Friday, April 24, 2009

Archbishop Naumann Answers Questions for Facebook Fans

This is cool. One of the numerous fan pages dedicated to bishops on Facebook is the "Fans of Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann" page. Anthony Saiki, a Kenrick-Glennon seminarian and administrator of the fan page, has asked members to send in questions for the Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop, and the Archbishop has begun answering them:
From Sr. Eva-Maria,
Your Excellency, greetings from the East! I have a couple of questions: "How did your mother influence your vocation as a priest? What is your best faith-story about your mom?"

Response from the Archbishop:

Sister Eva-Maria,
My Mother had a great influence on my vocation. My Father died before I was born. My Mother was a young widow with my older brother who was not yet two years old and me in her womb. My Mother had two practices every day: 1) She participated in Mass every day, even if that meant going to 5:30 a.m. Mass at a nearby Parish. 2) She led us each night in praying the family Rosary. As a young boy, I saw the great strength and peace my Mother received from the Eucharist and from her devotion to Mary. In such a context, it was only natural that I thought about becoming a priest.

One of my favorite faith stories about my Mother was told to me by a non-Catholic friend of my Mother’s. Her friend told me that, after my Father’s death, she was afraid to call my Mom because she could only imagine the intensity of my Mother’s grief. Finally, when her friend worked up the nerve to call, she was amazed at my Mother’s serenity and even joy in the midst of her sorrow because of my Father’s death. My Mother’s attitude not only put her friend at ease but gave her inspiration to grow deeper in her own faith.

From Rachael,
I have a question for His Excellency: What is the Catholic Church's view on national healthcare?

Response from the Archbishop:

Thanks for your question about national health care. The Church believes that everyone, including the poor, should have access to quality health care. The Church does not claim expertise in how best to make excellent health care available to everyone. The Church is the largest private health care provider in the nation. Most Catholic Hospitals were begun by Religious Communities, principally to serve the poor. Our current system of providing health care has some serious gaps, resulting in many people not having access to good health care. There are also valid concerns about more government involvement in providing health care, such as a possible loss of quality, inefficiency that would drive costs even higher and, most significantly, a fear of government mandates that could attempt to require Catholic hospitals to provide or at least refer for abortions and sterilizations.

From Sarah,
I have a question: The church claims infallibility of the pope. How can this be when the church has made mistakes in the past? The pope even apologized for the way the church handled the sex abuse scandal. How can it be both ways? I mean, if the pope is infallible, how can he apologize for anything?

Response from the Archbishop:

The Church teaches that the Holy Father is infallible in teaching of faith and morals. In other words, the Church is confident that the Holy Spirit will not allow the Church to make fundamental errors about what we believe. This does not mean that the Popes will not make personal mistakes or errors even in pastoral judgments. It does mean that the Holy Spirit will not allow the Holy Father to lead the Church into fundamental errors about doctrine - what we believe as Catholics.