Catholic bishops from France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg have said the European Union risks being undermined by growing national opposition and urged citizens to rally behind it in upcoming continent-wide elections. "The EU is threatened today by various economic, political, demographic and ideological crises -- but we are convinced it has tools to overcome them," the church leaders said.
A reporter once asked two men at the construction site where a church was being built what each did for a living. The first man replied: “I’m a bricklayer.” The second said: “I’m building a cathedral!” How we name an experience largely determines its meaning.
Architects have asked church leaders in Vietnam’s oldest diocese to conserve an iconic cathedral instead of pulling it down for a new one. But local Catholics and government authorities have backed the diocese’s plan to demolish 134-year-old Bui Chu Cathedral on May 13. Bui Chu Cathedral is as old as Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City and St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi.
The Church’s days are numbered—some say—because she is old, does not know how to renew herself, repeats old formulas instead of responding to new questions, stubbornly restates obsolete rituals and unintelligible dogmas while today’s people are looking for a new equilibrium, a new way of life, a less distant God.
Hell is never a nasty surprise waiting for a basically happy person. Nor is it necessarily a predicable ending for an unhappy, bitter person. Can a happy, warm-hearted person go to hell? Can an unhappy, bitter person go to heaven? That’s all contingent upon how we understand hell and how we read the human heart.