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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    Contraception What You Need to Know Artificial contraception is one of the least understood moral issues of the modern world yet it affects our attitudes toward life love marriage and family The Catholic Church teaches that the use of artificial contraception in marriage is a grave sin The issue is so confusing that a brief but comprehensive examination of the moral arguments in favor of the Church s teaching is absolutely essential Once convinced of the rightness of the Church s position couples may wish to study natural family planning a moral alternative which respects the openness to procreation required in marriage Finally those who have trouble seeing the logic of the Church s position should make a commitment to read the most comprehensive reaffirmation of that position Pope Paul VI s brilliant encyclical of 1968 which has proven so prophetic in recent years Essential Perspective Why Contraception is Wrong Natural Family Planning with the Couple to Couple League Paul VI s Encyclical Humanae Vitae On Human Life Extra Reading It is also important to realize that the term contraception in modern parlance frequently includes abortion Thus all chemical and intrauterine contraceptives are abortifacient If they fail to prevent conception

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=54 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    Most Collection Free eBooks Deacons Diaconate What You Need to Know Since Pope Paul VI restored the permanent diaconate in 1967 there has been considerable confusion among the faithful about what deacons are and what they are called to do A concise overview of the ministry of the deacon which takes this confusion into account is therefore the best place to begin Here we learn that deacons are ordained to a threefold ministry of service for Word altar and charity In 1993 John Paul II addressed the full assembly of the Congregation of the Clergy while it was considering the ministry and life of permanent deacons This address also highlights the key aspects of the deacon s identity and ministry In 1998 the Congregation for the Clergy ultimately issued its comprehensive document on the subject which is the gold standard for understanding the diaconate Essential Perspective Making Sense of the Ministry of the Deacon John Paul II Deacons Are Configured to Christ the Servant Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons Extra Reading Many related areas could be explored For example at the same time as the Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons the Congregation

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=63 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    is based on the unity and universality of the Church which possesses all the goods given by God for salvation and on the Church s proper relationship with non Catholic Christian bodies which share some of these goods including baptism The three core principles of proper ecumenical activity are succinctly stated in our online Catholic Dictionary Those who fail to maintain these principles fall into one of two errors Either they reject ecumenism altogether because they believe it is wrong to recognize salvific gifts outside the Catholic Church or they pursue a false ecumenism which seeks unity at the expense of truth The shortest route to a proper understanding of ecumenism in the modern context is to read Vatican II s Decree on Ecumenism which is a relatively brief and eminently clear document The principles on which the decree is based are rooted in Scripture the Fathers of the Church and ideas set forth in modern times by such popes as Leo XIII and Pius XII Modern popes have repeatedly insisted on the importance of ecumenism After thirty years of experience with the mandate of Vatican II Pope John Paul II issued a longer and deeper document on the subject Ut Unum Sint That They May Be One in 1995 Essential Perspective The Three Principles of Ecumenism Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio John Paul II Ut Unum Sint That They May Be One Extra Reading Although the term ecumenism is widely used outside Catholic circles to refer to efforts at mutual understanding among all religions or even between religion and atheism the Catholic Church treats relationships with non Christians very differently because non Christians have a fundamentally different relationship with Catholics than do other baptized Christians Vatican II also issued a Declaration on the Relation of the Church

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=77 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    itself which is our opportunity to enter into the Eucharist most deeply It is perhaps best to begin by reflecting on the importance of Communion among Christians from the earliest times We offer a sample from the fourth century Father of the Church St Cyril of Jerusalem To deal with the many practical questions surrounding reception of Holy Communion in our own day the U S Bishops issued a clear and well organized statement in 2006 This covers the meaning of Communion proper preparation for it worthiness the need to abstain when conscious of grave sin and intercommunion among Catholics and non Catholics Finally there has been considerable controversy in recent years over whether public advocates of abortion and other grave evils should be denied communion Many have attempted to avoid confrontation on this issue but shortly before his election as Pope Benedict XVI Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger addressed this precise question to the American bishops Essential Perspective Cyril of Jerusalem on the Body and Blood of Christ Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper U S Bishops Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion Extra Reading The body blood soul and divinity of Jesus Christ are equally present under either

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=61 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    Login Donate Resources Home Library Website Reviews What You Need to Know Catholic Dictionary Catechism Church Fathers Most Collection Free eBooks Eucharist Real Presence What You Need to Know Too often the Catholic Faith is watered down reduced to symbolism robbed of its original force A case in point is the Eucharist Here we ll focus mainly on the central point of a very rich and extensive mystery the Real Presence of Christ We ll start with a concise tract from Catholic Answers which defends and explains Christ s presence in the Eucharist against those who offer alternative interpretations Next it pays dividends to look back at the Second Vatican Council to recover its focus on the Eucharist An article summarizing the Council s teaching with plenty of quotes shows us the Eucharistic awareness the Church wants us to have today Finally there is a web site you can use to increase both your understanding of and devotion to the Real Presence of Christ This site offers everything from basic materials to excerpts from the Fathers including accounts of documented approved Eucharistic miracles Essential Perspective Christ in the Eucharist The Eucharist at Vatican II Real Presence Web Site Extra Reading

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=47 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    Need to Know First and foremost the Eucharist is one of the seven sacraments by which Jesus Christ is made present body blood soul and divinity in order that we might be joined to Him in Holy Communion For this reason the Eucharist can scarcely be discussed without reference to the Mass at which this sacrament is confected However the Mass is treated in this series as a separate item Here we propose a deeper understanding of the entire Eucharistic mystery It is difficult to bring all facets of this rich mystery together succinctly in one place but many aspects were touched on briefly in a 2006 address by the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Many popes have written extensively on the Eucharist In 2003 John Paul II issued a fairly brief encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia which emphasized the importance of the Eucharist in the building up of the Church while also touching on many other aspects of the sacrament In 2005 the eleventh annual assembly of the world Synod of Bishops was devoted to the topic of the Eucharist This great work was brought to completion with the promulgation in 2007

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=60 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    What You Need to Know While most of us are living healthier and longer lives as a result of modern medical advances there are many whose lives can be prolonged but whose ill health cannot be cured The result is increasing concern about end of life care assisted suicide and euthanasia Euthanasia or mercy killing is essentially murder to relieve suffering As it is a moral issue before all else we do well to start with a clear statement of the Church s teaching on the subject It makes sense next to listen to what doctors themselves have to say More than a hundred Canadian doctors issued a statement on the problems connected with euthanasia in 2005 in an effort to influence upcoming legislation Finally as with all bio ethical issues it is wise to frequent a web site that can keep up with the various concerns associated with ever more powerful medical technologies Up to date resources on these issues are extremely valuable Essential Perspective Church s Teaching on Euthanasia Arguments of Physicians against Euthanasia The Linacre Center for Bioethics Extra Reading The link to the Linacre Center opens up vast possibilities The only Catholic bioethics center in Great

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=52 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    to Know According to the Church the biological evolution of organisms from simpler to more complex forms is compatible with the Catholic understanding of Creation because God could easily have designed what He created to operate in this way However it is not possible that the human soul should have evolved out of matter or that humankind should be descended from more than one initial couple The seemingly continual conflict between evolutionary theory and faith therefore has not generally been a conflict of legitimate principles so much as one of exaggerated claims Thus for example when fundamentalists insist that the Genesis story of creation be taken literally they push well beyond revelation and create a false conflict Similarly when scientists adopt the philosophical presupposition that evolution somehow rules out God they push well beyond science and create another false conflict In 1997 John Paul II indicated the Magisterium s interest in the question of evolution in a brief address For the past several years Christoph Cardinal Schönborn has taken the lead in urging a proper approach to the question of human origins on the part of both theologians and scientists In 2004 the Pontifical International Theological Commission issued an important document which deals with the question of evolution in greater detail along with many other important issues which touch on human personhood Essential Perspective John Paul II The Magisterium s Interest in Evolution Cardinal Schönborn Creation and Evolution The International Theological Commission on Human Origins Extra Reading While the Catholic position on evolution has been clear and consistent from the first as evidenced by the early twentieth century Catholic Encyclopedia entry Catholics and Evolution it was not magisterially articulated until Pius XII issued the encyclical Humani Generis in 1954 The ongoing discussions sparked by Cardinal Schönborn in our own day

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=65 (2016-02-11)
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