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The Cardinal's Column
12/22/02 Christmas, 2002: Whose body is it?
A year ago at Christmas time, still savoring the grace of the new millennium, I never imagined that 2002 would be a year filled with sorrow for so many in the Church. The revelation of how, over many years, some youngsters had been abused sexually came in a rush of publicity that left many confused and angry.

12/08/02 Let all earthly flesh keep silence...
Shortly after the beginning of the Advent season, the Church marks the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Catholics and others sometimes mix up the mystery of Jesus’ virginal conception in the womb of his mother Mary with Mary’s own Immaculate Conception.

11/24/02 Christ is the Beginning of the End of the World
When puzzled about what is going on in a novel or in the story of our lives, one way to find our way is to ask: What comes next? It’s a question often asked when someone is seeking the meaning of human life in general: What comes next? The Church tells us what comes next for every human being in her teaching on the “four last things”: death, judgment, hell and heaven.

11/10/02 A tale of three cities: Dallas, Rome, Washington
Last June, in order to have a uniform policy in all the dioceses of the United States for responding to allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests, the bishops of this country adopted norms binding everyone. The goal of these norms was to protect all young people in the Church and to reach out to those who have been victims of sexual abuse by a priest or bishop. The means to this goal was the permanent removal from priestly ministry and, if necessary, from the priesthood itself of any priest or bishop guilty of this terrible sin and crime.

10/27/02 The bishop in the life of the Church
This issue of The Catholic New World is dedicated to jubilarians and vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life in the Church. The vocation of bishop is one I can speak to from personal experience. It’s a calling that has been subjected to some criticism lately because of the way bishops, in recent years, have not always adequately protected children in the Church and the Church herself. In considering a vocation, it’s good to reach behind experience and ask first, in the light of our faith, what a bishop is.

10/13/02 Mission in the life of the Church and life in the mission of the Church
On Oct. 20, the universal Church celebrates Mission Sunday. Catholics throughout the world will pray for missionaries in all parts of the world and will contribute financially to their work. Missionary work is central to our life as a Church, because Christ told his apostles to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The Gospel is a gift from Christ; it is the Good News of the world’s redemption.

09/29/02 Christians in the Middle East
Earlier this month I spent four days in Lebanon at the invitation of the Catholic Maronite Patriarch of that country.

09/15/02 Blessed are you among women...
On Labor Day, I was in Los Angeles for the dedication of the new cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The first cathedral in this country in Baltimore was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Assumption. The first U.S. cathedral and the most recent U.S. cathedral, one on each coast of the country, are both dedicated to Mary, as is the country itself, under her title of the Immaculate Conception.

09/1/02 God’s call to celibacy for the sake of his Kingdom
On retreat at Mundelein Seminary last week, I prayed for the seminarians who are coming this week to begin or to continue their studies and formation. Central to that personal formation is a deepening of their understanding of celibacy and its relationship to priestly existence.

8/18/02 What God has joined together ...
Last week, my sister and brother-in-law celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They renewed their vows in the same context in which they first pronounced them—at Mass and with a reception for friends and family. At the end of August, many couples from around the Archdiocese will gather at Holy Name Cathedral for Mass on two consecutive Sundays to renew their vows after 50 years of marriage.

8/4/02 Bishop Edwin M. Conway As one who serves ...
Several times over the past few years I have celebrated the Institution of the Ministry of Acolyte for the permanent deacons. During the discussions before and after the ceremony there was usually some reminiscing and talk about the days when the candidates were altar servers, not men on track to be ordained as deacons.

7/21/02 Scripture within the heart and life of the Church
In recent months I’ve been talking to professors of theology who teach in local Catholic colleges. Some of them teach courses in Sacred Scripture, and a few of these teachers have put forth the opinion that Scripture study, as they do it, is not formally part of Catholic theology. I suppose that, depending on how one goes about it, you could make the argument that Bible study belongs in a literature department rather than in a theology department; but the people who put Scripture study in the theology department in the first place must have had some notion that Scripture and Catholic theology were closely related. How are they?

7/7/02 At war on the Fourth of July
The fireworks on the Fourth of July celebrate the political independence of the United States, but they also remind us that our national sovereignty was obtained through war and that war has been part of our nation’s history in almost every generation.

6/23/02 U.S. Bishops’ Meeting: Policies and Prospects
The annual spring meeting of the United States bishops in Dallas last week was widely reported. What the bishops did was to set a uniform policy for all U.S. dioceses in order to protect children and adolescents from sexual abuse; to help victims of such abuse, no matter when it occurred; and to handle each case in cooperation with civil authorities, whether or not an alleged incident is a crime.

6/9/02 The Body of Christ and the spring meeting of the U.S. Catholic bishops
We have just celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi, the solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Talking to the first communicants at St. Laurence Parish, I said that appearances are deceiving when it comes to the Holy Eucharist. It looks like the bread of Jesus’ time, tastes like unleavened bread, smells and feels like bread; but it’s not bread. It’s the body and blood, human soul and divine nature of Jesus of Nazareth, risen from the dead. They believed this, because they had been well instructed. They looked beyond appearances with the eyes of faith.

05/26/02 Pentecost: The ordination of priests and the ministry of lay people
The Saturday before Pentecost Sunday, I ordained priests for the Archdiocese in Holy Name Cathedral; on Pentecost itself, I called lay men and women to lay ministry in the Archdiocese.

5/12/02 On Mother’s Day,
we say things that are always in our hearts but which too often remain unsaid. We tell our mothers how grateful we are to them, how much we love them, how much they mean to us. I would like to say how very grateful I am to mothers who, through teaching their children how to pray, nurture the divine life in those to whom they gave natural life or who are now given to their care.

4/28/02 Knowing the place for the first time ...
Five years ago, during my first conference with the local media after being named Archbishop of Chicago, I recalled a few words from the poet T.S. Eliot: “…and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” Coming back to Chicago as Archbishop after having lived elsewhere for 38 years has been a process of getting to know the Archdiocese, and myself as well, for the “first” time, for I had never been Archbishop of Chicago before.

04/14/02 Bishop Conway Proclaim the Gospel–revisited
You may recall that in the fall of 2000 a column appeared in The Catholic New World (Oct. 8-14) entitled, “The Church Exists to Evangelize: Proclaim the Gospel.” The column announced the initiation of the Special Task Force on Catechesis.

3/31/02 Easter: the Feast of Faith The two great feasts that anchor the Church’s liturgical celebration of the mystery of Jesus Christ are Christmas and Easter. Of the two, Christmas is the more psychologically available feast, because everyone has seen and touched a newborn baby; since apostolic times, however, no one has seen and touched a risen body.

3/17/02 When priests and bishops sin…
Lent is the season when all of us examine our consciences, our desires and our actions to come to a better knowledge of our sinfulness. Just as the good we do shapes not only our own life but the lives of all who live “in Christ”, so also the evil that any one does affects us all. A list of sins can seem pedestrian until we come to one that should disturb us all because it shames us as Catholics.

03/03/02 Lent: a season for Penance and Reconciliation
‘The devil made me do it!” echoes in human conversation from the Garden of Eden to our day. The devil is the source of temptation, but succumbing to temptation is our own doing. Only if we come face to face with our own sinfulness, do we begin to be grateful for the power of God’s forgiveness.

02/17/02 ‘You received without paying ...’
Grace is pure gift, we have received it without paying; and the Pope then instructs us to “give without pay.” I read the Holy Father’s letter along with the annual Archdiocesan financial report. God’s grace is pure gift; but it takes money to operate a parish or an Archdiocese.

02/03/02 Out of Africa: Lessons for us and hope for all
When I was in grade school, a Dominican friar from my home parish was ordained a priest and celebrated his first Solemn Mass at St. Pascal’s. Because his mother and mine were friends, I attended the first Mass of Father Ambrose Windbacher, O.P.

1/20/02 Catholic responsibility and the unity of all Christians
All of the parishes of the Archdiocese are getting involved in “Sharing Christ’s Gifts”, a campaign to make us stewards eager to share the material gifts Christ has given us. Stewardship is a form of discipleship. A disciple of Jesus Christ has received gifts from the Lord, and the Lord asks his disciples to be generous with others as he is generous with them. The reports from the parishes indicate that the generosity which is a sign of Christ’s life in us is strong, and I am grateful to the thousands of Catholics in the parishes of the Archdiocese who are making the “Sharing Christ’s Gifts” campaign a success.

01/06/01 Promising to Evangelize in a New Year: Is the Gospel News?
All of the parishes of the Archdiocese are getting involved in “Sharing Christ’s Gifts”, a campaign to make us stewards eager to share the material gifts Christ has given us. Stewardship is a form of discipleship.