Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/16/2014 (11 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 (11 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 May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


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


Comments


More Living Faith

Teen delivers powerful impromptu invocation during graduation commencement's unexpected emergency Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A high school graduate stepped up to the podium during the Clay-Chalkville High School graduation ceremony and delivered a powerful prayer, after one woman had a medical emergency. The prayer moved the audience so much that his impromptu invocation was cheered for at ... continue reading


Catholic Priest warns participants of 'Charlie Charlie' Challenge summoning a demon is no joke Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Charlie, Charlie" Challenge is a game now infamous on social media that encourage players to summon a demon. According to a Mirror Online, a Catholic priest has issued a letter warning about the dangers involved with doing such a ritual, and that the challenge is ... continue reading


A Baltimorean's reflections on the Baltimore riots

Image of

By Tony Magliano

"The God of peace is never glorified by human violence," wrote the famous Trappist monk Thomas Merton. Whether it's on an individual, city, national, or international level, violence always dishonors God, and makes bad situations worse. The recent Baltimore City riots ... continue reading


Pope Francis admits to giving up TV in 1990 Watch

Image of While being in the eye of the international media, Pope Francis has little time for media. He's just too busy, and pledged not to watch TV after a pledge to the Virgin Mary in 1990.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While frequently in the media's eye, Pope Francis in fact has little time for the media. After making a promise to the Virgin Mary, the Pope claims that he has not watched TV since 1990. He did not even watch the matches of his football team San Lorenzo de ... continue reading


Pope Francis wants to be remembered as 'good guy who tried to do good' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In his brief time as the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has done many remarkable things and has captured the world's attention. He came off as surprisingly humble in a recent interview with a fellow Argentinean journalist. Pope Francis says he ... continue reading


Catholics worldwide vow to get the word out on Pope Francis' message on climate change Watch

Image of Environmental advocates, working with bishops, religious orders, Catholic universities, and lay movements hope that there will be a transformative impact in the fight against global warming.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will release his anticipated teaching document on the environment and climate change in the coming weeks. Over the past several years, more faith traditions have rallied behind environmental protection. Churches have begun to press ecological ... continue reading


The Church Needs to Be Baptized Afresh in the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of Do I still believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available for ordinary Christians? You bet I do! I believe that Pentecost still happens. I KNOW it still happens. We can ALL know it still happens because we can experience its effects in our own lives. We should not be afraid of the Holy Spirit! In fact, we should regularly seek to be filled with more and more of the Spirit.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We need to pray for a New Pentecost for the Church in this hour! We need more of the Holy Spirit for the New Evangelization of the Church - so that a renewed Church can engage in the missionary task of the Third Christian Millennium. We need to be baptized afresh ... continue reading


Brotherhood of the Belt: Struggle, Trouble and Failure in the Christian Life Watch

Image of The Martyrdom of Peter

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Peter's wrong choices were not the end of the story of Gods plan for his life. Peter's denial crippled Peter emotionally and spiritually. He lost his way. That was until he encountered the Risen Christ. There, in that encounter, he allowed the belt of ... continue reading


The Purpose of Pentecost is the Birth and Ongoing Mission of the Church

Image of The purpose of Pentecost is the birth - and continued rebirth - of the Church.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Church was empowered by the Holy Spirit to live differently in the midst of a world awaiting the fullness of redemption, to live as a new people to lead the world back to the Father, in and through the Son. Through their experience of the Holy Spirit the early ... continue reading


Top 5 Roman Catholic colleges in the United States Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What constitutes being the best university is oftentimes subjective and usually in adherence to one's beliefs and practices. Choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions many people are making. Some opt for those that offer the best training in the fields of ... 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, Sirach 44:1, 9-13
1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
1 Alleluia! Sing a new song to Yahweh: his praise in ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:11-26
11 He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple; and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 29th, 2015 Image

St. Maximinus of Trier
May 29: Bishop of Trier, Germany, from 332, and a miracle worker. He was ... 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