Is It OK For Priests To Drive Expensive Cars?

Pope Francis has taken the Catholic world by storm ever since he replaced Benedict XVI as head of the church. Most of the changes the current pope wants is for the clergy to live and serve in humbler ways. The Pope for example lives Pope_Francisin the modest Vatican guest house rather than the opulent Vatican apartment normally set aside for its leader. Instead of displaying signs of power Pope Francis is instead telling his priests and nuns to live life in humbler ways.

The Pope famously eschewed expensive cars and gets around the Vatican in a humble Ford Focus. This is because according to him he would like a “church which is poor and for the poor”. This is just how Pope Francis is. Even before he became pope he would do his own grocery shopping and cooked his own food. This is why he is encouraging servants of the church to live modest ways.

For example he is encouraging servants of the church to drive modest cars instead of exotic automobiles. It is common practice in the church to rent exotic cars in cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver when cardinals or bishops come to visit. The pope however is frowning upon this practice and wants the clergy to be humble by leading simpler lives.

While the Pope does understand that a car is needed in order to do work in faraway places he wants the clergy to remember that service does not have to entail a lavish lifestyle. Because of this he wants the cleric to think about “hungry children” every time they decide to buy an expensive car.

According to him one of the greatest obstacles in living a happy religious life is materialism. He said that religious people have to avoid temptation and thinking about the latest smartphones or the fastest exotic car. Instead of opting for these luxuries he praises the beauty of the bicycle. As an example he said his personal secretary Msgr Alfred Xuereb goes around in a bike.

For those who are criticizing Pope Francis, the church expressly forbids all forms of splendor especially those in relation to worshiping God. Many followers of the faith however say that the Pope deserves praise for telling his flock to adhere to a humbler way of life. The need for sacrifice and discipline is at the heart of the gospel and should be the center of every Catholic’s life.

Aside from humble living, the Pope also highlighted the importance of service and community. He wants his flock to avoid gossip and rivalry. He said that he himself feels guilty when he finds himself complaining or gossiping. He urges members of the church not to see their vocation as a job but as a relationship that requires cultivation and a “whirlwind of more heavy duties”.

Click this link to learn more about Pope Francis.

Are Our Archbishops Setting the Right Example With Their Luxurious Modern Homes?

Pope Francis has been quoted as saying “How I would like a church which is poor and for the poor!” Yet many of our own clergy are defying his wish and living in modern homes that are worth millions of dollars. As a result, our faith has been under fire, criticized for this opulent lifestyle that some archbishops, priests and even nuns are living.

This opulent living does not cut it for Pope Francis, who fired a bishop that had spent $43 million remodeling his modern home. Known as the “Bishop of Bling”, Franz-Peter thought that 2.4 million dollar bronze window frames were a necessity for his modern home. The Pope thought that money would have been better spent elsewhere, ahem Syrian refugees, and promptly dethroned the former Bishop.

Where do American Clergy Fit in With the Popes Wishes?

A study conducted by CNN found that of the 34 active archbishops living in the United States, 10 are living in buildings and modern houses that are worth more than $1 million. The study did not include the hundreds of retired and still active Catholic bishops who are residing in the smaller cities around the United States. The worst offender is NY’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whose Manhattan mansion is estimated at $30 million. At least he has the courtesy to share those digs with three priests who are likely thrilled with their luxurious lodging.

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Even though these lavish homes have been passed down to Catholic archbishops and priests, there is no reason why they must continue to live in them. If the church is reluctant to sell these properties, there are dozens of other uses for them, such as temporary homes for underprivileged families. But that means the current occupants would have to move into church rectories, and give up comforts like maids, cooks and live in assistants.

Priests are also guilty of spending large amounts of money to purchase homes that their congregates would not be able to afford. Ohio Catholics certainly were not happy when a local priest was given a $500,000 modern home in the suburbs of Houston (he also had an overly friendly conversation with a nun there apparently), although the excuse that it is used to serve other church related functions is often used. Whatever happened to having a humble office at the rectory, and hosting fundraisers in the church basement?

Our new Pope is certainly making waves, and in a good way as far as the majority of our church leaders are concerned. Ours is a faith based on sharing and giving, and it is time that we start to make an example around the world, starting with the sharing of these lavish modern homes that are suitable for 100s yet only house 4 or 5.

A Real Catholics Take on Health Care and Staying Fit

When you hear the term Catholic health care, you likely think about the last time you had to visit a loved one in the hospital. Or maybe you envision a chaplain visiting patients, or the minister bringing the life of Christ to someone’s bedside. There is a cross on the front of the hospital in our image, and one hanging on the wall in every patient room. Yet, we don’t imagine the social justice that goes hand in hand with what Catholic health care is meant to be.

Social justice is often thought of as helping the homeless or advocating for legal immigration. Health care is not put into the same category, yet if you follow the beliefs of Jesus, then social justice and Catholic health care cannot be separated. From the humble beginnings of Catholicism in the US, the point of Catholic health care was to be able to provide health services to the sick and poor. The human need for justice in health care is a fight that the Catholic church has been immersed in long before Obamacare was ever an issue.

The Catholic Church is Concerned About Health Care Issues Today Because it Has Been Part of the Health Care in the United States from the Very Beginning

The care of the sick poor by the Catholic church dates back to the middle ages, when religious groups took a special interest in the needs of the sick poor. This led to many sects living amongst them, setting up specialized hospices and administering to their needs with no demand for payment. This tradition continued for centuries, with the only change being that it became mostly women who actively took care of the needs of the sick poor. With the discovery of the new world, the work to bring medical services to all made its way across the ocean, and groups of Catholic women began working on building hospitals in the new world.

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Today, the work of the Catholic church in caring for the sick is still practiced, without prejudice towards other religions. Fitness programs are advocated by church leaders, who speak highly of the need to stay in shape in order to maintain good health. Health care facilities bearing the Catholic cross are equipped with state of the art machinery like rowing machines and exercise bikes to encourage a healthy lifestyle to the patients.

Universal health care is a right, not a privilege. The medical advances that God has allowed us to discover are meant to heal all, not just those who can afford them. For those who are fighting the right to a healthier life for all, you are not following in the path of Jesus or the Catholic church.

Why All Catholic Men Will One Day Grow a Beard

For many devout Catholic men, a beard is a sign of their strong faith. It marks them, as a man, but more specifically as a Catholic man. This is not to mean that a man who does not grow a beard is not a real Catholic, it just means that at some point he will feel the calling to grow one.

St. Augustine, a canonized Saint of the Catholic church, doctor and bearded man felt strongly enough about beards to write about them. His Psalm 133 is in large part a tribute to the beard, and talks at length at how one should anoint the head and beard with oils, or in our case, beard balm.

“The Beard signifies the courageous, the beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigorous. So that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man.” – St. Augustine Exposition on Psalm 133.

Beards have always been an important part of Catholic history going back to Adam. Think of all the great men that are a part of Catholic studies; Abraham, Issac, Aaron, Moses, David, Joseph, Jesus, Peter, Andrew and the rest of the apostles, Clement, Francis, Augustine, Leo, Olaf, Patrick, and the prophets. That’s a lot of facial hair for one sector of Christianity.

Making the Beard Work in Our Modern Society

With the lifestyles we lead today, men do not always feel like a beard will be accepted. This goes for their families, peers and especially in the workplace. Yet with the right grooming and styling, the Catholic man can wear his beard with pride while still fitting in with societal perceptions of what is acceptable.

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If that is what has been holding you back from embracing your Catholic roots and growing a beard, it is very easy to fix by practicing good beard grooming habits. Start by picking a style that suits your face shape, and then practice shaping it using a top quality beard trimmer. Then make sure that you are cleaning it daily and applying beard balm to help keep the whiskers smooth and close to your face. In this way you will always look neat and presentable in your modern life, while still supporting the Catholic tradition of having a beard.

Beards are mentioned multiple times in the bible, because our Holy Father wants us to embrace our bodies in the way in which he created us. Men have beards for a reason, and by showing off yours you are showing your respect for your faith.

What Does It Mean To Be A Good Catholic?

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Often people will ask themselves whether they are good Catholics. Are they are devoted enough?  They will ask for themselves if they are worthy of being called a good Catholic.  Here are some of the things a good Catholic might do.  If you happen to recognize some of these traits in yourself you will know that you are on a good path of showing love and devotion to your Catholic faith and God.

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Respecting Your God

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Being a good Catholic means respecting not only your faith and realizing that we are all God’s creatures, but also it means that no matter what happens you remember and believe your God.  Realizing that Jesus Christ died in order to save all of us, and repent for our sins, makes us grateful and humble Catholics.  Trust in your God, and He will not abandon you.  Trust in His choices.  Let Him show you the way. Let Him guide you.  Even in your darkest moments do not forget that God loves you, and that you are His most beloved child.  Return this love by believing in your God and yourself.

Pray Every Day

Pray to your God not only in times of need. Pray to Him in order show Him that you are aware of His presence.  Respect His presence which is all knowing, all powerful, all loving.  When you pray you can use prayers, but you can also speak from your heart.  The most honest prayers are those which come from the heart, and be assured that God hears them.

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Visit Church

Even if you do not have time you should at least visit your church on Sundays.  Going to do church with your family every Sunday can be a nice way to bond with your faith and with your family.  Teach your family to share the love you have for your Christian faith, and instill in them Christian values.  You should also speak to your minister especially if you are experiencing some problems in your life.  Your minister will help you and guide you.

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Read the Bible

Reading the Bible every day for at least 10 minutes or half an hour, can enrich your spiritual life and give you the necessary peace.  You don’t have to read a lot of pages every day in order to call yourself a good Catholic.  It is much more efficient if you read a few passages of Bible each day and dwell on those thoughts.  Try to understand the message the lines are trying to convey.  By focusing and thinking about thoughts which you read in the Bible you will understand your faith better and approach God.

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Whatever you do, wherever you go, remember that God loves you and leads you every step of the way, He will never forsake you, no matter what. You will be a good Catholic and a good Christian if you follow the example Jesus Christ has set for all of us and respecting and loving God every step of the way.

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