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A Catholic approach to forgiveness Print E-mail
Guest column
Thursday, Mar. 23, 2017 -- 12:00 AM
Msgr. John Hebl

Editor's Note: During Lent, a series of articles on Forgiveness will be presented by Msgr. John Hebl, pastor emeritus and charter member of the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI), and Robert Enright, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor, author, and founder of the IFI. This will help introduce the first ever International Conference on Forgiveness in July 2017 which IFI is sponsoring in the Holy City of Jerusalem. This is the fourth in the series of seven articles.

A number of years ago, an elderly priest in one of our neighboring dioceses began his Lenten homily by telling the people, “I hope I don’t die in the confessional.”

After pausing to get the parishioners’ attention, he added, “because they probably wouldn’t find my body for three days!”

What he meant, of course, is that many Catholics are not making use of the sacrament of God’s forgiveness commonly known as Confession. So the priest sits there all alone.

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On ‘owning’ the Church Print E-mail
The Catholic Difference
Thursday, Mar. 23, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

The question of "who owns the Church" has had a stormy history in Catholic America, although the terms of reference have changed considerably over time.

In the 19th century, "lay trusteeism" -- lay boards that owned parish property and sometimes claimed authority over the appointment and dismissal of pastors -- was a major headache for the U.S. bishops.

Today, the question is more likely to arise from the wetlands of psychobabble; thus one Midwestern diocesan chancellor recently spoke about a diocesan "needs assessment" that "can give ownership to the people," presumably of their lives as Catholics.

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Why it matters more who Jesus is Print E-mail
Word on Fire
Thursday, Mar. 23, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

I have been reading, with both profit and delight, Thomas Joseph White's latest book, The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology.

Fr. White, one of the brightest of a new generation of Thomas interpreters, explores a range of topics in this text -- the relationship between Jesus' human and divine natures, whether the Lord experienced the beatific vision, the theological significance of Christ's cry of anguish on the cross, his descent into Hell, etc. -- but for the purposes of this article, I want to focus on a theme of particular significance in the theological and catechetical context today.

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