Home »

‘In God, justice is mercy and mercy is justice,’ pope says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Jesus was motivated by truth and mercy, not blanket judgments that lead to deceit and hypocritical ways of skirting around God’s law, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis delivers his homily during Mass  in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta last year at the Vatican. In his Feb. 23 at the chapel, the pope said Jesus was motivated by truth and mercy, not blanket judgments. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano handout via EPA) See POPE-HOMILY-DESOLATION Sept. 27, 2017.

Pope Francis delivers his homily during Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta last year at the Vatican. In his Feb. 23 at the chapel, the pope said Jesus was motivated by truth and mercy, not blanket judgments. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano/EPA) 

Christians are called to be “just in mercy” rather than following the letter of the law but not the heart of the law, the pope said Feb. 23 during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta.

“To those who wanted to put him to the test, to those who thought with this logic of ‘you can do this,’ he regards them, not here but in another passage of the Gospel, as hypocrites,” the pope said.

The day’s Gospel reading told of the Pharisees attempting to trap Jesus by asking his thoughts on Moses granting permission for men to divorce their wives.

“Jesus doesn’t answer saying whether it is lawful or not lawful; he does not enter into their case-based reasoning. Because they thought about faith only in terms of you can or you cant” do this or that, he said.

However, the pope noted, Jesus uses the truth to trap them, calling them out on their “hard-hearted” nature, which is precisely what they used to justify their actions.

Instead of being “deceitful” and “hypocritical” like the Pharisees, he continued, Jesus focuses on truth and mercy. Although Jesus confirms that leaving one spouse for another is adultery, he doesn’t reject those who are considered adulterous.

Several times in the Gospels, Jesus speaks to adulterers and says, “‘I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more.’ How is this possible?” the pope asked.

“The path of Jesus, it is clearly seen, is the path from case-based reasoning to truth and mercy,” he said.

Christians need the grace of God in order to pass from a hypocritical mentality of case-based reasoning that views justice and mercy as two separate entities, he said.

“They are not two: it is only one, one thing,” Pope Francis said. “In God, justice is mercy and mercy is justice. May the Lord help us to understand this path, which isn’t easy but it will make us happy and it will make many people happy.”

 

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

Comments Off on ‘In God, justice is mercy and mercy is justice,’ pope says

U.S. senators discuss trafficking, immigration with Vatican officials

By

Catholic News Service

ROME — U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met Feb. 23 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, to discuss U.S.-Vatican cooperation in fighting human trafficking and ending modern slavery.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, speaks to reporters Feb. 24 about his meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state. Corker, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met the press at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. (CNS photo courtesy of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See)

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, speaks to reporters Feb. 24 about his meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state. Corker, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met the press at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. (CNS photo courtesy of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See)

Corker told reporters Feb. 24 that while modern slavery was the focus of his visit, with so much international attention on President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration, “certainly it came up. It was not stressed. We understand the pope has spoken very strongly about this issue.”

The senator said the United States and the Vatican have a “mutual interest in dealing with modern slavery,” a phenomenon involving some 27 million people; 24 percent of them, he said, are involved in forced prostitution, while the remaining 76 percent are subjected to “hard labor.”

Pope Francis repeatedly has highlighted the connection between restrictive immigration policies and the growth of human trafficking.

“Obviously, the migrant issue and the crisis it has generated there makes people even more vulnerable,” Corker said.

The senator said he believed Trump’s executive orders on immigration were just the first step in a more comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration policy.

While the revised orders have not yet been published, Corker said he believes the restrictions on immigration from Syria and other predominantly Muslim countries where terrorism has been an issue would be a “temporary situation while they look at the vetting processes.”

“My hope is that what this is going to lead to is an immigration policy where we deal with the whole issue,” he said. “We’re beginning on the security front,” which responds to the concerns of many Americans.

Corker said he did not meet Cardinal Parolin has an emissary of the White House, but he does hope Trump will meet Pope Francis in May when the president is scheduled to be in Italy for a summit of the G-7 countries.

“Healthy relationships between our administration and the pope and the Vatican” are important for the people of the United States, he said. “As an American and as someone who sees the importance of this relationship, whether it’s in May or some other near-term point, I hope it occurs.”

Corker was not the only member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to visit the Vatican in late February.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, attended Pope Francis’ general audience Feb. 22 and spoke with the pope afterward about “the global refugee and migrant crisis,” his office said in a statement.

“As the pope stated so clearly yesterday (Feb. 21), it is a moral imperative to protect and defend the inalienable rights of refugees and respect their dignity, especially by adopting just laws that protect those fleeing dangerous or inhumane situations,” Kaine said.

The senator’s office said he also met with Archbishop Paul Gallagher, who is the Vatican foreign minister, participated in a discussion focused on Latin American issues with Vatican officials and met with the Jesuit Refugee Service to discuss its work with refugees and asylum seekers.

Comments Off on U.S. senators discuss trafficking, immigration with Vatican officials

‘Get Out’ — Guess who’s coming to frighten you

By

Catholic News Service

Is the thriller “Get Out” as good as all get out? Well, not exactly.

Clever social commentary from writer-director Jordan Peele does add heft to the proceedings. But late scenes featuring some gory encounters, together with swearing throughout, make his film a rugged ride even for grown-ups.

Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams star in a scene from the movie "Get Out."  (CNS/Universal)

Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams star in a scene from the movie “Get Out.” (CNS/Universal)

In a setup reminiscent of 1967’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” young black photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), is about to meet his white live-in girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents — Missy (Catherine Keener) and Dean (Bradley Whitford) Armitage — for the first time.

In lieu of the earlier movie’s titular meal, the occasion for Chris’ introduction to the family is to be a weekend visit to the Armitages’tony estate in the country.

While Chris is prepared for the initial awkwardness Missy and Dean display as they go out of their way to show they’re not bigots, less predictable developments leave him increasingly unsettled. There’s Rose’s weirdly aggressive brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones), for instance, who seems to be spoiling for a martial-arts smackdown with Chris.

Then, too, there’s the Armitages’ strangely subdued, zombie-like household staff: maid Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and gardener Walter (Marcus Henderson). In fact, Chris is disturbed by the behavior of pretty much everyone he meets during his stay, on both sides of the racial divide.

As things turn ever more sinister, Peele adeptly uses horror tropes to comment on slavery, racism and liberal pieties. The plot’s denouement, however, comes dipped in a needless amount of blood.

This wrap-up is also clearly designed to incite the audience to cheer as an array of villains meet satisfyingly grisly ends. It’s ironic and unfortunate that a picture aimed at satirizing one negative aspect of human nature should eventually appeal to another.

The film contains some harsh and bloody violence, cohabitation, at least one use of profanity and pervasive rough and crude language.

The Catholic News Service classification is L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R, restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

 

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

 

Comments Off on ‘Get Out’ — Guess who’s coming to frighten you

The rallying cry

February 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: ,

By

 

I confess that after more than four decades as a parish priest, I am still moved by the Scripture readings of Ash Wednesday. That is true even if there may seem to be contrasting expectations.

For example, in the first reading from Joel (2:12-18), the prophet uses words like “Blow a trumpet … call an assembly.” At the same time, in the Gospel passage from Matthew (6:1-6, 16-18) used at the same Mass we hear Jesus say, “When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you.” Read more »

Comments Off on The rallying cry

Lent as a pilgrimage

February 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: ,

By

Catholic News Service

When the comedian Stephen Colbert appeared, one Ash Wednesday, on his late-night television show with ashes marking his forehead, I felt a sense of communion.

He’s one of my tribe, I thought. Colbert is a well-known Catholic. He even invited Jesuit Father James Martin to serve as the unofficial “chaplain” to his Comedy Central program.  Read more »

Comments Off on Lent as a pilgrimage

Ash Wednesday: Rituals and symbols

February 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: ,

By

Catholic News Service

Our society is not one that readily embraces the idea of sacrifice. There is little recognition of the profound benefits of self-denial and of giving completely of oneself to others — and to God.

All the more reason, then, for us as Catholics to actively live out the ideals of the penitential season of Lent. One way to prepare ourselves is to better understand the roots and symbolism of the season and the day that starts it all: Ash Wednesday. Read more »

Comments Off on Ash Wednesday: Rituals and symbols

Living Our Faith: Ash Wednesday

February 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

By

Ashes are distributed at St. Helen Church in Glendale, Ariz., in this 2016 file photo. On Ash Wednesday, we sign ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ, and we strive to live the following 40 days so that the world knows we are Christians. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Ashes are distributed at St. Helen Church in Glendale, Ariz., in this 2016 file photo. On Ash Wednesday, we sign ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ, and we strive to live the following 40 days so that the world knows we are Christians. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

One way to prepare ourselves for Lent is to better understand the day that starts it all: Ash Wednesday.

The words spoken while ashes are pressed on our foreheads ignite us like the opening gun at a race. We’re off. A pilgrimage has begun.

Ash Wednesday is a rally of sorts, to give people encouragement and motivation.

 

Comments Off on Living Our Faith: Ash Wednesday

Sunday Scripture readings, Feb. 26, 2017

February 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

By

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Cycle A. Readings:
1) Isaiah 49:14-15
Psalm 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
2) 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Gospel: Matthew 6:24-34
I will be showing my age and possibly run the risk of losing many Generation X and millennial readers when I use this example, but sometimes when I feel at the end of my rope, or look around at the state of the world or even look at how my day-to-day life can seem out of control, I often think of a 1970s television show called “Hee Haw.” Read more »

Comments Off on Sunday Scripture readings, Feb. 26, 2017

Vatican Letter: Pope’s remarks on refugee crisis aren’t intended for United States only

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis affirms basic Christian principles, he is not singling out one person or nation, but he definitely is not excluding them either.

The ongoing global migration and refugee crisis is a case in point. Read more »

Comments Off on Vatican Letter: Pope’s remarks on refugee crisis aren’t intended for United States only

Pope: Catholics who fail to live a Christian life cause scandal

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — People who pretend to be Christians publicly, but follow their own selfish passions privately, destroy themselves and cause scandal to those around them, Pope Francis. Read more »

Comments Off on Pope: Catholics who fail to live a Christian life cause scandal
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.