Posts Tagged ‘Archdiocese of Chicago’

Insight from Francis Cardinal George

Monday, August 6th, 2012

While I was vacationing with my family, Cardinal George released this excellent blog post reflecting on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s statement about Chicago values. In case you haven’t seen it, here is an excerpt:

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago. I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city? Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it? I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”

The value in question is espousal of “gender-free marriage.” Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus. Are Americans so exceptional that we are free to define “marriage” (or other institutions we did not invent) at will? What are we re-defining?

You can read the whole statement here.

Theology on Tap

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Last night I had a marvelous experience talking to a group of more than 300 young people at a Theology on Tap gathering at a bar/restaurant called Metro 53 on East 53rd Street in Manhattan.  That might seem like an odd place to gather, but when you think about it, Jesus went to where the people were, and didn’t mind good food, drink and company.  (I, of course, behaved myself and only drank water.)

Have you ever heard of Theology on Tap?  It began in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1981, and has spread to many other dioceses across the United States.  New York’s program began in 2000.  Basically, a group of people – overwhelmingly young adults – gather at a bar to hear a talk by a Catholic speaker, and to share in good Christian fellowship.  I asked Mario Bruschi, one of the lay volunteers who helps to organize the events, to tell me a little bit about what Theology on Tap is all about.  Here’s what Mario emailed to me.

Our ministry is to provide young adults with an opportunity to explore issues and topics that relate to the Catholic faith in a fun and casual environment. Theology on Tap hosts various talks by both religious and lay speakers to encourage thoughtful discussions and a deeper understanding of the faith. The program operates in complete fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. This ministry is a very popular young adult ministry in New York, and many people come away from the talks with a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith and a renewed spirit to evangelize the city.  Another aspect of this ministry that is very important is the presence of the priests who come to the talks not only as attendees, but also to hear confessions after the talk is over.

Mario Bruschi and me

My talk gave a little history of the papacy – timely, I thought, since yesterday was the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter.  (My presentation will be broadcast in the near future on The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM Satellite Radio; I’ll let you know when it’s scheduled.)  But, if you want to know more about Theology on Tap, or want to attend an upcoming evening, visit www.totnyc.org for details.  I can tell you that next Monday, March 1, Monsignor Bob Ritchie, Rector of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, will be the guest speaker, talking about “Does God Really Forgive Sins in the Confessional?” – a great topic for this season of Lent.

Photos by Joseph Zwilling