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Showing posts from October, 2014

A Complex and Troublesome Problem

In the past week there was another school shooting. It took place in the state of Washington.  Also there were reports of young Americans joining with ISIS terrorists.  What do both of these situations have in common?  Troubled youth.

   Please don't get me wrong.  I am not offering excuses for this kind of behavior.  By the time these things happen the perpetrators need to be prosecuted.  What I am suggesting is that we need to look into the causes that lead a young person to want to join terrorist groups that hate their own country or commit senseless violence against their peers and in many cases against themselves.  Hopefully we can do a better job of spotting trouble before it happens and get the kind of help that is needed.

   One problem is that there is no one size fits all explanation.  In many cases there is a lack of a solid family life in a loving home.  In many cases as well the young person is a type of loner or suffers from mental illness.  There are some cases h…

He Welcomes Sinners and Eats with Them.

There has been a great deal of "buzz" these days about the message coming from the Synod of Bishops in Rome.   The secular media which quite frankly doesn't have a clue as to how things work in the Church has given their own "spin" to things and making it look like the Church has gone mad and is caving in to modern trends.   Others, reacting out of fear, suspect that this may be true.  I have seen homophobic ranting as well as virulent Catholic-hating comments regarding what has gone on.  With this in mind I offer some of my own thoughts.

   The Synod is not changing doctrine, but rather attitude.  It is not a new attitude but one that is encouraged by Jesus himself and for which Jesus received criticism from religious leaders.  In Luke 15:2 He is criticized for "welcoming sinners and eating with them."  In response to this criticism Jesus offers three different parables of mercy.  All too often we in the Church have been quick to label people and …