that God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is "working in charity" and making sacrifices for others. LOS ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


The next big thing for the Catholic Church is underway -- but you might not have heard about it... Watch

Image of The Church is closing on its goal to eradicate world hunger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Raise a voice for the hungry," Pope Francis tweeted in support of his 'Week of Action' to fight world hunger. From October 12-18, the 'Week of Action' is intended to bring awareness to Catholics about world hunger and to motivate them to actually do something about ... continue reading


Archbishop explains why Church will never condone homosexual behavior and that the West is pushing a gay agenda Watch

Image of Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homosexual relationships destroy "the identity of the man and the identity of the woman," according to a Catholic Archbishop attending the Vatican's Synod of the Bishops. Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis, has accused the U.S. and other countries of trying to promote a ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:12-22
12 do not forget, I say, that you were at that time ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:35-38
35 'See that you have your belts done up and your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 21st, 2014 Image

St. Hilarion
October 21: Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, companion of St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter