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.

Before the Cross | The moral precepts of the Church are laws of love

For the past six months, I have been writing about the moral and ethical foundations of our faith — the Ten Commandments, the Eight Beatitudes and most recently some of the fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching. These are truly laws of love, moral precepts that, if we follow them, make it possible for us to live full and happy lives.

Before the Cross | We are called to be responsible stewards of God's creation

We hear a lot about the environment these days. Is global warming really happening? How serious is our abuse of the natural resources of our planet — the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we cultivate? Have we lost our ability to marvel at the beauty of Earth and the vastness of the cosmos? Do we regard ourselves as "masters of the universe" or as stewards of what truly belongs to God alone?

May Mother Teresa's example inspire us to do our part

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta showed charity to everyone without distinction, but in union with the Church she showed a preference for the poor. Mother Teresa recognized the face of Christ, whom she loved with her entire being, in everyone she met, but she was especially conscious of His presence in the poorest of the poor.

Before the Cross | Work is necessary for survival, maintaining human dignity

We've heard a lot about unemployment the past few years. The goal, which we never seem to reach, is no unemployment. That would mean every able-bodied person was gainfully employed. A society with no unemployment would be a truly healthy society.

If we can't have zero unemployment, we like to keep the percentages in single digits. When we get near — or past — double-digit unemployment, it's a sign that our economy is in trouble. My four years as bishop of Saginaw, Mich., gave me an opportunity to see clearly what unacceptable rates of unemployment can do to a community.

Before the Cross | We are not islands; family is essential

“No man is an island, entire of itself … any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind” John Donne (1572-1631)

The poet John Donne reminds us that we are never completely alone — even in death. We belong to God and to His family. We are intimately “involved in mankind” and can never separate ourselves totally from the relationships that form our fundamental identity.

The unborn are most in need of protection

Norman A. Williams, interim director of the St. Charles Lwanga Center, was acknowledged for his service by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson during the presentation of the fourth annual archdiocesan Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Model of Justice Awards in St. Louis Jan. 16. Twenty-seven high school students from parishes and schools across the archdiocese were honored with the award for their commitment to serving humanity in the broader community.

A few years ago, I was asked why the Church devotes so much attention to abortion among all the challenges to life we face today, including end-of-life issues, capital punishment, HIV/AIDS, war, poverty, embryonic stem cell research, homelessness and more.

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