First, a clarification. In my article last week looking ahead to the new year in the life of the Church, I noted that Bishop Robert Barron's "Word on Fire" ministries had retweeted an old article of his in which he complained about the "Fetishism of Dialogue" and wondered how that squared with Pope Francis' repeated calls for dialogue. I was contacted by Brandon Vogt, Content Director at Word on Fire, who explained to me that these retweets of old articles are computer generated at random. I had no idea such technology existed. I have even less of an idea why anyone would use it. I apologize to Bishop Barron and the readers for thinking he might have some particular purpose in retweeting that particular article. That said, I am interested to know if the Bishop has refined his thoughts on the value of dialogue or, for that matter, on President Obama's going to Notre Dame for an honorary degree, which is what sparked his original article. I would note that the Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for January 2016. His universal intention is: "That sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce the fruits of peace and justice." His intention for evangelization is: "That by means of dialogue and fraternal charity and with the grace of the Holy Spirit, Christians may overcome divisions."
Over the holidays, this "Dear Abby" column appeared in the Chicago SunTimes. God bless Sr. Carol Keehan for making a teaching moment out of a situation that could have been another round of mutual recriminations!
And, lastly, I saw this ad from the National Rifle Assocication on TV last night. I was disgusted by its hatefulness, of course, but how dare they use an image of St. Patrick's Cathedral in such a nasty bit of work. The Catholic Church does not stand for the vile rantings of this man and his organization and the NRA should take down the ad at once.