Will the Next Cardinal Die in Prison?

George Francis obitCardinal Francis George died at home in bed on April 17. This would be normal for any other 78-year-old…except for the cardinal’s prediction.

In 2012, George warned priests “what the complete secularization of our society could bring”: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2012/1021/cardinal.aspx

“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” http://www.ncregister.com/blog/tim-drake/the-myth-and-the-reality-of-ill-die-in-my-bed/#ixzz3ak6LDkFq

George insisted, “What I said is not ‘prophetic,’” but many of us disagree. http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2012/1021/cardinal.aspx

Martyr What Would You Die ForHe echoed an earlier Archbishop of Chicago who before World War II “tried his hand at reading the signs of his times. On May 18, 1937, Cardinal Mundelein,” warned how Adolf Hitler was restricting youth ministry and silencing bishops in German media. He warned, “There is no guarantee that the battle-front may not stretch some day into our own land. Hodie mihi cras tibi. (Today it’s me; tomorrow, you). If we show no interest in this matter now, if we shrug our shoulders and mutter … it is not our fight…when our turn comes, we too will be fighting alone.” http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2012/1021/cardinal.aspx

How can we best contend against secularization? Our best weapon against secularization is early experience with the Gospel of Christ. Cardinal George wrote, “‘The first time I thought about being a priest was my first Holy Communion, when I really came to appreciate the nature of that sacrament as much as a 7-year-old could,’ he said in a church documentary in December 2013 commemorating his 50th anniversary as a priest.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-cardinal-george-dead-20150417-story.html#page=1

George Francis Interesting Man“George was 13, not even out of grammar school, when polio struck. When he arrived at Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago on crutches, eager to begin his freshman year, George was told he could not stay and likely never would be ordained.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-cardinal-george-dead-20150417-story.html#page=1 He pressed forward in discipleship and scholarship.

Secularization lost in George’s life. In his final days, he told a friend, “As I’m approaching death, my curiosity is awakened. I’m so eager to see what it’s like.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-cardinal-george-dead-20150417-story.html#page=1

As for his legacy? He himself put it best in the refrain that he repeated several times in his final homily at his last Mass as archbishop in a packed cathedral in downtown Chicago:
“‘In short,’ he told the crowd, ‘you are my legacy.’” http://www.religionnews.com/2015/04/17/chicago-cardinal-francis-george-dies-78-icon-conservatism-suddenly-favor/

Libya-21-beheaded-2015May we be a godly legacy. May the cardinal be wrong about prison and martyrdom. But this year’s news from Africa and the Middle East makes him sound prophetic.

Posted in Church, culture, leadership, public square | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Millennials in Church?

jesus-hipster Should church offer COOL or MYSTERY  to welcome millennials?  “I can be entertained anywhere. At church, I do not want to be entertained. I do not want to be the target of anyone’s marketing. I want to be asked to participate in the life of an ancient-future community,” writes Amy Peterson.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jesus-doesnt-tweet/2015/04/30/fb07ef1a-ed01-11e4-8666-a1d756d0218e_story.html

Posted in Church, culture, values, worship | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Who’s more royal, Bushes or Clintons?

Clinton_Chelsea_Elle_2015_AprilWhy do would-be Presidents protest against American royal families? Perhaps because many Americans subconsciously crave royalty. Is there a Freudian slip in Elle this month? “In her May issue editor’s letter, ELLE Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers writes: ‘There is something innately regal [royal] about Chelsea [Clinton]…a calling to make the world a better place.” (emphasis added)
http://www.elle.com/culture/celebrities/news/a27707/chelsea-clinton-may-2015/

This “calling” is foretold by The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman as “the all-but-guaranteed eventual ascendancy of President Chelsea Clinton.”
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/17/us-queen-royal-families-bush-clinton-kennedy

Thanks to George Washington, America has fended off hereditary rule for more than 200 years. Would-be Presidents condemn American royalty from both sides of the political fence. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), Maryland, has spoken with the clearest voice, “The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth between two families,” speaking to Ari Melber (MSNBC) in almost the same words he said to George Stephanopoulos (ABC) two weeks ago.
http://dailycaller.com/2015/04/10/martin-omalley-presidency-not-a-hereditary-right-video/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/03/29/omalley-says-presidency-shouldnt-alternate-between-two-families/

Will Barack Obama be the only non-Bush/Clinton president for 36 years, from 1989-2024?

Freeman may be right, “We always want what we don’t have and so America, a country founded at least partly as a reaction against the idea of a royal family, can’t help but create royal versions of its own.”

Posted in culture | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Love and Martyrs

?????????????The Archbishop of Kenya is far too experienced in responding to martyrdom. His latest response of love and grace came poignantly on Good Friday, but it is only for the latest in a series of attacks.

• In 2012, 17 Christians were butchered in a church in Garissa, Kenya. (photo on left)
Kenya-bus-attack
• In November 2014, 36 non-Muslims were slaughtered while working in a quarry and 28 non-Muslim bus passengers were shot to death at close range. (photo on right)
Kenya-garissa-university-classroom
• This week at Garissa University, 147 Christians, mostly students were rounded up and executed. (photo below)

How does the Archbishop respond to this escalation of martyrdom?

On this Good Friday we gather in our churches across Kenya in the shadow of a great and terrible evil. People who deal in death have slaughtered 147 people in Garissa, most of them students, and brought wrenching anguish to their families and a deep sadness to our nation.

These young people died because they were Christians. This attack was a calculated manifestation of evil designed to destroy our nation and our faith….

Jesus’ death upon the cross was not in vain. By his death, death has been destroyed. The stone rolled away and the empty tomb of Jesus assures us that death does not have the last word….

While governments have a vital role, even more important are the hearts and minds of ordinary people. Let us covenant together before God that we will never ever surrender our nation or our faith in Christ to those who glory in death and destruction. We will not be intimidated because we know and trust in the power of the cross, God’s power to forgive our sins, to turn death into the gate of glory and to make us his children for ever.
Amen

CLICK HERE for the Archbishop’s full response.

Posted in Church, culture | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Redefining Marriage: Group Marriage

Gay-Polygamy

Group marriage is a next logical step in our culture’s redefining of marriage. An early step is a religious group marriage in Thailand this week, not yet recognized by civil law.

How many people can share in a group marriage? 30? 100? What is marriage? Is marriage any group of people who elect to share property and erotic relationships?

“Three gay men from Thailand have tied the knot in what is thought to be the world’s first three-way same-sex marriage.

“Happy newlyweds Joke, 29, Bell, 21 and Art, 26, took the plunge on Valentine’s Day after exchanging their vows in a fairy-tale ceremony at their home in Uthai Thani Province, Thailand.

“The three blushing grooms are thought to be the world’s only wedded male threesome and have since become internet sensations after photos from their big day went viral.” Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2972542/They-look-like-new-boy-band-s-world-s-THREE-WAY-sex-marriage-Gay-Thai-men-tie-knot-fairytale-ceremony.html#ixzz3TfBfLXxX

Posted in public square, redefining marriage, values | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Pray…Then Sue?

Sizzling-platter“An Applebee’s customer who was burned while praying over his plate of sizzling fajitas has been told he cannot sue the chain.”

Praying at mealtime is good. Praying in public is a good witness. Praying and then suing the restaurant for serving piping-hot food…not so much!

http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodnews/applebees-customer-burned-by-fajitas-while-praying-but-he-cant-sue/ar-BBigxtP?ocid=ansEater11

Posted in culture, public square | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Good-bye Rights

If our rights are given by law, then our rights can be taken by law! If our rights are granted by government, then our rights can be taken by government! That is the cry of the Declaration of Independence. Somebody please tell CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and actor-activist Ben Affleck.

Today, Chris Cuomo said, “Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man.…  Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.” He subordinates human rights to human laws. Try telling that to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

If Cuomo cannot get an Attaboy from our Founders, he can at least count on actor-activist Ben Affleck for support. Last October, Affleck said the following in a debate with Bill Maher:
“We are endowed by our forefathers with inalienable rights.”

What did Thomas Jefferson actually write in the Declaration of Independence? “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

President John F. Kennedy declared, “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

Wouldn’t you love to watch a team debate of Cuomo and Affleck vs. Adams and Jefferson?

Posted in culture, public square, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment