Florida Bishops

The pastoral nature of the episcopacy inspires our three bishop publishers to use the Florida Catholic as a forum to shine a light on issues of importance to Catholic faith. Whether reflecting on the different liturgical seasons of the Church, delving into the inspirational lives of the saints, or highlighting the good deeds of the local church, Bishops John Noonan, Gerald M. Barbarito and Frank J. Dewane hope visitors will gain insight from the words offered in their columns.

Bishop Noonan

Diocese of Orlando

Strengthen faith by removing ‘blind spots’

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

What is it that you have in your eye and is causing you difficulty in seeing clearly? The Scripture readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent speak to darkness or blindness and the opportunity to be able to see clearly if we set our sights on God. Part of removing our blind spots is to recognize or to see that we have them. This may be difficult for us because we may have a false sense of righteousness about our faith in God. Lent is a special season, a gift, to examine who we are as a people of faith. We are able to discern if any blindness exists through study and prayer.

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Bishop Barbarito

Diocese of Palm Beach

A most acceptable time

On Ash Wednesday, the second reading of the liturgy reminded us that, “Now is a very acceptable time” (2 Cor 6:2). St. Paul’s words to us are a fitting reminder that the season of Lent presents us with a very acceptable time to enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord, especially through the practices that we take up during the season. We are now halfway through the season of Lent and the remaining weeks present us with a “most acceptable time” to cultivate that relationship, especially as the liturgical season comes to a culmination. Before us is Laetare Sunday — Rejoice Sunday — the midway point of the Lenten season on which rose-colored vestments can be worn. The following week begins what is considered as “Passiontide,” the last two weeks of Lent which include Holy Week and the optional covering of statues within the church.

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Bishop Dwane

Diocese of Venice

Lent is a time of reflection, prayer

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

During the Lenten Season, the Church encourages us to spend time in prayer so that we may grow in spiritual maturity. This growth is from the early stages that ask, “When can I fit God in?” to those deeper or more advanced stages that ask, “How can I not fit God in?”

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Florida Conference
of Catholic Bishops

flaccb.org

Issues of concern to Catholic community hit roadblocks

TALLAHASSEE | The issues of refugee resettlement and abortion became the basis of a decision by the Florida’s Legislature and a ruling of the Florida Supreme Court, respectively, in mid-February.
On Feb. 16, the Florida Supreme Court blocked a 2015 law that would have provided women 24 hours to reflect before having an abortion. In a 4-2 decision, justices overturned an appellate decision and agreed with a Leon County circuit judge who issued a temporary injunction against the law.
In the decision, Judge Barbara Pariente wrote: “(T)here is no additional evidentiary burden on challengers to establish by sufficient, factually supported findings showing a law imposes a ‘significant restriction’ on the right of privacy before a law that implicates the right of privacy is subjected to strict scrutiny.”

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