Those on Gov. Mike Huckabee's Journey first arrived in Kraków, Poland, home of Pope John Paul II, to learn how its most influential agent for political change during pre and post Nazi and Communist occupied Poland, was its religious leader. To the Polish people, their Pope, Karol Józef Woityla, is the most significant man in modern history that led them to freedom after suffering generations of oppression.
Wojtyla, the former archbishop of Kraków, lived through both eras of occupation and witnessed and identified with his people's suffering and despair. Today, he is known among the generations of young people as the one who made it possible for them to be born in "free Poland," where they can watch movies, text on smartphones, or choose their education or profession. They learned from their parents who were among more than 800,000, who in 1990 went to Kraków's local theatre to watch Gone with the Wind, a film none had been allowed to view. To this new generation, the Pope represents the spirit of freedom and opposition to evil of their "free Poland."
To understand the Polish, one must know two things. First, from the mid to late 1700s to the 1950s— Poland was occupied by one invader after another. It had lost one third of its population every thirty years from conflict. Second, its people's identity is and has been for centuries, deeply rooted in and inter-connected to their Christian faith. more >>
For purposes of this article, I set aside my Ph.D. degree: I am speaking strictly on the authority of my MOM degree.
Ok, everyone. I realize I have been out of the loop for a while. I have been trying to finish a book. And I had an unexpected family emergency to deal with.
But Mom's home now. Time to shape up. more >>
The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Francis will set up a panel to help process the "backlog" of appeals from priests who've been accused of committing sexual abuse against minors. The new judicial body, or college, will be overseen by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"Hearing the appeals is a very important job, especially those on abuse of minors, and the backlog of cases is at risk of absorbing all the time of the congregation," Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told The Tablet, a Catholic news weekly.
"[The accused] shall have his case examined by the whole body of members of the congregation, the ordinary session, which may also examine other specific cases upon papal request, and/or examine cases referred to it by the newly created college," he added. more >>
Pope Francis has removed conservative U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, who was the Vatican's highest ranking American, as head of its highest court. The move could be seen as reflecting the changing stand of the Catholic Church on some key social issues.
The Vatican announced Saturday that Cardinal Burke, formerly prefect of the Apostolic Signature, will now serve as cardinal patron of the Knights and Dames of Malta, according to Catholic News Service.
The 66-year-old cardinal and the former archbishop of St. Louis has been known as an advocate for denying communion to Catholic politicians who back abortion. Burke has also openly criticized the pope for his accommodation approach to the faith. more >>
Satanism is on the rise, according to the International Association of Exorcists, whose members recently convened with Pope Francis to receive a blessing at the Vatican.
The group, which consists of around 300 members, gathered in Rome last week to discuss the impact of the occult and Satanism with the Pope, who is adamant about the fight against Satan in his sermons. The Pope took time to commend the group for helping those who are suffering from the "devil's works."
Valter Cascioli, a spokesman for the organization, warned of an "extraordinary increase in demonic activity" during a segment on Vatican radio. He also claims that people are turning to dark practices that are damaging psychologically, spiritually and morally at an alarming rate. more >>
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York plans to merge more than 112 parishes into 55 new parishes this year, leading to the closure of as many as 33 churches.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, made the announcement of the mergers on All Saints Sunday.
"This time of transition in the history of the archdiocese will undoubtedly be difficult for people who live in parishes that will merge," stated Dolan. "There will be many who are hurt and upset as they experience what will be a change in their spiritual lives, and I will be one of them." more >>