Dangerous disconnects in Catholic teaching?
Seminary formation and Catholic theology are becoming increasingly cut off from the real lives of Catholics, and not enough is being done to remedy this, with married priests being much higher on the agenda sheet.
This is a real problem, wrote the academic Massimo Faggioli at Commonweal. “Seminary life is more about personal, psychological, and spiritual formation apart from the contemporary world of knowledge than it is about the preparation of candidates for the intellectual challenges of preaching and witnessing the Gospel in a time when the Church faces such strong headwinds.”
Likewise, theological academies had disconnected themselves from those Catholics who might one day make up the clergy. This was partly the fault of the universities themselves, he argued, which were more focused on preparing students for the workplace than on constructive theologising.
Earliest sub-Saharan church found
Archaeologists have discovered the earliest known Christian church in sub-Saharan Africa, some 30 miles north-east of Aksum in northern Ethiopia.
By radiocarbon dating artefacts they have dated the church, in the shape of a Roman basilica 60ft long by 40ft wide, to the 4th century AD.
“The discovery of the church and its contents confirms Ethiopian tradition that Christianity arrived at an early date in an area nearly 3,000 miles from Rome,” wrote Andrew Lawler at Smithsonian Magazine. “The find suggests that the new religion spread quickly through long-distance trading networks that linked the Mediterranean via the Red Sea with Africa and South Asia, shedding fresh light on a significant era about which historians know little.”
The findings include a stone pendant carved with a cross and incised with the ancient Ethiopic word “venerable”, as well as incense burners. Near the eastern basilica wall, the team came across an inscription asking “for Christ [to be] favourable to us”.
Blessed Solanus and a healed aneurysm
When Patti Armstrong prayed to Blessed Solanus Casey for her 92-year-old father’s abdominal aneurysm to be healed, “I had not considered the logistics.
He was two weeks away from surgery, so if it did heal, how would anyone know that until after the surgery was in process?” she wrote at the National Catholic Register. Three nights later he was throwing up blood, and taken to hospital, where a CT scan revealed a bleeding ulcer – and that “the hole had clotted and closed up. Surgery was no longer needed!”
Two years later, in good health for his age, he “finds ways to occasionally evangelise through friendly conversations” at the home where he lives.
“Whatever one’s age and circumstances, if we are still here, God is not done with us yet,” she said. “Clotting and closing off a leak does occur at times, so it is not a technical miracle. But was it the hand of God that granted a prayer request through the intercession of Blessed Father Solanus? You won’t convince me otherwise.”
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