By Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Catholic Register - Many dioceses are “suspending” the sacrament of confession. As the permission of the bishop is required for the validity of absolution, it is necessary to clarify that even when “suspended” confessions remain valid… Yet priests are still in need of pastoral guidance. And the guidance that the sacrament is to be entirely suspended creates some confusion for them and the faithful.
By Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., National Catholic Register - Heartbreaking stories have emerged from the coronavirus pandemic in Italy. Hospitals are too full. Doctors are overworked. People die alone. Coffins pile up. The Pope walks through empty Roman streets, praying alone… The coronavirus has created these scenes. Yet, behind the scenes of the crisis is another one. Slow-moving, largely hidden, yet destructive both physically and socially, a problem people prefer to ignore. I am speaking of demographic winter: the worldwide fertility decline. This problem aggravates the coronavirus crisis.
By Trent Beattie, Catholic Digest - Have you ever been so distracted or stressed out that you were looking to find, not complete serenity, but a mere semblance of it? While total peace of mind may have been out of the question, finding a “piece” of mind was a possibility. It is in that modest spirit characteristic of Lent that the following list of books and one album are offered for incremental improvement.
By Sue Ellen Browder, EWTN News - In all spheres of our lives — economic, commercial, medical, global relations, etc. — we have reached amazing peaks of power. And yet, as a wise priest in Nazareth observed on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, in a few days, “everything changed,” and “all our perceptions changed dramatically. ... We felt powerful; now we feel powerless. We [trusted in] ourselves; now we cannot trust anything. ... In the past we were under the dominion of ourselves, our human power. Now we are under the dominion of fear,” and we feel powerless… The coronavirus is teaching us a valuable lesson: We are not in charge here. But will we listen?