Mar 27 2007
MENLO PARK, Calif. – Even though the average age of religious-order priests, sisters and brothers serving in the United States is increasing and their numbers are declining, don’t conclude religious communities are dying out, a well-known scholar said during a recent national meeting in Menlo Park.
Instead, think of consecrated life as an “ongoing history” being written by the Holy Spirit, advised Oblate Father Frank Morrisey, adding that the divine author’s last chapter is “yet to come.”
Freedom must reflect divine will
Mar 22 2007
VATICAN CITY – Human freedom must be exercised in accordance with God’s law, including the obligation to protect human life, said members of a dialogue commission representing the Vatican and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
“Freedom of choice is derived from God and therefore is not absolute, but must reflect divine will and law,” said members of the Catholic-Jewish commission at the end of their mid-March meeting in Jerusalem.
Emerging U.S. consecrated communities
Mar 19 2007
WASHINGTON – In a new directory the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate has identified 165 U.S. Catholic communities of consecrated life that have sprung up since 1965.
A little more than half of the 152 communities that provided membership information by gender admit only women, CARA said, while 24 percent admit only men and 25 percent have men and women members.
Of those 152, in 87 communities all make public vows or promises; in 43, all make private vows or promises; 10 have both vowed and unvowed members; and members do not make vows or promises in 12 communities.
In all, the communities in the directory had more than 1,300 full members and several hundred members in formation.
At Library of Congress, cardinal warns against secularism
Feb 18 2007
WASHINGTON – Freedom of religion, and all freedom, can be placed at risk by an “aggressive secularism” that asserts its dominance in society, Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago warned in a Feb. 13 talk at the Library of Congress.
In his talk – titled “What Kind of Democracy Leads to Secularization?” – Cardinal George weighed in against both legal and cultural expressions of secularism that marginalize the importance of religion in society.
It is, the cardinal said, “an issue of great importance for our life together in a democratic republic.” Religion “can remain a necessary and legitimate actor in our affairs,” he added.
Pope takes on hard questions in new chapter of dialogue with Muslims
Dec 25 2006
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on Islam in Regensburg, Germany, followed by his bridge-building trip to Turkey have opened a new chapter in the Vatican's 40-year dialogue with the Muslim world.
As he made clear when he stood and prayed next to a Muslim cleric in Istanbul's Blue Mosque, the pope wants to emphasize that members of both faiths worship the same God and share many religious values. In Turkey, he expressed his deep respect for Muslim believers.
At the same time, the pope is not hesitating to raise some uncomfortable questions about the religious foundations of Islam and its cultural and political influences today.
St. John of Avila
May 10 2006
St. John of Avila was born Jan. 6, 1499, to a wealthy family in Toledo, Spain. Having studied law and theology, he became a lawyer and a priest. The saint gave most of his fortune to the poor after his parents died. A man of faith, he spread the word of God and the influence of the Jesuits in Spain. St. John of Avila was spiritual director to St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis Borgia, St. John of God and St. Louis of Granada. He died May 10, 1758. St. John of Avila is patron saint of Spanish secular clergy.