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."

VISUAL VIEWPOINT | Belief in the resurrection of the dead

A man in mourning visited a grave in The Mount of Olives cemetery. The 3,000 year old burial site overlooks the Kidron Valley (Valley of Jehoshaphat) and contains more than 150,000 graves including King David's son Absalom and the prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Mount of Olives became a pilgrimage site for lamenting Jews because it had a clear view across the valley and onto the Temple Mount they hope to reclaim. The hillside tombs are one of the holiest places for those in the Jewish faith to be laid to rest.

BRIMMING WITH HOPE | Following Pope Francis in learning and love

Kurt Nelson

When Pope Francis was elected two years ago, he called on us to reach out to the marginalized and showed us he was going to lead by example. On his way through St. Peter's Square before his Mass of Installation, Pope Francis spotted a disabled man and instructed his driver to stop. He descended from the vehicle to kiss and bless the man. Less than two weeks later, on Easter Sunday, an 8-year-old boy with cerebral palsy was lifted up and Pope Francis embraced him.

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