Lay Witness Magazine

All In the Family:Staying in Touch with Our Extended Family

Gerald Korson From the Jan/Feb 2008 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine In 1798, the poet William Wordsworth wrote “We Are Seven,” a poem based on his chance encounter with an 8- year-old peasant girl several years earlier. It is arguably one of his best. In the poem, the gentleman asks the “little maid” how many children are in her family. She replies that there are “seven in all”—naming two siblings out at sea, two in a neighboring town, and two who “in the church-yard lie, my sister and my brother.” The gentleman repeatedly tries to correct the girl’s arithmetic on … Continue reading

Ask CUF – January/February 2008

CUF From the Jan/Feb 2008 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine What is contraception? Basically, contraception is the prevention of conception or impregnation before, during, or after the event of coitus (sexual intercourse). The practical use of the word brings different meanings. For the Church, contraception is understood in the context of the marriage covenant. Marital intercourse is an expression of the marital covenant. It renews that covenant and has two essential aspects: unitive and procreative. Contraception offends against the procreative aspect of conjugal love. Contraception understood in the context of the Church’s teachings on marriage is considered to be intrinsically … Continue reading

Bl. Franz Jägerstätter – A Modern Day Martyr of Conscience

Michael J. Miller From the Jan/Feb 2008 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine On October 26, Franz Jägerstätter (pronounced “Yeagershtetter”), a husband and father of four who was executed in 1943 for refusing to fight for the Nazi regime, was beatified in the cathedral in Linz, Austria. Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, performed the  ceremony during a Mass celebrated by diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz. The Church has officially declared Bl. Franz Jägerstätter “a martyr of conscience” for his prophetic “witness to the beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount.” Franz Jägerstätter was born … Continue reading

CUF Link – January/February 2008

CUF From the Jan/Feb 2008 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Transitions The current issue of Lay Witness features a number of changes that the CUF staff hopes will enhance readers’ experience of our magazine, encourage them to visit the CUF website more often, and—last but certainly not least—help us adapt to significant challenges posed by increasing postage costs and industry shifts to web-based communication models. As changes are introduced, we value your feedback more than ever. Please email laywitness@cuf. org to let us know what we’re doing right, suggestions for change, and your input on how well we are serving … Continue reading

CUF Mailbox – January/February 2008

CUF From the Jan/Feb 2008 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Church Must Stand Against Porn Dear Editor, I very much appreciated your article “The Victims of Pornography” in the March/April ’07 issue of Lay Witness magazine. I totally agree with Mr. Madden’s observations about the immense damage done by porn. The difficulty is that he only told the half of it! As a therapist specializing in treating sexual addiction, I see daily in my office the destruction caused by the epidemic plague of pornography, especially Internet porn. As the author of Broken Trust, a book on the priest sexual abuse … Continue reading

Embracing the Gift of Love – Defending the Vulnerable Against the Culture of Death

Archbishop Jose’ H. Gomez From the Jan/Feb 2008 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine The Servant of God John Paul II said years ago, “Life, which has always been welcomed and desired as . . . the fundamental and primary value for every individual, must be reaffirmed, assimilated and recovered today from a culture which otherwise risks closing in on and destroying itself, or reducing life to a consumer product” (April 23, 1996). “Above all,” he said, “society must learn to embrace . . . the great gift of life, to cherish it, to protect it, and to defend it against … Continue reading

Faces of Virtue – The Relationship Between Mercy and Justice

by Donald DeMarco Readers of great literature are familiar with Shakespeare’s remark in The Merchant of Venice about how mercy “seasons” justice and Milton’s comment in Paradise Lost that mercy “tempers” justice. For these great writers, who were also knowledgeable philosophers, it was clear that mercy and justice did not clash with each other, but were truly complementary. The modern world, which no longer has a coherent view of morality, has challenged the complementarity of mercy and justice. The romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, for example, holds that the distinction between justice and mercy was invented in the court of … Continue reading

From the Editor’s Desk – January/February 2008

Valerie Striker From the Jan/Feb 2008 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine It’s been a year of transition here at CUF headquarters. Most of us have changed physical offices at least once in the past eight months, many of us have new job titles and new responsibilities, and I think it’s safe to say that all of us are being asked to stretch our time and talents in new—and interesting—ways. New challenges on all fronts require change and renewal, and not just for our apostolate. 2008 will be a telling year. Certain key events—CUF’s 40th anniversary conference on the one hand … Continue reading

In Brief – January/February 2008

CUF From the Jan/Feb 2008 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Worcester Bishop Speaks Out Upon receiving complaints that the College of the Holy Cross was hosting a conference on teen pregnancy that featured speakers from pro-choice organizations, Diocese of Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus asked the college’s president to revoke the agreement to rent space to the conference’s organizers. “As Bishop of Worcester, it is my pastoral and canonical responsibility to determine what institutions can properly call themselves ‘Catholic,’ wrote the bishop in an October 10 statement. “This is a duty that I do not take lightly since to be … Continue reading

Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary’s Holy Hour

Making Room for Our Lady Edward P. Sri From the Jan/Feb 2008 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine One crucial theme in John’s Gospel can shed much light on Mary’s unique role in salvation history. This theme is so foundational that it will help us see how Mary becomes the “New Eve” and the spiritual mother of all Christians. Let’s look at this fundamental motif in the fourth Gospel: “the hour.” The mysterious theme of Christ’s “hour” runs as a narrative thread through the Gospel of John and creates dramatic suspense for the reader. We first encounter this motif at the … Continue reading