Talking About the “Things that Matter Most” on Nov. 12, 2013
LIVE FROM THE USCCB FALL ASSEMBLY IN BALTIMORE, MD
4:00 – USCCB Conference Elects New Leaders – An Overview of the Week
The annual fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is meeting here in Baltimore this week hearing reports from the committees on The New Evangelization: Faith, Worship, Witness, the Committee on Catholic Education, , the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Catholic Relief Services and more. The outgoing President of the body, Cardinal Dolan gave and opening address that stirred some media outlets and a new President and Vice-President have been elected. We talk to Russell Shaw, journalist and former spokesman for the USCCB.
4:20 – Kresta Comments
4:40 – Papal Teaching Warns Against Excessive Government
As we continue to see the disturbing roll-out of Obamacare, Stephen Krasonis here to give us an overview of papal teaching on bloated government. He argues that faithful Catholics should be careful about falling into the trap that government action and new public policies are the ready solution to all social problems. The Church’s social reaching suggests otherwise and, contrary to the prevailing view, in the nature of things government is often not capable of handling them. Dr. Krason makes his case.
5:00 – An Overview of Challenges to Religious Liberty in America
Three chairmen of U.S. bishops’ committees expressed their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) as passed last week by the U.S. Senate. Not because they are for discrimination against gays in the workplace, but because of the many religious liberty problems it creates. They are asking for further language in the bill, but the Senate denied that. We talk with Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore who is head of the USCCB committee on religious liberty.
5:20 – Kresta Comments
5:40 – Vatican outlines plans for ‘urgent’ Synod discussion of family
Pope Francis has decided to devote the next Synod of Bishops to family pastoral issues, setting the stage for a far-ranging discussion that is likely to touch on questions concerning divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitation and annulments. The synod will take place in October of 2014. Last week the Vatican unveiled the preparatory document for the synod which created a lot of misreporting. The document included a series of questions sent to bishops’ conferences throughout the world aimed to solicit information about pastoral practices and public attitudes in different societies. Media outlets reported that the Pope is asking all Catholics to weigh in on whether they want gay “marriage,” the end of annulments, etc. Dr Greg Popcakis here to help us with this story and to answer the questions posed in the preparatory document.
Billy Graham delivered what may be his last address to America last night in a short video entitled “The Cross,” in which the world-recognized preacher asked America: “I know where I’ve come from, I know why I’m here, I know where I’m going, do you?”
Graham’s message aired Thursday evening as the pastor celebrated his 95th birthday in Asheville, North Carolina with an estimated 900 attendees, including former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The 30-minute message was later made available for viewers to watch online on the My Hope with Billy Graham website, and will be made available in select broadcasting networks this weekend.
At age 95, Graham’s most recent message has been dubbed as possibly being his last; the evangelical leader and former spiritual advisor to multiple U.S. presidents has suffered a series of medical ailments, including Parkinson’s disease, in his old age. Graham’s message in “The Cross” was one of both sadness and hope; the pastor lamented over how greatly America has distanced itself from God, and how he believes the nation is in “great need of a spiritual awakening.”
“I want to tell people about the meaning of the cross [...] the real cross of Christ,” Graham, who appeared impassioned even in his old age, said in the video. “I know that many will react to this message, but it is the truth and with all my heart, I want to leave you with the truth.”
Graham then asked Americans to look inside themselves and to seek a revival in Christianity: “I know where I’ve come from. I know why I’m here. I know where I’m going. Do you?” the pastor questioned. Graham’s address was also sprinkled with excerpts from his past sermons. “People don’t want to hear that they’re sinners. To many people it’s an offense,” Graham told his audience in the pre-recorded message. “The cross is offensive, because it directly confronts the evils that dominate so much of this world.”