Br. Steve Herro's Blog
"THERE IS NO VIRTUE SO TRULY GREAT AND GOD LIKE, AS JUSTICE."
Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem., professed solemn vows to the Community of St. Norbert Abbey in 1991. For several years, he headed the justice and peace ministry of St. Norbert Abbey and presently serves as Manager of Mission and Ministry, Catholic Charities USA, Alexandria, VA. His current ministry connects him to national Catholic issues and Church ministers throughout the country.
DISCLAIMER: This blog represents Br. Herro's own opinions and experiences. It does not represent an official position or opinion of neither of the organizations, St. Norbert Abbey nor Catholic Charities USA, nor of any of the organizations' members.
February 1, 2015
Entry #36: "It is a matter of r-e-s-p-e-c-t"
by Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.
Pope Francis jumped into the fray the last month when, in the context of the Paris terrorist attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo, he warned that there were limits on freedom of expression. In an interview with the press on an international flight, he said, "...You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others." The Pope, of course, was not condoning the terrorist attack on the press office but was lifting up the importance of respect of others' religious traditions. Political cartoons and editorials mocking another's faith are out of bounds. Sorry, I don't agree that "...names will never hurt me"; language does matter.
Pope Francis' reminder holds great relevance for us in ministry and public office. Have you ever noticed how some church ministers can be intolerant of those who have a degree from "that" institution or interpret scripture or the social themes of Catholic social teaching differently than they do?
This can be translated to include civil dialogue on the floors of Congress, the blogosphere, office water cooler, or even the family e-mail list. Can I offer a few suggestions? Use the earned elected titles of elected officials instead of pundits' nicknames (President Bush, not "Dubbah"; President Obama, not "Barry").
Fr. Larry Snyder, who recently completed ten years as President/CEO of Catholic Charities USA, offered these wishes and advice for the Church and Washington policymakers in a January 21, 2015, interview with Catholic News Service:
Let me start with my wish for the church. What is a concern for me is that our church is very divided. We need to realize that we are all people acting in good faith and that we are people who are inspired by the Second Vatican Council even though we might interpret the actions that we should be taking in a little different way. (I hope) we could get a little more respect for each other and an appreciation why people think differently and realize it's all legitimate. It would further the Gospel.
As far as policymakers here in Washington, to me the frustration is the same. Unfortunately, people are more concerned with getting re-elected. That's how they base everything rather than what is the common good that we should be working for.
Archived Blog Posts
- Entry #34: "Ferguson tragedy exposes broader need for nonviolent responses in moral decision making" (Archived January 5, 2015)
- Entry #33: "Who will you remember this All Saints' Day?" (Archived December 2, 2014)
- Entry #32: "Speak up now, or forever hold your peace!" (Archived November 1, 2014)
- Entry #31: "What do the Donald Sterling, ISIS overruns, and unaccompanied youth crises have in common?" (Archived October 1, 2014)
- Entry #30: "How will you remember the summer of 2014?" (Archived September 2, 2014)
- Entry #29: "Addressing privilege and personal prejudice" (Archived July 30, 2014)
- Entry #28: "Are you ready to be their friends?" (Archived June 30, 2104)
- Entry #27: "Two Popes, Two Voices for International Peace" (Archived June 2, 2014)
- Entry #26: "This Pope Gives Me (and a lot of Protestants) Hope" (Archived May 5, 2014)
- Entry #25: "What does it mean to 'take on the smell of the sheep'?" (Archived March 31, 2014)
- Entry #24: "Gimme Shelter has implications for respecting all of human life" (Archived March 3, 2014)
- Entry #23: "Lack of unemployment insurance threatens livelihood of 1.3 million U.S. workers" (Archived January 28, 2014)
- Entry #22: "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" (Archived January 2, 2014)
- Entry #21: "Inspirations from an hour of prayer in Washington, D.C.'s St. Matthew's Cathedral" (Archived December 3, 2013)
- Entry #20: "A victory for public will in U.S.-Syria relations" (Archived November 4, 2013)
- Entry #19: "Mobility for whom and what?" (Archived September 30, 2013)
- Entry #18: "What sources are influencing your position on comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S.?" (Archived September 3, 2013)
- Entry #17: "Head to the border, but not for Taco Bell" (Archived July 29, 2013)
- Entry #16: "Remember – they work for us" (Archived June 28, 2013)
- Entry #15: "To insure that justice flows like water" (Archived May 4, 2013)
- Entry #14: "Pope Francis gains early praise from Catholic social action figures" (Archived April 10, 2013)
- Entry #13: The moral impact of sequestration (Archived March 3, 2013)
- Entry #12: "My first U.S. Presidential Inauguration" (Archived February 2, 2013)
- Entry #11: "Time to vigorously embrace reduction of gun violence as a Catholic pro-life issue" (Archived January 8, 2013)
- Entry #10: "December is not too early to think about community gardens" (Archived December 4, 2012)
- Entry #9: "Vengeance ≠ Justice" (Archived November 5, 2012)
- Entry #8: "Is it a sin not to vote?" (Archived October 9, 2012)
- Entry #7: "Costing monarchies and election campaigns during an international economic downturn" (Archived September 9, 2012)
- Entry #6: "Neighborliness and the extreme summer weather of 2012" (Archived August 4, 2012)
- Entry #5: "Eph 6: 13-17 and a first round victory for DREAMers and their advocates" (Archived June 17, 2012)
- Entry #4: "Cultivating Joy, Gratitude and Compassion in Today's Church" (Archived May 12, 2012)
- Entry #3: "God is Neither Red Nor Blue" (Archived April 14, 2012)
- Entry #2: "Operation Rice Bowl Opens Doors to Understanding Global Development Issues" (Archived March 5, 2012)
- Entry #1: "We're 27! We're 27!" (Archived January 14, 2012)