I have been asked to conduct a two part session on Christian, specifically Catholic Christian morality. Many people feel that the Catholic Church has an extensive set of rules – the do this and don’t do that list – that governs morality. That is not the case. I will post an audio of the two sessions once they are finished. Below is an overview of what will be covered in the class:
Our Moral Life in Christ Tuesday and Wednesday, September 10 and 11, 7:30 – 9PM St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Newnan, GA.
In our modern society, morality seems to mean different things to different people. For some, morality is subjective and what is or isn’t moral is up to a person’s feelings at the moment. For others, morality is a strict set of rules that must be obeyed without question or thought, essentially becoming the “dos and don’ts” that govern life. Then for others, morality is driven by their affiliation with a political party or point of view. Our Moral Life in Christ, basically living a true Christian moral life is not subjective, political or simple. For Catholic Christians, a moral life allows for personal freedom but demands hard work as well. In this presentation/discussion we will explore what it means to live an authentic moral life and how to apply Christian morality to the contemporary issues that society faces today. Please plan to join Deacon Steve Swope as we explore this important topic.
As a Roman Catholic and an ordained Deacon of the Church I am appalled by the enormity of the abuse done to innocent children and young people revealed in the Grand Jury report from Pennsylvania. I am outraged that the Bishops were complicit in this evil by covering up the abuse and allowing it to continue. Certainly these eight dioceses are not the only ones with this abhorrent behavior.
It is clear that the attempt at reforms done in 2002 are not enough. There are still too many men who perpetrated these immoral and criminal actions in active ministry. I addressed this topic in my homily yesterday. It is clear to me that the laity must force reform and take an active role in directing it. The abuse, coverups and lack of transparency cannot and should not be tolerated. My homily is below and on my Homilies and Talks page:
Last evening I gave a talk to the Atlanta Southside Ultreya gathering. I was asked by several members of that group to post my remarks so that others in their group could hear them. The talk can be found here: Southside Ultreya Talk. It was an honor to be asked to address this wonderful group.
Speak Up! Congress is dithering as usual and your voice is needed. DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals expires soon.
Polling in the United States consistently shows that an astounding 87% of all American citizens support bi-partisan action in Congress to protect the nearly 1.8 million Dreamers, young people who were brought into the United States by their parents as children. There is no other issue in our country where such a huge majority of Americans are in agreement. The problem is that Congress, as usual, cannot get its act together. We can change that and each of us should speak up.
Recently a good friend of mine who knows about my work with #CatholicReliefServices and #Refugees gave me a poem written by Brian Bilston. As I read it, I was shocked at first and then as I continued it was clear to me that the poem expresses the very sad dichotomy that exists in our society regarding the plight of those fleeing war and persecution and any moral obligation that we have to assist them.
I think it correctly expresses the sentiment of those who look (and read) down without compassion and fail to see or care about these families escaping war and potential death. Then the poem expresses the sentiment of those who look (and read) up, with their eyes open, with compassion and mercy, just like the Good Samaritan who came to the aid of a stranger. Perhaps as Lent begins, we should try to look (and read) upward and #ShareTheJourney with these refugees who are simply fellow human beings.
REFUGEES They have no need of our help So do not tell me These haggard faces could belong to you or me Should life have dealt a different hand We need to see them for who they really are Chancers and scroungers Layabouts and loungers With bombs up their sleeves Cut-throats and thieves They are not Welcome here We should make them Go back to where they came from They cannot Share our food Share our homes Share our countries Instead let us Build a wall to keep them out It is not okay to say These are people just like us A place should only belong to those who are born there Do not be so stupid to think that The world can be looked at another way (now read from bottom to top)