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Is getting a tattoo or smoking a sin?

March 21st, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

Q. Since we are only stewards of our bodies until we die, I was wondering whether such things as smoking, getting tattoos, excessive tanning and working out either too little or too much are sinful, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church. (Columbus, Ohio)

A. First, there is a solid scriptural basis for your claim that we are only stewards of our bodies. St. Paul asks the early Christian believers, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? Therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:19-20).

You have answered part of your question by the way you have defined the terms. Excessive tanning is clearly wrong, since it suggests that the consequence could be skin cancer, a nexus which is well-documented medically.

Similarly, “working out too little or too much” implies that one is ignoring the need for physical exercise (thus inviting cardio-vascular problems and obesity) or that someone is risking harm by overtaxing the body. Read more »

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Commentary: Another Catholic swing vote? Supreme Court hears health law arguments

March 21st, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Although there are no specifically Catholic issues under consideration when the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments March 26-28 on various aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Catholics will play some key roles.

With six of the nine current Supreme Court justices being Catholics, it is almost inevitable that a Catholic justice will be a “swing vote” determining the outcome in at least one of the cases. And Catholic groups and individuals have not been shy about filing friend-of-the-court briefs seeking to sway the justices toward their hoped-for outcome.

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Washington Letter: Supreme Court gets the health reform law

March 16th, 2012 Posted in National News, Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

 

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Although there are no specifically Catholic issues under consideration when the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments March 26-28 on various aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Catholics will play some key roles.

With six of the nine current Supreme Court justices being Catholics, it is almost inevitable that a Catholic justice will be a “swing vote” determining the outcome in at least one of the cases. And Catholic groups and individuals have not been shy about filing friend-of-the-court briefs seeking to sway the justices toward their hoped-for outcome.

The lawsuits before the court have nothing to do with the contraceptive mandate set by the Department of Health and Human Services — and the First Amendment religious freedom questions raised by it — which has been the subject of a number of other suits in lower courts.

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The story of Holy Week, part I

March 16th, 2012 Posted in Catechetical Corner, Uncategorized

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By Father James Lentini

A look at this spiritual, reflective time through Matthew’s, Mark’s, Luke’s and John’s Gospels  

As Lent progresses, it casts our eyes toward Holy Week, which starts on Palm Sunday (a.k.a. Passion Sunday); carries us through to the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday); and culminates with Easter.

Holy Week is perhaps the most deeply spiritual and reflective period of time for Catholics during the entire year. It’s a time where minds and hearts are called to reflect upon Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a Sunday and his death in that same city on the following Friday. The events that fill up the time in between those days are the stuff that speaks to the heart of our faith.

Scripture scholars will not like what I am about to do, but from a faith perspective what I am about to do is a long-standing and understood practice. In the paragraphs to follow I am going to harmonize the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Harmonization of the Gospels is when one takes the four Gospels and attempts to integrate them together to give fuller telling of the life of Christ; it provides a rich spiritual referent for the faithful to understand the events of Holy Week in a more comprehensible and linear form. It is what the church does liturgically during the period of Holy Week.

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Catholic Appeal supports religious ed for people with special needs

March 16th, 2012 Posted in Featured, Our Diocese, Uncategorized

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 Special to The Dialog

Emily Hurst looked at the slice of bread Lynn Lemon held up for the special needs religious education class at Church of the Holy Child.

“Yum yum yum,” Emily said, as Lemon explained to her students that when they are hungry they might eat a slice of bread.

Taking an unconsecrated Communion host, Lemon described it as a different type of bread that at Mass is changed into the Bread of Life, Jesus. When people are hungry “in their hearts,” or spiritually, she told her students, they can receive Communion.

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Do It Yourself Lent: March 16

March 16th, 2012 Posted in Catechetical Corner, Uncategorized

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Here is today’s Do It Yourself Lent

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War drums never stop beating

March 15th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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I hope I’m wrong, but it looks like the United States is preparing to start another war.

While the dust hasn’t even settled yet from the Iraq war, hawks in Congress and the Obama administration are pushing to attack Iran.

But because the fever to attack Iran is even higher in Israel, it appears more likely that President Obama will give the Israelis the green light to launch the initial strike with U.S. support. Read more »

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Sunday readings: Rejoice, Jesus our light is near

March 15th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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Readings for March 18

Fourth Sunday of Lent

2 Chronicles 36:14-16; 19-23; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:14-21

Light has come into the world; whoever lives by the truth comes into the light.

I begin my commentary with a story about a famous golfer who appeared at heaven’s gates. Upon his arrival, our Lord asked him: What did you do to arrive here? The golfer proudly displayed his U.S. Open trophy. The Lord said: that doesn’t count here. Next, the golfer showed our Lord his PGA gold card. Once again, our Lord said sorry, that doesn’t count either. Now, very nervous, the golfer explained that he was a terrific husband and loving father to which our Lord replied: you were supposed to be both while on earth. Finally, the golfer said: you know, Lord, two years ago I turned my life over to Jesus. The Lord said, “You can enter now.” Read more »

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Roman Catholic roll call: Vatican says number of Catholics up, priests up bishops up

March 15th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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VATICAN CITY — The number of Catholics in the world and the number of deacons, priests and bishops all increased in 2010, while the number of women in religious orders continued to decline, according to Vatican statistics.

At the end of 2010, the worldwide Catholic population reached 1.196 billion, an increase of 15 million or 1.3 percent, slightly outpacing the global population growth rate, which was estimated at 1.1 percent, said a statement published March 10 by the Vatican press office. Read more »

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In heaven there is no beer, but…. Belgian Trappists’ brew ranks as world’s best

March 15th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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OXFORD, England — A hearty dark brown beer produced at a Trappist monastery in Belgium has been rated the world’s best brew by an online community of beer lovers.

Coincidentally, the monks are temporarily boosting production of its special brew to pay for renovation work at its western Flanders abbey.

The monks at the Trappist Abbey of St. Sixtus of Westvleteren said they will temporarily make one additional batch per month and offer it at participating supermarkets, a first for the order. Read more »

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