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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Sept. 25, 2019

“God will call the bad shepherds to account for his sheep and for their deaths.” Thus St. Augustine, in his sermon On Pastors.

Do Catholic priests in America still read the Divine Office regularly? (I’m afraid I know the answer to that question. According to a recent survey, about half don’t, although they are under a moral obligation to do so.) Do bishops? Because if they do, they have been getting an earful recently, with excerpts from St. Augustine’s famous sermon sprinkled through the Office of Readings during the past few weeks.

This morning I found myself reminiscing about one prelate whose homilies featured the sort of positive-thinking approach that plays well at Rotary Club luncheons, building toward a rhetorical climax in which he would invariably declare: “Today could be the best day of your life!” No one was offended by these windy homilies, and no hard lessons were learned. St. Augustine was familiar with that preaching style: …..


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