It is the key to unleashing the new evangelization. It is essential to carrying out the Gospel mission. What is the key? It is the confessional.
Of all the important and interesting policy areas I work on, none is more personal than education.
Looking back, the son that was born to Leoold and Anna Maria Mozart on a Tuesday evening in late January seemed to arrive with fully formed symphonies bound up in his tiny body, waiting for ink and instrument. At age 3, the toddler nicknamed Wolfgangerl was identifying thirds on the clavier, and by 5, he was composing music.
Our Church’s focus on heaven and its citizens takes on special significance this November. Fifty years ago this month, Pope Paul VI promulgated one of the landmark documents of the Second Vatican Council, the “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.” Known as “Lumen Gentium” (“Light of the Nations”), it famously proclaimed the “universal call to holiness” — the idea that sainthood is God’s will for each of us, not just for priests and nuns or some elite caste of professional Catholics.
The midterm report on the deliberations of the Synod on the Family has appeared and there is a fair amount of hysteria all around. John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter who should know better, has declared this statement “an earthquake, the big one that hit after months of smaller tremors.” Certain commentators on the right have been wringing their hands and bewailing a deep betrayal of the Church’s teaching. One even opined that this report is the “silliest document ever issued by the Catholic Church,” and some have said that the interim document flaunts the teaching of St. John Paul II. Meanwhile the New York Times confidently announced that the Church has moved from “condemnation of unconventional family situations and toward understanding, openness, and mercy.” I think everyone should take a deep breath.
This past summer, Time Magazine had a cover story called “The Next Civil Rights Revolution,” chronicling the movement to create legal mandates for the accommodation of persons who either identify as transgender or who refuse to identify as male or female altogether.
There is a debate taking place in our society over the very nature of the human person. This debate manifests itself in many ways, most recently in the definition of marriage and in our sexual identity as male and female. As Catholics, it is important that we understand the truth that the Church teaches about our human nature so that we can share this truth with others, doing so always with love and compassion.
Throughout history, Christians have often felt like outsiders even within their own nations. In appearance, they may seem indistinguishable from those around them, but their mode of being is different, often times conflicting with the mainstream culture.