Archbishop's column

Before the Cross - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's Column

'Before The Cross' by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. Archbishop Carlson is the ninth Archbishop of Saint Louis. Listed below are the most recent columns written by Archbishop Carlson; click on the title to read the column. The Archdiocesan website has more information about Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

Children are a gift from God, sexuality must always remain open to life

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson presided last weekend at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis for the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. The rite is for those who have been preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation, including Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist, before the final weeks of their preparation before Easter Vigil. The Church also recognized those who already have been baptized and now prepare to profess their faith as members of the Church. This year, the archdiocese will welcome in 846 new members to the Church, including those pictured below.

Several years ago, I met with a group of parishioners who were concerned about the future of their school. Enrollment had been declining for many years, and the families who attended the meeting were legitimately concerned about their school's viability. Lots of causes for the decline in enrollment were discussed, but one issue -- a major contributing cause -- was never mentioned. After listening for some time, I decided that I had to be the one to bring it up.

Fight racism in ourselves and in our communities

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson distributed ashes for the students at Incarnate Word Academy on Ash Wednesday.

Racism is a serious moral problem in society and in the Church. Racism is the sin that says some human beings are inherently superior and others essentially inferior. Racism is the sin that makes racial characteristics the determining factor for the exercise of human rights. Racism must be recognized as a radical evil that influences the way we think, speak and act. The only "cure" for the sin of racism is conversion -- a profound recognition of the dignity of every human being regardless of his or her race, ethnicity, economic condition or cultural heritage.

Before the Cross | Violence is always sinful, never justified

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson talked with reporters after he announced plans to strengthen Catholic schools through his Alive in Christ mission advancement initiative Feb. 2 at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School.

For the past six weeks, I have been writing about issues that Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has identified as moral challenges that we should regard as priorities for this election year. As we form our consciences and exercise our rights -- and responsibilities -- as faithful citizens, the following threats against individuals and the common good require our attention:

• Abortion and all threats against the dignity of human life

Before the Cross | We must welcome strangers, respect others' dignity

This is my 115th "Before the Cross" column for the St. Louis Review. During the past two and a half years, I have enjoyed receiving feedback on my columns. Most of the time, people write to express their appreciation. Sometimes, however, I receive letters in which writers express their disagreement. I welcome different points of view as long as they are respectful. We would all benefit from more respectful disagreement and dialogue -- especially in the political arena!

Pastoral letter on conscience rights

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which was formed to be "of, by, and for the people," has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people – the Catholic population – and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

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Before the Cross | A just global economy begins at home

Etieno Akpan from Christ Light of the Nations School and Sam Araujo of St. Norbert School joined Archbishop Robert J. Carlson to list the top things about Catholic schools. The eighth-grade classes from Region 2 Catholic schools came together for Mass Jan. 30 with the archbishop at Holy Spirit Parish in Maryland Heights.

Catholic social teaching has articulated a simple but very important moral principal: The economy should exist for the good of human persons, not the other way around.

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