Two weeks ago we presented the new book by Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput, “Render Unto Caesar,” which discusses the obligations of Catholic citizenship in America. We can see this week that “Caesar” has been meeting in Denver for the Democratic Convention and Archbishop Chaput has continued to expound on the importance of Catholics being consistent in their defense of Life.
The bishops cannot endorse any particular party, but we must be clear on what the teachings of the Church are and the values that must be a part of any program for the improvement of our society.
This was certainly true in the case of a statement made by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during a recent television interview on “Meet the Press.”
It was very unfortunate Speaker Pelosi was misinterpreting what Catholic teaching is on abortion. From the very first generation of Christians, abortion has always been considered a very serious sin and a violation of human life.
I see that the Bishops’ Conference has issued a statement on its Web site www.usccb.org. The response was written by the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Justin Rigali, who is the chairman of our Pro-Life Committee and who, like Archbishop Chaput, is an eloquent defender of life.
Visit by Bishop Muldoon
On Thursday evening I had a visit from Bishop Mauro Muldoon, the bishop of Juticalpa, Honduras, and Father Richard Donahue, a Boston priest on loan to assist with the development of Catholic Schools in Honduras.
Bishop Muldoon is an Irish “infiltrator” in an Italian Franciscan province, like I have been an Irish “infiltrator” in a German province.
The bishop, whom they call Bishop Mauro, is a native of St. Ann Parish in Neponset and has been a bishop for 25 years, and has spent almost 40 years in Honduras. He was in Boston to visit his family and to speak at Masses and other places to make appeals for the missions. He is now about to start a Catholic hospital in his diocese.
The bishop and I are old friends, going back 25 years, because we both used to come up to Boston to preside over confirmations here.
Accompanying Bishop Muldoon was Father Donahue, the director of education for his diocese. Father Donahue is originally from Blessed Sacrament Parish in Jamaica Plain. Father Donahue is a missionary priest of the archdiocese on “lend/lease” from Boston for the last 15 years. As the education director there, Father Donahue has opened many schools, including a high school, a grade school, a Catholic university of the diocese, as well as a school for special needs children, La Escuela Nazaret, founded in 1994.
Father Donahue founded the school for children falling between the cracks. More than two dozen of the students have Down syndrome, are deaf or physically disabled. Some will return to their previous schools after spending time at this school or stay for the vocational training, which allows them to live self-sufficient lives.
The university is located just outside Juticalpa, the capital of Olancho. It is on 14 acres of fairly level land. The university has 200 students and two dozen faculty members. Its academics have a heavy emphasis on business, law and marketing with programs that allow the students to work internships in their fields.
After we left World Youth Day in Sydney, I took the opportunity to visit the Capuchin mission in Papua New Guinea, where three of my classmates have been stationed for 40 years.
To commemorate my visit they presented me with these axes that are like tomahawks made by the natives there for hunting. I haven’t used them yet, but I was thinking of bringing them to some of my more difficult meetings -- to use as a gavel!
Also in this week’s blog:
> Opening Masses at St. John’s Seminary and John XXIII National Seminary.
> Visit of the superior of the Little Sisters of the Poor in the archdiocese.