REPORT CARD: Faithful Voices Disregarded in Pre-Synod Document; Bishops Celebrate Humanae Vitae at Benedictine, Catholic Univ. of America

Faithful Catholic youth ignored in pre-synod document

A number of Catholic youth are dismayed that their opinions which they shared on Facebook for the upcoming 2018 Synod of Bishops on Youth, Faith, and Vocational Discernment have been downplayed or even ignored in the pre-synodal document.

Some young Catholics expressed affection for the Extraordinary Form of the mass and desired to hear Church leaders promulgate Church teachings without being watered down, but the document expressed only that the youth said, “the Church should meet the young where they are, be present in the world as a witness of the Gospel, and work towards the common good.”

“Regarding Church doctrine, the vast majority of the youth expressed the importance of right belief, sound moral teaching, and not shying away from some of the hard truths of the Catholic faith,” wrote John Monaco, a graduate student at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, in The UK Catholic Herald. “Those who commented on the importance of strong moral teaching were also shocked to find that the final document regarded topics such as same-sex marriage and artificial contraception as ‘polemical issues’ – as if they were merely political stances and not de fide truths grounded in Sacred Scripture and Tradition.”

Archbishop Cordileone at Benedictine College upholds ‘hard’ teachings

Speaking at the Symposium on Advancing the New Evangelization at Benedictine College, Archbishop Cordileone defended Humanae Vitae and said, “Leaders in the Church do a grave disservice to our people by misleading them with the false idea of what conscience means.”

In his talk, Archbishop Cordileone said the disturbing rate of complaints about sexual harassment from women are linked to the high rates of divorce, contraception, and the sexual revolution.

“The worst thing we can do… is to soften or downplay the hard parts of our faith, those teachings where we encounter the most resistance or hostility in our culture,” he said. “How could we do such a thing if we are convinced that this is true, and for the true good of all people?”

“We leaders in the Church do a grave disservice to our people by giving them excuses for taking the easy way out, such as misleading them with the false idea of what conscience means, or failing to assist them in forming their conscience correctly,” he said, according to California Catholic Daily.

Abp. Chaput defends Humanae Vitae at Catholic University of America

Speaking at a symposium on the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae at The Catholic University of America, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said a respect for human dignity links together the Church’s social justice work with the Church’s teaching on marriage, abortion, human sexuality, and contraception.

“Half a century after Humanae Vitae, the Church in the United States is at a very difficult but also very promising moment,” Archbishop Chaput said, according to Catholic News Service. “Difficult because the language of Catholic moral wisdom is alien to many young people, who often leave the church without every really encountering her. Promising because the most awake of those same young people want something better and more enduring than the emptiness and noise they now have.”

“Our mission now, as always, is not to surrender to the world as it is, but to feed an ennoble the deepest yearnings of the world and thereby to lead it to Jesus Christ and his true freedom and joy.”

Archbishop Chaput’s words are always worth reading.

Facebook apologizes to Franciscan U.

Facebook has apologized for rejecting an ad by the Franciscan University of Steubenville that showed Jesus on the cross. Facebook had originally rejected the ad for being “shocking and excessively violent,” according to Fox News.

Tom Crowe, Steubenville’s web communications director, said, “It may have been the algorithm or a low level staffer who has something against Christianity. For whatever reason, Facebook rejected the cross.”

Facebook apologized by saying, “Our team processes millions of ads each week, and sometimes we make mistakes. This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have already let the advertiser know we approved their ad.”

Jesus was rejected 2,000 years ago and still is today.

Phil Lawler laments ‘festival of dissent’

Phil Lawler, a Catholic journalist at Catholic Culture, wonders why the Religious Education Conference in Los Angeles is permitted to devolve into a “festival of dissent.”

Lawler said he is concerned about accounts of speakers “who gleefully dismiss the established teachings of the Church, cheered on by an audience composed largely of people who are paid, by one American diocese or another, to instruct young people in the Catholic faith.”

He recounts one story about a priest in the Los Angeles archdiocese who exhorted Catholic school teachers to “affirm” grammar school students in exploring a different gender identity or sexual preference.

That priest also said that when he performs the Mass at a Catholic school he assumes that many of the students are not Catholic so he tries to “figure out how to say a Catholic mass without the word Jesus.”

We wonder why so many Catholic schools are losing their Catholic identity.

Hundreds of Providence College students join march against ‘transphobia’

Close to 200 students gathered on the campus of Providence College for a “March Against Transphobia and Homophobia” at Providence College that stemmed from a resident advisor posting the Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality on a bulletin board outside his dorm room, according to the student newspaper.

The march was organized by SHEPARD, a pro-LGBTQ student organization. The executive board of the club invited panelists to speak at the end of the march in the Ruane Center for the Humanities, which included Kristine Goodwin, vice president of student affairs; Tiffany Gaffney, assistant dean of students; and Dr. Christopher Arroyo, associate professor of philosophy.

“The purpose of this march is to affirm LGBTQ+ members of the Providence College community and to recognize their experiences of homophobia and transphobia as valid,” according to SHEPARD’s student president.

Speaking at the march, Dr. Arroyo said, “This is not dismissing Catholic teaching as homophobic, or attempting to stop free speech, or trying to go against Catholic teaching.” Still, students distributed signs with pointed messages such as “Jesus Had Two Dads and He Turned Out Fine” and “Ignorance is Often Disguised as Tradition.”

Doesn’t that sound a little like challenging Catholic teaching?

Liberal theologian worries about St. Thomas theology requirements, irrelevance

Michael Hollerich of the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., rightly expressed concerns that his theology department is currently looking at “curricular Armageddon” due to proposed reductions in the core curriculum that would reduce the number of theology courses required.

But in his piece in Commonweal, Hollerich also longs for the time when Catholic academic theology was “dominated by the liberal Catholic clerical establishment.” He affectionately recalls attending a Catholic Theology Society of America meeting with radicals Fr. Richard McBrien, Fr. Richard McCormick, and Fr. Charles Curran, who “spoke with authority to the hierarchy, even when they made bishops angry.”

“They were perceived as players, even if disloyal players, because they were priests and subject ultimately to clerical command and control,” he said. But he expressed concerns that lay theologians who dominate the theology field today are considered “mostly irrelevant to the closed world of the celibate clergy.”

Because of that, Hollerich worries that the future could belong to more conservative theologians.

“If Catholic academic theology has a future, it is may be with those who have withdrawn into safer quarters, a redoubt of some kind, having decided the contemporary university is a lost cause for the faith. There they can pursue their work in common with those who share their presuppositions—and usually their conclusions as well,” he said. “Conservative donors can be found who will put up money for such efforts, especially if they support free-market ideology. To me this is a wrong turn that will lead to shrinking mental horizons.”

Satire: Catholic college accidentally hires practicing Catholic

We deal with many serious stories, so this funny one about a pretend Catholic university apologizing for accidentally hiring a practicing Catholic to head its theology department from the satirical Eye of the Tiber is worth passing on.

“This is a major oversight and, as you can probably imagine, a very embarrassing moment for the university,” said one school official. “As a proud Catholic university, we do not ask for resumes or any other official documents proving competency. The only thing we do is to make sure that the applicant is either an anti-Catholic Protestant, an atheist, or an agnostic, and that if the applicant does happen to be a Catholic, that he attends no more than two masses a year, preferably none.”

Comedy is best when it hits close to the truth, right? April Fools!

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