Back in June, Kristan Hawkins, who heads Students for Life, got a firsthand look at how this presidential election differs from all others when she participated in Donald Trump’s outreach meeting with evangelicals, which had only a few Catholics present.
This fall, I am giving presentations to all of the high school teachers, staff and administrators in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. These annual talks are dedicated to a regular cycle of topics. This year, the theme is morality. Lucky me! My guess is that disquisitions on doctrine or Church history or pastoral practice wouldn’t raise too many hackles, but ethics is practically guaranteed to rile people up, especially now when issues of same-sex marriage, transgenderism and assisted suicide are so present to the public consciousness.
Most Catholic fathers are “good dads” who work hard to provide their children’s necessities: shelter, food, education, etc. But in the baptism of their children, Catholic fathers vow to be great fathers — fathers who teach their children to know, love and serve Christ Jesus.
Over the past several months, many faithful Catholics have expressed deep dissatisfaction with this year’s presidential election, and understandably so: Neither major party candidate seems personally guided by a consistent ethic of life, and there are deep, concerning questions about the character of both.
When two 20-somethings slung a wire across rooftops in Boston, they were hoping to hear each other’s voices transmitted across that line. It worked, and they did, but in the process, they also picked up a far more exotic sound: powerful radio waves emitted from the sun.
Bankruptcy is complicated and expensive. A Sept. 21 article in the Minneapolis StarTribune about the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Reorganization efforts and how much it has cost since we filed in January 2015 painted an incomplete picture, and there are some items that need attention and clarification.
In my capacity as regional bishop of the Santa Barbara pastoral region, which covers two entire counties north of Los Angeles, I am obliged to spend a good deal of time in the car. To make the trips easier, I have gotten back into the habit of listening to audio books. Just recently, I followed, with rapt attention, a book that I had read many years ago but which I had, I confess, largely forgotten: C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce.”
During election season, we hear a great deal about “following our consciences” and the need for conscience formation. The U.S. bishops offer their guide to faithful citizenship so that the principles of Catholic social teaching might inform our Election Day decisions, and a number of organizations similarly produce a range of voting guides.
St. John Paul II’s teaching on the theology of the body has been the subject of countless publications and widely discussed in Catholic media. Institutes have been formed to train and certify those interested in disseminating the teaching further. It is a beautiful teaching, a gift to the world at a time when human sexuality and human relationships have undergone a truly dramatic upheaval, leaving many of us confused and uncertain about what to think.
The phone call came when I was boiling sweet corn — suppertime on a hum-drum Sunday whose excitement peaked with a trip to the grocery store.