Sign Up for Our Newsletter!

Sign-Up to receive updated stories from OC Catholic.

EPISODE #170
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: LOVE IN ACTION, WITH GUEST SR. KIT GRAY

Host Deacon Steve Greco interviews guests on a variety of topics. On today’s show, he welcomes a remarkable woman whose face is very familiar to those who spend any amount of time on the Christ Cathedral’s Garden Grove campus. Her name is Sr. Kit Gray, and she is a Sister of St. Joseph of Orange and is the Director of Mission Integration and Ongoing Formation for Christ Cathedral Campus.

Tune in for this delightful, encouraging discussion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 10/28/18

 

USING WOMEN, TRAMPLING ON THEIR DIGNITY IS A SIN, POPE SAYS

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Exploiting women or treating them like objects is a sin against God, Pope Francis said.

“There is a rage against women, terrible rage,” the pope said in his homily June 15 during morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae.

It will do people good — especially those who enjoy freedom — to reflect on how many women have become “slaves of this throwaway mentality,” he said.

The pope’s homily focused on the day’s Gospel reading in which Jesus tells his disciples that anyone “who looks at women with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus also admonishes those who divorce their wife, saying it “causes her to commit adultery and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Jesus “changed history,” Pope Francis said, with the way he respected women and recognized they have equal dignity as men.

At the time, women were second-class citizens and slaves in that they did not enjoy full freedom, he said.

Jesus recognized the dignity of women and “put them at the same level as men” because he understood what God meant when he created male and female in his image.

“Both are in God’s image, both. Not man first and then woman a little bit below,” he said.

“A man without a woman nearby — be it a mother, a sister, a wife, a co-worker, a friend — that man is not in the image of God” without her.

So many women, instead, are exploited and put on sale “like in a market,” he said. Men “go up to them not to say, ‘Good evening,’ but ‘How much do you cost?'”

People try to clear their consciences by labeling these women as prostitutes, but they must remember that Jesus said those who reject women expose them to adultery.

“Women end up like this, exploited, enslaved, because you do not treat women well,” Pope Francis said. 

Women are also used as objects in the media and advertising, displayed “like an object of desire” or to be used, he said.

A woman may be “humiliated, naked” in an ad for a certain product brand, he said, or they may be “objects of that disposable philosophy” at home, at work, in different businesses where it seems they are not even a person.

“This is a sin against God the creator — to reject women — because without them, we men cannot be in the image and likeness of God,” he said.

“We have to reflect better,” he said, and recognize how doing or saying certain things against women in essence shows contempt for the image of God.

SUPPORT FAMILIES, HUMAN DIGNITY, POPE TELLS GLOBAL LEADERS AT DAVOS

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Global leaders must implement policies that support the family and offer real opportunities for the growth and development of all people, Pope Francis told people attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 

“If we want a more secure future, one that encourages the prosperity of all, then it is necessary to keep the compass continually oriented toward ‘true North,’ represented by authentic values,” he wrote. 

“Now is the time to take courageous and bold steps for our beloved planet. This is the right moment to put into action our responsibility to contribute to the development of humanity,” he told corporate and political leaders. 

The pope’s message was read at the meeting Jan. 22 by Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. 

The annual meeting in Davos brought together people representing business, government, academia and media to discuss the theme, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” They were to address topics such as sustainable development and inclusive economies as well as challenges posed by cyberattacks and divisive “narratives.” 

In his written message, the pope said, “we are increasingly aware that there is a growing fragmentation between states and institutions.” 

The pope told world leaders and global executives that they must confront both new and lingering problems and challenges, such as unemployment, poverty, economic and social inequality, and new forms of slavery. 

“It is vital to safeguard the dignity of the human person, in particular by offering to all people real opportunities for integral human development and by implementing economic policies that favor the family,” he said. 

“We cannot remain silent in the face of the suffering of millions of people whose dignity is wounded,” he said, adding that it is a moral imperative for everyone “to create the right conditions to allow each person to live in a dignified manner.” 

“By rejecting a ‘throwaway’ culture and a mentality of indifference, the entrepreneurial world has enormous potential to effect substantial change by increasing the quality of productivity, creating new jobs, respecting labor laws, fighting against public and private corruption and promoting social justice, together with the fair and equitable sharing of profits,” the pope said. 

“There is a grave responsibility to exercise wise discernment, for the decisions made will be decisive for shaping the world of tomorrow and that of future generations,” he added.  

SPECIAL NEEDS COUNCIL SERVES DISABLED CATHOLICS WITH DIGNITY IN MIND

The Diocese of Orange Special Needs Council works with the words of Beloved Pope John XXIII in mind:

“In imitation of our Lord, who dedicated much of His ministry to the disabled and the poor, we should give preferential care to those in our community with special needs,” said Beloved Pope John XXIII noted. He declared that “all people were made in the image and likeness of God and an unshakable dignity of every human person innately pours forth,” and said the Church has the responsibility “to uphold the dignity of all those with disabilities who are often invisibly ostracized and considered less dignified because of their disability.”

The Special Needs ministry serves all parishes to help individuals who have physical and intellectual disabilities and developmental delays, as well as their caregivers and families, says Andrea West, co-chair of the Special Needs Council. West says the council concentrates its efforts in three areas: Faith formation, sacramental preparation and socialization.

“We are blessed to have a lot of great people who want to be part of making this ministry as big as others in the Diocese,” West says, adding that many parishes in the Diocese have special needs ministries for children, teens and adults with disabilities.

One example is Holy Family Cathedral in Orange, which offers Coffee House Friends meetings for developmentally challenged adults. St. Bonaventure Parish in Huntington Beach offers sacramental preparation for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and St. Kilian Parish in Mission Viejo offers faith formation and sacramental preparation for teens with Down Syndrome.

An important upcoming event spotlights the efforts of the Special Needs Council: Bishop Kevin W. Vann will celebrate the second annual Mass for Vietnamese Catholics with Special Needs at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 7 in the Christ Cathedral Arboretum. The Mass is celebrated annually to recognize the importance of children, adolescents and young adults with special needs, and to honor their parents, families and caregivers. A reception will follow.

“The Mass is important especially from a cultural point of view because it shows the Vietnamese disabled that they are wanted, understood and celebrated,” West notes. “It shows they belong to the Church.”

For more information, contact the Special Needs Council at 714-282-3039 or specialneeds@rcbo.org.

 

TO HEART OF EUROPE: POPE EXPECTED TO TALK DIGNITY, JOBS, FAMILY LIFE

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis, who has called the Catholic Church to go out to the peripheries and who described himself as coming from “the end of the earth,” will visit the heart of European secular and economic power: the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.

For the Polish St. John Paul II and the German Pope Benedict XVI, the destruction of World War II and the erection of the Iron Curtain separating the democratic West from the communist East fueled a passion for European unity and cooperation, and an emphasis on the Judeo-Christian values that had formed the continent’s cultures and governments.

While the Argentine Pope Francis is less focused on Europe than his predecessors were, his teaching on human rights, justice, peace and solidarity is just as relevant to Europe as anywhere else.

The pope will spend four hours in Strasbourg, France, Nov. 25 to address the European Parliament — the legislative arm of the 28-member European Union — and the Council of Europe, an organization of 47 countries formed to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law on the continent.

Like his predecessors, Pope Francis is expected to call the European institutions and the people they represent to recognize the values that inspired their commitment to unity and democracy. In particular, the church wants them to recognize that repetitious appeals to human rights and human dignity mean little if entire categories of human beings are denied those rights or robbed of them.

Pope Francis’ repeated condemnations of a “throwaway culture” may have been formed and informed in the barrios of Latin America, but what he has seen in Europe has not softened his language.

In a speech last December, he said, “The victims of this culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings — the unborn, the poorest, the sick and elderly, the seriously handicapped, etc. — who are in danger of being ‘thrown away,’ expelled from a system that must be efficient at all costs.”

St. John Paul and Pope Benedict often called on the European Union and its related institutions to recognize that having a common currency and forging joint economic policies will foster the good of Europe’s citizens — and people around the world — only if economic growth and profits are a result of promoting the good of the human person and not the exclusive goals.

In his 2003 exhortation after the special Synod of Bishops for Europe, St. John Paul wrote that the aim must be “building a Europe seen as a community of peoples and individuals, a community joined together in hope, not exclusively subject to the law of the marketplace but resolutely determined to safeguard the dignity of the human person also in social and economic relations.”

For the Polish pope, who had worked in a quarry as a youth and who constantly preached the dignity of labor, unemployment was the key test of whether Europe’s economic policies put people or profits first.

On that score, Pope Francis is not expected to go light on the European Union or the Council of Europe, especially when it comes to unemployed young people and, particularly, the so-called NEETs — those neither employed, enrolled in educational programs or in training.

Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, reported that in September, the unemployment rates across its 28 member-countries was 10.1 percent and the unemployment rate of people under age 25 was 21.6 percent. The youth unemployment rate ranged from 7.6 percent in Germany to 53.7 percent in Spain.

In a July speech on economic reform, Pope Francis pointed to the statistics saying, “a generation of young people is being thrown away, and this is most serious!” Too many European youths “don’t study because they don’t have the means, they don’t work because there are no jobs. More waste. What will be the next thing thrown away?”

During a visit to Italy’s Molise region, Pope Francis sounded very much like St. John Paul when discussing the importance of work. “Not having work is not only to lack life’s basic necessities,” Pope Francis said, pointing out there are many places to get a free meal or food handouts. “The problem is not being able to bring home the bread: This is serious, and this takes away dignity.”

If the focus of attention is on the human person, recent popes have insisted, then policymakers must recognize the connection between economics, work and family life.

In a May speech to United Nations’ officials, Pope Francis said true development included addressing the root causes of poverty and hunger, promoting protection of the environment, guaranteeing dignified and productive labor and protecting the family, which is a basic and potentially efficient form of cooperation, intergenerational solidarity and education in social skills and values.

True progress for humanity, he said, involves “resisting the ‘economy of exclusion,’ the ‘throwaway culture’ and the ‘culture of death,’ which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted.”