Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Blessed Miguel Pro on God's Presence

Blessed Miguel Pro on God's Presence

During the Cristeros War, Jesuit Fr. Miguel Pro was arrested under the pretext of being involved in af failed  assassination attempt on former Mexican President Alvero Obregon.  Fr. Pro was executed without a trail on November 23rd, 1927 under the orders of ardent atheist Mexican President Jose Plutarco Calles, who insisted on filming the capital sentence to send a message to the Catholics who were rebelling to preserve their religious freedom.

Before the firing squad did their military duty, Pro forgave them all and shouted the battle cry of the rebellion and profession of faith "Viva Cristo Rey"  (or Long live Christ the King).

At the beatification of Miguel Pro in 1988, Pope St. John Paul II proclaimed:

Neither suffering nor serious illness, neither the exhausting ministerial activity, frequently carried out in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could stifle the radiating and contagious joy which he brought to his life for Christ and which nothing could take away. Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death


Friday, November 4, 2016

Reassessing the Reformation

Pope Francis traveled to Sweden to join with the World Lutheran Federation to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting the 95 thesis, which started the Reformation.  Along with noting the great strides that Catholics and Lutherans had made in reconciling over the past 50 years, Pope Francis also noted how Luther took great steps in putting scripture into the hands of the faithful. 

Dr. Martin Junge marks the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

Dr. Martin Junge, the General Secretary of the World Lutheran Federation, noted that local Catholic and Lutheran churches carry different memories and different experiences of the Reformation. Junge acknowledged that some of them are painful. But Dr. Junge expressed optimism for future cooperation between believers of Christianity.

Hans Fiene, the driving force behind Lutheran Satire, took a tongue-in-cheek to marking the Quintcentennial of the Protestant Reformation.

It would seem that not all Protestants are the same.

While it can be a cathartic to chuckle about the past, this should be a short reprieve because of what faces Christendom. This is a time of great peril throughout the world for religious liberty as the faith is under attack by secular and sectarian forces.  Thus, it is imperative that  believers in Christianity recognize the commonality of our faith and work for Confident Pluralism.  There may be aspects upon which we disagree, but we should apply the principles espoused by the Sixteenth Century Lutheran theologian Peter Meirdelin on "Unity on essential things, liberty on dubious things and charity in all things." 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Pope Francis on Witnesses of Mercy

Pope Francis preaches of Witnesses of Mercy before World Lutheran Federation in Sweden for 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation
During Pope Francis' visit to Sweden to mark the 500th Anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, the Holy Father gave a homily which tied his favorite theme of mercy with ecumenism. 

Catholics and Lutherans established a rapprochement on Justification in 1999, yet people still want to fight the Protestant Reformation today.

Pope Francis' quote underlines the leitmotif of companionship, albeit this time in the guise of mercy.