We know that parents have their hands full keeping bored, homebound kids stimulated and learning – and that includes their Catholic faith. Each weekday, we’re highlighting another snackable, entertaining and informative (or, as we like to say ‘enterforming’) episode and offering some of the information available at CatholicCentral.com. More now than ever, we want to be central to your faith!
Bringing the Pope Closer to Home With ‘Catholic Central’
The pope can seem like a distant, mysterious figure —especially at a time when the public can’t see him preaching in St. Peter’s Square. But the Holy Father is just that, a father, and that’s the best way to understand him.
In this installment of Catholic Central, we open the doors to the Vatican and take you through two-thousand-year-old journey of pontiffs.
Habemus Papam! Catholic Central: Popes 101 looks at the history of the Catholic pontificate, from its beginning with Christ declaring Saint Peter the Rock (and thereby the first pope) down to the present day. The episode also deals with how popes are chosen, and what they can, and can’t, declare to be infallible.
- What kinds of leaders does our society need? For what should they stand and how should they lead? Do you think the pope should have a role in our society?
- The papal Twitter account (@Pontifex) receives a lot of replies — not all of them positive. Why do you think so many people have such a hard time with the pope and the Church? Have you ever encountered this? How can we become better facilitators of dialogue between opposing ideas? DYK one of the pope’s titles is “Supreme Pontiff” meaning “bridge builder”?
- The pope has authority to make declarations on the matters of faith and morals. How do you go about putting your trust in the pope on these issues? Where else in society do we have to exercise trust? How is this similar and different to how Catholics are asked to trust the pope?
When Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visited New York during his time as pope, he asked the young people, “What are you seeking?” Take some time to answer that question for yourself. Share with a close friend, or journal what you seek on a daily basis, and ask where your priorities are.
Reflection by Father Vince Kuna, C.S.C.
While a fictitious account of an encounter between Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the recent Netflix movie The Two Popes nevertheless delivers a positive spiritual message: that there’s a continuity of Church teaching between our two living popes, although articulated in different styles given each pontiff’s professional vocation. Benedict worked most of his career in the academic world as a theologian while Francis toiled the vineyards in parish life.
Watch the film on Netflix. Then read two different genres of Scriptures to see how different books illuminate the same truth of God in different styles. Read a verse from the Book of Sirach and see how it gives a nugget of daily spiritual advice much the way a pastor’s daily Mass homily might do. Then grapple with a passage from the Gospel of John, often referred to as a theological treatise on who Jesus is.
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