May 02

Crackdown on Annulments

Catholic Church may take harder line on annulments

The Catholic Church is starting to reevaluate the strictness of the annulment process. With the high divorce rate in the United States the number of Catholics requesting annulments has increased as well. What concerns the Catholic Church especially in the United States is that the two thirds of the annulments that are given out by the Church are being given out in the United States where the Catholic population makes up only six percent of the total Catholic population. The concern that the Church has on the issue of annulments is a valid concern since that over half of the annulments of the whole Church are being given out to such a small fraction of the total Catholic population. The fact of the matter is that I believe the Church should reevaluate when it gives out annulments because the sacrament of marriage is something that should be treated seriously and it needs to work with couples that are looking to get an annulment to see whether or not there are ways to reconcile. I understand there are obvious cases where annulment is necessary such as cases of abuse or where there is harm to both parties. The Church needs to continue to reassert the seriousness of the commitment of marriage in a society where marriage is treated as something not necessarily permanent.

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.nd.edu/leprechaun/2012/05/02/crackdown-on-annulments/

Apr 30

The Church in the Age of Social Media

Embrace Twitter and Facebook, Catholic Told– news.au.com

At the Australian Catholic Media Congress the topic of the role of social media in the Catholic Church was a main talking point at the meeting. Bishop David Walker who was a speaker at the event went on to discuss the importance of using social media in the age of social media as it could be used as a tool to better communicate the Gospel and the teachings of the Church through a new medium that can reach large audiences. As a young Catholic growing up in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets I believe that this a key step for the Catholic Church in order for its message to continue to be heard in this age of social media. The fact of the matter is that most individuals now spend a good amount of time either sometimes receiving news or simply spend their time using social media. Though the Church is not a business when it comes to developing new ways of getting its message out it has to think like a business in order to get that message out. Businesses already have come to realize the potential that social media has in advertisement and promoting its company. The lack of a religious presence is quite disappointing and something that the Church needs to start promoting. Though the Church is a 2000 year old institution it should not rely on just old means of communicating that message. I am not suggesting by any means that the Church should adapt what it teaches  but instead that it just adapt the ways it communicates the Gospel so that more individuals can be reached and here the good news. If the Church starts to build a stronger presence in social media I believe it could have a great impact on bringing people the truth of the Gospel.

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.nd.edu/leprechaun/2012/04/30/the-church-in-the-age-of-social-media/

Apr 30

Now Hiring!

In most countries around the world in the U.S. in particular there are many people looking for jobs during this time of deep economic turmoil. In the U.S. and Europe alone unemployment rates are still high despite many efforts by government bodies to curve and reverse this economic trend. In modern society there is one place in particular that most people would not even think of when it comes to job searching, that being the Catholic Church! In Spain where the unemployment rate has reached 25% the Catholic Church launched a YouTube campaign to attempt to recruit men who unemployed to join the priesthood. This campaign is a great idea for the Church in that it might attract people who might not have considered a life of service to the Church through the priesthood. Living in the materialistic world that we live in many times we focus on looking for a career which can bring us great wealth or at least keep us well taken care of and forget about careers in the religious life. During tough economic times many times people reevaluate the priorities in their life and reflect on what they have done and what they want to do in the future. I believe during these tough economic times I believe it is a perfect opportunity for the Catholic Church not just in Spain but even here in the U.S. to reach out to those unemployed that might be searching for a job that not just provides them security financially but also spiritually. Though I think this is great idea for a campaign there are somethings that I do believe that the Church has to make sure they watch for when it comes to recruiting men to the priesthood. It is integral that the Church make sure that these recruits have fully discerned that this is commitment that are truly ready to make. Otherwise the Church could run into issues later on with clergy that are not passionate in what they do leading to decrease in effectiveness of evangilization of the faith.  However, if done properly this campaign could prove to be a great miracle to the Church by increasing the number of seminarians

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.nd.edu/leprechaun/2012/04/30/41/

Apr 24

Catholics Come Home good step forward or bust?

 

The Catholics Come Home Campaign is a non-profit organization that ran its first TV ad campaign in 1998. The focus of this organization is to educate and evangelize using modern media and broadcast them across the United States and the World. The hope is to use modern media to bring inactive Catholics back to the Catholic Church to live a deeper life with Christ. Now that the campaign has been around for fourteen years it is important to reevaluate the campaign and see whether or not this campaign is actually a step forward in the age of social media and other various media outlets. As a young college Catholic who has grown up in the age of the .COM and the social media boom I think the premise of Catholics Come Home is a great step forward. In the modern world  because of the rich ancient tradition of the Catholic Church the Church can come across sometimes as a Church that is outdated in the world of technology. In some ways this is true that being the way it evangelizes the Word of God and the life of Christ. The actual teachings and traditions of the Church are not the aspects of the Church that are in need of updating but instead it is the method of getting across this message that needs to be updated. Blessed Pope John Paul II understood this need within the Church as he stated, “Using the media correctly and competently can lead to a genuine enculturation of the Gospel”. In my opinion the Catholics Come Home Campaign does just that, it uses media as a way of connecting in a new way with a generation that relies on getting its information from television and the Internet. The next step I believe is for the campaign to grow and expand using social media as a means of getting the message across in addition to the other media outlets. If it embraces these various outlets I believe it could really have a drastic effect on educating and evangelizing people of the Catholic faith.

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.nd.edu/leprechaun/2012/04/24/catholics-come-home-good-step-forward-or-bust/

Apr 12

Contraception Controversy!

After contraception controversy, Catholic Church announces ‘religious freedom’ campaign-CNN

 

After contraception controversy, Catholic Church announces 'religious freedom' campaign
CNN (The American Catholic Bishops)

 

 

 

The Affordable Care Act continues to be the hot topic being discussed among Catholic bishops as it continues to be an issue that effects the daily business of religiously affiliated institutions. Catholic bishops continue to fight against some of the language that is used in the Affordable Care Act regarding religious institutions still having to provide healthcare coverage that covers artificial contraception something that the Catholic Church teaches against. Catholic Bishops believe though the Obama administration attempted to change the language they don’t believe the language is good enough to meet the teachings of the Church. The changes that were made instead of having religious institutions cover an employees ability to get contraception instead health insurance providers would be required to provide the coverage. Catholic Bishops still believe that the Church still would be required to fund activities that it does not want to participate. As a Catholic it is refreshing to read and hear the Catholic Church unite and stand up for the teachings that the Church practices and not let society and government dictate what the Church should participate. Whether or not every Catholic or even Christian believes the Church’s teaching on contraception it is important that they stand with the Church in protecting its right to say no to government regulations that require it to participate in activities that it protests against. Many modern commentators argue that the Church is outdated in its social practices but the fact of the matter is whether or not they agree with the Church’s social teaching a religious institution should not be forced to participate or fund activities that they don’t agree with. As stated in the article it is important that people of religious backgrounds unite to fight for the preservation of religious freedom whether or not society agrees with those practices or not.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.nd.edu/leprechaun/2012/04/12/contraception-controversy/

Apr 10

Church’s Strong Presence in Politics

Catholic Church mixes it up with politics-The Seattle Times

Catholic churches around the Seattle area are taking a more active role than they normally do in the political sphere. They are bringing the issue of gay marriage not only to the pulpit but also to the pews of their parishioners. The Catholic Church has always been opponent to the idea of gay marriage. This social teaching is not something new that Church has come to proclaim but as result of the recent trend across the country towards legislation allowing gay marriage the Church has had to take a more active role in politics to promote its message on the issue. My personal opinion is of no importance to this discussion the matter that needs to be addressed is whether or no the Church should be passing petitions within their congregations that they use to lobby against legislation. I believe that the Church has a right and even a responsibility to be active in lobbying against legislation that is contradictory towards the teachings that it holds. If the Church keeps quite and allows for legislation that goes against the social teachings of the faith then in fact I believe it has failed. However, the Church has to be very careful on how it goes about doing this. There are two things that churches have to take into consideration is when it is appropriate to bring this to the parishioners attention and the message that it is saying. I believe that if churches are going to be asking parishioners to sign a petition it should be done outside of the celebration of the mass and should not be done at the pulpit as I believe that the pulpit should be reserved for talking about Christ’s message not politics. In addition, the Church when talking about this issue has to make sure that they make clear exactly what the Church teaches on the issue of Gay Marriage or any social issue for that matter because if they are not careful the message could be misunderstood and could be used to discriminate which is contradictory to what the Church holds. If they keep these two things in mind when they speak out on political/social issues I see no reason why they Church should not be vocal and active in the politics of legislation.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.nd.edu/leprechaun/2012/04/10/churchs-strong-presence-in-politics/

Mar 28

Papal Visit to Cuba

This article when I first read it reminded me of some of the conversations that my Dad and I had when I was growing up. When I was a kid  I can remember my Dad always talking to me about the history of the Cold War.  He would always tell me the three important figures that were integral in bringing down the iron curtain and fighting communism. He would point out that Margret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II together were the key players against the fight against communism. When I read this article it reminded me of Blessed Pope John Paul II and the role the Catholic Church played in the fight against communism during the Cold war era.

It is interesting  to observe that even though years have passed since the passing of Blessed Pope John Paul II his fight and the Church’s fight against communism and oppression continues to live on. As a Catholic I believe that Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to both Mexico and Cuba is something that has been long overdue but I glad to see it finally happen. The influence and voice  that he has as a prominent religious figure in the world could be put to great use for those that don’t have a voice either because of fear or oppression. Just as the title states this visit truly gives much needed hope to the people of Cuba. With the collaboration of the Church and the Cuban communities there is much hope similar to the hope that was given to the Polish people during the Cold War and that is the hope for a life free from the communist system. After reading this article I really do hope and pray that the Church decides to take a bigger role in changing the political system of Cuba so that in turn Cubans can experience the freedom that as Americans we sometimes take for granted. Though the Cold War might be over the Church still continues the fight against communism and oppressive political systems and hopefully will continue this mission as it has and always will serve as a reflection of Christ’s light in the world.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/25/us-cuba-pope-idUSBRE82M0KT20120325

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.nd.edu/leprechaun/2012/03/28/papal-visit-to-cuba/

Mar 26

Purpose of the blog

The purpose of this blog will be to make commentary on contemporary Catholic religious topics. I will post an article of something that is a hot topic in the Catholic Community and make personal commentary on the article.

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.nd.edu/leprechaun/2012/03/26/purpose-of-the-blog/