Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We are celebrating Missa Cantata at 7pm.
In recent times some currents of thought have warned against excessive attachment to the Church's laws, regarding it as a manifestation of legalism. Consequently, there have been proposals for approaches that are more in keeping with theological and pastoral intentions, leading to juridical creativity in which the individual situation becomes the decisive factor. It is worth noting immediately that this position does not overcome the positivism that it denounces, limiting itself to replacing the one positivism with another in which the human interpretive work comes to prominence in determining what is lawful. There is a lack of a sense of an objective law to be discovered since it is subjected to considerations that pretend to be theological and pastoral, but that are, in the end, exposed to the danger of arbitrariness. Thus legal hermeneutics is rendered vacuous: it can then be adapted to any situation, even one opposed to the law's letter.
There is another route, one in which the adequate understanding of canon law opens the way to an interpretive effort that inserts itself into the pursuit of the truth about law and justice in the Church. True law is inseparable from justice.Something occurs that is similar to what I have said about the interior process of St. Augustine in biblical hermeneutics: "transcending the letter made the letter itself credible." Thus we confirm that even in legal hermeneutics the juridical truth can be loved, sought and served and provide an authentic horizon.
The dictum "sentire cum Ecclesiae" (thinking or feeling with the Church) is also relevant to disciplinary matters by reason of the doctrinal foundations that are always present and at work in the Church's legal norms. In this way, there must also be applied to canon law that hermeneutic of renewal in continuity, of which I spoke in reference to Vatican II, which is so closely connected to current canonical legislation. Christian maturity leads one to an ever greater love of the law and a desire that it be faithfully applied.
By Genevieve Pollock
ALBANY, Georgia. Thousands of men are answering the call to rediscover God's plan for fatherhood, inspired by a new movie, "Courageous".
The film, which debuted in theaters Sept. 30, follows four men striving to fulfill their mission "to serve and protect," both as law enforcement officers and fathers.
Stephen Kendrick, producer and co-writer of the film, told ZENIT that every day he sees some 200 e-mails from "people sharing how the movie has impacted, inspired and blessed them."
"The stories they share are so heartfelt and moving," he said. "Countless dads are now reaching out to win the hearts of their children."
Kendrick continued: "One man realized he needed to step up and reconnect with the daughter he'd abandoned.
"Many have chosen to forgive their dads.
"Wives are saying that 'my husband was a good dad, but now he's becoming a great dad after seeing this movie.'
"Couples heading for divorce have reunited and said that they must resolve to leave a legacy of faithfulness to their children like the men in the movie. We thank God for this!"
As policemen, the main characters must team up against gang members and drug dealers to protect the community. Yet even as they battle evil with their guns and Tasers, they learn to use Scripture to fight the demons within in order to become the men of integrity their families need.
"There is so much in Scripture about what fatherhood means, but most men have not taken time to search it out and then live it out," Kendrick stated. "'Courageous' shows it to them in living color."
He continued: "It is so incredible to see how a message about the importance of strong fatherhood is so deeply resonating with audiences.
"The issue of fatherhood touches the core of who we are. Millions of people have seen this movie and have gone on the emotional roller-coaster of laughter and tears as they watch five men trying to figure out what it means to be a great dad."
For actor Ken Bevel, who portrayed the cop Nathan Hayes, the movie was an opportunity to "help serve in turning the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers."
He explained to ZENIT: "As I look at the consistent decline of families and the minimal involvement of fathers in our communities, my heart is challenged -- challenged to the point of action. So, when God provided the opportunity to address biblical fatherhood through film, I was humbled that he would allow me to be used in such a task."
This role, Bevel said, "caused me to examine my own life and my role as a father."
He added: "I asked myself the question, 'Am I being completely intentional about fatherhood and leading my children to the Lord?' Unfortunately the answer was no. So, 'Courageous' has also challenged me to spend more time in Bible study with my family, while praying for wisdom in leading my children to the Lord."
Kendrick expressed the hope for this "life change," not only for all who worked on the movie, but also for all who view it.
The film's release on DVD will allow its viewing by greater audiences. Parishes, ministries and other groups are encouraged to show the movie and utilize the corresponding resources to help effect this life-changing experience.
One group, the Philadelphia-based Fatherhood and Leadership Initiative, sponsored a showing of the movie that drew the players of two football teams with their fathers, in addition to other families.
Jim Gabriele, one of the group's founders, told ZENIT that "the response was tremendous." People were moved not only by the film, he said, but also by "the underlying message of love of Christ and faith in him as the foundation of a man's most important vocation -- his family."
"This movie clearly brings people together," added Gabriele, "and challenges men in particular to be men of the kingdom, the Godly husbands and fathers we are all called to be."
He added that the "widespread release of the movie provides a tremendous opportunity to put the emotion we all felt at the end of the movie to practical use in our daily lives."
"It is an unbelievably easy tool to use for ministry, and the producers have provided outstanding resources to bring the movie to life via Bible studies, small group sessions, etc." Gabriele noted.
He continued: "Men are notoriously hard to reach in ministry, but the ability to invite men to an engaging movie, followed by structured discussions and the ability to delve more deeply into their faith and how it applies to marriage and fatherhood is an incredible gift."
He revealed to ZENIT that his group will be sponsoring an eight-week study series, available through the Internet as well, on scriptural fatherhood.
Kendrick expressed the hope that many of this generation of men will see "Courageous" and "learn that the role of father is irreplaceable."
He underlined the hope that the audience will see that God created fatherhood "to introduce the next generation to what their loving Heavenly Father is like: a loving Provider, a strong Protector, an honorable Authority, a great Example, a wise Teacher, and an intimate Friend."
The producer continued: "We hope that men get a vision for this and begin to step up with courage and begin to lead their families by example as God intended. This will positively affect the next generation in countless ways."
"We produced a movie," he concluded. "But only he can change a heart. To him alone be the glory!"
- "who can I sue for the fact that I tripped up on a pavement"and with making apologies for the past sins of our ancestors
- whether it be for colonialism or for offences committed against the long dead spirit of GalileoWe see sins out there but they are not ours. It seems that, like the greatest of the Saints, we are ready at any moment to be born, fully formed, into the glory of Heaven. As my family, friends, parishioners and, no doubt readers of this blog, might tell you - I am not!
The Committee for the Preparation of the Year of Faith is, by pontifical mandate, under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and includes among its members: Cardinals William Levada, Francis Arinze, Angelo Bagnasco, Ivan Dias, Francis E. George, Zenon Grocholewski, Marc Ouellet, Mauro Piacenza, Jean-Pierre Ricard, Stanisław Ryłko and Christoph Schönborn; Archbishops Salvatore Fisichella and Luis F. Ladaria; and Bishops Mario del Valle Moronta Rodríguez, Gerhard Ludwig Müller and Raffaello Martinelli.There is usually a lot packed into Vatican language - words are chosen carefully. This Communique doesn't sound like much until you read it carefully - and look at who is on the Committee.
Interesting that the Committee running the Year is under this Congregation.
After the Council the Church – under the sure guidance of the Magisterium and in continuity with the whole Tradition – set about ensuring the reception and application of the teaching of the Council in all its richness.
Stress on being in continuity with the WHOLE Tradition.
From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has worked decisively for a correct understanding of the Council, rejecting as erroneous the so-called "hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture" and promoting what he himself has termed "the 'hermeneutic of reform', of renewal in continuity".
Implying that there has been an INCORRECT understanding of the Council in some quarters.
The Year of Faith will be a propitious occasion to make Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church more widely and deeply known.
Implying that there has been something lacking in the depth and width of knowledge about the Council and the catechism.
On the level of Episcopal Conferences, attention will be given to the quality of catechesis, and efforts will be made to examine local catechisms and various catechetical supplements in use in the particular Churches … to ensure their complete conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Presuming that some local catechisms and catechetical materials NEED re-examining and that some are NOT in conformity with with the catechism. Perhaps we can all think of one or two nominations!
At the diocesan level, the Year of Faith is considered, among other things... as a favourable time for «penitential celebrations … in which all can ask for God's forgiveness, especially for sins against faith».
Sins against THE FAITH! Not sins against one another, not sins against the world but sins against THE FAITH.
According to Abba Apollo, a desert father who lived about 1,700 years ago, the devil has no knees; he cannot kneel; he cannot adore; he cannot pray; he can only look down his nose in contempt. Being unwilling to bend the knee at the name of Jesus is the essence of evil. (Cf. Is 45:23, Rom 14:11) But when we kneel at Jesus' name, when we bow down in service of others, and when we bend the knee in adoration, we are following in the footsteps of the Magi, we are imitating Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, and all the saints and angels in heaven.Incidentally, I came across another reminder of the Russian celebration of Epiphany which I think is kept on the 19th January and closely associated with the Lord's Baptism - hence their tradition of taking a plunge on the Epiphany. Not very convenient - perhaps they should move it to a warmer time of year. You can see more where these photos came from.
All of us know someone - a friend, family member, classmate, work colleague or neighbour - who used to be a practising Catholic, but isn't any more. For some who initially heard the incredible proclamation of Christ alive in the Church, the message has become stale. The promises of the Gospel seem empty or unconnected to their busy lives today. So, what is our response? Surely our love and concern for them means that they should be the primary object of our missionary or evangelising efforts, our energy and resources. The Church only exists to evangelise that means buildings, churches, parishes, schools and colleges are only valuable insofar as they help the Church in that mission of salvation!!Evangelisation out in the world is surely one of the tasks that the Second Vatican Council reminded us was among the pre-eminent works that the laity are called to (as opposed to taking over the priest's sacramental jobs on the sanctuary!) The Bishop also questions the way our Catholic schools have, for the most part, developed:
Is it right or sustainable to expect our Mass-going population of 21,000 to support our schools and colleges in which often the majority of pupils, and sometimes teachers, are not practising Catholics? Is it time for us to admit that we can no longer maintain schools that are Catholic in name only?"Schools that are Catholic in name only." Finally, a bishop who has had the courage to say it. What is the point of us maintaining schools that have the name "Catholic" on the sign outside (or more likely the reduced epithet "R.C.") while inside few of the teachers are Catholic and ninety per cent plus of the children and their families do not practice the Faith in any meaningful way. This situation could be seen as an opportunity to evangelise and call these lapsed children and their families back to the Faith but anyone who attempts to use our school system for this purpose immediately has the rug pulled out from under their feet.
1. Catholic Schools have been forced or have bought into the prevailing secular culture and management of schools and so there is no time and no ability to push a truly Catholic agenda (we cannot decide to only employ practising Catholics as teachers, for example, and the health and safety implications of allowing children to cross the road to serve Mass are momentous, not to mention that it clashes with the numeracy or literacy hour).Whatever has happened to our Catholic Schools in recent decades, the fact is they are no longer doing what they are meant to do - teach the Catholic Faith along with giving an all-round education. Watered down elements of the Christian faith may be taught in our schools but the fullness of the Catholic Faith is not lived in our schools. How could it be and why should it be by people who may not be Catholics at all? How could it be by teachers who are lapsed? A truly Catholic ethos must surely mean so much more than vaguely "helping others" by CAFOD events in Lent and joining in Red Nose Day.
2. Most diocesan education structures do not envisage this or they even work against it. I've been told in the past that it is simply not acceptable to ask children in school if they were at Mass with their families on Sunday. I've been told that the school has an equal opportunities policy and therefore I may not recruit altar servers and only ask for boys - even though this contravenes the teaching of the Church on this matter (I wonder how I can, therefore, talk about vocation to the Priesthood in school, as only boys could apply - or nuns for Religious Life, as only girls could apply!) All this apart from the actual religious education programes that are for the most part not fit for purpose.