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Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

A Silent Priest is a Dead Priest – A Meditation on a Teaching of St. Gregory the Great

A former Archbishop of Washington was known to often remark, “There’s nothing deader than a dead priest.” Some wondered as to the meaning of this expression, and those who knew him the best explained that it was a sort of version of the old Latin expression Corruptio optime pessima (The corruption of the best is […] Read the rest of this entry »

Some Temptations to Avoid in the Wake of the Synod

Deep concerns remain in the hearts of many Catholics regarding the just-closed Extraordinary Synod on the Family. I have written much in the past two weeks and you know my own concerns, especially the need for clarity on Catholic doctrine in those teachings most disputed by the western world: marriage, family, sexuality, and the dignity of […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Warning from St. Gregory the Great for the Priest to Guard His Heart

For spiritual reading, I am currently reading The Book of the Pastoral Rule by St. Gregory the Great.   Pope Saint Gregory was a master at taking details from the Old Testament priesthood and applying them to the priests of the New Covenant. In one reflection, he remarks on the details of the breastplate of the high […] Read the rest of this entry »

Religious Liberty Threats: Two Recent Incidents Raise Serious Concern and Show the Road Ahead May be Rocky

Two stories recently in the news illustrate that the path for religious liberty is going to get increasingly rocky in the days ahead. Up until now, the main dispute of the Church with the federal government has been over the “HHS Mandate” requiring us to provide contraception and abortion coverage. We have seen some legal victories […] Read the rest of this entry »

God and God Alone: A Homily for the 29th Sunday of the Year

The Gospel today contains lots of interesting juxtapositions: hatred for Jesus but grudging respect for him,  real questions versus rhetorical ones, politics and faith, duties to Caesar and duties to God. The word  “juxtaposition” is from the Latin juxta (meaning “near”) and positio (meaning “place or position”). Hence juxtaposition is the placing of two things […] Read the rest of this entry »

God leaves many things unresolved. Here are some reasons why.

One of the great mysteries of God’s providence is that He often leaves things unresolved or unattended to for a very long time. Often, despite our fervent prayers, He doesn’t rush to fix everything, and He has His reasons for this. Perhaps it is that we often grow through struggles. We discover strengths that we […] Read the rest of this entry »

Why Do Marriages Fail? Here’s One Often-Overlooked Root

The news from the Synod this day is improved. Thanks be to God, many, yes many of the bishops and synod participants have articulated how deficient and misleading the “rough draft” Relatio was. Keep praying! The struggles to lay hold of and articulate with clarity God’s stunning teaching on Holy Matrimony and family in a doubtful world […] Read the rest of this entry »

Why Does the Lord’s Prayer Ask God not to Lead us into Temptation – Why Would God do Such a Thing?

Most of you know that I write the Question and Answer Column for Our Sunday Visitor. And every now and then it is good to bring these works of mine together. An interesting question came in today (actually it is asked quite frequently) and I’d like to give my answer and add just a few […] Read the rest of this entry »

Back to Basics: A Summary of the Teaching of the Catechism on Holy Matrimony

There’s an old story told about the legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi. At one point he was so concerned that the players on his team had lost any sense of the basics of the game that he summoned them all into a classroom and had them all sit down at desks. Most of them expected a detailed review of the […] Read the rest of this entry »

Pondering “Gradualism” and the “Midterm” Report

The so-called “midterm” report of the Synod is out. Please remember, it is only a rough draft and the final report may in fact look very different. Frankly, I am not sure why we are even being permitted to look at a rough draft. Nevertheless, presuming the Pope is serious about inviting discussion, let me consider a […] Read the rest of this entry »

Temptation as a Form of Martyrdom – A Meditation on a Writing of St. Ambrose

Temptation is a universal human experience. And because it’s so directly associated with sin, many too easily equate being tempted with sinning. But temptation is not the same as sin. If it were, how could the Scriptures say to us that Jesus was tempted in every way we are and yet was without sin? (Heb 4:15) […] Read the rest of this entry »

Party or Perish! A Homily for the 28th Sunday of the Year

The past three Sundays have featured intense and shocking parables about our readiness, our fruitfulness, and our decision to accept and enter the Kingdom of God or not. The Lord has used the image of a vineyard into which workers are dispatched at different times of the day but who have different attitudes about what […] Read the rest of this entry »