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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Is It Only a Matter of Legal Casuistry?

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Pope Francis: In God there is both justice and mercy

The Pope in his homily of February 24, 2017 said that we should not become obsessed with the “fine points of legal interpretation.”  What were these objectionable fine points?  When I asked a local churchman whom I admire, I was lectured on how canon law was only about a hundred years old and not integral to the lasting faith of the Church.  But I never mentioned canon law.  I just wanted reaffirmation about basic right and wrong.  The Catholic definition of faith was always in terms of charity and obedience.  Thus the laws of God will always be crucial to our overall discipleship.  Jesus might have said, “Woe to lawyers,” but his ire was the gravity given human laws above divine laws and placing unwieldy burdens upon people who were struggling to be faithful.  It was not a renunciation of the Decalogue or Christ’s two-fold commandment or his singular treatment of the divorce question.  It is true that Jesus sometimes seemed to raise the bar but always with the assurance that his grace would lighten the load, even as we took up our crosses to follow him.

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One Response

  1. Having been married for almost 53yrs, I am well aware of the ups and downs of married life. But for 50 of those years my husband wasn’t a believer and at Easter in 2014 he was baptised and accepted into the Catholic Church. Such a blessed time. We always had a good marriage, but there was a ‘God shaped hole’ in it. These last 3 years have been a very special time of grace and has brought us closer to God, and indeed has led to my own ‘conversion’ from cradle Catholic to a deeper faith and that has been illuminating. In all those years we know of so many people who got divorced and remarried. I have always firmly believed in the sanctity and Jesus’ teaching about the insolubility of marriages and the apparent allowance of those who remarry to take the sacrament of Holy Communion has confused me, though it is not for me to judge anyone who has done so.

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