Potpourri of Popery, St. Francis de Sales Edition


We love St. Francis de Sales, bishop of Geneva & doctor of the Church. Reading the letters he wrote to lay people is enough to demonstrate human nature hasn't changed between now and then (he died 1622).

B-16 Says:

  • Tells Italian civil authorities:
    suffering man belongs to us.

  • Meets with some Finns on St. Henrik's day.
  • Sunday's Angelus, on ecumenism because it's the week of Christian Unity --he'll have a major address on the topic tomorrow, feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
  • At this morning's audience, he outlined all the progress in ecumenism in the past year --progress that gives "space for joy." Text isn't available yet, but asianews covers it here.

Around the World:

  • US. Cardinal George tells his people:
    The Second Vatican Council wasn't called to turn Catholics into Protestants.
    Very interesting column explaining an Archdiocesan-wide preaching and teaching program. Looking at the topics his own council came up with, he sees the Reformation all over again:
    There are many good people whose path to holiness is shaped by religious individualism and private interpretation of what God has revealed. They are, however, called Protestants. When an informed and committed group of Catholics, such as the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, comes up with an agenda for discussion that is, historically, Protestant, an important point is being made.
    He explains the back-to-basics approach:
    If we are to propose to the world our faith, we need to be better grounded in it. Proposing, as Pope John Paul II often said, is not imposing. Any proposition should be respected because of the person proclaiming it; but it should also be contested when it is false. In matters of faith, truth and falsity depend on theological warrants from history. Since history, for many Americans, is bunk and, for some academics, is only a field to be reworked at will, we’ll see how far we get this year.

And concludes with a point that can't be made often enough:
What seems clear to me is that God is calling us to be authentically Catholic in our faith and also, perhaps paradoxically, Protestant in our culture. We live where we are, not in some ideal world where everything works smoothly. Those who withdraw into sectarian enclaves, even in the name of orthodoxy but without respect for or obedience to the mediators called bishops, are simply repeating the Protestant Reformation with Catholic tags.

  • India: 80,000 Tribals took to the streets to defend the Church against a local government wanting to sieze missionary lands.

  • Pakistan: a mentally ill Christian sentenced to 25 years for blasphemy has been freed. And Peshawar's High Court has okayed construction of a Church within the city's university.
    In making their ruling they stated that Islam guarantees total religious freedom for minorities and there are no legal obstacles to building places of worship. Chief Justice Tariq Pervez Khan added that Pakistan’s constitution protects religious minorities. He also noted that Muslims can build mosques and spread their faith in non Muslim countries.
    China: This article is a bit thin on specifics, but everyone seems ecstatic about the results of the Vatican's 2-day conference on China we reported last week. They're going to establish a commission on China and the Pope's going to write a letter to Chinese Catholics. All I know is if Card. Zen's happy, I'm happy.