Many of us probably view a suggestion from the pope as just that — a suggestion. But Pope Francis' strong urging at World Youth Day to leave a mark on the world by practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy is based on the Gospel, and it's what we are called to do.
The headline referred to the recent Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline Summer Institute as a "Counter Bullying Workshop." The accompanying news release described VBRD as "a Catholic response to bullying," but that was the only reference to "bullying" in its eight-paragraphs.
Interestingly, not one session of the fourth annual Summer Institute had "bullying" in its title. In fact, the word rarely came up at Cardinal Rigali Center in the four-day program, making it a "counter-bullying workshop" in name only.
In the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting June 12 at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., we struggle to make sense of such violence, destruction, hate and suffering.
The events go against everything we uphold as community values. A statement issued by the Vatican on behalf of Pope Francis referred to the Orlando attack as "terrible and absurd violence." It's almost incomprehensible that a country that has had as many mass shootings as the United States is still capable of having its worst one in our lifetimes, in terms of dead and wounded.
When a representative of the Vatican called him last month to tell him about his appointment as the bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Bishop Edward M. Rice was praying Evening Prayer at Holy Redeemer Church, where he lives. Without hesitation, he said "yes" to the appointment.
His example of saying "yes" is one we all should emulate.