Archdiocese of Chicago

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Changes on the Horizon

This is my first note since the New Year and the first since I turned 75. For a bishop, it’s a liberating birthday. The Pope can accept a bishop’s resignation anytime after it’s offered, and one never knows the time. But there will be a time, and that changes the horizon of one’s life.

For one thing, it brings to greater clarity our belief in being citizens of God’s kingdom, now and forever. For another, it relativizes many of the conventions and even duties that dominate a busy life and often serve to confine us to boxes that become prisons. There is little original thought or activity, at least in public life, and life in our civil institutions is therefore more debilitating than it should or need be. What is touted as “progressive” turns out to be the sinful ways that the Church first confronted publicly two thousand years ago. At the present moment, Catholics in this country are facing challenges to our institutional existence and our mission that we thought would never arise here. Real personal liberty is possible interiorly, but it is less than authentic if public liberty is curtailed more than is necessary for the common good. The laws that used to protect us are now being used to weaken and destroy us, and this quite deliberately.

Part of claiming new freedom, of course, is having more time to pray.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

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