As BC graduates, Catholicism is alive and well on campus -
Catholicism is alive and well at Boston College. For many people, Boston Catholicism is synonymous with BC; with its beautiful campus; distinguished faculty; enthusiastic alumni; talented students; wealth of tradition; and, very visible Jesuit and Catholic presence. Indeed, through a decade when the Archdiocese was selling off its churches, getting rid of its Catholic hospitals, and limping under the weight of a devastating abuse scandal, BC was a beacon of Catholic fidelity and academic and civic virtue.
The BC community, like Boston, and like the Catholic Church at its best, welcomes many people and listens to many voices. BC works hard to build on, not just preserve, the rich traditions of the Boston Irish. The people of Ireland have suffered a great deal in recent years, not least from tragic experiences of corruption in the Catholic community. That is an experience shared by the people of Boston. So it was altogether appropriate that BC invite the distinguished Prime Minister of Ireland to speak at this year’s commencement.
Yet some politically conservative Catholics disagree. They say the College disobeyed an order from the American bishops to refrain from honoring people who oppose Catholic teaching. They point to the Prime Minister’s support for legislation that clarifies existing conditions under which doctors might perform an abortion to save the life of the mother. The law responds to a recent death of a woman denied an abortion, and to meet the requirements of a binding judgment by the European Human Rights Commission. The Irish hierarchy and the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston state that this violates basic Catholic doctrine. Official Catholic teaching condemns abortion in absolutely all cases and allows no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s “clarification” of the Church’s heartlessness on this issue will shock those who admire the Cardinal’s frequent insistence that the Church is primarily a sacrament of God’s love.
Catholic Democrats in the Huffington Post - Moral Relativism And Commencement Politics -
It has become a rite of spring in the past decade: the commencement speaker controversy involving a U.S Catholic bishop and a prominent Catholic political figure upon whom an honorary degree will be bestowed by a Catholic college.
Pentecost Sunday - Gospel is from John 14:15-16, 23b-26
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.
Happy Mother’s Day from Catholic Democrats
My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) May 2, 2013
Happy Easter! Today’s Gospel is John 20: 1-9
On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.
Today is Holy Saturday - The Easter Vigil Gospel is from Luke 24: 1 - 12
At daybreak on the first day of the week
the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus
took the spices they had prepared
and went to the tomb.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb;
but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were puzzling over this, behold,
two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground.
They said to them,
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
He is not here, but he has been raised.
Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee,
that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners
and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”
And they remembered his words.
Then they returned from the tomb
and announced all these things to the eleven
and to all the others.
The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James;
the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,
but their story seemed like nonsense
and they did not believe them.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb,
bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone;
then he went home amazed at what had happened.
Easter Blessings... Hope Against Hope -
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenes Aires, Argentina - 2008
In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it.
- Pope Francis, March 2013
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
With such daunting challenges before us in the world, and with such political division here at home, who among us does not seek inspiration from our faith? Do we not especially seek inspiration to act on our faith for those we love and indeed ultimately for all of our brothers and sisters throughout the world?
Despite whatever spiritual challenges we all face, the solemnity of Easter is a time when, as Christians, we open our hearts a little more, when hope can overcome us. We feel the comfort of God’s love that Jesus brought to us by giving His life for us on the Cross. It is a time when we seek God - to be in communion with God and in doing so to also be in communion with one another, and especially those most in need.
It will then come as no surprise to most Catholics that long-term studies document that the two most important characteristics of our Catholic identity are the belief that Jesus is present in the Eucharist and our belief in the importance of helping the poor and “the least among us” (Mt 25) - characteristics representing both faith and action.
The unexpected election of a humble archbishop from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit, as pope - and his choice of the name Francis in veneration to St. Francis of Assisi - has given a weary Catholic community here in the United States, and people throughout the world, a new sense of hope, or at least a desire for it.
The fact that Pope Francis has piqued the imagination of Catholics, and people of good will
Pope Francis - Holy Thursday 2013
around the world, is cause for hope itself, particularly this Easter. The collective hope we feel - undoubtedly covering a breadth of aspirations for the Church - is as much a reflection of our Catholic identity as it is of Pope Francis. We, a Christian people of God, still seek inspiration from a struggling Church which we long to imagine will better nourish our faith and more vibrantly play a role in shaping a more just world, particularly helping those most in need at a time of growing inequality.
And we can take heart in recognizing that Pope Francis has already called - in word and by example - for all of us to take personal responsibility for one another. This has not mitigated our hope as a cost of our faith, but instead animates our hope as a result of it.
In his first homily at his inaugural Mass on the Feast of St. Joseph, Pope Francis evoked the role of St. Joseph as “protector” and called us to a vocation of being “protectors of God’s gifts.”
It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about…
In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it.
Pope Francis is helping to renew our faith in calling upon himself as pope to be inspired by, and to embrace,
with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46).
Reminiscent of all great leaders, Pope Francis is calling upon us to dream big dreams in being “protectors.” He recalls St. Paul speaking of Abraham who, “hoping against hope, believes” (Rom 4:18).
Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope!
At a time when we face many problems, with a diminished capability to address them through our political system, Pope Francis is already calling us to fix our gaze and hopes on what should be and what can be.
The Triduum and Easter will touch us all in different ways, but our faith in Jesus’ resurrection invites us to share a common hope. Pope Francis has already symbolized a renewed hope for a better world and invites us to act on that hope in love - in service to God and one another - as a reflection of the grace that God bestows upon us.
May the blessings of Easter fill you and sustain us all to “hope against hope” and embrace the responsibility entrusted to us to be protectors of each other, of all others, and of God’s creation.
With our love, gratitude, and sincere wishes for a peaceful and joyful Easter,
The Catholic Democrats Team