Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/16/2014 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may findeven within the huge cities of the worldopportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Living Faith

'Let us make up for our shortcomings in harmony and charity': Pope Francis to Catholicos Karekin II Watch

Image of Pope Francis works with the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin II to offer prayers (Paul Haring/CNS).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

Working toward full communion is a project of love, humility and peace, Pope Francis told Armenian Orthodox leaders gathered at an ecumenical meeting on Saturday. Yerevan, Armenia (CNA/EWTN News) - "With great joy, we are walking together on a journey that has already ... continue reading


'Immense tragedy': Pope Francis on broken families Watch

Image of Pope Francis prays for broken families (Pinterest).

By Ann Schneible (CNA/EWTN News)

In a joint declaration signed Sunday, Pope Francis and Catholicos Karekin II expressed their shared belief that, when the family is no longer seen as sacred, it falls into crisis. Yerevan, Armenia (CNA/EWTN News) - "The secularization of large sectors of society, its ... continue reading


'I remember feeling the weight of the world': The price of following Christ in a secular world Watch

Image of Catholic pharmacist refuses to sell abortion drugs (drugs.com).

By Loredana Vuoto (CNA/EWTN News)

Every morning, Greg Stormans contemplates a Bible verse perched in a tiny frame above his bathroom sink, which his daughter handwrote: "This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24) Olympia, WA (CNA/EWTN News) - This verse ... continue reading


God's miracles can be found everywhere - even a sketchbook Watch

Image of Yan Xu's art helped her grow close to the Church (Yan Xu).

By Andrea Gagliarducci and Kevin J. Jones (CNA/EWTN News)

Yan Xu is an artist from the central China city of Wuhan. What she drew one day would change her life. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Confused about her future after resigning from a job in 2003, she found herself at an unlikely place."At that time, I used to carry a ... continue reading


WATCH as an abortionist REVELS in his work and says he LOVES what he does Watch

Image of This abortionist is proud of his evil work.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A pro-life activist has confronted an abortionist only to receive sarcasm in reply. The incident underscores the callous and flippant attitude the people in the abortion industry have. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - According to Life Site News, an abortionist ... continue reading


'Thou shalt not kill': Pope Francis talks the death penalty Watch

Image of Pope Francis speaks out against capitol punishment (thenewstribe).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

In a video message sent Wednesday to a gathering of advocates for abolition of the death penalty, Pope Francis welcomed their efforts as a way to promote the right to life of all persons. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - "Nowadays the death penalty is ... continue reading


'I'm so glad that Elizabeth has been recognized': Who was Elizabeth of the Trinity? Watch

Image of Elizabeth of the Trinity.

By Carl Bunderson (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope Francis has announced the canonization date of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, a Carmelite nun of the 20th century who will be formally recognized as a saint October 16. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - In March, the Pope had acknowledged a miracle worked ... continue reading


'I will change your life': Christ is the only way to true conversion Watch

Image of Pope Francis claims authentic conversion can only come from Christ (Ourladyofthesun).

By Ann Schneible (CNA/EWTN News)

Recognizing the needs of others is a sign of genuine conversion, which only happens when the heart is ready to be changed by Jesus, Pope Francis said Saturday. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "True conversion happens when we welcome the gift of grace," the Pope ... continue reading


Something 'can happen if people reach out to them': LA deacon serves those who need love Watch

Image of LA deacon serves the forgotten (egpnews).

By Tonia Borsellino (CNA/EWTN News)

For the estimated 5,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing Catholics in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, parish participation can be difficult. LOS ANGELES, CA (CNA/EWTN News) - From homilies to retreats, normal Church events can be inaccessible to those with auditory ... continue reading


Last words of Christian girl burned alive by ISIS will break your heart Watch

Image of ISIS continues to persecute the few remaining Christians under their dominion.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS terrorists have burnt a 12-year old Christian girl to death after her family failed to pay the Jizya tax on time. The girl's last words to her mother will break your heart. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Two ISIS terrorists approached a Christian house in ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 2:6-10, 13-16
6 Yahweh says this: For the three crimes, the four crimes of Israel, I ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23
16 But to the wicked, God says: 'What right have you to recite my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:18-22
18 When Jesus saw the crowd all about him he gave orders to leave for the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 27th, 2016 Image

St. Cyril of Alexandria
June 27: St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the ... Read More