Archive for the ‘Catholic US News’ Category

Was the last ‘witch’ of Boston actually a Catholic martyr?

Boston, Mass., Oct 31, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The last person hanged for witchcraft in Boston could be considered a Catholic martyr.

In the 1650s, Ann Glover and her family, along with some 50,000 other native Irish people, were enslaved by Englishman Oliver Cromwell during the occupation of Ireland and shipped to the island of Barbados, where they were sold as indentured servants.

What is known of her history is sporadic at best, though she was definitely Irish and definitely Catholic. According to an article in the Boston Globe, even Ann’s real name remains a mystery, as indentured servants were often forced to take the names of their masters.

While in Barbados, Ann’s husband was reportedly killed for refusing to renounce his Catholic faith. By 1680, Ann and her daughter had moved to Boston where Ann worked as a “goodwife” (a housekeeper and nanny) for the John Goodwin family.

Father Robert O’Grady, director of the Boston Catholic Directory for the Archdiocese of Boston, said that after working for the Goodwins for a few years, Ann Glover became sick, and the illness spread to four of the five Goodwin children.

“She was, unsurprisingly, not well-educated, and in working with the family, apparently she got sick at some point and the kids for whom she was primarily responsible caught whatever it was,” Fr. O’Grady told CNA.

A doctor allegedly concluded that “nothing but a hellish Witchcraft could be the origin of these maladies,” and one of the daughters confirmed the claim, saying she fell ill after an argument with Ann.  

The infamous Reverend Cotton Mather, a Harvard graduate and one of the main perpetrators of witch trial hysteria at the time, insisted Ann Glover was a witch and brought her to what would be the last witch trial in Boston in 1688.

In the courtroom, Ann refused to speak English and instead answered questions in her native Irish Gaelic. In order to prove she was not a witch, Mather asked Ann to recite the Our Father, which she did, in a mix of Irish Gaelic and Latin because of her lack of education.

“Cotton Mather would have recognized some of it, because of course that would have been part of your studies in those days, you studied classical languages when you were preparing to be a minister, especially Latin and Greek,” Father O’Grady said.

“But because it was kind of mixed in with Irish Gaelic, it was then considered proof that she was possessed because she was mangling the Latin.”

Allegedly, Boston merchant Robert Calef, who knew Ann when she was alive, said she “was a despised, crazy, poor old woman, an Irish Catholic who was tried for afflicting the Goodwin children. Her behavior at her trial was like that of one distracted. They did her cruel. The proof against her was wholly deficient. The jury brought her guilty. She was hung. She died a Catholic.”

Mather convicted Ann of being an “idolatrous Roman Catholick” and a witch, and she hung on Boston Common on November 16, 1688. Today, just a 15 minute walk away, the parish of Our Lady of Victories holds a plaque commemorating her martyrdom, which reads:

“Not far from here on 16 November 1688, Goodwife Ann Glover an elderly Irish widow, was hanged as a witch because she had refused to renounce her Catholic faith. Having been deported from her native Ireland to the Barbados with her husband, who died there because of his own loyalty to the Catholic faith, she came to Boston where she was living for at least six years before she was unjustly condemned to death. This memorial is erected to commemorate “Goody” Glover as the first Catholic martyr in Massachusetts.”

The plaque was placed at the Church on the tercentennial anniversary of her death in 1988 by the Order of Alhambra, a Catholic fraternity whose mission includes commemorating Catholic historical persons, places and events. The Boston City Council also declared November 16 as “Goody Glover Day”, in order to condemn the injustice brought against her.  

Ann Glover has not yet been officially declared a martyr by a pope, nor has her cause for canonization been opened to date, partly because her story has faded into obscurity over time, Fr. O’Grady said.

“Part of the dilemma here (too) is that when she was hanged, Catholics were a tiny, minuscule, minority in Boston, so picking up her ‘cause’ was not easy or ‘on top of the list,’” he said.

Ann Glover’s trial also set the tone for the infamous Salem Witch Trials in 1692, during which 19 men and women were hanged for witchcraft, and in which Reverend Cotton Mather and his anti-Catholic prejudices played a major role.

How one cardinal proposes to correct ignorance of marriage’s nature

Washington D.C., Oct 30, 2014 / 03:50 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- According to the Archbishop of Washington, the recent Synod on the Family worked to address the challenge that many young people today don’t fully understand the nature of marriage.

“There were a good number of us within the synod who felt, given the heavily secular climate today in which so many of our young people are living – what they see in media, television, electronic print, in movies, the music they listen to, the world they’re engaged in – (that) the idea of a permanent, enduring bond that would be life-giving and at the same time be indissoluble is not uppermost in their awareness of marriage,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl asserted in an Oct. 30 conference call.

Cardinal Wuerl was speaking about the Oct. 5-19 extraordinary Synod of Bishops, which was held in anticipation of next year’s World Meeting of Families and the ordinary Synod on the Family. After the 2015 synod, Pope Francis is expected to issue an apostolic exhortation.

In his analysis of the synod, Cardinal Wuerl specifically discussed two negative outcomes of confusion about the nature of marriage: cohabitation, and the failure of some marriages.  

“One of the increasing concerns is the number of people who aren’t even getting married today: the number of people who are simply living together without benefits of even civil marriage. And that says, to me, we have a long way to go in helping present as clearly as we can the beautiful gift that is marriage,” Cardinal Wuerl stated.

Another area of concern among synod fathers was the process of marriage annulment.

“The fact that there are Catholic couples and people who have re-married, and therefore can’t come to Communion, the fact that they would desperately like to do so, and the Church recognizes the good of that; the question is, ‘how do we do that while being faithful to the teaching of the Church concerning the bond?’ That brings us to the question of an annulment, the declaration that there never was a bond in the first place,” Cardinal Wuerl commented.

It was in reference to this that he suggested that “so many of our young people” might not have a correct understanding of marriage, to the extent that they cannot validly contract a marriage.

“Having said all that,” he continued, “there were many, many of us who felt (that) if we’re going to go the route of annulment, then that process can’t be so costly or so burdensome that it becomes a weight around the shoulders of the people trying to regularize their situation.”

Cardinal Wuerl added that “there were a number of suggestions on how to do that,” and that “that’s probably going to be an area that there’ll be a lot of discussion (about) between now and the next synod.”

One way to address the widespread confusion about the nature of marriage would be to properly catechize children and teenagers about the faith, the cardinal continued, beginning in Catholic schools.

Regarding a term that received much attention in the synod’s mid-term report – causing media speculation and confusion – the principle of “graduality” was nowhere to be found in the final document, Cardinal Wuerl confirmed.

“The whole concept of ‘graduality’ – that surfaced but you don’t find it in the final document,” he said.

“And I think one of the reasons for that is it’s a theological concept. It’s not a concept that you find well-expounded, well-defined, well-developed. And so if there’s going to be any reference to that in the future, I think it’s going to require a lot more thought and a lot more theological penetration.”

Philly archdiocese: RNS blogger ‘inventing own reality’

Philadelphia, Pa., Oct 30, 2014 / 09:48 am (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has shrugged off a recent blog post that sought to pit Pope Francis against Archbishop Charles J. Chaput on the death penalty.
 
“Some blogs are like videogames; they invent their own reality,” Kenneth Gavin, a spokesman for the archdiocese, told CNA Oct. 28.
 
“Archbishop Chaput has been vocal and vigorous in opposing the death penalty for more than 40 years. That’s a matter of public record.”
 
Gavin’s comments came in response to an Oct. 24 blog post on Religion News Service by writer Mark Silk.
 
The blog post, entitled, “Pope Francis clarifies Archbishop Chaput’s confusion,” focused on Pope Francis’ recent call for the abolition of the death penalty.
 
Silk claimed that “What His Holiness has done is definitively reject the assertion of former Denver and current Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput,” alluding to an alleged conversation between the archbishop and Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez.  According to Silk, the archbishop reportedly advised Beauprez to pray about the matter in forming his views on it, telling him that Church doctrine is not anti-death penalty.
 
Gavin dismissed the Silk post as “ridiculous.”
 
Candidate Bob Beauprez is locked in a tight race with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.  Ironically, Gavin said, Hickenlooper is already on record thanking the archbishop for his past counsel against the death penalty.
 
In his blog post, Silk omitted comments that Gavin gave to members of the press who had inquired about the archbishop’s stance: “Scripture and long Church teaching uphold the basic legitimacy of the death penalty. But the Church also teaches that in the developed world, the circumstances requiring the death penalty for the purposes of justice and public safety rarely exist. Therefore the death penalty should not be used.”
 
As a result of this omission, Gavin said, the blog post misrepresented Archbishop Chaput by making it appear that he disagrees with the Pope on the death penalty, and portraying the Pope’s comments as if they were directed at Archbishop Chaput as a response.
 
In reality, Gavin stated, the archbishop has been forceful for years in explaining Church teaching on the death penalty. In the blogosphere, said Gavin, “inconvenient facts don’t seem to matter.”
 
Catholic teaching on the death penalty is laid out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which explains, “The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.”
 
However, it adds, if “bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.”
 
Archbishop Chaput, Gavin said, has written dozens of articles and spoken frequently against the death penalty for decades.  
 
In 1997, in a column entitled “The True Road to Justice,” the archbishop argued strongly against the death sentence for Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh.

 In 2002, he released a statement saying that in developed countries such as the U.S., the death penalty “should have no place in our public life.” He also wrote on the death penalty in columns written in 2004 and 2005 for the Denver Catholic Register.

In 2012, Archbishop Chaput again raised the subject of capital punishment. In his Sept. 10 weekly column for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, he stressed that the death penalty does not effectively “deter crime, nor does it bring about true justice or closure for victims’ families.
 
“When we take a murderer’s life we only add to the violence in an already violent culture, and we demean our own dignity in the process,” he said.
 

Who can help end women’s sexual exploitation? Christian men

Washington D.C., Oct 29, 2014 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Men – particularly men within the Christian church – have a crucial role in changing cultural attitudes surrounding the sexual exploitation of women, say organizers of an upcoming New York conference.

Rather than being confined to a matter of personal behavior or morality, the need to put an end to the scourge is a greater issue of societal justice, according to Paul Horrocks, founder of Justice NYC.  

Christian men, he told CNA, “acknowledge that this is a problem and it is a problem within the churches,” but also tend to view the issue of sexual exploitation through media such as pornography as a topic “that we can’t do anything about.”

“This can change,” he urged. “We can bring about cultural change, and it can start in the church.”

Justice NYC is a New York-based organization that will host a conference on the sexual exploitation of women on Nov. 1. The event, which will include over a dozen churches and national organizations, will focus on areas such as human trafficking, pornography, prostitution and abortion, among other avenues of the exploitation of women.

In preparation for the conference, the organization also conducted a nationwide survey of 300 men, investigating their understanding of sexual exploitation, its causes and its effects.

Horrocks noted that one of the largest challenges in motivating men to help end sexual exploitation is combating the impression “that it’s victimless.”

In many parts of society, he said, men are “treating women as sex objects” by viewing them only as objects of pleasure such as in pornography or prostitution, or by abandoning women during unplanned pregnancies. He encouraged men to confront the “issue of sexual narcissism,” and “look at the impact of sexual exploitation” both on society at large an on individual women.

Some women who participate in the pornography or prostitution industries, he noted, “have been forced into it, and some of those women have been trafficked,” saying that men’s participation continues “to create demand for this.”

“I think the reason men should be engaged on this issue is that when you look at it, men are the ones responsible for a lot of this exploitation,” he pointed out.

The negative impacts of sexual exploitation also affects women who may have willingly chosen to participate in these industries and practices,  he added. Horrocks noted the negative health, psychological and economic impacts of women facing prostitution, abortion, and the pornography industry, even when these paths are chosen by the woman.

These factors can also lead to an illusion of a lack of choice- particularly for poor women, he stressed.

Looking specifically at abortion, Horrocks said, it is “disproportionately poor women who are being impacted” and left in situations where they “’felt like I didn’t have a choice.’”

 “We are treating poor women like sex objects, we are abandoning them and leaving them on their own to make this choice which leads to harmful impact,” he stated. He noted that women face “all this economic harm,” as well as a physical and emotional cost either in bearing and raising a child alone or facing an abortion.

“This is why I think men need to rethink this,” he urged.  

Horrocks noted that men do view sexual exploitation as an important issue but do not understand their role in the issue.

“Men really see this as a critical problem,” he said, pointing to his survey’s results showing an overwhelming majority of men seeing exploitation and men’s attitudes to it as problematic. However, he continued, “when we dig into some of these different questions, men don’t understand the scope of it,” underestimating the number of women affected by sexual exploitation as well as the kind of impact it has on women’s lives.   

“How are we going to attack this as a justice issue if men don’t even understand the problem?” Horracks asked. He pointed, for example, to men’s use of pornography, and the nearly “identical” use of pornography both inside and outside Christian communities.

“Men need to be involved in challenging other men to change the culture,” he urged. “Let’s change the culture where the church is.”

Colo. bishops refute claims regarding personhood ballot measure

Denver, Colo., Oct 26, 2014 / 04:28 pm (CNA).- The Colorado Catholic bishops responded last week to a recent media campaign sponsored by Catholics for Choice against Amendment 67, saying the campaign was “riddled with inaccurate facts and statistics.”

“Before responding to the claims made by Catholics for Choice, it should be noted that this group does not speak for the Catholic Church,” read an Oct. 23 statement from the Colorado Catholic Conference.

Catholics for Choice is a pro-abortion organization which launched a campaign against Amendment 67, a ballot measure that would include unborn human beings under the definition of person and child in the Colorado criminal code.

The proposed amendment would be made to the Colorado constitution, and is being voted on in the upcoming November election.

This amendment has been nicknamed the Brady Project, recognizing the death of unborn child Brady Surovik, who was killed in a car accident a month before his due date. The driver who was responsible was found guilty only of vehicular assault, and was not prosecuted for the child’s death.

According to the conference, Catholics for Choice has made false statements in reference to the amendment and Catholics in general, which are not only untrue but are also contrary to Church teaching.

The conference responded to these claims, saying the agenda of Catholics for Choice was “quickly revealed by the group’s assumption that the Church in Colorado supports Amendment 67, when in fact it has maintained a neutral stance,” neither supporting nor opposing it.

“This distance is further demonstrated by the claim that there are five bishops in Colorado, when there are only three active bishops,” the Colorado Catholic Conference retorted.

“When it comes to statistics, Catholics for Choice only chooses those findings that agree with their dissent from Church teaching,” the statement said, pointing to data indicating that over half of all Catholics in America believe that abortion is morally wrong.

Catholics for Choice claimed that only 14 percent of Catholics opposed abortion, a statistic which the Catholic Conference refuted with statistics from the Pew Research Center.

Catholics for Choice also asserted that the stance of the Catholic bishops in Colorado “is anathema to our Catholic traditions.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Colorado’s bishops, like all Catholic bishops for 2,000 years, have steadfastly proclaimed that respect for all human life at every stage is foundational to the Catholic faith,” the statement declared, noting that abortion had always been considered immoral among Christians.

In addition, Catholics for Choice declared that 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control.

The Washington Post’s fact checker, Glenn Kessler, directly refuted this claim, saying that the data shown in the report does not actually back up the claims, and even undermines the statistics.

“The journalistic shorthand has been that ’98 percent of American Catholic women have used contraception in their lifetimes.’ But that is incorrect, according to the research,” Kessler stated in an article released by the Washington Post.

The statement from the Colorado Catholic Conference stressed that despite the claims of Catholics for Choice, it is every person’s obligation to protect the sanctity of life.

“It is our hope that one day Catholics for Choice will take the time to acquaint themselves with basic Catholic teachings, and acknowledge the truth of the Catholic faith, and not choose to undermine her teachings with false and inaccurate information, and ads that work only to mislead the public,” the conference stated.

“Upholding the sacred dignity of all human life is the duty of every member of society and this duty must be taken seriously in order to ensure that we are a part of a culture that affirms the right to life, especially for the most vulnerable among us.”
 

For terminally-ill seminarian, a life with suffering is not void of dignity

Raleigh, N.C., Oct 24, 2014 / 05:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A seminarian is looking forward to his ordination to the diaconate this spring and the priesthood a year later, even though he was given roughly a year and a half to live back in 2008.

Phillip…

Two flawed candidates? Catholics mull over voting options

Providence, R.I., Oct 24, 2014 / 01:55 pm (CNA).- In an election where all political candidates hold problematic positions, Catholic voters may choose “the lesser of two evils,” cast a protest vote, or simply not vote, one U.S. bishop has advised, with pro-life groups calling for prudence in making this decision.

“It’s a real problem that many faithful Catholics face these days – how to vote when all of the candidates are pro-abortion,” Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I., acknowledged in an Oct. 16 column for The Rhode Island Catholic, his diocese’s official publication.

“I know, it’s a tough time to be a moral, pro-life voter. The field is narrow and the options are few. But, vote according to your conscience, pray for our state and nation, and sleep well. Remember, God’s still in charge!”

Bishop Tobin presented the three voting options as an answer to a member of the diocese who revealed that the candidate for whom she had intended to vote supported both abortion and same-sex “marriage.”

“I responded to my letter-writer that it wasn’t appropriate for me to suggest candidates for whom she should or shouldn’t vote, but that it was important for her to become well-informed about the candidates and their positions, pray about it, and then vote according to her conscience,” the bishop wrote, adding the importance of the virtue of prudence.

In such a scenario, “when no candidate presents an acceptable position, especially about critical moral issues like abortion,” one of three options would be, Bishop Tobin said, “to choose the candidate who, in traditional terms, is the lesser of two evils.”

Alternatively, a voter could cast a “protest” vote by choosing to “write-in the name of someone who represents pro-life values … Even though this person surely wouldn’t be elected to office, a vote in that direction would send a clear signal that at least some voters won’t settle for anything less than a pro-life candidate. Contrary to what critics will charge, it’s not a wasted vote; it’s a sincere expression of conscience that upholds moral truth. And that’s never a waste!”

Another legitimate option, Bishop Tobin said, is that a citizen “might well decide to skip this year’s election and not vote at all, or at least not vote for a particular office.”

“Although Catholics have a general moral obligation to participate in the life of our nation, there are many ways to do that, and there’s certainly no obligation to vote in each and every election, particularly when the options are repugnant to the well-informed conscientious Christian voter.”

In Rhode Island’s gubernatorial race, both the Democratic candidate, Gina Raimondo, and the Republican candidate, Allan Fung, support legal abortion. However, pro-life groups pointed out that the candidates differ on a number of policy points.

For instance, Fung opposes both taxpayer funding of abortions and late-term abortions, and supported the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby religious freedom decision. Raimondo was endorsed by Planned Parenthood, and opposed the Hobby Lobby decision.

Joshua Mercer of CatholicVote.org suggested that citizens follow Bishop Tobin’s first or second scenario – participate in the election, either to send a “protest vote” or to elect the candidate who one thinks will do the least amount of harm.

Mercer advised against the idea that one might choose not to vote for a particular office, saying to CNA that “staying at home doesn’t do any good at all,” and, “I still think every Catholic has an obligation to vote, because you’ve got to communicate some way that this is what it should be like.”

He did add that “a protest vote is definitely an option. And it’s one that Catholics in good conscience should consider (in some) circumstances, precisely because you have a very flawed candidate and then a very horrible candidate.”

“When pro-lifers are in a distinct minority, you have to make very difficult choices.”

“It would be wonderful to have both political parties fighting over each other to see which one is more pro-life,” Mercer commented.

“Unfortunately, we’re not faced with that situation. There is going to be a governor sworn into office in January of next year for Rhode Island. The question is, will that governor support taxpayer funding of abortion or not?”

Rhode Island Right to Life, meanwhile, urged citizens to follow Bishop Tobin’s first voting option: to vote for the candidate who will do the least amount of harm.

The group has drawn attention for their endorsement of Fung for governor, despite the pro-abortion elements of his record.

In September, Bishop Tobin responded to the group’s decision by telling GoLocalProv, “I know that RI Right to Life approaches these issues very carefully, and I can only presume that they have more information about Mayor Fung’s position than I do. I won’t second guess their endorsement.”

He added, however: “Personally, though, I can’t vote for any candidate for any office, who claims to be pro-choice, which to me translates to being pro-abortion.”

Rhode Island Right to Life spokesman Barth Bracy explained that Fung still matches up with the group on a number of legislative issues such as supporting both “incremental pro-life legislation” and a health care plan option in the state’s insurance exchange that doesn’t cover abortion.

Currently the state’s insurance exchange offers only health plans covering abortion. The current plans include an abortion surcharge which forces all participants in the exchange to pay separately for abortion coverage, raising conscience concerns, Bracy maintained. Fung has promised to support an alternative plan on the exchange “that does not provide abortion coverage, except in the circumstances of rape, incest, or to protect the life of a woman.”
 
“So essentially every single issue that we’ve got pending before the General Assembly that we’re trying to pass, he supports. And every single issue before the General Assembly that Planned Parenthood is trying to pass, he opposes,” Bracy told CNA.

“We would love to have perfect candidates in every race, but when that doesn’t happen, you have to choose between who is running. And when you have on the one hand one candidate that will support every single one of the initiatives that you can reasonably foresee raising over the next four years, and on the other hand you have a candidate who is the most extreme abortion advocate we have ever seen, it’s a pretty clear decision.”

“If Gina Raimondo, the Planned Parenthood candidate, wins, we’re going to lose a lot of legislative battles over the next four years, plain and simple. If Allen Fung wins, we’re going to win a lot of legislative battles over the next four years. So lives are at stake, conscience is at stake.”
 

Ebola survivor Nina Pham: I believe in the power of prayer

Washington D.C., Oct 24, 2014 / 12:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse who has been battling Ebola after treating a patient in Texas, has now been declared free of the disease, and gave thanks to God and all those who have prayed for her …

Is a ‘vocation of friendship’ key to gay ministry in the Church?

Washington D.C., Oct 24, 2014 / 04:51 am (CNA).- Recovering an understanding of friendship as a vocation could be a way for the Church to help ease spiritual problems of isolation, especially for those who are gay, said one Catholic author who is both …

We’re ‘just touching the surface’ of St John Paul II’s teachings

Washington D.C., Oct 23, 2014 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- St. John Paul II’s life and teachings offer a witness to love that is so profound it is only beginning to be be mined for its riches, said the chaplain of the late pope’s national shrine in Washington, D.C.

“I think we’re just touching the surface, the scope of his teachings,” Fr. Jonathan Kalisch, O.P., said Oct. 22.

The chaplain of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine told CNA this, pointing to the legacy and witness the newly-recognized saint brings to the Church, made known in part through his teachings in his numerous writings, encyclicals and public speeches.

“They’re so rich with defense of human rights, and also religious freedom,” he commented, also noting the Pope’s writings on forgiveness and on human sexuality.

“And even his personal witness and the ways that he did those things,” Fr. Kalisch added.

Fr. Kalisch also spoke to how the saint’s life demonstrates “his witness to non-violence.”

Saint John Paul II, he said, “supported the churches under communism, never calling for a violent overthrow” and cautioned political leaders “to stand for the truth, even if it meant imprisonment. But never to resort to violence.”

Greatest, however, the chaplain said, was the Pope’s witness to love and friendship, noting that it’s demonstrative that Saint John Paul II “kept his friends,” and grew in those friendships despite changing life circumstances.

“I think he understood, having grown up under Nazism,” Fr. Kalisch said, “the power of fraternity. And he understood (that) under communism, where again you couldn’t be together in widespread circles, that he had to help create spheres of freedom.”

These friendships created a space that led to God and that deepened in exploration of truth and beauty. Throughout his life, the chaplain said, Saint John Paul II drew those around him to a greater relationship with others, with truth, and with God.

This habit of fostering deep and meaningful friendships also followed Saint John Paul II to Rome and the papacy, Fr. Kalisch said.

“You wouldn’t think that was the case: ironically you would think the Pope would be completely shut off,” he explained. “But no, they all came to him.”

“Despite whatever tragedies in his own family life that he went through,” Saint John Paul II was able “to flourish and to give a witness and example for himself personally, to inspire others to lead lives of holiness.”

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