Catholics must engage Biden on extreme abortion positions to save the unborn, expert claims

CNA Staff, Jan 1, 2021 / 04:09 pm (CNA).- During his upcoming administration, presumed President-Elect Joe Biden will have to deal with the issue of abortion, and Catholics must engage with him says Charles C. Camosy in an op-ed published by First Things on the last day of 2020.

Camosy, an associate professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University, says that “Biden doesn’t agree with the U.S. bishops about everything, but he does care about what they say and regularly tries to fit their concerns into Democratic policy proposals.”

“Perhaps Biden’s newly-created office dedicated to reaching out to conservatives should at least be something worth paying attention to,” writes the theologian, but warns that “if there is to be any outreach, then the Biden administration will need to address the greatest problem with today’s Democratic party. And that is abortion.”

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Pope Benedict’s secretary reflects on awful 2020 with German Magazine 

CNA Staff, Jan 1, 2021 / 01:29 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Georg Gänswein has spoken about life with Pope emeritus Benedict XVI and a personally challenging year. “I’m grateful to God that 2020 is finally over,” the 64-year-old told the German tabloid magazine “Bunte”, saying Rome had at times turned “eerily quiet” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gänswein, who hails from the Black Forest region of Germany, is prefect of the Papal Household, but has been on leave from his duties as prefect since February in order to be able to dedicate his time exclusively to the former pope as Benedict XVI’s private secretary. 

Since the election of Pope Francis in 2013, Gänswein had worked in both roles, commuting between two offices – until the stress took its toll. The archbishop suffered from acute hearing loss in 2017 and is now living with a severe case of tinnitus. In late January of last year, Pope Francis informed Gänswein he should devote his time and energy entirely to his role as secretary to Benedict. “For this purpose, he released me from my service in the prefecture. My duties there have been reassigned for an indefinite period”, Gänswein said.

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Year of Saint Joseph: The Shadow of the Father

On this solemnity of Mary’s Divine Motherhood, it’s good also to be reminded of her husband’s quasi-divine Fatherhood, as we begin this ‘Year of Saint Joseph‘. I write ‘quasi’ – ‘as though’ – for how does one express the relation of Saint Joseph to his purported Son, to whom he knew he had no direct biological relation, but who was truly his father in a real and deep sense.

Joseph has always been a mysterious man, the ‘quiet, silent type’, we may think, for not one of his words are recorded in the Gospels. Yet we know he spoke, and much of the life of the Holy Family, is hidden in the obscurity of their life in Nazareth. What did he look like? Was he old, or young? His voice, baritone? How did he live so chastely with the Virgin, Mother of God – the woman, the wife, he loved with a love beyond all telling. How much was he aware of the true nature of those whom he was called to defend, and for whom he was to be so provident?

In the Pope’s letter, Joseph is likened to the ‘shadow of the Father’, and in this year, that shadow comes more clearly into view, to walk amongst us more vividly, to be our strong protector and defender against the forces of evil that, like those of Mordor, are gathering the strength they think is theirs. Not to stretch the analogy, but Joseph is the hidden Strider, walking silently around the Shire, now, perhaps, Aragorn, of the kingly line of David, about to take on his royal role, as the Protector and Defender of the Church.

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