Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/16/2014 (10 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 (10 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

What really caused Apostle Paul's blindness? Scientists believe they've figured it out Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A comparison among modern celestial events may help find what caused Apostle Paul to lose his eyesight for three days. His temporary blindness is an important historical event for the Christians as it led to where religion and the world is today, making it a ... continue reading


Conference sets out to bring the Gospel to the streets

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amazing conference striving to bring the Gospel to the streets will be held in San Clemente, CA on May 2. Speakers will focus on inspiring followers of Christ to apply the Gospel to today's social issues. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Those attending will ... continue reading


'Peace be with You'

Image of

By Tony Magliano

"On the evening of that first day of the week," according to the Gospel of John, "when the doors were locked, where the disciples were... Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' " To his closest followers, who feared that they too ... continue reading


Slaughter of Ethiopian Christians is 'a testimony which cries out to be heard,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of Depicted in a 29-minute video, entitled

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In speaking of the wholesale slaughter of at least 30 Ethiopian Christians by the Islamist State in Libya, Pope Francis declared that the blood of Christians "is a testimony which cries out to be heard by everyone who can still distinguish between good and ... continue reading


Catholic pastor warns parishioners faith is not enough for safety, encourages gun possession Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Issuing a pro-gun letter to the members of the church, Reverend Edward Fride encourages having guns and attending a concealed pistol license (CPL) classes. Through the letter, the pastor from the Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, warned there may ... continue reading


Apostle of California, Father Junipero Serra, to be canonized by Pope during U.S. visit Watch

Image of Professor Guzman Carriquiry, Secretary in charge of the Vice-Presidency of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America recently expressed his displeasure at the news of the California Senate's wish to replace the statue of Brother Junipero with that of a NASA astronaut.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is scheduled to personally preside over the canonization ceremony of Father Junipero Serra in Washington, D.C. on September 23 during his U.S. visit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ceremony will take place in the open space in front of the ... continue reading


'Faith must not be turned into power,' Pope Francis warns Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis, at mass in St. Martha's House, recalled that many people follow Jesus simply out of self-interest. This "spirit, which lies behind or beneath a varnish of Christianity leads people to live like pagans," he warned. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Oops! The Bible did not say that: 7 famous viral quotes people think came from the Bible Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Social media and the Internet has made it easier to share anything anywhere. Most of the time we spend in cyberspace, we see come across wonderful statements --- about life, love and other concerns. It assures us that we are not alone, we are going to beat every ... continue reading


The Experience of the Resurrected Christ: A Divine Dream Worth Dying For

Image of

By Deacon Frederick Bartels

The dream of God is a dream of unending, divine love. His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, sacrificed his human life for this Dream: the redemption of humankind and the gift of eternal life and perfect happiness. Heaven is the divine dream that is not but a dream, it ... continue reading


Pope Francis 'considering' visit to Cuba Watch

Image of A nun waves a Vatican flag while attending Mass with St John Paul II in Havana in 1998.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is said to be considering a trip to Cuba this coming September. The papal visit would tie into his visit to the United States. The gesture could lead to improving relations both between Cuba and the U.S. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vatican ... 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, First Peter 5:5-14
5 In the same way, younger people, be subject to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 16:15-20
15 And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mark
April 25: The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New ... 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