Author: Pedro Gabriel

Pluralism and the will of God… is there another way to look at it?

“In man’s present situation, the dialogue of religions is a necessary condition for peace in the world and it is therefore a duty for Christians as well as other religious communities. This dialogue of religions has various dimensions (…) Even if the fundamental choices themselves are not under discussion, the search for an answer to a specific question becomes a process in which, through listening to the other, both sides can obtain purification and enrichment....

Links of interest (week Dec 30, 2018 to Jan 1, 2019)

A letter from Cardinal Ouellet has shed new light on the events happening before the Vatican block of the US bishops voting on measures against abuse in the American Church. This block has been used by the usual quarters to attack Pope Francis as an enabler of this scourge in the Church. This letter, however, validates the legal concerns the Vatican had with some of the proposals, and how the measures were presented to the Holy See without...

Which Pope said this?

“Migration is sometimes voluntary and at other times, unfortunately, is forcefully imposed by war or persecution and often happens — as we know — in dramatic circumstances. (…) On the Feast of the Holy Family, straight after Christmas, we recalled that Jesus’ parents were also obliged to flee from their country and seek refuge in Egypt, to save the life of their Child: the Messiah, the Son of God was a refugee.” (scroll down for...

Links of interest (Dec 23rd – 29th)

Christmas time has arrived! Therefore, Pope Francis addressed his flock in the traditional papal blessing Urbi et Orbi. “What does that Child, born for us of the Virgin Mary, have to tell us? What is the universal message of Christmas? It is that God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters. This truth is the basis of the Christian vision of humanity. Without the fraternity that Jesus Christ has bestowed on...

Which Pope said this?

“Always moved by religious motives, the Church has condemned the various forms of Marxist Socialism; and she condemns them today, because it is her permanent right and duty to safeguard men from currents as thought and influences that jeopardize their external salvation. But the Church cannot ignore or overlook the fact that the worker in his efforts to better his lot, is opposed by a machinery which is not only not in accordance with nature,...

Soft Miracle

As I said in my last article, sometimes we can find treasures of deep Christian wisdom hidden in the thoughts and writings of highly secularized and even anticlerical people. Today, I would like to present you one of the most beautiful Christian stories written by a Portuguese pen: the short tale “Soft miracle.” It was written by Portuguese writer Eça de Queiroz. Just like Junqueiro (whom I cited on my last article), Queiroz was a...

Links of interest (week Dec 16-22)

In a speech to the Curia, Pope Francis issues strong words against those in the Church involved in the sexual abuses scandals, in preparation for the universal meeting in February on the same topic: “Let it be clear that before these abominations, the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has commited such crimes. The Church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously...

Which Pope said this?

“Be like Saint Joseph: a man of dreams, not a dreamer; A man of silence, because he respects God’s plan” (scroll down for answer) Pedro GabrielPedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better...

The Celestial Tear

One thing that has always struck me as bizarre is how sometimes outsiders to the faith seem to have keener insights on how the faith works, or should be working, than Catholics allegedly in good standing. Sometimes, when atheists or secularists denounce Catholics for behaving in an unchristian way, our apologist reflex kicks in, and we immediately go on preaching elaborate theological justifications to the perceived inconsistency. This is needed, of course, but we should...

The Silence Movie: Strength and Weakness

The 2016 Martin Scorcese “Silence” movie, a beautiful depiction of the early missionary work (and persecution) of Japanese Catholics, unfortunately got tangled up in polemics about whether it promoted apostasy as a justifiable choice in the face of persecution. I have to side with critical sources who claim it justifies an intrinsically evil act like apostasy (and therefore, cannot be endorsed on those grounds,) but I also think the movie can teach us very important...

Links of interest (week Dec 9 – 15)

Pope Francis sent a message to the participants in the International Conference “Human Rights in the Contemporary World: conquests, omissions negations“. In this message, the pontiff invokes several groups of human beings deprived of their basic human rights, namely the unborn child: “I am thinking, among other things, of the unborn children who are denied the right to come into the world; to those who do not have access to the indispensable means for a...

Which Pope said this?

“Silence is the space of this child. Silence is the sphere where God is born. It is only when we ourselves enter the sphere of silence that we reach the point where God is born. Thus, these words of Saint Elizabeth [of Hungary] echo one of the earliest texts of the Christmas liturgy, which came in the course of time to inspire so many hymns: the Book of Wisdom says: ‘While gente silence enveloped all...

Silence: the shield against Suspicious Man

“Express how you feel, and then be quiet. Because the truth is humble. The truth is silent. The truth isn’t noisy. It’s not easy, what Jesus did. But the dignity of the Christian is anchored in the power of God. With people lacking good will, with people who only seek scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family: silence, prayer.” — Pope Francis Homily at Casa Santa Marta, Rome, Sept 3rd,...

Links of interest (week Dec 2 – 8)

Pope Francis kicks off the Advent season, by also kicking off a campaign from the charitable foundation Aid to the Church in Need: the “Candle for Peace in Syria” initiative. Said the Pope: “May these flames of hope dispel the darkness of war (…) Let us pray and help Christians to remain in Syria and the Middle East as witnesses of mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation (…) May the flame of hope also reach all those who...

Which Pope said this?

“For such dignity and authority belong to the Church that she alone is the center of truth and of Catholic unity. It is the Church in which alone religion has been inviolably preserved and from which all other Churches must receive the tradition of the Faith. (…) To them [the Roman Pontiffs], in the person of the Prince of the Apostles, were divinely entrusted by Christ our Lord, the charge and supreme care and the...

Silence according to Pope Francis

“Uncrowd my heart, O God, until silence speaks in your still, small voice; turn me from the hearing of words, and the making of words, and the confusion of much speaking, to listening, waiting, stillness, silence.” — Esther de Waal; “Lost in Wonder”; Chapter: “Silence” Silence as a theological challenge: This week, we started my favorite liturgical time: Advent. Advent is a time of waiting. Waiting for Christmas, the birth of Jesus. Waiting for the...