Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

Five Faith Friday

Here is this week's installment of "Five Faith Friday" which contains five, faith-based things I found interesting and am sharing on Friday.

What Article I Read --
"The Purposes of Our Local Church" by Deacon James Toner. I thoroughly enjoyed this article and encourage everyone to read it. The timeliness of this article was impeccable too as I was recently working with a priest on his parish website and he made the comment that you don't need a mission statement as there is only one mission statement of the Church. Ain't that the truth! I've seen way too many churches share fluffy mission statements that look like they were stolen from a corporate organization. Ultimately, it's simple: "Glorify God, save souls, make saints, teach truth."

What A Reader Asked --
Do Catholics have to believe everything the Pope says? What a great question! The best answer comes from this short, 4-minute video titled almost identical to the question: "Do you have to believe EVERYTHING the pope says?" by Chris Stefanick. From Chris: "In short: If you’re a Catholic you SHOULD treat the Pope with respect. You HAVE TO believe in infallible church teaching. You DON’T HAVE TO believe, agree with, or even pay attention to, everything a pope says." The Pope is only infallible under certain conditions and it's actually quite rare when the Pope speaks infallibly (CCC 891). When the Pope answers the question of a reporter, writes a letter to someone, or speaks with people, he is not speaking infallibly and thus you don't have to believe or agree with it. The Pope is human and is a sinner just like you and me.

What Article I Read --
"'It makes me feel like I shouldn't be here': Woman with Down's syndrome leads abortion law legal challenge" in which a 24-year-old with Down's syndrome is demanding an end to "downright discriminatory" abortion laws, as her landmark case begins at the High Court. In England, Scotland and Wales, anyone that has an unborn baby diagnosed with down syndrome can abort the baby. In England and Wales, 90% of babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted. The good news in the United States is that "Down syndrome abortion bans gain traction after court ruling."

What Tool I Checked Out --
The Traditional Latin mass (TLM) Finder which allows you to locate a TLM near you. A similar tool exists for Mass in the Ordinary Form called and is available both on the web and in app format. It used to be spectacular but unfortunately with Mass times changing due to covid, many of the times have been rendered inaccurate. I still use it as a starting place and then click over to a parish's bulletin to double check the Mass time.

What Book I Read --
"A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward" by Ralph Martin. I loved this book and it seems others do too with 4.8 out of 5 start on over 500 reviews. From Amazon: "Martin offers a detailed look at the growing hostility to the Catholic Church and its teaching. With copious evidence, Martin uncovers the forces working to undermine the Body of Christ and offers hope to those looking for clarity. A Church in Crisis covers:

  • polarization in the Church caused by ambiguous teachings
  • initiatives that accommodate the culture without calling for conversion
  • Vatican-sponsored partnerships with organizations that actively contradict the teaching of the Catholic Church
  • and the recycling of theological errors long settled by Vatican II, Pope St. John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI."

Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and your family!