Morality – A Complex Matter

Moral

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.

This Must End

PA Crisis

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:

 

 

#ShareTheJourney

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Join me, open your arms to Migrants and Refugees – #ShareTheJourney

On Wednesday, Pope Francis led an inspiring launch of #SharetheJourney, a global, two-year campaign in support of migrants and refugees.  He opened his arms wide in a loving gesture and said, “Christ urges us to welcome our brothers and sisters with our arms truly open, ready for a sincere embrace, a loving and enveloping embrace.”

Migrants and refugees are not after our jobs, our lives or our culture.  They are looking with hope toward a brighter future for their families in collaboration and with integration into their new homeland; just as my ancestors sought the same in the mid-1700’s.  Their plight is little different from those in my family who fled war, persecution and economic hardship almost three hundred years ago.  Continue reading “#ShareTheJourney”

True Happiness, Peace and Joy!

I baptize Sawyer at St. George on July 17th. Sawyer is being held by his father with his mother and brother close by.

Being a Catholic Deacon involves a lot of things.  Most of us are involved in social justice ministries, we prepare couples for marriage, we stand up for the voiceless, the poor and the vulnerable, we preside at funerals and weddings and try to always be bridges and not walls as we serve others.  All that said, one of the most joyous things we do is baptize young children.  I am always inspired by the spirit of holiness, welcome, happiness and peace present at each baptism.  Yesterday was just such an occasion when I baptized Sawyer, the son and grandson of some dear friends. Sawyer, welcome into the great Christian community!

#WorldRefugeeDay is Today

“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions …  We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.”  – Pope Francis

Today is World Refugee Day.  It is time to show world leaders that the global public stands in solidarity with the millions of refugees who have fled their homes due to war or persecution.  These are real people with families whose lives, hopes and dreams have been dramatically disrupted by conflict.  Each of us can make a difference by contacting our national leaders and asking for their support to aid refugees, work to end the conflicts that have led to their fleeing and help to return them home.  Your voice and mine can make a difference.