FORUM: The "Waze" of Providence

December 7, 2015

Los Angeles, December 01, 2015 -- Just after I was named auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, Archbishop Gomez, my new boss, told me to get the Waze app for my iPhone. He explained that it was a splendid way to navigate the often impossible LA traffic. I followed his instructions and have indeed used the app on practically a daily basis since my arrival on the West Coast. Waze not only gives you directions, but it also provides very accurate information regarding time to your destination, obstacles on the road, the presence of police, etc. Most importantly, it routes you around traffic jams, which positively abound in the City of Angels.

Pope to Religious: You Can’t Depend on Legacy of Martyrs, Future Is in Your Hands

November 30, 2015

Uganda, November 28, 2015 -- Pope Francis concluded the day in Uganda by giving an off-the-cuff address to the nation’s priests and religious, in which he said that they couldn’t piggy-back on the glories of the past, but had to themselves construct the glory of the future.

Pope Gives Youth Choice: Do You Want to Overcome Challenges or Be Overcome by Them?

November 30, 2015

Nairobi, November 27, 2015 -- Pope Francis has asked Kenya's young people how they will respond to the challenges they face, including those of tribalism, corruption, and desperation, and challenged them to get out of vicious cycles.

FORUM: What Precisely Is the Gospel?

November 30, 2015

Los Angeles, November 24, 2015 -- Some years ago, I was involved in a Catholic-Evangelical dialogue. One of our Protestant brothers challenged the Catholics in the group to articulate clearly what the Gospel is. I knew what he was getting at: many Evangelicals pride themselves on the fact that they can succinctly sum up the Good News in a way that people find compelling and helpful, whereas many Catholics, it seems, get tongue-tied.

Jesus’ Kingship Is Freeing, Not Oppressive, Says Pope

November 23, 2015

Rome, November 22, 2015 ( Kathleen Naab --Jesus is not the king of another world but simply another kind of king, Pope Francis said today before praying the midday Angelus with those in St. Peter’s Square.

"Bridge of Spies" and the Path to Virtue

November 23, 2015

Los Angeles, November 18, 2015 -- My great mentor Msgr. Robert Sokolowski told a class of eager philosophy students many years ago that we should read Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics every year of our lives. As we grew older, he explained, new dimensions of the book would continually present themselves. I can't say that I've followed Sokolowski's advice perfectly, but I have indeed returned often to Aristotle's great text for inspiration and clarification. One of the Philosopher's principal insights is that the best way to understand virtue is not through abstract study but rather by watching the virtuous man in action. Learning the moral life is, for Aristotle, something like acquiring artistic skill through apprenticeship or like becoming an actor through understudying to an established thespian. Finding a master and striving to imitate him is the key. It seems only fitting, by the way, that I learned the craft of philosophizing largely by watching Sokolowski in action. 

US Bishops Approve Formal Statement on Pornography

November 23, 2015

United States of America, November 18, 2015 -- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved a formal statement, "Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography," at their annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore on Tuesday.

ANALYSIS: Religious Practice in America: Mixed Results, But Religion Is Still Important

November 16, 2015

United States of America, November 15, 2015 -- By some measures Americans are becoming less religious. At the same time there is stability in the overall pattern of religious behavior and by some measures those Americans who are religious are more devout than in the past.

Pope’s Morning Homily: It’s Idolatry to Be Attached to the Here and Now

November 16, 2015

Rome, November 13, 2015 -- Pope Francis today warned against a certain “idolatry” that inordinately focuses on the beauties of this life, forgetting that earthly things are passing away and that, anyway, their Creator is so much more beautiful.

Vatican Establishing a Working Group to Study Legal Challenges to Catholic Schools' Survival

November 16, 2015

Rome, November 13, 2015 -- The Church is ever aware of the "extreme importance" of education, and an upcoming conference marking the 25th and 50th anniversaries of two key Church documents on education will consider the challenges to Catholic education today and looking toward the future.

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