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Guest Columnists

  • Annulments: What is really changing?: The abbreviated process

    On Sept. 8, 2015, Pope Francis issued “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (“The Lord Jesus, Gentle Judge,”) a document revising the marriage nullity process. The mass media, including even some Catholic news outlets, have reported a great deal of misinformation about the changes. In question-and-answer format over the next few weeks, I would like to reflect on various aspects of this new “motu proprio” responding to some logical questions which have been raised since publication.
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  • Pope Francis: A model ministry

    Pope Francis has shifted the conversation away from “who is out” to “who is in”; away from what behaviors will preclude you from the services of the church to how the services of the church must be better deployed to serve those at the periphery of society.
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  • Communication and mercy: A fruitful encounter

    VATICAN CITY – “Communication and mercy: A fruitful encounter” is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for World Communications Day.
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  • Follow the money

    On Sept. 3, pro-life Susan B. Anthony List invited 2,000 congressional Democrats and their staffs to a Capitol Hill screening of the Planned Parenthood investigative videos released to date. Only nine staffers showed up. Why? Perhaps a quick look at the money flowing between Planned Parenthood, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats tells the story.
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  • How the marriage nullity process is changing

    On Sept. 8, 2015, Pope Francis issued “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (“The Lord Jesus, Gentle Judge,”) a document revising the marriage nullity process. The mass media, including even some
    Full story
  • Annulments: What is really changing?

    On Sept. 8, 2015, Pope Francis issued “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (“The Lord Jesus, Gentle Judge,”) a document revising the marriage nullity process.
    Full story
  • Workers, unions and ‘Caritas in Veritate’

    What is the responsibility of Catholic school teachers with regard to the spoken and lived representation of Catholic moral values?
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  • Millions of refugees have no place to call home

    The heartbreaking photo of the little Syrian refugee boy washed up dead on the shore of Bodrum, Turkey (see picture: http://bit.ly/1PZHvDV) strikingly illustrates the tragic plight of desperate refugees – mostly Syrian – fleeing for their lives from the Islamic State and other violent groups in the Middle East and Africa.
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  • Climate leadership: Finding the ‘insight and courage’ to move forward

    Nearly every state around the country has activities underway related to Pope Francis’ ecology encyclical “Laudato Si’”.
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  • Hospitality and Catholic schools

    The academic year has just begun in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and once again Catholic schools have opened their doors and put out the welcome mat. It is that wonderful time of year when all involved in the schools get a fresh start in realizing all the promise inherent in the mission of Catholic education.
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  • 40th anniversary of canonization of Elizabeth Ann Seton observed

    On Sept. 14, 1975, Pope Paul VI canonized Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint. As he proclaimed the words “Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is a saint!” the world paid homage to God for the good works Mother Seton accomplished in her lifetime.
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  • Point of no return

    To say that the graphic revelations of the past few weeks about Planned Parenthood selling fetal parts, organs and tissue have been disturbing, would be an understatement. Even to those familiar with its business operations, the callousness of what goes on behind the scenes was a shock. Thanks to the speed of the Internet, outrage swiftly spread through the general public, resulting in the federal and at least a dozen state governments opening hearings on the matter.
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  • Mary’s Assumption pertains to us

    Like every doctrine of faith, Mary’s assumption into heaven, body and soul, is about us too. Mary is our model in faith, charity and perfect union with Christ. She teaches us how to live in a faith-filled and loving way.
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  • A-bomb crew chaplain’s conversion

    Seventy years ago, on Aug. 6, 1945, the single most destructive weapon ever unleashed upon human beings and the environment – the atomic bomb – was dropped by an American B-29 bomber on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing approximately 80,000 people.
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  • Facing Earth’s peril with earnestness and gravity

    Every outstanding thinker’s ideas can be traced to the influence of great thinkers. In his recent encyclical letter on the environment, “Laudato Si’,” Pope Francis mirrors much of the thinking of renowned theologian Father Romano Guardini, whom the pope studied in Germany.
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  • ‘I was in prison and you came to me’

    For all the world to see, Pope Francis and President Obama recently gave personal witness to Christ’s words in Matthew 25:30, “I was in prison and you came to me.” While it was an historic first prison visit for an American president, it was a relatively familiar act of pastoral outreach for a pope.
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  • Facing a new reality

    With the Supreme Court’s sweeping legalization of same-sex marriage June 26, the church is facing a difficult road ahead – a truth spelled out in the pointed remarks by the four dissenting justices in the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling.
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  • Letting worry out the door while trusting in God

    The kingdom of God is within you. We’ve all heard this truth, but few of us fully understand it or make an effort to put it into practice when we need it. In signing off my letters to friends and others, I often write, “May the Lord be your strength and your joy.”
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  • Supreme Court does not decide what is or is not a sacrament

    An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2010 added acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to the list of federal hate crimes.
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  • Remembering another great encyclical

    While Pope Francis’ new encyclical “Laudato, Si’” is enjoying wide publicity, few people are aware this year marks the 20th anniversary of another powerfully prophetic social justice and peace encyclical: “Evangelium Vitae” (“The Gospel of Life”).
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