The Pope between a Rock and a Hard Place

Shortly after he ascended the papal chair, Pope Benedict XVI declared that one of his goals was to re-Christianize a secular Europe. If anyone has had the know-how for the project, it is surely he. But it looks like it’s going to be a long haul. After chastising the American bishops for their irresponsible handling of sexual abuse cases among the clergy in 2008, he has to tackle the scandal here. First in Ireland, then Holland, then Austria, and now in the pope’s homeland of Germany, the storm has broken out anew. It is only a question of time when charges against clergy will be brought forward in another country. Benedict responded firmly in Ireland, and has begun to do so in Germany. The church has enacted a thorough investigation. Sexual abuse of young people is most reprehensible, as is its cover-up, the pope has declared. He is “thoroughly ashamed” of what has happened in both countries.

From the outset Benedict XVI has been a tough cop on dealing with sex offenders in the priestly office. The case against Archbishop Sean Brady of Ireland—not for sex offense, but for cover up—is particularly damning. Do not expect Benedict to encourage his tenure in office. Though some want to pin blame on the pope himself for knowingly keeping sinning priests in office, finding hard evidence for that charge is unlikely.

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Book Review - 7 Reasons Why God Created Marriage

Image of Seven Reasons Why God Created Marriage
by James Ford Jr. Jr.
Lift Every Voice 2009
Paperback 240

In The Seven Reasons God Created Marriage,  James Ford, senior pastor of Christ Bible Church in Chicago, aims to provide a blueprint for couples, especially those contemplating marriage. Pastor Ford brings a rich background of pastoral experience and marriage and family counseling to the writer’s table. He teaches that couples must understand why God created marriage before they can have the joy at home that God intended. He writes, “To be specific, marriage was created for the partners to share the following with each other: the pattern of the Trinity, partnership, perfecting, procreation, pleasure, purity, and the picture of Christ” (p. 16). It is upon these seven reasons that the book is structured.

Foundationally, Ford wants the reader to understand that following the pattern of the Trinity in the home is the key reason for marriage. He repeatedly explains how fulfilling one of these seven purposes fulfills God’s larger purpose of picturing the Trinity in marriage. For example, on the subject of procreation Ford states, “My point is, as the leader of your home, God helps us to prosper when we do it His way; but it’s up to every individual to allow Him to be your leader. If you follow the blueprint of the Trinity that is laid out for you, you and your family will be blessed of the Lord, living in peace and prosperity” (p. 132).

Ford redirects the reader to this foundational reason for marriage in similar ways in every chapter. He ends the book by presenting the other foundational reason for marriage—picturing Christ—then explains how this final reason completes God’s desire for marriage.

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Divorced Couple Litigates over Child's Religion

She’s Jewish. He’s Catholic.
“After the surprise [Roman Catholic ] baptism, Rebecca got a Circuit Court judge to take the unusual step of temporarily barring Joseph from exposing their child to any religion other than Judaism on the grounds it could cause ‘irreparable harm.’ But Joseph defied the order by taking his daughter to Mass—with a television news crew in tow.”

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19 Brides and Grooms, 19 Cakes, One Ceremony

Pastor’s challenge yields mass nuptials

[The Pastor ] challenged singles in the audience who are living together but not married. He invited them to meet with him after church to discuss honoring God by getting married. He said the church and volunteers would pay all expenses – which he said totaled just under $10,000, about $500 per couple. Forty couples responded; 19 completed counseling and will marry Sunday.

4269 reads