Viewpoints

FAITH AND CULTURE | Guidance in the Spirit

Resiliency is among the most laudable qualities of the human spirit. Throughout history, human beings have bounced back from all kinds of troubling and disastrous events. Wars and catastrophes from the past two centuries provide examples of how much the human condition has had to endure. There is hardly a time in recent history when people were free of pain, destruction and violence.

TWENTY SOMETHING | ‘Priest holes’ and history lessons help us embrace our ancient faith

Nicholas Owen was canonized 364 years after his death.

Such is often the case with the Catholic Church, charged with curating a 2,000-year treasure trove of saints and stories, rovers and relics.

Owen's tale is unlike any other. Born in Oxford, England, in the mid-16th century, his devout family prepared him well for his remarkable life's work. His father was as a carpenter who taught him the trade. Two older brothers became priests, bringing the sacraments to a hungry community.

FAITHFUL FAN | Coach: Players respond to focus on a greater purpose

When Amanda Pirih started coaching, her focus was on winning. But that left her unsatisfied. She asked herself if there were more to it, then recognized that there was a purpose greater than herself.

JOURNEYING TOGETHER | Bishop Nelson J. Perez and a new moment for Catholicism in the Midwest

The appointment of Hispanic bishops as ordinaries of dioceses in California, Texas or Florida is rather common. This isn't surprising since most Catholics in the South and the West are Hispanic.

However, the recent appointment of Bishop Nelson J. Perez as the next bishop of Cleveland isn't business as usual. It's an historical milestone for U.S. Catholics.

Many reports have noted that Bishop Perez is the first Hispanic bishop of Cleveland. More interesting is that he's the first Hispanic bishop to head a diocese in the entire Midwest.

AMID THE FRAY | Six deadly sins

One of my favorite criticisms of the Church is that it is fixated on sex. "Why is the Church so obsessed with what I do in the bedroom," many people ask with great seriousness.

I find the observation hilarious because I watch TV, read books and go to the movies. And guess what? Our society is unbelievably obsessed with sex. Religion is no longer the opiate of the masses. Sex is.

The pornography business is bigger than the NFL, NBA and baseball combined. It is so omnipresent that children are discovering it before their parents ever get around to having "the talk."

AMID THE FRAY | A Mass confusion

In professional Catholic circles, a tired joke that still makes the rounds goes like this:

Q: What's the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist?

A: You can negotiate with a terrorist.

Most Catholics never use the word "liturgist" in everyday conversation, and may never have even knowingly met a liturgist, but the average Mass-going Catholic can be as opinionated as any liturgist:

The music is too contemporary, too old-fashioned, too boring, too hip. The priest should celebrate with his back to the people. We should all gather around the altar and hold hands.

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