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"A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just." - Pope Francis, 17 March 2013

The Greatest Triumvirate on this Earth

By Robert H Cummings

The greatest triumvirate on this valid Earth is that of God our Lord, Jesus (Christ the King) and us, male and female in true and full Love, true and full Compassion and true and full Inclusiveness.

The Lord truly Loves us as His Children. The scope and true depth of His Love is far beyond our greatest imagination. It is of such a scope and depth that as one Spiritualist has stated that when He forgives our wrongs, he not only forgives, but fully forgets the transgression. We, as humans may forgive the transgression of another human, but do we truly forget?

We are His sons and daughters. Would he, as our Creator be incapable of such Love? Do we love our own children (perhaps not in all cases, but therein the major deficit shows itself)? God’s Love for us is again beyond our greatest imagination.

Remember, the Holy Spirit is within all of us. We are part of the Godhead as such. Would he then be incapable of Loving his children whom all have within themselves the Holy Spirit? It is the Holy Spirit that directs us through the grace of God to do only good towards others of our human race, of all colors and of all sexual orientations and ethnic background. Why otherwise defy God, who has created all of us, but only with different stripes?

Jesus, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity came, not to dictate, but to give us a path to follow. He stayed with the lowly and served them to the ultimate. Faith was the driving force that supported His actions. One particular person merely had to touch His robe to cure his ailing daughter near death and his daughter fully recovered at the very same instant. He cured the lepers, saved the prostitute, cured the blind, and even resurrected Lazarus. Did deep and abiding faith not have an influence?

He came also to correct the failings in His own Jewish Faith, in dialogue with the Scribes and Pharisees indicating that dogmatic rules did not constitute a valid or true Faith. Our own churches are and have demonstrated for hundreds of years now that they are simply making the same demands. Is it any wonder that so many have left the churches of the day when the only direction is to adhere to unproven and euphemistic demands, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit that supports our true and valid Conscience to work within us? The lack of honest common sense and conscientious decision is not to be allowed.

Remember, in particular, that the Catholic Church became the acceptable Church only on the direction of Constantine, a Roman Emperor, several hundred years after Christ. I remain a devout Catholic, not simply to follow mundane and legalistic rules, but to attempt to be truly supportive of all creatures, not only humans, and to attempt changes. It is also important to realize that the Councils of the Catholic Church at those times were convened and directed by the Roman Emperor and doctrines so decided.

The Catholic Church basically denies the Holy Spirit working within us, as they continue to show any meaningful Love, Compassion and more particularly inclusiveness.  Think of some of their present rules and regulations. They continue to consider protection against child bearing as a great sin and use such a dictate simply for mental control.

The premise of Humanae Vitae is totally invalid when they state that each and every sexual act must be open to conception. It only takes one sperm to meet with an ovum to deliver a child. Yet sperm are produced constantly in men for many years and by the millions. But only God can cause such waste. The seminal vesicles can only have room for so many sperm, which according to the Catholic Church can be lost by wet dreams, but by no other means. Such is simply untrue. Contraception, by medical fact begins in infancy, and most early by female siblings, because of the carry over of estrogens from the mother.

Other demands I will not go into at this time. They are well known and continue to drive people away from the Church.

And it is so difficult to understand why the Church continues with such total lack of Inclusiveness. particularly when one reads with valid interpretation words in the Catholic Missal of the year 2006, that are said during the Catholic Mass, confirming that the Holy Spirit indeed works within us.

Quote is now provided in Eucharistic Prayer #2. “May all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit”. And also in Eucharistic Prayer #3 and again I quote, “Grant that we, who are nourished by his body and blood, may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ “.

Transubstantiation involves the Priest invoking the Holy Spirit of Christ to join in the receiving of the body and blood of his body so as to enkindle the Holy Spirit within us. The immensity of His Holy Spirit simply enkindles the Holy Spirit within us.

The body and blood of Christ are fully and totally human. He made that clear Himself when He became man and I think also woman, when He stated several times in Scripture “I am the same as you“. He does not transfer his divinity, he transfers his human body and blood. Why, otherwise would it be that the Holy Spirit is so needed to be invoked.

Change is natural as long as truth and conscience are involved.  Unfortunately, the Church denies our very conscience and thereby the Holy Spirit within us. At least as far as the Catholic Church hierarchy is concerned. Certainly, it is long past time for the Church to allow us to become as effective as the reasons for which God put us here.

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Marriage's fortunes are intertwined with economics

by Maria Benevento

[Reprinted with permission of National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company, Kansas City, MO. NCRonline.org.]

Those who want a break from the debates over whether divorced and remarried Catholics should receive Communion could consider marriage issues from another angle: the challenges social structures impose on the stability of couples and families and what the church can do about it.

"Divorce is so much more prevalent among people with less education and less money," said Julie Hanlon Rubio, a professor of Christian ethics at St. Louis University [1]. "That's not a virtue issue; it's just easier to maintain a marriage and have a family when you have money and everything that comes with money."

The typical dichotomy between a liberal viewpoint that poverty leads to reductions in the rate of marriage and a conservative theory that promotes the reverse idea, that a decline in marriage fuels poverty, is frustrating for Rubio, who said research shows it works both ways.

"Marriage is ... not simply an intrinsic good, but actually helps people have stable lives and all the good outcomes that come with that," said Rubio, who serves on the board of the National Catholic Reporter. "But it's also true that social structures impact people's ability to enter into and sustain that structure."

And changes in culture do not affect all groups in the same way. For instance, W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project [2] at the University of Virginia, cites the sexual revolution and the rise of "individual expressivism" — putting personal welfare and desires before that of family members — as major causes of marriage declines.

"Those two cultural shifts have made marriage less necessary, less important, less attractive and less binding for Americans," Wilcox said in an interview. "But the impact, the fallout, has been more for working-class and poor Americans in part because it's interacted with ... economic factors."

Of particular concern to several researchers is the lack of men who are able to contribute to supporting a family, brought on by declines in the number of steady, well-paying blue-collar jobs available for those without a college education.

Not only are working-class and poor men with no access to quality, stable employment less attractive partners, but those who do get married "are more likely to experience economic insecurity and instability" that can cause "stress in the marriage and divorce," Wilcox said.

June Carbone, a University of Minnesota Law School [3] professor who has written books on marriage and family, cites research that shows a higher rate of abusive behavior and a lower rate of helping with housework for men who have lost their jobs compared with those who have full-time jobs.

Women who forego marriage might be recognizing that "if you bring home the bacon, cook it, and don't have dominant power," marriage is more of a drain on resources than a source of emotional or financial support, she said recently during a talk in Kansas City, Missouri.

This explains why "the college-educated middle class that embraced the sexual revolution is now leading the way back into marriage," while poor and working-class Americans are getting married less often, Carbone wrote in a blog post [4].

Catholics have several reasons to be invested in solving economic issues that affect marriage.

"Catholic social teaching has a longstanding concern with the welfare of the worker and the dignity of work, and I think we can marry those longstanding concerns (pun intended) with Catholic interest in the family itself and in marriage as both a sacrament and an important way of living out a Catholic life," Wilcox said. 

Of course, deciding what exactly Catholics should do to help workers is more complicated.

Pope Francis recognized in his apostolic exhortation on "the joy of love," Amoris Laetitia [5], that "the suffering created by unemployment and the lack of steady work" can "take its toll on the serenity of family life" and that a lack of affordable housing, "today's fast pace of life, stress and the organization of society and labor" can make it difficult to commit to a permanent relationship.

However, the pope did not elaborate on the church's response to those issues, Rubio said, leaving it "up to us to think about what that looks like on the ground."

Wilcox suggests that people advocate for increasing wage subsidies for lower-income workers, increasing the child tax credit and extending it to payroll taxes and eliminating policies that make marriage a disadvantage in programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.

Rubio recommended Catholics advocate for a higher minimum wage and improved access to health care.

While some economic policies might be controversial, Rubio said all Catholics could find common ground supporting families suffering economic challenges on a more local level.

Family life ministry "in a parish where a lot of people are facing economic challenges" may be different from ministry in a wealthier parish, she added.

In her research, Rubio has studied supportive structures that mostly immigrant Catholic parishes offered in the early 20th century, such as burial societies, loans, and help with food and employment. These are ideas she thinks modern parishes should consider reintroducing.

Catholic institutions could support marriage and family by allowing employees more generous maternity and paternity leave and searching for creative ways to offer free or low-cost day care for working parents, suggested Jana Bennett, a theology professor at the University of Dayton [6].

Bennett worried that if economic conditions continue to make it difficult for some people to marry, it "might fuel a culture" where, even if economic equality improved, "marriage still wouldn't matter for a certain sector of people."

However, she does not think Americans have given up on marriage yet. Carbone and Rubio agreed, saying it is still the ideal for the majority of Americans.

"There's a lot of positivity around marriage," Rubio said. "But it's also true that it's harder culturally for us to articulate an argument about why it makes sense to stay with somebody when it gets hard."

Francis makes a strong case for staying with someone "over the long haul" in Amoris Laetitia, Rubio said.

But the church's message in favor of stable marriages may not be conveyed to all groups equally, Wilcox said.

 "More-educated Catholics are more likely to attend Mass compared to less-educated Catholics," he said, partially because the church focuses young adult education and ministry on college students while "there's no equivalent support available to young adults who are not attending college."

"The church could do more to reach out in its ministry and its message to working-class and poor Americans to try to get more people in the pews at any given Sunday and involved in the church more broadly," Wilcox said. "That would be helpful in addressing this class divide in American family life."

[Maria Benevento is a NCR Bertelsen intern. Her email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. [8].]

Source URL (retrieved on 10/03/2017 - 10:11): https://www.ncronline.org/news/justice/marriages-fortunes-are-intertwined-economics

[1] https://www.slu.edu/
[2] http://nationalmarriageproject.org/about/
[3] https://www.law.umn.edu/
[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-marrying-kind-how-cla_b_1276900.html
[5] https://w2.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20160319_amoris-laetitia_en.pdf
[6] https://udayton.edu/
[7] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/14/as-u-s-marriage-rate-hovers-at-50-education-gap-in-marital-status-widens/ft_17-09-14_marriage_lowerincome/
[8] mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
[9] https://www.ncronline.org/donate?clickSource=article-end

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